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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-02-04

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

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

Friday, February 4, 2000


  • [01] Denktash responds to Clerides in writing
  • [02] Desalination plant set to block new airport radar tower
  • [03] Three brands of teethers banned after toxic tests
  • [04] Profit taking nudges market down
  • [05] Savvides denies negligence charge over haemophiliac’s death
  • [06] Four held after armed raid on petrol station
  • [07] Crash toll rises to seven

  • [01] Denktash responds to Clerides in writing

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday responded in writing to President Glafcos Clerides' public rebuttal of his confederation and recognition demands in Geneva on Wednesday.

    Following his meeting with Alvaro de Soto, Denktash said he would comply with the UN Deputy Secretary-general's request not to respond publicly to Clerides after two days of open sparring soured the climate at the four-day- old proximity talks.

    Denktash described Clerides' four-page statement denouncing confederation as "disruptive", but said he had agreed not to reveal the content of his reply.

    "We agreed because we don't want this process to be disrupted," Denktash told reporters at the end of his 90-minute meeting with De Soto.

    He said he gave the UN negotiator a written reply to Clerides'

    Statement, which "said everything that can be said about it."

    "Naturally it is a very serious matter for us... and we will deal with it as we think fit as time goes by."

    On Wednesday, Clerides, having informed the UN of his intention, broke a strict news blackout to answer comments Denktash made on Tuesday relating to the issue of confederation and sovereignty.

    Clerides said that as far as the Greek Cypriot side was concerned, the question of sovereignty was not negotiable and that confederation was "excluded" and could not be accepted.

    Denktash's view on a solution was "tantamount to the abolition of the Republic of Cyprus and the creation of two new states," Clerides said.

    Denktash countered yesterday that Clerides' statement had been intended to provoke him into walking out of the talks. "But I will not please him," he added.

    According to today's Turkish Daily News (TDN), Denktash has won plaudits from the diplomatic community for his handling of the crisis in the talks.

    "Clerides was surely acting with consideration of the domestic audience when he delivered that unfortunate statement and violated the principle of not to comment to the press... It's a pity that he did that," a senior Western ambassador told TDN.

    He said he would have expected Clerides to adopt a more "creative diplomacy".

    Another western diplomat refused to comment, saying Cyprus was a "radioactive" subject. "We appreciate that Denktash did not withdraw from the talks and that the process is continuing."

    Other diplomats praised Denktash for his "statesmanship" and his "wise approach". "The stakes are too high to create obstacles for the continuation of the talks," one diplomat said.

    Another said there was nothing new in what Clerides had said. "There was no need to dramatise it. We regret it took place during the proximity talks. He could have delivered that statement before travelling to Geneva," he said.

    In an editorial, TDN said it seemed Clerides had realised the proximity talks were no longer a mere formality and that Denktash had realised the international community was "fed up" with the Cyprus problem.

    "Denktash wants to be seen as the `man who wants a solution'," the paper said. "Clerides is clearly at a disadvantage. His presidency has lost all political support at home and it is clear he has been pushed into a corner, " it adds.

    Clerides made no reference to the issue yesterday after his own meeting with De Soto.

    The president said only that he had discussed with the UN negotiator issues, including security, which had come up during the first round of proximity talks in New York last December.

    He said he was ready to negotiate a settlement on the basis of the Security Council resolutions on Cyprus, which call for the reunification of the island as a bizonal federation with a single sovereignty.

    The UN's approach in this second round of talks is to seek clarifications on core issues from each side in preparation for a third round in May or June when it will put forward its own proposals.

    Friday, February 4, 2000

    [02] Desalination plant set to block new airport radar tower

    By Anthony O. Miller

    THE COUNCIL of Ministers is investigating what went wrong in the decision to site the new multi-million-pound desalination plant right in the line-of- sight of Larnaca Airport's new radar installation, possibly endangering aircraft on approach for landing.

    "Something went wrong... I don't know whose fault it is," Christos Papadopoulos, director of control in the Ministry of Communications and Works, told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    "Why the problem has arisen is under investigation. The Council of Ministers knows of the problem and has ordered an investigation," he said.

    Both the Civil Aviation Department and the Water Development Department (WDD) had ordered studies before taking decisions on the new radar tower and the new desalination plant, Papadopoulos and WDD Director Christos Marcoulis said yesterday.

    "The radar study was done long before they decided to build the (desalination) plant," Papadopoulos said. "I'm not saying the fault rests with the Department of Water Development. There might have been something done wrong by the Civil Aviation Department. I do not know," he said.

    "The problem is that an airplane on approach will be out of sight of the radar for a few seconds when it crosses the tall building" of the new desalination plant, he said. The plant is now under construction south of Larnaca Airport and set to go on line in early 2001.

