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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 99-10-12

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, October 12, 1999


  • [01] Woman held after drugs find
  • [02] Car bomb kills Larnaca man
  • [03] Four held over Paphos brothel
  • [04] Private doctors defend colleague in wake of mother's death
  • [05] Greek stance causes concern across the political spectrum
  • [06] Tax package to go before the House on October 21
  • [07] British MP urges Cyprus to act to save ailing sea lion
  • [08] Israelis deport cult members to Cyprus amid millennium fears
  • [09] Villager stabs himself in cabaret frolic
  • [10] Market up again despite suspensions
  • [11] launches Cyprus gateway to the web

  • [01] Woman held after drugs find

    A BULGARIAN woman was remanded in custody for eight days yesterday suspected of the illegal possession of four kilos of cannabis.

    Tatiana Stefanova Kouta, 27, was arrested on Sunday morning after police raided her house in Protaras and her pub in Ayia Napa.

    Police say Stefanova tried to dump a black plastic bag from the balcony behind her house as they approached to search the premises.

    The bag was recovered by police, who found four kilos of cannabis inside.

    During their search, the police also found two cigarette butts, which they believe contained cannabis, together with several cannabis seeds.

    According to police information, Kouta was a member of a drug trafficking network and had been under surveillance for six months.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [02] Car bomb kills Larnaca man

    POLICE were yesterday still struggling for clues to the Sunday murder of a 46-year-old man, killed by a car bomb as he left his holiday apartment in Larnaca.

    English Cypriot Heraklis Ioanni Kouzoupis, alias Ricky, was killed when he set off a booby trap by putting his car into reverse.

    The victim was critically injured in the morning blast, and firemen had to cut him out from the wreckage of mangled steel in which he was trapped.

    He was rushed to Larnaca hospital, but died shortly after being admitted. Noone else was hurt in the explosion.

    Police found two passports in Kouzoupis' flat, which show that he travelled a lot. He arrived in Cyprus two months ago, posing as a sales representative.

    Police are understood to know little else about the man that could help investigators in their task. He is not thought to have been involved in any criminal activity in Cyprus, though one police source described the victim to the Reuters news agency as a "man of the night".

    "We suspect (the killing) may be related to drugs trafficking," the source was quoted as saying.

    There was also speculation yesterday that police were investigating the possibility that Kouzoupis may have fled the UK because of fraudulent financial dealings in London. Interpol had been contacted for any information on the victim, reports said.

    Police said yesterday a number of people had been questioned in connection with the killing, but the only worthwhile lead concerned possible connections the victim had with a group in Limassol. They did not elaborate.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [03] Four held over Paphos brothel

    FOUR men were remanded in custody for eight days yesterday, in connection with an alleged pimping case in Paphos.

    The four are George Loizou, 52, from Nicosia, cabaret manager Ioannis Theodorou, 31, from Paphos, Costas Michael, 39, from Paphos, and George Kove, 51, from Greece -- both waiters in cabarets.

    According to police, a search at the Dias Court apartment complex in Paphos, which is owned by Loizou, uncovered a fully-fledged brothel, in which a number of foreign artistes were caught in the act with their "customers."

    Police claim the suspects made arrangements for customers to pay for sex with the women.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [04] Private doctors defend colleague in wake of mother's death

    By Martin Hellicar

    PRIVATE sector doctors yesterday rushed to the defence of a colleague accused of negligence by the family of a mother who died after giving birth at his Larnaca clinic last week.

    Both the Pancyprian Medical Association and the Pancyprian Gynaecological Society issued statements stressing that the doctor in question should not be condemned out of hand.

    The tragic death of Athena Vronti, 25, from Pyla village, is the subject of a police investigation and much media attention.

    Vronti developed complications and bled to death a few hours after giving birth to her second daughter at around 7.30am last Thursday. The clinic got the victim's husband, Stelios, to ferry blood across town from Larnaca hospital for his wife who was dying on the operating table.

    Following an inconclusive post-mortem examination, further tissue tests are being carried out to determine the exact cause of Vronti's death.

    The media and the family should await the findings of the coroner's inquest before passing judgment on the doctor involved, both private doctors' groups insisted yesterday.

