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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-09-10

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

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


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Friday, September 10, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Five die as lorry ploughs through PaphosBy Jean ChristouFIVE people, two children and a German family, were killed and more than ten others injured when a lorry careered out of control in a residential area on the outskirts of Paphos yesterday afternoon.The lorry, carrying building materials, smashed into vehicles, buildings, trees and electricity pylons along a two kilometre downhill stretch of road at Mesoyi when its brakes failed and the driver lost control.The dead children have been named as Demetris Papageorgiou, aged 10, from Tsada village near Paphos, and Alexandra Economidou, aged 5 from Paphos.Police said a German couple, Hans and Christa Gerhardt and their 19-year-old son, staying at Goudi village, were also killed as the lorry ploughed into five cars before overturning and finally coming to a stop on Evagoras Avenue.Pedestrians fled in all directions as the lorry sowed destruction in its wake, mowing down everything in its path.Firemen spent two hours cutting the dead and injured from the wreckage of their vehicles.The driver of the lorry, Hassan Ayier, 27, a Turkish Cypriot, survived the carnage, but was taken to Paphos hospital with serious injuries.Co-driver Kyriacos Xenofontos, 36, from Paphos, was also seriously injured.Police said last night the circumstances of the accident were not clear but initial investigations suggested the lorry's brakes had failed.The accident happened at around 4pm when Ayier lost control of the lorry, first smashing into the car in which the 10-year- old boy died. His mother and 13-year-old brother were seriously injured in the collision.The drivers of two of the cars struck by the lorry, Sophoclis Anthousis from Nicosia and George Poyadji from Tsada, were unharmed, but Maria Constantinou from Tala village driving another car was seriously injured.Before coming to a stop, the lorry hit a car driven by Kyriacos Economidies, fatally injuring his daughter Alexandra, aged five. She died in hospital three hours later. Her mother Katy, 24, was seriously injured.Police in Paphos described it as the worst accident the town had ever witnessed.
  • [02] Cyprus to send $1 million for Greek quake relief
  • [03] Cypriot among Athens quake dead
  • [04] Government believes Denktash will change stance on talks
  • [05] European report slams Turkey for violation of human rights
  • [06] Two more remanded for Limassol rocket attack
  • [07] Tanker threatens to destroy fish farm after failure to agree alternative site
  • [08] Four more Romanians held over fake passports

  • [01] Five die as lorry ploughs through PaphosBy Jean ChristouFIVE people, two children and a German family, were killed and more than ten others injured when a lorry careered out of control in a residential area on the outskirts of Paphos yesterday afternoon.The lorry, carrying building materials, smashed into vehicles, buildings, trees and electricity pylons along a two kilometre downhill stretch of road at Mesoyi when its brakes failed and the driver lost control.The dead children have been named as Demetris Papageorgiou, aged 10, from Tsada village near Paphos, and Alexandra Economidou, aged 5 from Paphos.Police said a German couple, Hans and Christa Gerhardt and their 19-year-old son, staying at Goudi village, were also killed as the lorry ploughed into five cars before overturning and finally coming to a stop on Evagoras Avenue.Pedestrians fled in all directions as the lorry sowed destruction in its wake, mowing down everything in its path.Firemen spent two hours cutting the dead and injured from the wreckage of their vehicles.The driver of the lorry, Hassan Ayier, 27, a Turkish Cypriot, survived the carnage, but was taken to Paphos hospital with serious injuries.Co-driver Kyriacos Xenofontos, 36, from Paphos, was also seriously injured.Police said last night the circumstances of the accident were not clear but initial investigations suggested the lorry's brakes had failed.The accident happened at around 4pm when Ayier lost control of the lorry, first smashing into the car in which the 10-year- old boy died. His mother and 13-year-old brother were seriously injured in the collision.The drivers of two of the cars struck by the lorry, Sophoclis Anthousis from Nicosia and George Poyadji from Tsada, were unharmed, but Maria Constantinou from Tala village driving another car was seriously injured.Before coming to a stop, the lorry hit a car driven by Kyriacos Economidies, fatally injuring his daughter Alexandra, aged five. She died in hospital three hours later. Her mother Katy, 24, was seriously injured.Police in Paphos described it as the worst accident the town had ever witnessed.

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    Friday, September 10, 1999

    [02] Cyprus to send $1 million for Greek quake relief

    By Charlie Charalambous

    CYPRUS will send $1 million to Greece as part of an earthquake relief package following Tuesday's Athens quake which killed more than 50 people.

