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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-09-30

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 30, 1999

CONTENTS

  • [01] Talks prospects in limbo after Ecevit-Clinton meetingJean ChristouWHAT HAD been touted as a decisive meeting between US President Bill Clinton and Turkish Prime Minster Bulent Ecevit has left the future of renewed talks on the Cyprus problem in limbo.It was widely believed that, based on the outcome of the meeting in Washington on Tuesday, UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan would decide whether to invite the two sides back to the negotiating table for talks late next month.The Greek Cypriot side had hoped Clinton would pressure Ecevit to push forward with the talks.But no plan for Cyprus was proposed by Clinton in his meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister.Instead, the US President announced that he would send his special envoy Alfred Moses to the region as early as next week to assess the situation.It appears likely now that Annan will also hold off his decision until Moses completes his contacts.Before the Cyprus delegation left New York yesterday, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou, said in a terse statement that the Greek Cypriot side remained firm on its position that talks must be held without conditions, as envisaged in the relevant UN resolutions."The Greek Cypriot side is not prepared to get involved in a dialogue for finding a formula which will partly or wholly meet the demands or conditions set by Mr Denktash for participating in talks," Papapetrou said."We have made note of the assurances that have been given, but we cannot remain satisfied with assurances alone. What we are seeking is results and in this sense everything will be judged by the end result. We believe the United States and other countries as well, but primarily the United States, have the power and means to contribute decisively towards bending Turkish intransigence."In Nicosia, disappointment among the political establishment was more palpable and the reaction more vocal."We feel disappointed and displeased that nothing positive came out of the meeting," said Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades.President Clinton avoided exerting any pressure on Turkey," said House President and Acting President of the Republic Spyros Kyprianou.In a statement, Communist party Akel said it appeared that America's priority was to help Turkey enter the European Union.It was widely reported in the Turkish Cypriot press that Ecevit told Clinton Turkey must be recognised as an EU candidate if progress was to be made on Cyprus, and that Ankara would take no action on Cyprus until the outcome of the EU Helsinki summit in December.Following the Clinton-Ecevit meeting, senior US officials said the two leaders had agreed there could not be a solution to the Cyprus problem which would return the situation to what it was before 1974.They said Ecevit had supported Clinton's suggestion to send Moses to the region "to explore ways for moving forward toward a negotiated settlement"."We (the US) believe that we should move forward to talks under UN auspices with no preconditions and that is the point that the President made to the Prime Minister in the discussions," one senior official said."The president thought it would be useful to move the process forward to send a special envoy and the Prime Minster agreed with that."The official said Ecevit had expressed the Turkish side's well know views that talks could only take place if the breakaway regime in the north was recognised."The reality must be accepted that there are two separate independent states on Cyprus," Ecevit told diplomats in Washington.
  • [02] CY losses down, but only due to share sale
  • [03] 18 made redundant as Mega takes over Logos
  • [04] Better image could make Cyprus shipping top the world
  • [05] Weekend will see temperatures fall at last
  • [06] Who wants to become a stock broker?
  • [07] Cabaret girls file formal complaint to police

  • [01] Talks prospects in limbo after Ecevit-Clinton meetingJean ChristouWHAT HAD been touted as a decisive meeting between US President Bill Clinton and Turkish Prime Minster Bulent Ecevit has left the future of renewed talks on the Cyprus problem in limbo.It was widely believed that, based on the outcome of the meeting in Washington on Tuesday, UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan would decide whether to invite the two sides back to the negotiating table for talks late next month.The Greek Cypriot side had hoped Clinton would pressure Ecevit to push forward with the talks.But no plan for Cyprus was proposed by Clinton in his meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister.Instead, the US President announced that he would send his special envoy Alfred Moses to the region as early as next week to assess the situation.It appears likely now that Annan will also hold off his decision until Moses completes his contacts.Before the Cyprus delegation left New York yesterday, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou, said in a terse statement that the Greek Cypriot side remained firm on its position that talks must be held without conditions, as envisaged in the relevant UN resolutions."The Greek Cypriot side is not prepared to get involved in a dialogue for finding a formula which will partly or wholly meet the demands or conditions set by Mr Denktash for participating in talks," Papapetrou said."We have made note of the assurances that have been given, but we cannot remain satisfied with assurances alone. What we are seeking is results and in this sense everything will be judged by the end result. We believe the United States and other countries as well, but primarily the United States, have the power and means to contribute decisively towards bending Turkish intransigence."In Nicosia, disappointment among the political establishment was more palpable and the reaction more vocal."We feel disappointed and displeased that nothing positive came out of the meeting," said Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades.President Clinton avoided exerting any pressure on Turkey," said House President and Acting President of the Republic Spyros Kyprianou.In a statement, Communist party Akel said it appeared that America's priority was to help Turkey enter the European Union.It was widely reported in the Turkish Cypriot press that Ecevit told Clinton Turkey must be recognised as an EU candidate if progress was to be made on Cyprus, and that Ankara would take no action on Cyprus until the outcome of the EU Helsinki summit in December.Following the Clinton-Ecevit meeting, senior US officials said the two leaders had agreed there could not be a solution to the Cyprus problem which would return the situation to what it was before 1974.They said Ecevit had supported Clinton's suggestion to send Moses to the region "to explore ways for moving forward toward a negotiated settlement"."We (the US) believe that we should move forward to talks under UN auspices with no preconditions and that is the point that the President made to the Prime Minister in the discussions," one senior official said."The president thought it would be useful to move the process forward to send a special envoy and the Prime Minster agreed with that."The official said Ecevit had expressed the Turkish side's well know views that talks could only take place if the breakaway regime in the north was recognised."The reality must be accepted that there are two separate independent states on Cyprus," Ecevit told diplomats in Washington.