    "If we want to have continuous contact with the airplane by radar, we have to raise the radar tower," Papadopoulos said. "We know the problem. We are studying it," he said.

    Papadopoulos said raising the radar tower the required few metres to keep airplanes in continuous view would probably be the solution.

    "Any other solution would have been much more costly," he said, though he admitted he had no figures for the possible costs of either raising the tower or any alternatives.

    "When we went out for tenders in 1998" for the new desalination plant south of the airport, the government "hadn't decided where to build the desalination plant," except that it would be somewhere in the Larnaca area, Marcoulis said.

    "We went to tender early in 1998, and then we had to change the location in Larnaca. So apparently, they (the Civil Aviation Department) had their study in at the time when our original location was at a different place. And it seems that nobody knew that this would conflict," he said.

    "Because it's just the height, not the location (of the desalination plant) that affects the radar," Marcoulis said, "they will (simply have to) raise the base on which the radar is placed" to solve the problem.

    "We are not persuaded that the desalination plant will affect the radar," Marcoulis said, adding that, as far as he knew, the Civil Aviation Department had not come to a firm conclusion about whether the desalination plant would affect the radar.

    Marcoulis said it would probably cost over £2 million to lower the height of the desalination plant, and suggested raising the radar tower would be by far the cheaper solution.

    He ruled out moving the desalination plant, noting that since it was already under construction it would be vastly more expensive to move the plant than to lower its height.

    Friday, February 4, 2000

    [03] Three brands of teethers banned after toxic tests

    Staff Reporter

    THE STATE Consumer Protection Service yesterday said it confiscated from stores and banned the sale of three brands of infant teething rings because they were made of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) that was softened by phthalates, compounds linked to cancer.

    The announcement followed the Greens Party's call earlier this week for the resignation of George Mitides, director of Consumer Protection Service in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, for allegedly "criminal" failure to identify the toxic teethers by brand name.

    The European Union and Cyprus had already banned the sale of the items - Cyprus did so last November - but Mitides had declined from then to identify the infant toys by brand name. His announcement yesterday put an end to this.

    His press statement said that last November 17 he sent 25 teething rings and pacifiers, for children under three to the State Laboratories for testing for phthalates.

    Three teething rings turned out to be phthalate-tainted, while none of the pacifiers did, Mitides said. The state labs notified the Ministry of Commerce of this on January 20, and yesterday Mitides and Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis identified the three tainted brands of teething rings by name.

    They are: "Chicco Anello Masaggiagengive", "Chicco Orsetta Massagiagengive", and "bebe confort anneau de dentition souple".

    Rolandis' office immediately alerted the importers of these banned items, and gave them three working days to remove them, alert their manufacturers and respond to the ministry.

    Mitides' Service also searched stores and distributors and confiscated eight lots of the tainted teethers - which he said were old models no longer available in the European Union, but which were still on some store shelves in Cyprus.

    Meanwhile, importers are still bringing brands of teething rings and pacifiers into Cyprus that were not tested by the laboratory in November.

    For this reason, Mitides' Service has begun testing samples of these recent imports, and plans to make an announcement on receiving the results.

    Meanwhile, the teething rings and pacifiers cleared as safe include: five other models of Chicco teethers; teethers made by Baby Nova, Avent, and Bebe Confort; the Nuk Silicon Soother and Nuk Latex Soother and Nuk ring (iced and not-iced); the Tommee Tippee soft and hard clacker rattle, and its animal-shaped, water-filled teether; and the MAM multi-rattle teether and silicon teether models.