    The amount dwarfs the $100,000 the Cyprus government approved last month in aid to quake-hit Turkey, where over 15,000 died and thousands more were left injured and homeless.

    The emergency aid was agreed during yesterday's cabinet meeting in Nicosia, which discussed the Athens quake disaster as a priority issue.

    But the approval of ten times more aid relief to Greece could leave the Clerides administration open to further criticism of discrimination from Turkish Cypriots.

    On Saturday, Turkish Cypriot 'prime minister' Dervis Eroglu said the sum given to Turkey by the Greek Cypriots "amounted to nothing".

    However, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou told the Cyprus Mailthe two issues were not the same, as money sent to Turkey was more of a symbolic gesture; it would be "unreasonable" for Cyprus to be criticised, he added.

    "With Turkey, we tried to send a political message and no one can hide the special ties between Greece and Cyprus so it's only natural (to send more aid)," Papapetrou told the Cyprus Mailyesterday.

    "There is no case for such a reaction because we've only had a positive response from Turkey following Cyprus' aid," the spokesman said responding to whether the cabinet decision might be interpreted as discriminatory.

    A seven-member team of experts (including firemen and mechanical engineers) was due to leave Cyprus this afternoon to assist the Greek relief effort.

    "The Council of Ministers decided this morning to send aid from the Republic for earthquake relief to the sum of $1 million," Papapetrou said after Wednesday's cabinet meeting.

    "Also the President of the Republic was in phone contact with Mr Simitis and told of the aid package and the decision of the government to send a seven-member team of experts today to help in the relief effort," he added.

    Papapetrou said President Clerides told Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis that Cyprus was ready to give any help necessary, be it medicine, tents, nurses or doctors.

    "The Greek prime minister expressed his gratitude," said Papapetrou.

    All political parties sent messages of support and condolences to Greece and its people, and offered financial and medical assistance to their "Greek brothers".

    Doctors of the World Cyprus -- who made an unprecedented trip to Turkey following the quake there -- said they were ready to help and opened two bank accounts for public donations.

    Disy boss Nicos Anastassiades yesterday handed over a £5,000 cheque to the Greek embassy in Nicosia for victims of the quake.

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    Friday, September 10, 1999

    [03] Cypriot among Athens quake dead

    A GREEK Cypriot is among the 50 dead in the Athens quake and his 16-year- old daughter is reported missing.

    Christos Papathomas, 44, from occupied Lapithos, was found buried underneath the rubble of his home in the Athens suburb of Metamorfosis, which was one of the worse areas affected.

    The man's teenage daughter is believed to be still trapped in the debris of their home.

    Papathomas was a permanent resident of Greece and worked at the Semiramis hotel in the upmarket Athens suburb of Kifisia.

    "The government expresses its sincere condolences to the family of the dead man," said government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou.

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    Friday, September 10, 1999

    [04] Government believes Denktash will change stance on talks

    By Jean Christou

    THE GOVERNMENT believes that Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will come to his senses and attend UN-backed talks slated for next month.

    Denktash has repeatedly said he will not attend the talks.

    In his most recent statement made in New York, Denktash said that when he met UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan today he would ask him not to send the letter of invitation to talks.

    In a speech to the Strategic and International Studies

    Centre in Washington, Denktash said the only solution for Cyprus was the establishment of a confederation of two states.

    He also criticised the G8 (seven leading industrialised nations and Russia) for "rejecting the existence of the Turkish Cypriot community", saying there was no ground for their initiative to develop.

    Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday that if Denktash insisted on recognition as a precondition to talks then none would take place.

    "If this is Mr Denktash and Turkey's final position, then there can be no talks, no initiative and no solution," Papapetrou said.

    Asked if he believed this was Denktash's final position, the spokesman said: "I would like to express the government's assessment that in the end Mr Denktash will change his stance and see reason so that the Cyprus problem can move forward to a solution."

    "We will leave things to progress because we are on the verge of a decision being taken finally but we are not there yet."

    Denktash met on Tuesday with US Assistant Secretary for

    European Affairs, Mark Grossman, the director of the Southern

    European Desk at the State Department and new Special Emissary

    for Cyprus Alfred Moses.

    State Department sources told the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) that the purpose of the meeting was to convey to Denktash that under no circumstances would the US and the international community recognise his breakaway regime in the north.