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    Thursday, September 30, 1999

    [02] CY losses down, but only due to share sale

    By Jean Christou

    THE CYPRUS Airways (CY) Group incurred pre-tax losses of close to 1 million for the first six months of the year compared to 3.3 million in the first half of 1998, the company announced yesterday.

    But the figure conceals an actual operating loss of 4.2 million, which was offset by the sale of shares that CY held in Equant NV, an international company offering communication network services. The sale of 30 per cent of CY's total stake in Equant brought in a profit of 2.3 million.

    CY still holds some 5.5 million worth of shares in Equant NV.

    The 4.2 million operating loss was also offset by a pre-tax profit of 886, 000 from the group's subsidiary Duty Free Shops Ltd, leaving the CY group with a loss of 900,000 for the first six months of the year.

    Prospects for the remainder of the year are good, according to CY, but the group is unlikely to match its 10 million pre-tax profit in 1998.

    CY first half results are usually in the red due to the fact that the airline's busiest months are in the second half of the year.

    The poor results for the first half have also been put down to increased maintenance costs for the company's 12-strong fleet and to labour costs, "which increased dramatically" despite no increase in staff numbers over the previous year.

    "Based on the result of the first half and taking into account the second six-month period of every year which includes the peak months for passengers, we believe there will be an improvement on these results," the CY announcement said.

    "We also believe that, for the second year running, the company will show a profit as long as there are no unforeseen events."

    However, CY said a high rise in the price of fuel was expected to affect any profit in 1999 to the tune of about 3 million.

    "This is expected to affect the results of the year so the group's profit will be lower than the 10 million for 1998," the announcement said.

    Revenue for the group, excluding the duty free shops, for the first six months, reached 63.5 million compared to 62.7 million in the same period last year, which shows a rise of 800,000 or 1.3 per cent.

    Duty free sales rose by 2.1 million pounds, or 17 per cent, in the first six months, reaching 14.7 million.

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    Thursday, September 30, 1999

    [03] 18 made redundant as Mega takes over Logos

    By Athena Karsera

    LOGOS executives yesterday confirmed that there had been dismissals at the station this week following its takeover by Greek channel Mega.

    A Logos executive, who did not want to be named, yesterday confirmed reports that 18 journalists and technical staff had been fired on Tuesday.

    In its original bid to run the channel, Mega had promised to keep 70 per cent of the station's current staff and fully to equip the channel for the ten-year rental period. It had been widely understood, however, that there would be no job losses.

    Redundancy letters signed by Logos' board president Andreas Phillipou on Tuesday told employees: "Within the framework of the management deal we signed, Mega channel has informed us that, based on its management plans, it does not require and therefore does not wish to continue any further co- operation with you, in an attempt for more organised programming."

    The dismissals stood from Tuesday and all those fired were given appropriate compensation, the Logos executive said yesterday.

    Unconfirmed reports from journalism circles, however, said the dismissals could rise to 30 and could include management.

    The takeover was announced on September 7, with the private Greek channel paying 560,000-a-year in rent to the Orthodox Church, which owns Logos.

    Mega starts broadcasting on the old Logos frequency on Friday.

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    Thursday, September 30, 1999

    [04] Better image could make Cyprus shipping top the world

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS could become a leader in international shipping if the problem of its flag's image is resolved, the Cyprus Shipping Council (CSC) said yesterday.