    "We want to assure everyone that we are determined -- should it be proved that the tragic incident was due to medical negligence - - not to hesitate to take the necessary action as provided for in the Medical Association regulations," the Association stated.

    The Association added that it "understood" the victim's family "reacting and accusing" in the way it had, but not the way the media had "attacked" the doctor in question.

    "If criminals are considered innocent until proved otherwise, we have to wonder why a doctor is denied this right," the Association stated.

    The Gynaecological Society echoed the Association's statements and added that attacks on the competence of private clinics were unjustified.

    In the wake of the death, pathologist Marios Matsakis said private clinics were not properly equipped to deal with emergencies.

    "Every year in Cyprus thousands of births are successfully carried out in the private sector, and in some districts these far exceed those carried out in government institutions," the Society retorted. It added that rates of death during childbirth in Cyprus compared favourably with the rest of Europe.

    Diko deputy Matsakis -- who represented Vronti's family at the autopsy -- also said the mother had a medical condition which meant she needed a specialist to oversee the birth.

    Health Minister Frixos Savvides has stated a check on the Larnaca clinic had shown it met all standards required by law.

    The doctor at the centre of the row has refused to make any statements till after the conclusion of the coroner's inquest.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [05] Greek stance causes concern across the political spectrum

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday denied suggestions that Athens was softening her stance on Turkey's EU application.

    But the suggestions were yesterday repeated, not just by the opposition, but by a prominent member of governing Disy.

    Last week, the European Parliament passed a resolution saying Turkey's membership would be an important contribution to the future development of the EU.

    Though the resolution stressed that Turkey was still a long way from meeting the necessary political and economic criteria for accession, the move was seen as a precursor to Turkey being put on the list of candidate states at December's EU summit in Helsinki.

    The fact that Euro MPs from Greek governing party Pasok backed the resolution was touted by opposition parties in Cyprus as evidence that Athens was changing her stance regarding Turkey's EU aspirations.

    Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou yesterday said nothing could be further from the truth.

    "The government has not noted any change in the position of the Greek government," he told his daily press briefing.

    "The position remains that Turkey cannot enter the EU before it takes certain very specific steps in connection with a series of issues, including the Cyprus problem," Papapetrou added.

    But Disy deputy Prodromos Prodromou did not see it that way, and echoed opposition party concerns about Greek positions.

    "There appears to be, recently, a change in the approach of the Greek Foreign Ministry," Prodromou said.

    He said the government should seek clarification concerning Athens's position.

    The Disy deputy said it would be a mistake to accept that Turkey would be given EU candidate status and to negotiate from this standpoint.

    Athens has not taken a stand on the EU Turkey resolution, except to note that Greco-Turkish relations are improving and that this could help the Cyprus situation.

    Akel member Andros Kyprianou repeated his party's misgivings about the Greek stance yesterday.

    "Our understanding is that the Greek position has changed and we do not know to what extent Nicosia's has too," Kyprianou said.

    Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides flies to Athens tomorrow for consultations on the Cyprus problem and the EU Helsinki summit.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [06] Tax package to go before the House on October 21

    A DRAFT 2000 budget and a new taxation package will be submitted to the House plenum on October 21, Marcos Kyprianou, the new chairman of Parliament's Finance Committee, announced yesterday.

    He said he had learned of the date from Finance Minister Takis Klerides, but gave no further details.

    The government has been trying for more than a year to get the House to approve a taxation package to replace one which deputies rejected in May last year. The new measures are believed to include a rise in Value Added Tax (VAT), possibly by up to four per cent, and new levies on second-hand car imports and mobile telephones.

    Klerides has for months been engaged in a dialogue with the island's political parties aimed at reaching a consensus on the package, said to be crucial to efforts to narrow a fiscal deficit which is set to reach six per cent of GDP by the end of the year.

    There is no evidence to suggest that such a consensus is already in place.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [07] British MP urges Cyprus to act to save ailing sea lion

    By Anthony O. Miller

    VISITING British MP Roger Gale yesterday urged President Glafcos Clerides and Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous to save a sea lion that a team of British marine wildlife experts says is starving to death at Ayia Napa Marine Park (ANMP).

    Gale, chairman of the Conservative Animal Welfare Group in the House of Commons, was in Cyprus on what he characterised as "mainstream political business."