    They also reiterated that the Cyprus problem remained on the US agenda and that America backed a bizonal, bicommunal federation.

    Annan is soon expected to issue an invitation to the two leaders to return to talks. Denktash says he will not respond positively.

    "We can't go if he invites us. A national decision has been taken. The Turkish parliament took a decision in Turkey," Denktash said. "They know this, and yet they still say invite them and make them hold a tête-à-tête meeting. This offends us."

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    Friday, September 10, 1999

    [05] European report slams Turkey for violation of human rights

    By Jean Christou

    A REPORT by the European Commission for Human Rights, made public yesterday, slams Turkey for gross violation of human rights in Cyprus.

    The contents of the report were made public at a press conference given by Attorney-general Alecos Markides, who hailed it as "the most important success the Republic of Cyprus has had in international legal fora".

    "The Commission report is of a truly historic significance as it reaffirms previous reports in the first three inter-state cases against Turkey and the Court decision on the case of Titina Loizidou," Markides said.

    Loizidou won a case before the European Court of Human Rights which found Turkey guilty of the continuous violation of her right to enjoy her property in Kyrenia and ruled that she remained the legal owner.

    The report published yesterday was issued at the end of Commission hearings during the fourth inter-state case of Cyprus against Turkey.

    It affirms that the government of Cyprus is the only recognised authority on the island and reiterates that Turkey's responsibility extends to all the complaints filed by the government.

    The case has been referred by the government to the European Court of Human Rights, where the two parties, Cyprus and Turkey, will present heir arguments before the Court issues a judgement.

    Markides said the case rested on five issues, the missing persons, the rights of property of displaced Greek Cypriots and their rights to hold free elections, the living conditions of the enclaved, and the rights of Turkish Cypriots violated by Turkey.

    On the latter, the Commission report said the application by the government failed because the Commission considered all local avenues had not been exhausted.

    It said the breakaway regime was a local administration subject to Turkey and that Turkish Cypriots should apply to Turkey before approaching the European judicial system.

    "We do not consider anything carried out in the occupied areas as being in accordance with international law," Markides said.

    On the issue of missing persons, Markides said the report found massive violations of human rights regarding the missing and their relatives by the failure of the Turkish side to cooperate with the investigation into their fate.

    On the issue of property, similar violations were found, while regarding the enclaved, the report said their living conditions constituted a serious form of intervention in the right to respect for private and family life.

    "The treatment of enclaved persons is tantamount to adverse discrimination on the basis of ethnic origin, race and religion," Markides quoted the report as saying.

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    Friday, September 10, 1999

    [06] Two more remanded for Limassol rocket attack

    By Charlie Charalambous

    TWO MORE men were remanded in police custody yesterday in connection with Sunday's rocket attack on a Limassol cabaret.

    Michalis Ioannou, 29, and Antonis Loizou, 21, both from Limassol, were remanded for eight days by a Limassol district court.

    A 27-year-old labourer, Petros Georgiou Koupepas, was remanded in custody on Tuesday, bringing the number of suspects to three.

    All three suspects face possible charges of attempted murder, conspiracy to murder, stealing army weapons and possessing a lethal weapon and the ammunition for it.

    Police told the court they had a written eye-witness account which placed the suspects at the scene of the crime.

    A fourth suspect, Pavlos Hadjicostas, 27, is being sought by police.

    Police chief Andreas Angelides is "optimistic" the case will be completely solved within days.

    The anti-tank missile attack on the Blue Pearl cabaret in the notorious Heroes Square marks a new outbreak of violence between rival underworld gangs in the town.

    Extra officers have now been deployed in the area and additional police patrols cruise the island's best known red light district after 11pm to discourage any further mafia hits.

    Limassol mayor Demetris Kontides has vowed to close "problem cabarets", and plans to pedestrianise Heroes Square to prevent curb crawling and introduce more street lighting.

    Heroes Square recently received a much publicised face-lift in an effort to rid the place of its gangster image and attract tourists and locals to enjoy the sites and not the sleazy night life.

    A request to establish a police station in the centre of the square is being studied by the government.

    The target of Sunday's rocket hit was cabaret owner Sotiris Athinis, 44, who narrowly escaped with his life when a 66mm anti-tank shell whizzed past him.

    Around 30 people were inside the cabaret watching the floor show at the time of the attack.

    The launcher and an unused shell were discovered on the roof of the deserted Panorama hotel overlooking the cabaret.