    In a pre-Maritime Cyprus news conference, CSC vice president Andreas Drushiotis said the local shipping industry was well respected worldwide for the safety standards and services offered.

    But he added: "(It) could very easily be developed even further if the problem of the image of the flag was resolved, thereby allowing Cyprus to become a leader in international shipping."

    Drushiotis said the four-day Maritime Cyprus Conference, which opens on Sunday, was one of the most important gatherings of the international shipping community.

    The title of this year's conference, which is expected to attract 1,000 delegates, is 'Shipping at the Dawn of a New Century'.

    Cyprus has the sixth largest fleet in the world, with around 2,700 ships on its registry. Shipping brings in some 120-140 million a year and employs 4, 000 people on the island, more than half of whom are Cypriots.

    "It is a well known fact that the main problem of the Cyprus flag in the last few years is its negative image which is due to the large number of detentions which relate to safety matters," Drushiotis said.

    He said the rate of detention led to Cyprus being black-listed by various countries, impairing the development of the industry.

    The drop of Cyprus from fifth to sixth place on the world registry is due to a tightening up by the government on substandard ships in a move for the qualitative improvement of the Cyprus fleet.

    Drushiotis said the EU had recently adopted a stricter policy towards possible substandard ships and this was reflected in the government's new approach, which has seen the deletion and withdrawal of a number of ships from the registry.

    The CSC is also pleased about the increase in the number of inspectors who have been appointed by the shipping department.

    "The increased inspections of Cyprus ships by these independent surveyors and the surveyors of the Department of merchant Shipping in combination with the stricter policy enforced by our Maritime Administration on ships' safety matters have had a positive effect on the number of Cypriot ships detained worldwide," Drushiotis said.

    However, he said that, despite the small improvement, the image of the flag was being further affected by the failure of the government to implement full computerisation of the Shipping department.

    Drushiotis said the plan was so far behind schedule that its completion date was now set for the end of 2001.

    "Further delays in the implementation of the system cannot be excused," he said. "It is imperative to speed up the implementation of this vitally important measure."

    When the system is in place, it will make the Cyprus registry one of the most technologically advanced registries in the world, he added.

    Overall, Drushiotis said the CSC was pleased with recent developments in the industry, creating a stricter and more progressive maritime policy which has already shown some positive results.

    The CSC was established in 1989 with the aim to promote the interests of Cyprus shipping and to improve the image of the Cyprus flag as well as the interests of its members, both in Cyprus and abroad.

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    Thursday, September 30, 1999

    [05] Weekend will see temperatures fall at last

    By Anthony O. Miller

    AUTUMN will kick in at the weekend, returning temperatures to normal for the season and ending the hot spell that has baked Cyprus for the last 10 days, the Weather Service said yesterday.

    The mercury today will hit 38 degrees in the plains, 33 degrees along the coast and 30 degrees in the mountains, mirroring yesterday's temperatures, the Service's duty officer at Larnaca Airport said.

    The first break in the heat wave will show up tomorrow with a "small drop" in temperatures, followed by cooler weather on Saturday and a return on Sunday to normal conditions for September, the duty officer said.

    Light showers, possible in the mountains on Saturday and Sunday, might push temperatures there even lower expected, he added.

    The 'dog days' of Summer are still with us for a couple reasons, including the fact that "September is still summer here," Weather Service senior superintendent said.

    "We get some periods of hot air from the Middle East (in September)," he said. "It's not something unusual here." In fact, he added, the current heat wave owes to the movement of hot air masses from Iran, Iraq and environs.

    Normal for this season in the plains area is "around 31 degrees," and from September 1-20, "the temperature was normal or below normal," Piyiotis said.

    But on September 21, the mercury started climbing and has hovered between two and five degrees above normal for the month since then, he said.

    Yesterday's high was reported at 38 degrees, the months' top temperature and a fractional increase over Tuesday's 37.4 degree high. "Of course," Piyiotis said, even this is "not exceptional; we get hot spells in September."

    Apart from possible weekend sprinklings in the Troodos, Piyiotis said he did not expect any significant rainfall on the island any time soon.

    Normal rainfall for September totals about 4.5 millimetres, Piyiotis said. And he noted that the downpour on September 20 left 5.5mm of water in the island's dams -- a whopping "122 per cent of normal rainfall for the whole month."

    However, "it didn't make any difference" to water storage levels behind the island's dams, he added.