    But he made sure Clerides, Themistocleous and Veterinary Services Department Director Dr Pavlos Economides were apprised of the sea lion's condition, as described in a report this weekend by a veterinarian and two marine-biologists from Britain.

    Gale, in a statement released to the Cyprus Mail and the British press in London, declared: "We want the animal moved to a more suitable local facility, nursed back to health and released into the wild."

    He acknowledged the claims of the visiting British experts, that the sea lion was "close to death from malnutrition and disease," and noted that Themistocleous -- "who is known to be sympathetic" -- had ordered "a team of government veterinary surgeons" to the ANMP to evaluate the sea lion for themselves.

    Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said: "President Clerides is planning to respond positively for any necessary measures to be taken for the welfare of any animal on the island, and to make sure that Cyprus complies with international treaties on the matter."

    But Gale is not optimistic that "it will be possible, given this late stage, to save this animal."

    British marine veterinarian, Dr James Barnett, concluded at the weekend: "This animal was extremely malnourished and being kept in inadequate conditions. It is essential that immediate action is taken to improve the animal's environment and correct its poor nutritive state."

    The sea lion has been so severely starved at ANMP, Barnett said, that the bones of its spine "and the ribs were clearly visible, and the bones of the pelvis were very prominent."

    While it "should weigh in the region of 400 to 500kg," Barnett said the sea lion actually weighed "no more than 200kg".

    "It would not have taken a marine mammal expert or a veterinary surgeon," he said, "to have realised the extreme condition of this animal."

    Barnett handed Economides his report at the weekend, but to little avail, according to Alan Knight, a marine-biologist who is both chairman of the British Divers Marine Life Rescue, and director of International Animal Rescue, both of Britain.

    Instead of acting on the urgings of Barnett, Knight and marine-biologist David Higgs to seize the animal under Cyprus law on grounds of gross neglect by the ANMP, Economides merely questioned Dr Barnett's credentials as a marine-wildlife expert, Knight and Higgs said.

    Economides dismissed this charge yesterday, but has expressed extreme reluctance at using his authority under law to seize the sea lion and place it where it might recover. Instead he said he needed "evidence" in order to seize the animal.

    He said this evidence might come in the report of the three Cyprus vets (none of them a marine-mammal expert) that he sent to the ANMP to verify the findings of the British experts.

    Economides insisted his vets had been supervising the sea lion's daily feeding at the ANMP under a regimen he ordered over a week ago. But Knight and Higgs, who is director of the Environmental Press Agency, said they spent most of the weekend at ANMP, and never saw the sea lion fed once.

    Knight told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the three Cyprus vets, after seeing the sea lion yesterday, concurred with their opinion that the animal's condition was critical.

    Panayiotis Hadjipetrou, manager of the Ocean Aquarium, also in Ayia Napa, yesterday said he was willing to accept custody of the sea lion and nurse it back to health.

    But he insisted on being assured by Economides' department that he would not be blamed if, despite his best efforts, the animal died while in his care, since it is already so near death.

    Knight and Higgs plan to discuss a custody transfer today with Hadjipetrou, pending a decision by Economides on removing the sea lion from the ANMP and transferring it to Ocean Aquarium.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [08] Israelis deport cult members to Cyprus amid millennium fears

    TWENTY-SIX members of a Christian cult were last night on a boat heading for Cyprus after being turned away from Israel.

    Reuters quoted an Israeli police spokeswoman as saying the 16 Irish and 10 Romanian members of "an extreme Christian cult" would sail by ferry to Cyprus after being denied entry on Sunday.

    The spokeswoman said the group had tried to enter through Haifa port despite being refused Israeli visas on two separate occasions. She did not say on what grounds they had been denied visas. The group includes children, some of them mentally handicapped.

    Israeli authorities fear a small number of the millions of Christian pilgrims expected to deluge the Holy Land for the millennium will be zealots eager to witness first hand what they believe will be an apocalyptic war foretold in the scriptures.

    An Israeli shipping official said the group, which had been confined on the ferry since it arrived, had $300,000 in cash in four cars, but he described the group as shabbily dressed.

    AP reported that the group had travelled across Europe by bus before getting a boat to Cyprus on Sunday and then sailing on to Israel.

