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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-09-26

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

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


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September 26 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Probe into Co-op funds used to buy sharesBy Martin HellicarA FRESH shares controversy was uncovered yesterday, with the Auditor-general stating that top Co-operative Bank officials had drawn on bank funds to invest on the stock exchange.Chrystalla Yiorkadji said officials at "three or four" major co-operative banks had issued cheques of up to £150,000 to brokerages.The Auditor-general stressed that the officials in question were not suspected of embezzlement, but rather of exceeding the limits of their personal accounts.She described their actions as "undesirable" and "culpably irregular", but said the offending bank officials were not the subject of a criminal investigation.A report on the matter is being prepared by Yiorkadji's office and will be forwarded to Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis and Co-operative Banks Commissioner Erotokritos Chlorakiotis.Yiorkadji said the irregularities had been brought to light by surprise checks carried out recently on 80 co-operative banks by government auditors.For his part, Chlorakiotis said he knew of no cases of significant sums of money being withdrawn from co-operative banks to be invested on the stock market.Yiorkadji's statements came in response to a Phileleftherosreport which suggested co-operative bank employees were being investigated for ‘dipping’ into customer accounts to invest on the stock market.The image of the island's burgeoning stock market has already been tarnished by allegations that Louis Cruise Lines offered privileged share deals to officials who might have been in a position to help the firm.The Attorney- general, Alecos Markides, has ordered police to launch a full investigation of civil servants in connection with corruption allegations arising from the acquisition of Louis shares by private placement.Both the company and the share recipients deny any wrongdoing.Archbishop Chrysostomos, who has been criticised for offering Louis shares to eight selected Archbishopric employees, yesterday said it was too late to do anything about the matter. The eight beneficiaries had already cashed in their Louis shares, he explained.The Archbishop again insisted he had done nothing wrong, although he admitted he had never given other Archbishopric employees a chance to buy any of the shares given to him in a private placement.The stock market has been closed for three weeks and will remain so for another week to allow time for a backlog of administrative work to be cleared.
  • [02] US sees window of opportunity for talksTHE US is none too concerned about the exact form direct talks between the two sides in Cyprus would take, State Department spokesman James Rubin has said."If a negotiation without preconditions can be established, I don't think we're so concerned about how many times people meet face-to-face versus how many times they meet separately," Rubin told CNA in New York late on Friday.UN Secretary- general Kofi Annan is expected to invite President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to resume settlement talks abandoned two years ago sometime in October.Denktash and Turkey are insisting on recognition for the break-away ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ before the Turkish Cypriot leader attends any talks.Rubin said what mattered was getting the two sides to the negotiating table, not the precise form talks take."I think we're not so focused on the form as others are. We do think there is a window of opportunity here," Rubin said, in apparent reference to the improvement in Greco-Turkish relations in the wake of disastrous earthquakes in both countries."Clearly they are going to meet face-to-face in some way. But how extensive that is is something that is a procedural issue that we would love to work with if we could get an agreement to talks without preconditions," the spokesman said.In his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Clerides restated his willingness to attend talks on a UN-proposed federal settlement. He also challenged the international community to push Denktash to sit at the negotiating table with him.But any slim hopes of Denktash coming to talks without preconditions would seem to have been dashed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Addressing the UN General Assembly after Clerides, Cem praised the new understanding between Greece and Turkey born of the earthquake disasters, but reiterated Turkish demands for negotiations on a state-to-state basis.Rubin sought to play down Cem's hard-line position."I haven't read (his) speech, but I doubt we would describe (what Cem spoke of) as preconditions. I think we would describe them as positions," Rubin said."What we want to see happen is the talks to occur, and the Turkish government is not the person that has to come to the talks," Rubin said.Clerides, who is not expected back from New York until Thursday, was scheduled to have a meeting with Annan late yesterday.
  • [03] ‘The House of Elders’ convenes in Nicosia
  • [04] Boy, 3, dies after being hit by a car
  • [05] Civil defence chief diesCIVIL defence chief Modestos Pentaliotis died in an Israeli hospital yesterday after developing serious complications following an earlier operation in Cyprus.Fifty-two-year-old Pentaliotis, who was appointed director of civil defence in 1982, leaves a wife and two children.In another tragedy to hit the family earlier this year, his 19- year-old son, Michalis, was run over and killed by an armoured vehicle during a National Guard exercise.
  • [06] Fire causes £11,000 in damageA FIRE which broke out late on Friday night at a carpentry shop on Nicosia’s Ermou Street was brought under control yesterday morning, but not before machinery and lumber valued at £11,000 were destroyed. No one was injured.The shop, which belongs to Kyriacos Efstathiou from Palechori, was used in recent years for storage, and was not insured.Police say preliminary investigations suggest that the fire started accidentally.Meanwhile, Larnaca police are treating as arson a fire which gutted a car early yesterday morning. The BMW belonging to a Larnaca cabaret owner, Alexandros Robertou, was parked outside the Port View restaurant when the fire broke out. Another car parked next it was also damaged.Damage to the BMW is estimated at £7,000, while the total damage to both cars has not yet been estimated.
  • [07] £2 million set for airport repairsCOMMUNICATIONS and Works Minister Averof Neophytou yesterday announced that £2 million would be spent on improvement works for Larnaca airport before the new millennium.Neophytou carried out a tour of inspection of the airport yesterday. The minister's main concern was the departure lounge's fast-deteriorating ceiling.He promised the ceiling would be among the first things to be repaired, and said alternative arrangements had been made to accommodate departing passengers during renovation work.The work is set to begin today.
  • [08] It’s grape fun up in OmodhosCYPRUS'S grape-growing and wine-making tradition will be celebrated in the Troodos mountain village of Omodhos today.An all-day event -- including tours of local vineyards, wineries and other sites of interest -- forms the island's contribution to European Heritage Day for 1999.Cyprus has been participating in the Council of Europe drive to preserve cultural heritage across Europe since 1995.This year's heritage day will focus on grapes as part of the living heritage of Cyprus.Omodhos is in the Limassol district and is one of the island's main grape-growing areas.The day's events kick off at 10am with addresses by Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and Council of Europe representative Fabrice de Kerchove. From 11am to 4.30pm there will be guided tours of local vineyards and winepresses, the village itself and the nearby monastery of the Holy Cross. Traditional grape products and other local delicacies will be on offer in the village square throughout the day.