    Investigators believe the shells and the bazooka were stolen from the National Guard.

    It was the fourth attempt on the life of Athinis in recent years. In 1995, his brother Melios was gunned down in Heroes Square. Athinis is one of five suspects standing trial for the gangland murder of Hambis Aeroporos, who was gunned down in Limassol last December.

    <title>Tanker threatens to destroy fish farm after failure to agree alternative site</title> A:hover {color: #800000; font-family: Arial; font- weight: bold}

    Friday, September 10, 1999

    [07] Tanker threatens to destroy fish farm after failure to agree alternative site

    By Martin Hellicar

    AN OIL tanker is threatening to destroy a fish farm in Vasiliko bay, and all because Cyprus is a "banana republic", the fish-farm owners charge.

    The tanker was yesterday moored in the bay to deliver crude oil for the new Vasiliko power station, a section of which is ready to operate. The huge vessel could crush fish holding pens (endangering both fish and farm employees), cause polluting oil spills and disturb fish, stunting their growth, fish-farm owners Lapertas Fisheries Ltd claim.

    The government do not disagree that fish-farming and power generation cannot live side-by-side in the cove. But the way the government has handled the proposed transfer of the fish farm has left owners with a bitter taste in the mouth.

    Lapertas Fisheries Ltd have invested millions of pounds in a state-of-the art seabream and seabass fish farm set up in 1992 off Vasiliko, in the Larnaca district, Lapertas principal Kathleen Mohseni told the Cyprus Mailyesterday.

    "The farm was licensed despite the fact that the government knew full well a new power station was planned for the bay," she complained.

    Lapertas were asked to relocate three years ago, but the firm claim they have been "messed" about by authorities ever since.

    The Agriculture Ministry first proposed an alternative site, not far from the original location.

    "We spent money and time on the relocation, but then fishermen objected," Mohseni said.

    The ministry asked for time to smooth things over with the fishermen, but nothing has come of it.

    Another site, at Laxia in the Limassol area, was proposed instead.

    "We said we would have to conduct an environmental impact study, the government said just use the same study as for the other alternative site," Mohseni said.

    The state offered all sorts of financial help for Lapertas to relocate but then, when company representatives went to present then Agriculture minister Costas Petrides with their wish-list, they were shouted down, they claim.

    Lapertas later found the Laxia site was totally unsuitable, beset by high winds and strong currents.

    "Over the three years since then we have recommended several alternative sites -- all were rejected," Mohseni said.

    "Within the last three weeks we have been notified that we will be destroyed if we don't move," she added.

    The confusion over a move has forced Lapertas to slow production, apparently costing them their leader position in the local market.

    Things came to a head yesterday when the Protank Orinocoarrived to offload crude for the power station.

    Despite damage limitation measures, the situation remains uncertain.

    "The Port Authority and Electricity Authority said they could hold the tanker but not stop it, and would use a tug to hold in place to reduce risk of collisions," Mohseni said.

    "We asked but were not told how frequently the tanker would be coming," she said.

    "It's like a banana republic, unfortunately," she added.

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    Friday, September 10, 1999

    [08] Four more Romanians held over fake passports

    FOUR Romanians were remanded in custody for eight days yesterday after trying to leave Cyprus on fake Hungarian passports.

    Two other Romanians were remanded for four days on Monday after being sent back to Cyprus when Spanish authorities spotted that their Hungarian passports were fake.

    Yesterday, Larnaca district court heard that Beniamin Pop, 39, Dumitru Ilisiu, 30, Chiara Viorel, 39, and 32 year-old Miresan Andran Ioan were arrested at Larnaca airport on Tuesday.

    They had been about to travel to Ireland via Amsterdam when airport officials became suspicious of their documents.

    Subsequent examinations revealed that the passports were fake and the men were arrested.

    They told police that they had purchased the passports from a compatriot of theirs for 1,200 Deutschmarks each.

    The four said that they had intended to go to Ireland for work and had promised to tell the man when they arrived so that he could send more workers.

    Pop and Ilisiu arrived in Cyprus on September 3 and Viorel and Ioan on September 4.

    The two men remanded on Monday said they had bought their fake passports for 1,000 Deutschmarks and had wanted to work in Spain.

    The Spanish authorities realised the passports were fake within 15 minutes of the two's arrival. They had left Cyprus using their Romanian passports on Sunday and were returned the same day.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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