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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-06-07

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, June 7, 2000


  • [01] Synod to probe priest’s ‘illicit affair’
  • [02] Over £60 million traded as market volume hits year-high
  • [03] Work need to implement new tourism strategy
  • [04] Kyprianou backs rapprochement, but warns against endorsing status quo
  • [05] Eurocypria pilots threaten strike action
  • [06] Akel defector set to join Social democrats
  • [07] Disy revels at ‘confession’ of document tampering
  • [08] Greek soldier’s remains flown home after DNA identification
  • [09] Captured soldier to appear in ‘court’ today

  • [01] Synod to probe priest’s ‘illicit affair’

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE HOLY Synod yesterday decided to launch a probe into allegations that a Limassol clergyman was having an illicit affair with a young woman.

    The decision was announced by the Synod secretary, Father Vassilios, following a lengthy meeting yesterday morning.

    Vassilios said an investigating committee made up of three Synod members had been tasked to probe "Church matters that have concerned the public over the past few days".

    He did not announce what these matters under investigation were or who would make up the investigating committee.

    When pressed by journalists, the Synod secretary said the matters under investigation concerned a Limassol Archimandrite who was reported to have had a liaison with a young woman, and complaints to the Synod about Limassol Bishop Athanassios.

    According to reports, the Archimandrite has been involved with a woman and has had two illegitimate children with her.

    But the Archimandrite is apparently claiming that the Bishop of Limassol is behind the attack on his personal life and is threatening to call a news conference today or tomorrow to make "shocking" revelations about the Church.

    It was not clear yesterday what the complaints about Athanassios before the Synod might be, but the Limassol Bishop is known to have many enemies.

    The Archimandrite at the centre of the storm is understood to have been close to former Limassol Bishop Chrysanthos, and was ousted from the Limassol bishopric shortly after Athanassios was elected bishop last year.

    Chrysanthos is currently awaiting trial on a multi-million dollar fraud charge.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Wednesday, June 7, 2000

    [02] Over £60 million traded as market volume hits year-high

    By Michael Ioannou

    EQUITY prices moved a shade lower yesterday as traded values surged to a year high on speculative buys once again dominated by investment, industrial and tourism stocks.

    Blue chips came under selling pressure on buying interest for select small and medium company stocks, which absorbed the bulk of £60.9 million worth of shares changing hands yesterday.

    It was the highest turnover the market has reached since its heyday last November, and before a cycle of corrections began.

    Tourism shares, led by more buying in Constantinou Bros Hotels, outperformed the broad market with a 2.23 per cent gain.

    However, the bell-wether banking index registered a 0.9 per cent drop, skimming opening gains off the broad CSE index, which ended the session 0.03 per cent lower.

    The market had opened with losses of 0.06 per cent, virtually unchanged from Monday's dealings, but see-sawed with a plus and minus of three points in the general index throughout the 90 minutes of trade.

    Constantinou Bros dominated trading with 6.8 million shares changing hands as it lurched 10 cents higher to £1.08.

    The stock, most sought after from the opening minutes when it jostled with block trades on Cyprus Cement for dominating volumes, had hit a high of £1.18 on its second day of trading.

    Constantinou Bros had opened at 75 cents during Monday's CSE debut.

    Small cap share K&G Complex was second placed in terms of high turnover with a volume of more than four million shares. The penny stock added five cents, ending a fraction over 30.

    "Banks have been put on the sidelines for the moment and that is reflected in the general index, which was marginally lower," said CLR's Socrates Socratous.

    "But we are seeing incredible fluctuations on many of the smaller titles which are the subject of speculation."

    Toxotis, of which CLR Investments now own some 47 per cent, climbed more than 25 per cent to £2.99 and on 560,000 shares changing hands.

    Toxotis is widely rumoured to be CLR's ticket into the bourse, but Socratous was noncommittal on the company’s plans. "That was never a purpose in itself, nor is it now," he said.

    The company has also announced plans to make a bid for Europrofit, which has not stopped climbing since it entered the market last week. It closed at £4.27 yesterday, compared to its low of £2.37 on May 31.

    A wave of consolidations and takeovers by larger firms fishing for smaller ones looks like it is turning nasty on at least one front.