  • [01] Probe into Co-op funds used to buy sharesBy Martin HellicarA FRESH shares controversy was uncovered yesterday, with the Auditor-general stating that top Co-operative Bank officials had drawn on bank funds to invest on the stock exchange.Chrystalla Yiorkadji said officials at "three or four" major co-operative banks had issued cheques of up to £150,000 to brokerages.The Auditor-general stressed that the officials in question were not suspected of embezzlement, but rather of exceeding the limits of their personal accounts.She described their actions as "undesirable" and "culpably irregular", but said the offending bank officials were not the subject of a criminal investigation.A report on the matter is being prepared by Yiorkadji's office and will be forwarded to Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis and Co-operative Banks Commissioner Erotokritos Chlorakiotis.Yiorkadji said the irregularities had been brought to light by surprise checks carried out recently on 80 co-operative banks by government auditors.For his part, Chlorakiotis said he knew of no cases of significant sums of money being withdrawn from co-operative banks to be invested on the stock market.Yiorkadji's statements came in response to a Phileleftherosreport which suggested co-operative bank employees were being investigated for ‘dipping’ into customer accounts to invest on the stock market.The image of the island's burgeoning stock market has already been tarnished by allegations that Louis Cruise Lines offered privileged share deals to officials who might have been in a position to help the firm.The Attorney- general, Alecos Markides, has ordered police to launch a full investigation of civil servants in connection with corruption allegations arising from the acquisition of Louis shares by private placement.Both the company and the share recipients deny any wrongdoing.Archbishop Chrysostomos, who has been criticised for offering Louis shares to eight selected Archbishopric employees, yesterday said it was too late to do anything about the matter. The eight beneficiaries had already cashed in their Louis shares, he explained.The Archbishop again insisted he had done nothing wrong, although he admitted he had never given other Archbishopric employees a chance to buy any of the shares given to him in a private placement.The stock market has been closed for three weeks and will remain so for another week to allow time for a backlog of administrative work to be cleared.

    A:hover {color: #FF0000; font-family: Arial; font-weight: bold}

    September 26 1999

    [02] US sees window of opportunity for talksTHE US is none too concerned about the exact form direct talks between the two sides in Cyprus would take, State Department spokesman James Rubin has said."If a negotiation without preconditions can be established, I don't think we're so concerned about how many times people meet face-to-face versus how many times they meet separately," Rubin told CNA in New York late on Friday.UN Secretary- general Kofi Annan is expected to invite President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to resume settlement talks abandoned two years ago sometime in October.Denktash and Turkey are insisting on recognition for the break-away ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ before the Turkish Cypriot leader attends any talks.Rubin said what mattered was getting the two sides to the negotiating table, not the precise form talks take."I think we're not so focused on the form as others are. We do think there is a window of opportunity here," Rubin said, in apparent reference to the improvement in Greco-Turkish relations in the wake of disastrous earthquakes in both countries."Clearly they are going to meet face-to-face in some way. But how extensive that is is something that is a procedural issue that we would love to work with if we could get an agreement to talks without preconditions," the spokesman said.In his address to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, Clerides restated his willingness to attend talks on a UN-proposed federal settlement. He also challenged the international community to push Denktash to sit at the negotiating table with him.But any slim hopes of Denktash coming to talks without preconditions would seem to have been dashed by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem. Addressing the UN General Assembly after Clerides, Cem praised the new understanding between Greece and Turkey born of the earthquake disasters, but reiterated Turkish demands for negotiations on a state-to-state basis.Rubin sought to play down Cem's hard-line position."I haven't read (his) speech, but I doubt we would describe (what Cem spoke of) as preconditions. I think we would describe them as positions," Rubin said."What we want to see happen is the talks to occur, and the Turkish government is not the person that has to come to the talks," Rubin said.Clerides, who is not expected back from New York until Thursday, was scheduled to have a meeting with Annan late yesterday.

