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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-09-02

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cynews.com/>


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Thursday, September 2, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Police calls Ayia Napa crackdown in wake of racist attackBy Charlie CharalambousPOLICE chief Andreas Angelides yesterday ordered extra security in Ayia Napa to prevent tourists being attacked in the wake of a racially motivated assault on four black Britons last week.A two-page statement issued by the police press office was quick to deny charges of bigotry and inaction in the face of racial crime."The police chief has requested a complete report on the facts of the case and given instructions for increased policing in the area to prevent anything that might harm the high standards of hospitality and treatment of foreign tourists," said yesterday's statement.However, police HQ's statement denied accusations that there was any increase or pattern in recent racist attacks against black tourists in Ayia Napa.The statement even added that: "Foreign tourists have expressed their satisfaction with the police's immediate response and effectiveness."The police press release was prompted by a Cyprus Mailreport about four black British tourists who fled the island after they were badly beaten by a mob of racist bikers in the resort."The incident which happened on the night of last Thursday, during which a gang of Cypriots attacked four black tourists, is being examined with all seriousness by the police, who continue enquiries to locate the culprits," said yesterday's police statement.The British High Commission in Nicosia "welcomed" the police's response to the incident.But the police did not pass up the opportunity to point out that Greeks and Greek Cypriots had themselves suffered at the hands of British tourists this summer.Police appeared to be suggesting that British and black tourists in particular were as much sinners as sinned against.The statement wanted to "remind" the public that a Cypriot chef had been left in a critical condition after allegedly being attacked by black Briton at an Ayia Napa disco on August 3.Last Thursday's vicious assault landed one of the four Britons, Matthew Lamptey, in an Ayia Napa clinic - where he arrived unconscious and spent two days recovering.As soon as he was able to move on Sunday, the holidaymakers fled the island in fear of their lives, paying an extra 100 each to leave several days earlier than planned.Before doing so, their tour company transferred the frightened tourists to another hotel.Three of the friends were beaten in the attack, while a fourth, Jonathan Stewart, phoned the High Commission claiming local police had not taken their complaint seriously.On Tuesday, Police HQ in Nicosia told the Cyprus Mailthat they had no record of any incident in Ayia Napa involving British tourists being beaten up last week.Informed sources told the Mailthat the tourists were walking back to their apartment when they were set upon by a gang of around 20 bikers and were told to "leave our country or we'll come back for you tonight."Local police have already received a dressing down by the British authorities for their "rough treatment" of tourists who report thefts in resorts like Protaras and Ayia Napa.The fishing village turned night club mecca is attracting more black British holidaymakers because of its kudos as a the 'new Ibiza'.
  • [02] Enclaved farmer murdered in Karpasia
  • [03] Stock exchange chief seeks to talk down the market
  • [04] Last-ditch bid to heal Disy rift
  • [05] Kranidiotis and Cook discuss Cyprus in London talks
  • [06] New fares spark flood of bookings