    Plans by MarketTrends to mount a bid for Efremico took a new twist yesterday after Efremico majority shareholder Nicos Efrem spurned the offer.

    Not to be outdone, MarketTrends took large adverts out in at least two newspapers yesterday, accusing Efrem of attempting to scupper the proposal in violation of CSE rules.

    Efrem has been dismissive of the takeover bid and has been quoted in one newspaper as saying he regarded it as hostile.

    MarketTrends questioned Efrem's assertion that he controlled some 30 per cent of Efremico, and said that it had asked the Securities Exchange Commission and the CSE to remove Efrem from the firm's board of directors.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Wednesday, June 7, 2000

    [03] Work need to implement new tourism strategy

    By Jean Christou

    TRAVEL agents yesterday cast doubts on the feasibility of the new strategic plan designed to take tourism well into the millennium.

    At its annual general meeting yesterday, the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (Acta) said the plan, due for implementation this year, should be put back until 2002.

    The plan – ‘Strategy for Tourism 2010’ – was drawn up by Irish experts and commissioned by the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO). It was completed last year, but has not yet reached the Cabinet for approval.

    Acta chairman Adamos Varnava said his organisation has been pressing continuously for the adoption of the plan.

    "Unfortunately, we do not believe that it is feasible to start implementation of the new strategy from 2000 or even 2001 because... a lot has to be done for its implementation," Varnava said.

    He said this would have to include a completely new marketing strategy and upgrading of the tourist product.

    "On the basis of existing facts, we will be satisfied if the new strategy for tourism can be implemented in 2002," Varnava said.

    Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis, who addressed the meeting, said the plan had been submitted to his ministry this week and would shortly go to the Council of Ministers for approval.

    Rolandis said that although tourism was growing beyond all expectations, Cyprus remained uncompetitive. The island is at least 15 per cent more expensive than other destinations in the region.

    Some 2.7 million tourists are expected to visit the island this year, more than half of them from the UK, and up from 2.4 million last year. The government expects the extra tourists to add 20 per cent to the island’s tourism revenue, which last year for the first time the one billion pound mark.

    The Acta chairman said Cyprus had to eliminate anything that was negative to the industry, citing noise pollution, destruction of the environment, profiteering and rudeness as prime examples.

    ‘Tourism awareness’ has now become the buzzword of the industry for the new millennium. Varnava said Cyprus should imitate Austria, a country of eight million, which has around 17 million tourists a year.

    "Tourism conscience in Austria is cultivated from childhood," he said. "There is no Austrian who does not behave properly with tourists."

    He said this was a combination of professionalism and friendliness, and respect for the foreign visitor.

    Varnava also warned against over-bookings, which he said were increasing "in a worrying manner".

    "There will be unfavourable implications on the effort for further tourism development," he said.

    With regards to outgoing tourism, Varnava said that in 1999 more than 540, 000 Cypriots had travelled abroad by air -- more than half on holiday -- compared to 485,000 in 1998.

    More than 45,000 went on a cruise, compared to 35,000 the previous year.

    Almost 70 per cent of those who went on holiday last year went to EU countries, and almost half of those went to Greece.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Wednesday, June 7, 2000

    [04] Kyprianou backs rapprochement, but warns against endorsing status quo

    By Melina Demetriou

    THE ISSUE of rapprochement will be discussed at the House Plenum tomorrow, House President Spyros Kyprianou said yesterday after a meeting of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot party leaders and representatives at the Ledra Palace.

    The meetings, organised by the Slovak Embassy, have become a regular fixture in recent months.

    Kyprianou, who appeared sceptical before the meeting, later made more positive statements as he left the Ledra Palace, suggesting rapprochement between the two sides was an issue to examine and promote so there could be further contacts between political parties and ordinary people.

    The issue should be discussed at the National Council, he suggested.

    Yesterday’s meeting was held in "a cordial atmosphere", an announcement from the Slovak Embassy said.

    "Participants discussed certain practical issues of contacts between the two communities. The sole purpose of these activities should be the strengthening of confidence and trust between the two communities."

    All parties agreed to further examine specific measures for rapprochement to promote a spirit of better communication and understanding between the two sides -- independently of the present political positions of all parties, it added.