    A:hover {color: #FF0000; font-family: Arial; font-weight: bold}

    September 26 1999

    [03] ‘The House of Elders’ convenes in Nicosia

    By George Psyllides

    THERE was an unprecedented turnout in the House of Representatives yesterday for the first ever session of ‘The House of Elders’.

    Chaired by Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades, in his capacity as Acting President of the House of Representatives, 56 senior citizens assembled to raise and discuss problems the they face -- and to demand their solution.

    Apart from the 56 elderly people who occupied the seats normally held by deputies, the gallery of the House was also packed with senior citizens who gathered to watch the session.

    Yesterday’s packed session was in stark contrast to many plenum sessions, which are often badly attended.

    Among the senior citizens’ demands were improved rural medical facilities and an end to overcrowding at Nicosia general hospital’s outpatient clinics.

    The assembly also looked at ways in which older people can remain active members of the community after retirement.

    Speaking on behalf of the government, Minister of Labour and Social Security, Andreas Moushiouttas, reiterated the government's commitment toward the aged, and the solution of their problems.

    "There is a heavy responsibility on the government and society to formulate a long-term demographic policy and improve the quality of life of the elderly, who today make up 11 per cent of the population," the minister said.

    <p class="MsoNormal" style="text-align:justify;line-height:12.0pt;mso- hyphenate: none">

    A:hover {color: #FF0000; font-family: Arial; font-weight: bold}

    September 26 1999

    [04] Boy, 3, dies after being hit by a car

    A THREE-YEAR-OLD boy died at midday yesterday from injuries he suffered in a traffic accident on Thursday night.

    George Panicos Georgiou from Limassol was critically injured after he was hit by a car in the Polemidia estate.

    He was rushed to the Makarios hospital in Nicosia where he was put on a respirator.

    A:hover {color: #FF0000; font-family: Arial; font-weight: bold}

    September 26 1999

    [05] Civil defence chief diesCIVIL defence chief Modestos Pentaliotis died in an Israeli hospital yesterday after developing serious complications following an earlier operation in Cyprus.Fifty-two-year-old Pentaliotis, who was appointed director of civil defence in 1982, leaves a wife and two children.In another tragedy to hit the family earlier this year, his 19- year-old son, Michalis, was run over and killed by an armoured vehicle during a National Guard exercise.

    A:hover {color: #FF0000; font-family: Arial; font-weight: bold}

    September 26 1999

    [06] Fire causes £11,000 in damageA FIRE which broke out late on Friday night at a carpentry shop on Nicosia’s Ermou Street was brought under control yesterday morning, but not before machinery and lumber valued at £11,000 were destroyed. No one was injured.The shop, which belongs to Kyriacos Efstathiou from Palechori, was used in recent years for storage, and was not insured.Police say preliminary investigations suggest that the fire started accidentally.Meanwhile, Larnaca police are treating as arson a fire which gutted a car early yesterday morning. The BMW belonging to a Larnaca cabaret owner, Alexandros Robertou, was parked outside the Port View restaurant when the fire broke out. Another car parked next it was also damaged.Damage to the BMW is estimated at £7,000, while the total damage to both cars has not yet been estimated.

    A:hover {color: #FF0000; font-family: Arial; font-weight: bold}

    September 26 1999

    [07] £2 million set for airport repairsCOMMUNICATIONS and Works Minister Averof Neophytou yesterday announced that £2 million would be spent on improvement works for Larnaca airport before the new millennium.Neophytou carried out a tour of inspection of the airport yesterday. The minister's main concern was the departure lounge's fast-deteriorating ceiling.He promised the ceiling would be among the first things to be repaired, and said alternative arrangements had been made to accommodate departing passengers during renovation work.The work is set to begin today.

    September 26 1999

    [08] It’s grape fun up in OmodhosCYPRUS'S grape-growing and wine-making tradition will be celebrated in the Troodos mountain village of Omodhos today.An all-day event -- including tours of local vineyards, wineries and other sites of interest -- forms the island's contribution to European Heritage Day for 1999.Cyprus has been participating in the Council of Europe drive to preserve cultural heritage across Europe since 1995.This year's heritage day will focus on grapes as part of the living heritage of Cyprus.Omodhos is in the Limassol district and is one of the island's main grape-growing areas.The day's events kick off at 10am with addresses by Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and Council of Europe representative Fabrice de Kerchove. From 11am to 4.30pm there will be guided tours of local vineyards and winepresses, the village itself and the nearby monastery of the Holy Cross. Traditional grape products and other local delicacies will be on offer in the village square throughout the day.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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