  • [01] Police calls Ayia Napa crackdown in wake of racist attackBy Charlie CharalambousPOLICE chief Andreas Angelides yesterday ordered extra security in Ayia Napa to prevent tourists being attacked in the wake of a racially motivated assault on four black Britons last week.A two-page statement issued by the police press office was quick to deny charges of bigotry and inaction in the face of racial crime."The police chief has requested a complete report on the facts of the case and given instructions for increased policing in the area to prevent anything that might harm the high standards of hospitality and treatment of foreign tourists," said yesterday's statement.However, police HQ's statement denied accusations that there was any increase or pattern in recent racist attacks against black tourists in Ayia Napa.The statement even added that: "Foreign tourists have expressed their satisfaction with the police's immediate response and effectiveness."The police press release was prompted by a Cyprus Mailreport about four black British tourists who fled the island after they were badly beaten by a mob of racist bikers in the resort."The incident which happened on the night of last Thursday, during which a gang of Cypriots attacked four black tourists, is being examined with all seriousness by the police, who continue enquiries to locate the culprits," said yesterday's police statement.The British High Commission in Nicosia "welcomed" the police's response to the incident.But the police did not pass up the opportunity to point out that Greeks and Greek Cypriots had themselves suffered at the hands of British tourists this summer.Police appeared to be suggesting that British and black tourists in particular were as much sinners as sinned against.The statement wanted to "remind" the public that a Cypriot chef had been left in a critical condition after allegedly being attacked by black Briton at an Ayia Napa disco on August 3.Last Thursday's vicious assault landed one of the four Britons, Matthew Lamptey, in an Ayia Napa clinic - where he arrived unconscious and spent two days recovering.As soon as he was able to move on Sunday, the holidaymakers fled the island in fear of their lives, paying an extra 100 each to leave several days earlier than planned.Before doing so, their tour company transferred the frightened tourists to another hotel.Three of the friends were beaten in the attack, while a fourth, Jonathan Stewart, phoned the High Commission claiming local police had not taken their complaint seriously.On Tuesday, Police HQ in Nicosia told the Cyprus Mailthat they had no record of any incident in Ayia Napa involving British tourists being beaten up last week.Informed sources told the Mailthat the tourists were walking back to their apartment when they were set upon by a gang of around 20 bikers and were told to "leave our country or we'll come back for you tonight."Local police have already received a dressing down by the British authorities for their "rough treatment" of tourists who report thefts in resorts like Protaras and Ayia Napa.The fishing village turned night club mecca is attracting more black British holidaymakers because of its kudos as a the 'new Ibiza'.

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    Thursday, September 2, 1999

    [02] Enclaved farmer murdered in Karpasia

    By Jean Christou

    THE CHARRED remains of an elderly enclaved man were found in his car late on Tuesday, just one kilometre from the occupied village of Rizokarpasso.

    The family of the victim -- 69-year-old farmer Stelios Charpas -- claims he was murdered by Turkish settlers. He had been reported missing on Tuesday morning.

    Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said yesterday the government would ask the UN to clear up what happened and to "ensure that justice is done".

    "The murder of Stelios Charpas is particularly shocking news," Cassoulides said.

    "The government has an obligation to convey internationally that it considers the occupation authorities responsible for the safety of the enclaved. If the safety of any citizen is a given fact, then the safety of the enclaved should be considered a double obligation and double responsibility."

    Cassoulides said measures were being taken to have the post mortem in the government-controlled areas.

    "Action has been taken through the Humanitarian Affairs Office for the transfer of the body," he said.

    According to Turkish Cypriot press reports, Charpas was found dead in his Renault in a wooded area outside Rizokarpasso at around 5pm on Tuesday.

    The UN, which is conducting an investigation, said the body had been discovered by Turkish Cypriot 'police'.

    Spokeswoman Sarah Russell said Unficyp was not in a position to state whether or not murder was suspected. "We don't have those powers."

    "We were told the body was found by Turkish Cypriot police inside a burnt out vehicle late last night (Tuesday)," she said. "The UN has been working through the night."

    She said a team from Unficyp's civilian police was working on the case.

    The autopsy will be carried out today in occupied Famagusta, with the attendance of an Unficyp official.

    Humanitarian Affairs Officer Takis Christopoulos told the Cyprus Mailhe had information that Charpas had received a phone call late on Monday night and had gone out.

    His wife Yiannoula reported him missing on Tuesday, Christopoulos said. The couple have seven grown-up children, six of whom live in the free areas.

    He said the Greek Cypriot side had asked for one of its own pathologists to cross to the north to join the investigation but had been refused permission by the Turks.

    "The body is burnt to such a degree that it cannot be identified, but it was his (Charpas') car," Christopoulos said.

    The dead man's wife Yiannoula told CyBC radio in a phone interview from the north that her husband had on Monday received a phone call from someone named Mehmet and said he would be meeting him at around 11pm.

    She said he had gone to the local coffeeshop, and believes he was abducted from there and killed, his body placed in the car which was burned to hide the truth. She also said her husband had taken money out of the bank earlier in the day.

    Nicos Falas, the former president of the Karpasia Co-ordinating Committee for the Enclaved, claimed the killers were two well-known Turkish settlers.

    He said Charpas was the 27th enclaved Greek Cypriot to have been murdered in the occupied areas since 1974. Some 500 Greek Cypriots, mostly elderly, live in the peninsula.