    The next meeting has been set for June 29.

    Kyprianou said he was in favour of the rapprochement idea, if put in the right context.

    "I am favour of the kind of rapprochement which serves the common purpose of re-unification of the country and of the nation in a federal format and in accordance to human rights. I am not in favour of the kind of rapprochement which would reinforce the continuation of the present divisional status quo."

    The House President warned that if those holding bi-communal meetings were not careful, foreigners might get the impression that the Ledra Palace was "the capital of Cyprus" -- something he said would suggest the island had indeed been divided into two separate states.

    Akel leader Demetris Christofias whose party is actively involved in building bi-communal relations, said after the meeting he was pleased that Kyprianou had positioned himself in favour of rapprochement, despite his earlier reticence.

    Christofias said yesterday’s meeting had been very productive.

    Sixteen politicians took part in the discussion -- nine Greek Cypriots and seven Turkish Cypriots.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Wednesday, June 7, 2000

    [05] Eurocypria pilots threaten strike action

    EUROCYPRIA pilots set up a strike committee yesterday to prepare for possible industrial action if their Cyprus Airways (CY) counterparts are given their promotions.

    Sources in the charter firm said yesterday that they had already prepared a letter to the Labour Minister calling for immediate mediation.

    Last week, CY pilots union Pasipy agreed to over half a million pounds worth of concessions, including a lower entry wage for new pilots, in exchange for access to Eurocypria promotions.

    But the Eurocypria pilots have a collective agreement with the company, which states that captain vacancies only go to co-pilots with three years experience within the charter firm.

    Four have already been promoted from Eurocypria, but there are another five to six vacancies, which CY pilots union Pasipy is claiming for its members. Eurocypria says these were offered to Pasipy in exchange for the wages deal and industrial peace.

    Eurocypria says another three of its pilots are fully eligible and have been to a selection committee, while four or five more have the minimum requirements. They say that if CY went ahead with promoting Pasipy pilots, the national carrier would be violating the collective agreement.

    CY spokesman Tassos Angelis said yesterday: "I believe we can solve this within the company and achieve a consensus, which can only be done through discussion and negotiations."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Wednesday, June 7, 2000

    [06] Akel defector set to join Social democrats

    By Athena Karsera

    FORMER Akel deputy Andreas Philippou is expected officially to join the Social Democrats (Kisos) today, but his defection has sparked discussion on the ethics of his move.

    House president and Diko leader Spyros Kyprianou yesterday said deputies were not legally tied to their parties, but that ethical questions were attached to any moves.

    Akel deputy and president of the House Ethics Committee Andreas Christou said the issue was one of political ethics, but Kisos deputy Takis Hadjidemetriou said the matter was not serious since Philippou was remaining on the left of the political spectrum.

    Kyprianou said the issue was not a new one had even involved his own party: "My position on moving is known... On paper these things can happen. A deputy can change party, but ethically it does not stand."

    Deputies Katerina Pantelidou-Paschalidou and Alexis Galanos have both left Diko in recent years, Pantelidou defecting to Disy and Galanos founding his own movement before retiring from politics last year. Maverick deputy Marios Matsakis has also walked out from Diko only to return at a later date.

    Akel’s Christou said that in previous discussions on issue, the Committee had concluded that as things stood no candidate could be elected as an independent on the current proportional system of party lists.

    "The other thing we mostly decided on," he added, "is that the parties should not encourage or even tolerate this type of defection because our democratic state -- as expressed through the parties and our parliament -- is impaired."

    Christou said the Committee agreed the issue was not a constitutional one and had "more to do with political ethics".

    He said a message had to be given "that the seat does not belong to the deputy but, ethically and rightfully, to the party."

    Deputies are elected from party lists, but voters can cast preference votes for individuals on the list.

    But Hadjidemetriou – whose Kisos is preparing to welcome the Akel defector - - played down the issue saying Philippou's move from a communist to a socialist party meant "there is no conflict with regards to ideology and political convictions".

    Philippou announced last month he would be leaving Akel, saying he was not able fully to express his political beliefs through the party. Since then he has been acting as an independent deputy.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Wednesday, June 7, 2000

    [07] Disy revels at ‘confession’ of document tampering

    THE "paramilitary" row between governing Disy and main opposition party Akel rumbled on yesterday, with Disy weighing in with allegations of "criminal" doctoring of relevant evidence by their rival party.

