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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-02-05

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, February 5, 2000


  • [01] Spyros Kyprianou is back
  • [02] Tit-for-tat attack as Denktash hits out
  • [03] Supreme Court rules police were wrong to reject diabeticís application
  • [04] Computer freeze halts trade on stock exchange
  • [05] Boiler blows up in Limassol school
  • [06] Papandreou hopes Greco-Turkish thaw can set example for Cyprus

  • [01] Spyros Kyprianou is back

    By Athena Karsera

    HOUSE President Spyros Kyprianou returned to Cyprus to a warm welcome after his US heart operation yesterday, saying he had never demanded President Glafcos Cleridesí resignation.

    Kyprianou stood up for his airport media briefing, and seemed in good spirits after his heart bypass ordeal. "This is the beginning of a new period, a big day for me, and I would like to start it standing," he told reporters

    Kyprianou sparked a political storm when he left Cyprus two weeks ago, saying he would have resigned had he been President, and would have sought a renewal of his mandate after failing to solve the Cyprus problem and changing his policies as he claimed Clerides had.

    Asked yesterday whether still wanted Clerides to resign, Kyprianou said: " First of all I want to make things clear. I never said that the President should be made to resign. I am not amongst those that believe that the President can be made to resign under our constitution."

    Kyprianou said his implication had been that Cleridesí current policies had little to do with the Presidentís campaign promises, "and what the Cyprus people believed the government would do."

    He said his Diko party would be bringing up its ideas on how the government should proceed at the National Council meeting following the second rounds of talks currently taking place in Geneva.

    On prospects for a solution to the Cyprus problem, Kyprianou said he did not believe real progress could be made during the current round in Geneva, "maybe not even later."

    He said Cyprusí entire strategy would have to be re-examined, "at a first stage in Nicosia and maybe later with the Athens government."

    Kyprianou also said that he did not expect Turkey to change its stance on Cyprus,

    "I donít foresee a change in Turkeyís stance because they are already have a foot in Europeís door and it seems the European Union and United Nations will not make Turkey change its stance."

    "We seem to be on the road of acceptance (of the pseudo-state) if not recognition," he said, adding he was not surprised by Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cemís comments that the Cyprus problem was the responsibility of Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    Kyprianou also said that he agreed with the way Clerides had responded to recent statements made by Denktash during the proximity talks.

    The former president said a bi-zonal federation solution to the Cyprus problem was not an ideal settlement but "a painful compromise."

    Kyprianou said it had initially been put forward as a way for the Cyprus problem to move forward.

    He said attention should be paid to the definition of a federation: "A federation under (former President and Archbishop) Makarios and later myself meant the return of all the refugees and dealt with the Turkish Cypriots; there was no mention of settlers."

    Costas Zambartas, the cardiologist who accompanied Kyprianou to the United States for the operation, said the House President would now need to take things easy in order to make a complete recovery.

    Zambartas said Kyprianou had impressed he doctors at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio.

    Kyprianou thanked everyone who had supported him during his illness and said that he hoped to able to return to his duties soon.

    Saturday, February 5, 2000

    [02] Tit-for-tat attack as Denktash hits out

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who slammed President Clerides on Thursday for issuing a written statement in breach of the talks blackout, did the same thing yesterday after he found that his rival had used official Cyprus Republic headed paper.

    In his letter, the Turkish Cypriot leader accused Clerides of hypocrisy and of making malicious remarks designed to derail the proximity talks in Geneva.

    Denktash's move, on the fifth day of the talks, came only 24 hours after he had been praised for his statesmanship in not retaliating to Clerides' statement.

    The tit-for-tat exchanges left diplomats scrambling to put a lid on the situation before it got out of control and one or both of the leaders walked out of the talks, as has happened in the past.

    Clerides was first to break the UN-imposed news blackout with a written statement on Wednesday which said that the island's sovereignty was not negotiable and that confederation was unacceptable. He was responding to comments a day earlier by Denktash.

    On Thursday, the Turkish Cypriot leader slammed Clerides for breaking the blackout and said he had agreed with the UN not to respond publicly. Yesterday he backtracked after discovering that Clerides' statement was issued as an official Cyprus Republic document at the UN in New York.

    There were reports that Denktash would hold a press conference but it is believed he was brought back in line by the international community.

    In his written response, Denktash accused Clerides of an "inability to come to terms with the true facts" and described Clerides' statements as Aan exercise in hypocrisy, a gross misrepresentation of historical facts and a distortion of the reality in Cyprus".

    "This runs counter to the very objective of the ongoing proximity talks to which the parties were invited as two equals with an open agenda to present their case without any restriction or precondition," Denktash=s statement said. "This is an outright attempt to derail the difficult process of preparing the ground for meaningful negotiations leading to a comprehensive settlement."

    The Turkish Cypriot leader also repeated his view that a settlement can only be achieved through the creation of a two-state Cypriot confederation "which is the right way of reuniting the island".

    President Clerides remained tight lipped yesterday over the latest development, telling journalists he had not seen Denktash's letter. "My position has been made clear by the public written statement I made the day before yesterday," he said.

