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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-02-20

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

February 20, 2000


  • [01] Whirlwind rips through villages
  • [02] 'Let oil companies carry the can'
  • [03] France to send Venus de Milo replica for Miss Universe
  • [04] Denktash 'ready for Clerides tricks'
  • [05] Police appeal after fatal accident
  • [06] Kyprianou 'on the road to recovery'
  • [07] Small parties link up
  • [08] Mum abandons baby boy in hospital
  • [09] Teachers wanted for the Karpass

  • [01] Whirlwind rips through villages

    A WHIRLWIND tore through the Larnaca district early yesterday morning, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake.

    There were no serious injuries, but damage was reported in five villages along the coast west of Larnaca town. The whirlwind also damaged power lines, cutting off the electricity supply to seven villages in the area for several hours.

    The whirlwind began at Mari at about 7.30am and then hit Alamino, Anglisides, Aradippou and Ormidhia before petering out.

    Witnesses described it as a black and red cloud sweeping everything before it.

    At Mari, the whirlwind ripped the corrugated iron roof off a garage and dumped it on a villager's home. At Alamino, a number of greenhouses were wrecked.

    An estimated ,30,000 worth of damage was caused to a nursery at Anglisides, and farms at Aradippou and Ormidhia were also damaged.

    February 20, 2000

    [02] 'Let oil companies carry the can'

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE CHAMBER of Commerce and Industry (Keve) is backing political parties in their showdown with government over fuel price increases.

    The five parliamentary parties are refusing to back a state proposal to raise petrol, diesel and heating oil prices, forcing the state to look to its reserves to make up the vast difference between current pump and crude oil prices.

    In a statement yesterday, Keve maintained that raising the cost of fuel would hit the economy hard. Such a move would up the Cost of Living Allowance (CoLA) and therefore increase wages, Keve argued.

    It said it had studied the issue and concluded that increasing fuel prices by five cents a litre would "burden" the economy to the tune of 17.6 million. The government has not made clear how much it wants to raise fuel prices by, but speculation has centred on about five cents a litre.

    "If the price of fuel goes up by 5 cents a litre, then the cost to the economy as a whole would be ,17.6 million, as a result of increases to wages due to CoLA," Keve said.

    It suggests neither the taxpayer nor the state should cover the cost of higher crude oil prices. Better to let the oil companies carry the can, the Chamber said.

    "The central conclusion of this study is that the financial impact on the economy, and the corrosion of competitiveness in vital sectors (industry, agriculture) this will bring, is very high compared to the benefit that will accrue from covering the losses of oil-importing companies," Keve said.

    Rocketing crude oil prices mean importers are currently about 30 million in the red.

    Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis has warned of a "serious crisis" should the parties continue to block passage of fuel price rises through the House of Representatives.

    He argues that forcing the state to dig into public coffers to subsidise fuel will bloat the fiscal deficit, pushing the local economy further away from the Maastricht criteria and threatening the island's EU accession course.

    The political parties want the government to subsidise fuel prices for up to three months, to lessen the impact on the economy.

    With only a couple of weeks' worth of oil reserves on the island, the cabinet needs to make a decision on the issue when it meets on Wednesday.

    February 20, 2000

    [03] France to send Venus de Milo replica for Miss Universe

    FRENCH Ambassador to Cyprus Bernard de Vaivre yesterday said his government would not be sending the Venus de Milo statue to Cyprus for the Miss Universe Pageant -- but was sending a full-scale replica of the statue instead.

    Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis had asked France to allow the famed statue out of the Louvre Museum in Paris, where it has been on display for 130 years, for an exhibition of other statues of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love and beauty.

    The Aphrodite exhibition is being held in the Nicosia Museum and is planned to coincide with the Miss Universe Pageant, also being held - and televised worldwide - in Nicosia in May.

    The original Venus de Milo dates from about 150 BC. It was carved in Antioch and found on the Aegean island of Melos in 1820.

    The sculpture of the Greek goddess is a superlative example of the highest Hellenistic artistic attainment.

    The Venus de Milo replica is expected to arrive in Cyprus on April 15.

    February 20, 2000

    [04] Denktash 'ready for Clerides tricks'

    By Anthony O. Miller

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash suspects President Glafcos Clerides will try to 'trick' world opinion into blaming him for torpedoing the upcoming third round of proximity talks on a Cyprus settlement, the Turkish Daily News (TDN) reports today.

    But since Denktash is "aware of this trick", he is prepared to counter it by showing the world it was not an "intransigent Denktash" who made "a Cyprus accord... not possible," the paper says.

    Denktash will do this by staying in the upcoming talks with Clerides "right to the end", the TDN reports.

    Despite running for re-election as 'president' in April 15 polls, Denktash is reported to have forsworn the usual campaigning, and instead is giving "priority... to meeting with UN Special Envoy to Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto," when he visits the island for 10 days in late February or early March.

    Motivating Clerides' plan to "torpedo the talks", Denktash says, is his desire "to avoid reaching a stage in the Cyprus talks when he would be forced to make a decision" on whether to ask Greek Cypriots to compromise and "share power with Turkish Cypriots".

    The third round of UN-sponsored indirect talks, scheduled to open May 23 in New York, could stretch "until the end of July", Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides has said.