    For that reason, water rationing, about to begin a fourth year, will continue in the capital and throughout the island, Nicosia Water Board Technical Manager Panayiotis Theodolides said.

    Homes and businesses in Nicosia and around the island now receive a 14-hour flow of government water on each of three days per week.

    "Slightly better conditions this year have allowed the hours (of flow) to increase a little bit," he said, so that residents can expect "having a supply of around 15 hours every 48 hours."

    "We hope for some rain," Theodolides said, and "if the quantities increase due to rainfall, hopefully the hours (of flow) will be increased even further."

    The exception, he added, is Nicosia's Old City, which has no water rationing at all.

    One reason is that few people live in the Old City; it is mainly a business area. Another is fire safety, since huge Fire Service tanker trucks cannot thread its narrow streets. So to ensure stand pipes are full, the Old City's pipes are kept full. Finally, pipes in the Old City carry water to areas on both sides of the Green Line.

    Theodolides conceded that turning the water on and off during rationing had weakened Nicosia's water pipe network, causing 25-30 per cent more cracks to show up than appear in a year of normal water flow. (The last such year was 1996.)

    "It's called fatigue," he said, and it is an analogue to the metal fatigue that causes cracks in the fuselages and wings of jetliners, often ending in disaster.

    The emergence of these cracks, he added, results in "more breakage of the pipes than during normal supply," ultimately wasting water and costing Nicosia extra money to repair the leaks.

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    Thursday, September 30, 1999

    [06] Who wants to become a stock broker?

    SCORES sat exams yesterday at Nicosia's Forum and Hilton hotels to qualify as brokers. The exams, compiled and supervised by the Cyprus Stock Exchange, have a track record of low passing rates, but rumours have been rife for weeks that there were plans to relax the marking of the exams in a bid to increase the number of licensed brokers and thus reduce the influence of the existing 50-plus brokers.

    The exchange and the brokers have been embroiled in a deepening battle of wills over the thorny question of who should take the blame for the mountain of unprocessed market transactions which has forced the exchange to close its doors three times since late July. The latest closure, a three- week spell that began on September 3 and was extended by another week last Friday, ends on Monday. The brokers did not take kindly to remarks attributed to exchange Chairman Dinos Papadopoulos this week urging investors to sue brokers for not providing them with share deeds. The two sides are also at odds over the exchange's decision to fine brokerages retroactively from September 20 for not meeting deadlines on the clearance of transactions.

    In the latest twist in the brokers versus the exchange war, allegations surfaced yesterday that Papadopoulos had promised an unnamed company a swift listing on the exchange if it gave work to the major accountancy firm in which he is a partner. The Exchange boss dismissed the charge as groundless, saying decisions on listing on the bourse were not made by him alone.

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    Thursday, September 30, 1999

    [07] Cabaret girls file formal complaint to police

    By Anthony O. Miller

    SIX Filipinas yesterday filed formal complaints with Cyprus Police against the owner and the manager of a Limassol cabaret who, they say, threatened to kill them if they did not prostitute themselves with the club's customers.

    The six, whose ages range from 22 to 34, fled Limassol on Tuesday and sought sanctuary in the Nicosia law offices of Yiannakis Erotocritou, who is also Consul of the Philippines, in fear for their lives.

    He placed the women in a safe-house, pending their filing of police reports and the resolution of their work-permit problems with the Migration Department.

    The six women said their employer cheated them out of all wages -- their contracts call for 10 per day in base pay -- and of commissions on drinks they cajoled the cabaret's customers into buying.

    They said their bosses also cheated them out of the 20 they were to have received from each 65 the cabaret's customers paid the cabaret for being allowed to take the women home for sex.

    Besides being cheated of all earnings, the women claimed they were forced to work seven days a week, without ever a day off, throughout their time in Cyprus. Some have been here 90 days.

    Additionally, they said they were required to clean the cabaret each morning after returning from their night's work with their "customers", before being allowed to take to their own beds for sleep.

    Furthermore, they claimed, their bosses deducted from their "accounts" all the costs associated with bringing them to Cyprus, including Migration Office permit fees, costs of doctor's examination and X-rays, and the like.

    The six women are liable for deportation, since refusing to continue working in the Limassol cabaret constitutes a breach of their contract with its owner, on the basis of which they were issued work and residency permits.

    However, Erotocritou indicated his arrangement with Migration Officer Christodoulos Nicolaides had temporarily stayed any imminent threat of deportation.

    Erotocritou said the women would complete their report with the police before seeking to resolve their Migration Department difficulties.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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