    Falas visited President Clerides yesterday morning along with Sotiris Charpas, a son of the victim.

    After the meeting, Charpas told journalists his family was still in a state of shock.

    "Now we will try as a family to go to Rizokarpasso while we wait for it to be cleared up why they murdered him," he said.

    Cassoulides said yesterday he didn't believe this latest incident would prompt a mass exodus of the enclaved. "Our enclaved have been through a lot of trouble and oppression for the past 25 years," he said.

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    Thursday, September 2, 1999

    [03] Stock exchange chief seeks to talk down the market

    By Hamza Hendawi

    IN AN apparent attempt to talk down the red hot market and spare ordinary folks the misery of losing hard-earned savings, the chairman of the Cyprus Stock Exchange warned investors yesterday that the value of some market shares was unjustifiably high and advised investors to exercise maximum caution.

    Dinos Papadopoulos, addressing a news conference at the Nicosia Hilton, also announced a set of measures affecting trading which appeared designed to curtail the activity of speculators and reduce the backlog of transactions plaguing some brokerages and souring relations between brokers and market authorities.

    "No one can protect investors from their own bad choices," warned Papadopoulos, who also called on brokerages not to accept orders which they could not handle, thus compounding the backlog problem.

    Share prices, meanwhile, dipped for the second day yesterday, further chipping away at the colossal gains made on Monday when the official index rose by 26.72 per cent.

    The all-share index closed at 452.57 yesterday, 2.40 per cent down on Tuesday. Volume was 58.86 million, down from 81.14 million on Tuesday and 117.48 million on Monday.

    All seven sectors of the market ended the day down, with investment companies the heaviest losers followed by manufacturing and tourism. The lucrative banking sector, which was set ablaze on Monday by the return of Bank of Cyprus titles after a three-week break, did not escape the onslaught, with the island's largest bank shedding more of its spectacular gains of Monday.

    The Bank of Cyprus was down by 43.50 cents to 9.96 on a volume of 16.48 million. The Popular Bank, the island's second biggest was slightly up, closing at 12.11 on a volume of 11.63 million.

    Hellenic Bank was again in positive territory, notching up 37.50 cents to close at 16.47 in the run-up to its 4-for-1 split scheduled for later this year. Volume was 5.02 million.

    Papadopoulos, the stock market boss, said new trading regulations would oblige brokerages to key in the name of the broker executing an order, the name of the investor and his identity card number or, in the case of non- Cypriots, his passport number.

    They also require that all transactions carry a copy of the Certificate of Transfer issued by the bourse, thus making it impossible for speculators to hop in and out of stocks without having to produce documentation of the pervious sell or buy transaction. Papadopoulos, however, said this measure was temporary and designed to reduce the backlog of unprocessed transactions.

    It also seemed to be the exchange's counter-proposal to the one by brokers to reduce the bourse's week to three sessions from the current five.

    A temporary cut on the leeway available to speculators could dramatically reduce volume at a time when the average number of transactions has soared to 4,000 from 500 because of the introduction in early May of an automated trading system.

    Papadopoulos could not say when the new regulations would come into effect, although the Financial Mirror, the island's English-language business weekly, said that could be as early as tomorrow.

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    Thursday, September 2, 1999

    [04] Last-ditch bid to heal Disy rift

    THE DISY political office is meeting with President Clerides this morning in an effort to heal the rift within the ruling party over the President's reshuffle decisions.

    Party leader Nicos Anastassiades has banished deputy Prodromos Prodromou from the political office for his public criticism of last week's reshuffle.

    Prodromou and fellow dissenter Demetris Sillouris, also a Disy deputy, have expressed concerns that too many cabinet positions were given to junior government partners the United Democrats (UD).

    The new Health Minister, Frixos Savvides, and the new government spokesman, Michalis Papapetrou, are both from George Vassiliou's UD. Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous, also a UD man, kept his post in the reshuffle while Vassiliou heads the island's EU accession talks team.

    Prodromou and Sillouris fear granting so much power to the UD suggests Clerides is abandoning his hard-line Cyprus problem policy in favour of the more moderate approach favoured by Vassiliou. Clerides ousted Vassiliou from power in 1993 on the back of promises to take a firmer line in settlement negotiations.