    Friday, February 4, 2000

    [04] Profit taking nudges market down

    By Michael Ioannou

    THE EQUITY market ended marginally softer yesterday as some investors raked in profits after Tuesday and Wednesday's rally with a resistance level of 600 points still holding.With banks on investors' shopping list once again as they ended 0.7 per cent higher, most smaller capitalised sectors retreated, with the most prominent losses being a four per cent climbdown for commercials and a 2.8 per cent retreat for tourism and hotel stocks.The volatile insurance sector marked a 1.15 per cent rise. The mixed performance across sectors pushed the CSE all-share index down 0.45 percent to 598.26 points. Turnover was lower than Wednesday at £20.7 million on 3,982 deals.The market opened stronger at 607.01 and in the early minutes hit an intraday high of 610.65.A U-turn and profit taking followed in the second part of the session, when the index closed at 598.26 after touching an intraday low of 593.77.With some sectors enjoying returns of 20 per cent in the past few days from a rebound after the market's recent steep slide, profit taking was inevitable, said stockbrokers."Some investors have liquidated their gains. It is mainly small investors," one said. "Trading volumes are very healthy."Individual banking stocks displayed their strength against declines in the other sectors. Bank of Cyprus held steady at £9.45 on a volume of 364,000 shares and Popular Bank closed at £13.86, a climb of 11 cents.The most actively traded share of the day was in Hellenic Bank. It registered a volume of 905,732 shares, climbing seven cents to £4.18.Louis Cruise Lines were off five cents to £2.50 on a heavy volume of 667,000 shares. Leptos came third in the volume ranks with a turnover of 417,236 shares.* Conference organisers Options Eurocongress posted a 390 per cent increase in pre-tax profits for 1999, it said yesterday. Options said pre- tax profits rose to £2.1 million for the year ended October 31 from 430,000 in 1998. The 1999 pre-tax figure includes an extraordinary item of a £1.02 million pound profit from investments. The company said it would call an extraordinary board meeting soon to discuss the issue of bonus stocks to shareholders at a ratio of 1 for every 10 held, and a share option scheme for staff. Shareholders would also be asked to approve the issue of 133,300 new shares to finance the acquisition of A.D.A. Travelscope Limited.* Mallouppas and Papacostas said yesterday it had acquired the goodwill of the Charis Krasias shop on Zenon Kitieos Avenue in Larnaca. The store will be refurbished and reopen with the Bagatt shoe and bag line, the company said.

    Friday, February 4, 2000

    [05] Savvides denies negligence charge over haemophiliac’s death

    HEALTH Minister Frixos Savvides yesterday hotly denied allegations that a haemophiliac road victim had died because of inadequate hospital care.

    The relatives of 29-year-old Andreas Vegglis - who died in Limassol hospital on Thursday of injuries he suffered in a road accident a week earlier - claimed the Minister had failed to act to save their loved one.

    The grieving relatives said Savvides had promised them two days after the accident he would see to it that a foreign medical expert was brought in to give Andreas the specialised treatment his condition demanded. The Minister had not delivered on his promise, the relatives said.

    Dr Marios Matsakis, who carried out the autopsy on Andreas's body, made things worse for Savvides by pronouncing that expert care could have saved the road victim.

    Savvides rushed to defend both local doctors and himself yesterday. He insisted he had personally gone to great lengths in an effort to save Andreas.

    He said the doctors trying to save Andreas at the Limassol hospital had been in constant contact with haemophilia experts in Athens. The Greek experts had agreed with the treatment being followed in Limassol, Savvides said.

    A helicopter had been prepared to fly Andreas to Israel for specialised treatment but his condition had never stabilised enough to allow him to be transported, the Minister said.

    "Despite the doctors' best efforts, Andreas's condition could not be stabilised, not even for 30 minutes," Savvides told CyBC radio.

    "We lost Andreas because of his multiple injuries, not because of negligence," the Minister concluded.

    Diko deputy Matsakis yesterday called for the establishment of a specialised centre for treatment of the 200 haemophiliacs on the island.

    Haemophiliacs suffer from the inability of their blood to clot.

    Friday, February 4, 2000

    [06] Four held after armed raid on petrol station

    POLICE investigating an armed raid on a Limassol petrol station made four arrests yesterday.

    The suspects were brought up before the Limassol District court and remanded for eight days.

    The court heard how two hooded men rode into a petrol station in the Moutagiaka area at around 6.30pm on Thursday and pointed a shotgun at the proprietor. They grabbed the day’s takings - over £500 in cash - and hit the proprietor with the butt of their rifle before speeding off. The petrol station manager was not seriously hurt.

    Police told the court that one of the four men arrested had confessed that the rifle and bike used in the raid belonged to his brother. The suspect had named two of the other men arrested as the hooded raiders, the court heard.

    The court also heard that police had found £550 in cash, two hoods, cartridges and two pairs of gloves in a car belonging to one of the suspects.

    Friday, February 4, 2000

    [07] Crash toll rises to seven

    A FILIPINO woman yesterday died of injuries suffered in Sunday's mountain bus accident, bringing the number of victims of the crash to seven, police said yesterday.

    The 47-year-old woman died at 9am. Police did not release her name as they were still trying to contact her relatives.

    The accident occurred when a minibus, carrying 14 more people than it was licensed, smashed into a concrete barrier on a sharp bend in the road.

    The accident happened between Platres and Moniatis as it was taking a group of 36 mostly Filipino passengers back to Larnaca from a mountain excursion.

    The Cypriot driver was seriously injured and is being treated in hospital. Two of the passengers remain in critical condition. Only three passengers escaped injury

    Communications Minister Averoff Neophytou said on Wednesday that investigations showed the bus had suffered from clutch problems and had apparently been towed out of Troodos Square.

    Police yesterday asked the driver who towed the bus to contact them as soon as possible.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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