    The Irish ambassador to Israel, Brendan Scannel, said he had "expressed concern" about the episode. The Department of Foreign affairs in Dublin said it was aware that members of the Pilgrim House Foundation, based in Inch, Country Wexford, had attempted to enter Israel without visas. Department officials described the group as well-meaning and said they did not consider them a security risk.

    Fourteen members of the Denver-based Concerned Christians group, which believes that acts of extreme violence on the streets of Jerusalem will trigger the cataclysmic End of Days and the second coming of Jesus, were deported from Israel in January.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [09] Villager stabs himself in cabaret frolic

    A PAPHOS area villager was yesterday recovering in hospital from knife wounds he apparently inflicted on himself in an effort to impress a Romanian cabaret artiste.

    Forty-three-year-old Polycarpos Georgiou, from Timi, was seriously injured in an incident at the Royal Taverna in Polis, at about 5am on Sunday, police reported.

    Police are looking into all possibilities, but initial investigations suggest Georgiou stabbed himself in the stomach while fooling around with his Romanian cabaret dancer companion.

    Georgiou was rushed to Polis hospital and then on to the Paphos hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery.

    His condition was yesterday described as serious but not life-threatening.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [10] Market up again despite suspensions

    By Hamza Hendawi

    TRADE on the Cyprus Stock Exchange resumed yesterday after the weekend break with seven brokerages banished from the floor for failing to meet a Friday deadline on processing outstanding transactions.

    The absence of nearly a third of the brokerages accredited to the exchange depressed volume -- 13.20 million -- but did not stop shares from recording a new all-time high. The all-share index closed at 504.96, 2.94 per cent up on Friday's close. All seven sectors of the market made gains yesterday with the "other companies" sector making the most (14.77 per cent), followed by trading companies (10.31 per cent).

    The Bank of Cyprus, the bourse's locomotive, ended slightly lower at 10.95, while the Popular Bank finished higher at 11.82. BoC's 1999-2003 warrants notched up 21 cents to close at 8.95, while Popular Bank's 1993-99 warrants closed slightly higher at 19.95.

    Among other leading shares, Louis Cruise Lines soared by 62.50 cents to close at 3.39, a level not reached since the early days of the title in August.

    The decision to suspend seven brokerages was made on Friday night. One of the seven, AAA United of Neofytos Neofytou, had its licence suspended pending an investigation.

    Neofytou, whose AAA United is part of investment house Share Link Securities, told the Cyprus Mail that he had learned of the exchange's punitive measures from a television report late on Friday. He said the exchange was accusing his firm of short selling. "It is the result of an administrative error," he said.

    The other six brokerages are: Pro-Choice, Severis and Athienitis, Benchmark, Parma, Ethniki and Citi Principal.

    Neofytou and representatives of the six other brokerages met with exchange manager Nondos Metaxas after yesterday's trading session and said they were hopeful to return to the floor today.

    "But there will probably be other brokerages suspended for outstanding transactions made on the following day (October 5)," said Neofytou.

    The exchange's get-tough policy on brokerages failing to process transactions within set time limits follows the bourse's closures on three occasions since July. The shutdowns, the latest of which lasted for a month and ended on October 4, were dictated by a backlog of transactions which, according to brokers, could have caused the market to collapse if not cleared.

    Tuesday, October 12, 1999

    [11] launches Cyprus gateway to the web

    THE CYPRUS company, Market Trends ( Ltd yesterday launched a unique internet portal for Cyprus,, placing the island on the information superhighway, the Worldwide Web, with the rest of the major players. ( will give Internet users a single destination from which to access all that is going on in Cyprus and the world.

    Visitors to the portal can access Cypriot personal and business websites, and such advanced services ad Yellow Pages, free e-mail for life, Classifieds, e-cards and much more.'s international web directory, with close to 1 million categorised websites, will offer a vast range of free services that will enhance and facilitate Internet users' experience on the Worldwide Web. has been developed by the US-based company, Netymology Inc and Faber Hoist Est. It is currently engaged in business relationships with such Internet majors as Microsoft, REdhad, DN, and Netscape.

    Netymology plans to establish an offshore regional office in Cyprus in the very near future.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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