    Anastassiades has vigorously dismissed these suggestions and has attacked chief rebel Prodromou, charging him with "parroting" opposition party rhetoric.

    Prodromou has hit back at Anastassiades by accusing him of trying to suppress free expression within Disy.

    As the spat between the two party heavyweights became more and more acrimonious, both party vice-chairman Panayiotis Demetriou and deputy Rikkos Erotokritou tried, with little success, to intercede to heal the rift.

    Today's planned top-level meeting seems the last chance to restore unity and mend the party's image.

    Prodromou, despite his banishment, is expected to attend, but Sillouris yesterday signalled his intention to boycott the meeting.

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    Thursday, September 2, 1999

    [05] Kranidiotis and Cook discuss Cyprus in London talks

    THE COMING months are crucial for the Cyprus problem, Greek alternate foreign minister Yiannos Kranidiotis said yesterday.

    Speaking to London Greek Radio after meeting British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook, Kranidiotis said they had agreed that Cyprus' EU accession should not depend on a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    "If Turkey continues its intransigent stance, Cyprus cannot be punished once gain by Turkish policy."

    Kranidiotis said an opportunity to break the deadlock now existed, provided the world's powers, and especially the United States and Britain, exerted pressure on Turkey.

    "The position of Greece is that Britain must play a role of initiative, it must help start the bicommunal dialogue without preconditions, and must help promote a just an viable solution to the Cyprus problem, based on the resolutions and decisions of the United Nations."

    The Greek minister said Cook had promised to co-operate and help "with all his power," and that the two would remain in continuous contact on the problem.

    He said the existing deadlock could be overcome "if the big powers, among which are Britain and of course the United States, press Turkey to assume its responsibilities."

    On Cyprus' EU accession, Kranidiotis said the course was developing smoothly and that "the prospects are good since Cyprus has less problems than any other candidate country."

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    Thursday, September 2, 1999

    [06] New fares spark flood of bookings

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) kicked off its new fares schedule to Greece yesterday with bookings up until September 10, Chairman Takis Kyriakides said.

    Kyriakides said CY offices had been flooded with calls since the airline announced its fare reductions last week. Extra staff had been recruited to handle the influx of customers, he said.

    "We are all booked up until September 10."

    He said the main interest had been in the APEX night flights, which have been slashed to 79 from the regular excursion fare of 144.

    However, Kyriakides said there appeared to be some confusion among the public on the concept of APEX fares, which involve booking ten days in advance. APEX tickets cannot be changed.

    "This is the risk the passenger has to take to get his special fare," Kyriakides said.

    He repeated that further special offers were on the way from November 1 which would involved reduced family fares.

    However, it appears the reduced fares may change during peak periods such as Christmas.

    "But efforts will be made so these fares are valid throughout the year," Kyriakides said.

    He admitted the new fares policy would cost the airline dear on its most lucrative routes, but hoped the expected increase in passenger numbers, even on reduced fares, would make up the shortfall.

    "And so far our hopes have been realised with the massive interest," he said. "All seats for Athens and Salonica are full until September 10."

    CY operates daily and sometimes twice-daily flights to both destinations along with Greek national carrier Olympic Airways, which announced identical fare reductions last week.

    Cyprus and Greece operate a closed bi-lateral arrangement which allows their respective national carriers a monopolistic advantage, making Greece one of CY's three most profitable routes along with London Heathrow and Tel Aviv.

    The standard return fare on the Larnaca-Athens route has been reduced from 144 to 129, while new fares introduced by both airlines include a 99 night-time fare and special morning and evening APEX fares of 89 and 79 respectively.

    Travelling on the November 1 family fare on morning flights to Athens, one spouse will pay 129 and the other 65 as will children under 18. A similar deal on night flights puts prices at 99 and 50 respectively.

    Special offers for students are to be decided at a later date.

    The move to reduce fares was prompted by the government's recent threat to liberalise air links between Larnaca and Athens following two crippling June strikes by pilots angry over promotions.

    It is also an attempt to induce more Greeks to travel here and to help reduce fares for Cypriots.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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