    Clerides was speaking after his meeting with UN negotiator Alvaro de Soto, at which he said the issue of territory was discussed.

    On hopes for a settlement following a third round of talks expected to take place in May or June, Clerides said he was not optimistic. "At the moment I cannot say that I am hopeful because as you know, these are proximity talks. We do not know what the other side is saying so we cannot compare and say the gap is widening or closing," he said.

    The president said the Geneva talks were expected to end on Monday or Tuesday next week after discussing issues relating to the third round. Government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday that during the third round specific suggestions would be made.

    Commenting on the breaking of the news blackout, he said: "When Mr Denktash tries to imply that the President knows they are discussing confederation and that there are seven chapters, he knows he is lying, but he does it consciously because he wants to create problems for us by trying to undermine our unity. It is for this reason the President of the Republic considered it necessary to disconnect himself from the embargo and answer Mr Denktash."

    Saturday, February 5, 2000

    [03] Supreme Court rules police were wrong to reject diabeticís application

    By Anthony O. Miller

    THE SUPREME Court has ruled that being an insulin-dependent diabetic was insufficient grounds for the police department to reject a Nicosia man as a candidate for the force.

    The ruling by Supreme Court Judge Andreas Kramvis on Wednesday means "they have to review the whole application afresh," the applicantís lawyer, Andreas S Angelides of Nicosia, said yesterday.

    The judgment means the police rejection of the candidacy of Anastasios Anastasiou, 22, due to diabetes, "is now void and without any legal validity," Angelides said.

    "They have to review the whole application afresh. They have to go back to the documents they had then before them and to decide afresh," he said.

    By the same token, Anastasiou cannot simply enter the police academy because of the ruling. He has to see just what the department decides this time.

    He must also wait two or three days to see if the Attorney-general decides to file an appeal against the decision. "I don't think he will appeal," Angelides said, but it is possible.

    In reopening the matter, the police department has the right to "ask the doctors to make a new decision about his capacity for this office," Angelides said.

    But it cannot require Anastasiou to submit to a new physical examination or to take a new battery of educational and aptitude tests - which he passed two years ago, Angelides said.

    "If they decide to give him the job, then they have to pay him his back salary from two years before," Angelides said, adding that all Anastasiou has to do to start this review process is to go to the police department and say: "I want my job."

    When Anastasiou took the police department exams, on October 18,1997, he did well. "And he told them beforehand - they knew that he was diabetic, because the Diabetic Association sent a letter to the Police Department saying he was a diabetic," his father, Spyros Spyrou said.

    But because of his diabetes mellitus, which requires four insulin injections each day, the senior medical official for the police department called Anastasiou unsuitable for the force.

    So he sued the Republic in the Supreme Court.

    "The way they treated him was unfair," Dr Joseph Cassios, an doctor who specialises in treating diabetics, told the Cyprus Mail. For over 20 years, Cassios has taken keen interest in the Cyprus Diabetic Association's task of educating the public about the ailment.

    "He went through interviews, with them knowing he was a diabetic," Cassios recalled. "They put him through all that, and at the end of the day they said to him: 'We cannot take you because you are a diabetic'. This was unfair," he said.

    The Police Department has acknowledged its regulations discriminate against insulin-dependent diabetics. "It's part of the legislation that, in order to be hired, a person must be healthy in all respects," a Police Academy inspector, who declined to be identified, once told the Cyprus Mail.

    But why was Anastasiou, after divulging his insulin-dependent diabetes, allowed to jump through all the entrance exam hoops, only to be rejected for the very condition he said beforehand he had?

    "Even though we had the information" about his diabetes beforehand, "the candidate had every right to participate in the process up to the medical examination," another Police Academy inspector explained.

    This is because there are several types of diabetes, and "the department had to make sure his was not one of those types of diabetes that allows him to be hired," this inspector said.

    The Supreme Court decided Anastasiou's diabetes was insufficient grounds for rejecting him, and the ball is back in the police department's court.

    The ruling could affect the 50,000 to 60,000 people in Cyprus with diabetes, 11,000 of whom require daily diabetes shots, since the public sector will not hire them once their diabetes becomes known.

    Diabetes keeps the body from properly burning carbohydrates - as found in breads, rice, pasta, potatoes, cereals and junk food - because either it produces too little insulin, or grows insensitive to insulin's effect.

    For the time being, however, Anastasiou must decide whether he wants to reopen his application to become a policeman.

    Asked if he intended to reopen his case, Anastasiou, who was still digesting the ruling, yesterday said simply: "I don't know."

    Saturday, February 5, 2000

    [04] Computer freeze halts trade on stock exchange

    By Michael Ioannou

    A TECHNICAL glitch halted trade on the Cyprus bourse yesterday in mid- session when computers jammed because of a power failure.

    Before the problem surfaced at around 11.00am, the market was unchanged from Thursday, with the benchmark index up 0.06 per cent to 598.83 points.

    On a weekly basis, the market has shown a minimal return of 0.5 per cent, or just over three points from last Friday's close. The bourse started the week with a five per cent nosedive, but did a swift turnaround on Tuesday and Wednesday on bargain hunters buying many stocks at three-month lows.