    On Monday, Avraam Marangos, the National Guard Colonel who blew the whistle on the alleged clandestine Disy army monitoring group, reportedly admitted tampering with relevant documents.

    These tampered documents were among the ones that Marangos handed to Akel deputy Costas Papacostas last month. Papacostas sparked a head-on clash between Akel and Disy by claiming Disy had tasked a group to keep tabs on the political affiliations of National Guard officers.

    Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades yesterday leapt on Marangos' reported confessions as concrete evidence that Akel had concocted the whole "paramilitary" scandal.

    He suggested Marangos had not been the only one to tamper with relevant documents, pointing the finger at Papacostas.

    Anastassiades suggested Papacostas had had plenty of time to alter the documents.

    "Why did Papacostas hold the relevant documents for 13 days before going public with them?" he asked.

    "We are, unfortunately, looking at criminal actions," Anastassiades concluded.

    Akel leader Demetris Christofias countered by saying Marangos may have admitted to doctoring certain documents but the "original" documents remained valid. The "paramilitary" claims still held water, Christofias concluded.

    The Defence Ministry has already investigated and dismissed Papacostas' allegations. But Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos also said army Colonel Loizos Fessas could face disciplinary action for drawing up a document listing persons allegedly involved in the clandestine monitoring group.

    A police probe into the allegations has been completed and the relevant file was yesterday handed over to the Attorney-general, Alecos Markides. Police investigators would not comment on the Marangos confessions, saying that it was now up to Markides to decide on the whole issue.

    Defence Minister Hasikos again vowed to come down hard on anyone found guilty of interfering with army affairs.

    He added that measures to block any attempts at such interference were in the pipeline. "The army chief (Evangelos Florakis) is preparing precautionary measures to give the message in all directions, and particularly within the National Guard, they you cannot mess with the National Guard," Hasikos said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Wednesday, June 7, 2000

    [08] Greek soldier’s remains flown home after DNA identification

    THE body of a Greek soldier -- the fourth person to be identified from the list of missing persons -- was flown home yesterday with full military honours.

    At a religious service at the headquarters of the Greek contingent Eldyk, Defence Minster Socrates Hasikos paid tribute to Christos Koularis, an officer in the Greek army killed during the 1974 invasion.

    Koularis had been on the official list of missing persons. The list named 1, 619 persons as missing, but the identification of his remains now brings to four the number of names struck off the list since the government began DNA testing on remains exhumed from two cemeteries in Nicosia last year.

    Hasikos yesterday spoke of the "criminal mistakes and omissions" in 1974, when bodies were dumped in their hundreds into mass graves in the two cemeteries.

    Hasikos said the state has taken up the responsibility to find out the fate of all the missing persons so that they could receive the honours they deserved.

    Koularis` remains were identified last month along with 14 others who were known to have died in the fighting.

    The first person to be identified from the missing list was 16-year old Andreas Kasapis, a Greek Cypriot with American citizenship. His remains were recovered from a grave in the north by a team of US experts.

    Last year, when the government began its own exhumations, another 16-year- old Greek Cypriot, Zenon Zenonos from Nicosia, was identified.

    The third man to be identified, last month, was Tassos Anastasiou, a 19- year-old national guardsman from Karpasia. His parents died 10 years ago without ever learning his fate.

    The government has promised that for the first time a full list of missing persons will be published by the end of this month.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Wednesday, June 7, 2000

    [09] Captured soldier to appear in ‘court’ today

    A 21-YEAR-old soldier seized by Turkish troops in the north will appear in ‘court’ in the occupied areas today.

    George Kassianides was reported missing by his father after failing to report back to his unit at Troulli, in the Larnaca district, on Sunday.

    A three-man Unficyp team consisting of a policeman, a doctor and an interpreter visited Kassianides yesterday, confirming that he was well.

    Kassianides was in uniform and unarmed when he was apprehended, but there was no information on the circumstances of the incident.

    Unficyp Spokeswoman Sarah Russell told the Cyprus Mail that further information would be released after today’s ‘court’ hearing.

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