    The first round of talks was held in New York in December, and the second in Geneva earlier this month. Both were 'proximity' talks, in which Clerides and Denktash communicated via UN intermediaries and did not meet face-to-face. The third round will also open as 'proximity' talks.

    But if new UN ideas are laid on the table during these talks, and both sides agree on that package, they could evolve into face-to-face discussions, resulting in a joint declaration that a framework accord for a Cyprus settlement has been reached.

    But neither side is going to be handed any 'set of ideas' on paper by the United Nations before the third round of talks begins, Cassoulides said.

    Instead, he said, he expects the United Nations "verbally to put thoughts and ideas on the table" to see how close either side is to them.

    One reason for UN reluctance to "present an overall plan" for a Cyprus settlement -- without being asked by both sides -- is that "Mr Denktash is against this", Cassoulides said.

    But another reason, he conceded, is that the government has neither been asked nor consented to having any overall plan proposed at this stage of the game.

    Denktash told the TDN he expects the third round of talks to be more "'intense, different and difficult'" than the previous two rounds. But he said that he, at least, was ready for this.

    Meanwhile, Clerides yesterday denied the government was considering Belgium's model of federation for a Cyprus solution. He said such media reports were false and only cause public confusion. Belgium is a federal state and a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch.

    He also denied reports that Cyprus was discussing with foreign envoys how to improve the Republic's invitation to the Turkish Cypriot community for them to participate in the EU accession talks.

    February 20, 2000

    [05] Police appeal after fatal accident

    POLICE want anyone with information about a fatal moped accident on February 8 at about 5.30pm in Pano Polemidia to contact them.

    Maria Charalambous, 30, died on Friday from injuries she suffered when her moped crashed, under circumstances police consider mysterious.

    Since her accident was not reported to police the day it occurred, police are not certain whether Charalambous was a hit-and-run victim, or was forced off the road by another vehicle in such a way that her moped crashed, fatally injuring her.

    She was first taken to Limassol General Hospital for stabilisation before being rushed to Nicosia General Hospital because her injuries were so severe.

    She was later returned to Limassol General Hospital, where she died on Friday.

    Anyone with information about the accident is asked to contact the nearest police station.

    February 20, 2000

    [06] Kyprianou 'on the road to recovery'

    HOUSE President Spyros Kyprianou is on the road to recovery after an emergency operation to rewire his sternum in London last Saturday.

    Dr Rex Stanbridge, who carried out the operation at St Mary's hospital, said yesterday Kyprianou's health was showing a steady improvement.

    Dr Stanbridge said that by the end of this week, he would be able to say how much longer the veteran Diko leader and former President would have to stay in Britain.

    Kyprianou was rushed to London last Friday after sutures put in his sternum following open-heart surgery in Ohio last month came loose during a coughing fit.

    The 68-year-old former President had an emergency operation to repair the damage the following day.

    February 20, 2000

    [07] Small parties link up

    A NEW party made its official debut on the local political scene yesterday when the Socio-democratic Movement held its inaugural conference at the Nicosia International Conference Centre.

    The new party is a merger between Vassos Lyssarides' Edek, which has five seats in parliament, and two lesser-known political groups, the Renewal Movement and the Independent Personalities group.

    Last year, Edek tried but failed to attract other parties and groups -- notably Spyros Kyprianou's Diko -- to join it in forming a new centre party.

    The Socio-democratic Movement conference was yesterday addressed by the leaders of all the island's other parties. Also taking their turn on the podium were the general secretary of the European Socialist party, Antony Beumer, and the leader of the European parliament's mixed committee on Cyprus, Mechtild Rothe. Last to speak were Panos Pasiardis, of the Independent Personalities, Kypros Chrysostomides of the Renewal Movement, and Lyssarides.

    The conference continues today with approval of a party constitution on the agenda.

    February 20, 2000

    [08] Mum abandons baby boy in hospital

    A BABY boy, who was abandoned in hospital by his mother the day after he was born, is now waiting for Welfare Department help in being placed for adoption, Larnaca General Hospital sources said yesterday.

    The boy, who has not yet been named, was born on February 12 to an unmarried young Cypriot woman. His father is reported to be a Cypriot who is married to another woman, the hospital sources said.

    While the boy's mother and her lover decided against an abortion, the mother - for reasons still best known to her - also decided against keeping the child, hospital sources said.

    A major consideration, they said, appeared to be the fact that the child's father is already married and has a family.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    February 20, 2000

    [09] Teachers wanted for the Karpass

    EDUCATION Minister Ouranios Ioannides yesterday made a plea for teachers to volunteer to work with the enclaved Greek Cypriot community at Rizokarpasso on the Karpass peninsula.

    Ioannides said he was "disappointed" no teachers had come forward to do the job despite the incentives offered by the state.

    Time spent living and working with the small, isolated community counts triple for promotion purposes for teachers, provided they spend at least two years at Rizokarpasso.

    Teachers taking on the job are also offered a 200 monthly stipend and immediate promotion if they spend a decade in the occupied areas.

    Ioannides made his plea during a 'Day for the Enclaved' conference organised in Nicosia by Disy.

    Official UN reports have repeatedly highlighted the plight of the mostly ageing enclaved community, noting that they suffer regular harassment from the occupation regime.

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