    Yesterday the market opened almost eight points lower than on Thursday, but was showing signs of a rebound before the session was cut short. In any case, brokers said the market had been expected to trade range bound near the 600-point level.

    Traded value managed to reach £8.8 million. There were no available figures for the number of transactions, but brokers said there were little over 1, 200.

    Brokers and floor traders said the problem related to the electricity feed into installations, which froze computer terminals and briefly jammed telephone lines.

    "No data has been lost," brokers union chairman Christodoulos Ellinas said. Brokers had given their consent for the meeting to end early in order to get to the root of the problem, he added.

    Trading was broadly mixed, with banks and companies in the "other" category dominating trade, posting returns of 0.14 and 1.03 per cent respectively.

    Popular Bank performed strongly with a 24 cent increase to £14.10 on a turnover of 87,673 shares. Traders are keenly waiting for news on Monday of the 1999 results of subsidiary Laiki Investments, Popular's brokerage arm.

    Results, which are expected to show strong returns after a boom in investment activity last year, will give brokers insight into the profits of the group as a whole. Popular is also expected to announce terms of a possible spin-off of Laiki Investments into a public company and its plans to list the firm on the stock exchange.

    Bank of Cyprus, which will report its corporate results on February 18, declined four cents to £9.40 on a turnover of 83,594 shares.

    Industrials and tourism shares continued to slide, retreating 2.5 and 1.05 per cent. Louis Cruise Lines was the most actively traded share, climbing two cents to £2.52 on a turnover of 342,743 shares followed by K&G Complex, unchanged at 27 cents on a 203,000 share volume.

    * The Cyprus Stock Exchange said yesterday that Covotsos Enterprises Ltd had changed its name to Toxotis Investments and would move into the "other" companies category from February 7.

    * Woolworth said yesterday it has undertaken sole distribution rights for the Christian Dior range of products at duty free shops at the ports and airports. The venture, through subsidiary Artview Co. Ltd is expected to bring in additional sales worth £700,000 on an annual basis and a turnover of £1.5 million.

    Saturday, February 5, 2000

    [05] Boiler blows up in Limassol school

    AN EXPLOSION yesterday rocked the First Technical School in Limassol.

    It was around 11 am when the blast ripped through the school and spread panic among teachers and pupils alike.

    But it was not a bomb but the boiler, which had exploded, launching a large piece of metal smashing through the door and into the middle of the playground.

    Luckily, no one was injured in the blast despite students being in the yard at the time.

    The electric and mechanical service together with the fire service and the police arrived on the scene to look into the possible causes of the explosion.

    Initial findings led experts to believe that the blast had been caused by overheating.

    Education Minister Ouranios Ioannides expressed his relief no one had been injured and added that the incident would be investigated.

    His relief was echoed by the schoolís headmaster, who said he was surprised that the boiler had blown up as it was practically new.

    Later yesterday, the Education Ministry issued a statement saying the central heating system had been installed two years ago under the supervision of the ministry's technical services.

    Saturday, February 5, 2000

    [06] Papandreou hopes Greco-Turkish thaw can set example for Cyprus

    By Jean Christou

    GREEK Foreign Minister George Papandreou said yesterday co-operation between Athens and Ankara created new hope for relations between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    Speaking during a joint press conference in Athens with his visiting Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, Papandreou said the Cyprus problem was an international issue.

    He described as important the fact that UN-led proximity talks in Geneva were taking place at the same as the new Greco-Turkish dialogue.

    "The fact that Greece and Turkey are able to show in a practical way that we can work together creates new hope for co-operation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots," he said.

    Cem said it was obvious that Greece and Turkey still "differences of opinion", different interpretations and different approaches over Cyprus, and he stressed that such differences would continue for the moment.

    "But if we had been slaves to our differences we wouldn't have been able to make it here today," he said. Cem is the first Turkish Foreign Minister to visit Greece in 40 years.

    Papandreou said Athens and Ankara had chosen the approach of "very cautious, systematic steps, building in areas where we can work together."

    In his welcoming remarks at Athens airport on Thursday, Papandreou expressed the hope that Turkey's road towards the EU created new conditions.

    Cem arrived in Athens for a three-day visit to sign co-operation agreements on culture, maritime trade, customs, and economic affairs. Four other co- operation agreements were signed in Ankara last month during Papandreou's visit to Turkey.

    "Today a new framework exists which places both our countries in the big European family. This family is based on principles. Respect for principles, peaceful relations without the use of force as well as respect for international rules, UN decisions and democratic institution," Papandreou said.

    "Despite the fact that our views on the Cyprus question are substantially different, we cannot but hope that our rapprochement will contribute towards the settlement of this problem."

    In his reply Cem made no reference to the Cyprus problem, but stressed that in a matter of six months Greece and Turkey had managed to reach agreement on important issues. He said these agreements created a feeling of greater security and hope for a better future for the younger generation.

    "We must proceed and consolidate what we have achieved and we must work towards the future," he said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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