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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-06-09

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, June 9, 2000


  • [01] Kition bishop apologises for church scandals
  • [02] Bookies prepare for Euro 2000 betting bonanza
  • [03] House unites to condemn CyBC anchorman Kareklas
  • [04] Hannay meets Clerides in preparatory talks
  • [05] Security Council: don’t miss this opportunity
  • [06] Vassiliou back in Cyprus, could return to work in a fortnight
  • [07] Caution returns to the market as speculators heed warnings
  • [08] Did aliens leak ‘paramilitary’ evidence?
  • [09] State to set up special body to fight drugs

  • [01] Kition bishop apologises for church scandals

    By George Psyllides

    KITION Bishop Chrysostomos yesterday apologised on behalf of the Church of Cyprus for the ongoing strife and sex allegations scandals that have shocked the faithful.

    Chrysostomos appealed for patience until a committee appointed by the Holy Synod completed its investigation into allegations that Limassol Bishop Athanassios had a homosexual affair with a Greek hairdresser 18 years ago.

    The Salonica man – a former monk -- has sent a 22-page letter to the committee, describing in detail his alleged affair with Athanassios, when they were both at Mount Athos in Greece.

    In a second letter, the hairdresser's sister volunteered to come to Cyprus and testify before the committee.

    Athanassios has emphatically denied all the charges, saying they were part of a well-organised plot to destroy him.

    Sources close to the Limassol Bishop said the plot was a grand scheme to keep Athanassios from the Archbishop’s succession.

    Yesterday, rampant speculation said the hairdresser, now 33, was in Paphos under the protection of Bishop Chrysostomos, who has been accused of masterminding the machinations.

    The three-member committee was initially set up to look into accusations against a Limassol Archimandrite, Andreas Constantinides, who is accused of fathering two illegitimate children with a Limassol woman.

    Reports yesterday said the allegations had come to light during a woman’s confession and therefore could not be used as testimony against the Archimandrite.

    Constantinides, who blames Athanassios for the allegations, has threatened to make revelations that will rock the Church.

    The Archimandrite is understood to have been close to former Bishop Chrysanthos, now on trial for fraud, and was ousted from the Bishopric shortly after Athanassios was elected last year.

    Reports said the Archimandrite came under suspicion after £60,000 and three gold-embroidered altar cloths went missing from the Bishopric's bookshop.

    The Archimandrite had asked for an investigation by the Church audit department, which apparently did not find any evidence of foul play.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Friday, June 9, 2000

    [02] Bookies prepare for Euro 2000 betting bonanza

    By Martin Hellicar

    LOCAL betting shops are expecting to do brisk business during the Euro 2000 football championships kicking off tomorrow, but nothing compared to the massive betting bonanza taking shape in Britain.

    In the UK, punters are expected to smash the £100 million sterling barrier with record-breaking wagers for the European championships, being jointly hosted by Holland and Belgium.

    In fact, Euro 2000 is set to become the world's biggest ever single sports betting event.

    In Cyprus meanwhile, betting shop managers were yesterday reporting a rather mixed response to the gambling opportunities offered by the 16- nation tournament.

    Some said punters were falling over each other to risk their money on predicting the winners and losers. "There is great interest, everyone is looking forward to the championships," one betting company manager said.

    But other managers said betting was steady but by no means spectacular. "People are not as interested as they were in the 1998 World Cup," another outlet's manager said.

    This despite the fact that Cypriots can lay claim to being among the world's most compulsive gamblers, spending an estimated £100 million a year on wagers of one sort of another.

    But the less optimistic bookie did point out that local punters, unlike those in the UK, tended to wait till the last minute before staking their bets. "Things have not really got started yet, people are last-minute betters," he told the Cyprus Mail.

    He said that next week, when the championships get into full swing, his outlets expected to pull in a respectable £200,000 island-wide.

    At other betting shops, interest in Euro 2000 was far outstripping that in the 1998 World Cup.

    "We are getting good money compared to the World Cup," a bookie said. "The European championships are very popular because everyone here knows the teams and the players so they like to bet on them," he explained. "Ninety per cent of the games will be covered live on television which also really helps," the betting company manager added.

    But the biggest single reason for the great interest in Euro 2000 among punters, the manager suggested, was the timing of the event. "This is a dead period sports-wise so everyone is waiting for the championships," he told the Mail.

    But the manager was not all smiles, complaining of an explosion of illegal betting that was eating into his company's income. "The recent imposition of a 25 per cent tax on bets has pushed more people to illegal betting," he said.

    In the eyes of punters, the very unpredictability of Euro 2000 makes the idea of a flutter that much more irresistible.

    Holland, as joint hosts with a proud football tradition and star-studded line-up, are being made favourites by bookmakers both here and in Britain and are certainly attracting most of the bets in Cyprus. But Spain, Italy and World champions France are also seen as good bets and the relatively long odds offered on England and Germany to win are also attractive.

    "This time it is a very open championship, any bet is as good as any other. Though I would not bet on Slovenia or Turkey, any team can beat any other team, so for gamblers it is good value for money," one punter told the Mail.

    Yesterday, local bookmakers had Holland as 4 to 1 favourites, France second favourites on 6.5 to 1, Spain and Italy next in line on 7 and 7.5 to 1, and Germany and England on 11 or 12 to 1.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, June 9, 2000

    [03] House unites to condemn CyBC anchorman Kareklas

    By Athena Karsera

    DEPUTIES yesterday started off the Plenum with uncommon consensus, all demanding respect for the institution of parliament, after a top newsman slipped in to carry out an interview in a House assembly room, despite having been refused permission to do so.

    The House was united in its condemnation of CyBC anchorman Yiannis Kareklas, who went ahead and interviewed the Bishop of Kition in the Plenum's assembly room only half an hour after his request to do so had been turned down.

    House permanent-secretary and Disy deputy Stelios Yerasimou read out a letter at the start of the Plenum, saying he had specifically told Kareklas not to carry out the interview.

    "Today at around noon, CyBC employee Yiannis Kareklas, through his secretary, asked if he could use the assembly room to film a televised interview with the Bishop of Kition. My answer was negative, saying that independently of my respect for the bishop, the assembly room, for reasons of principal, was not on offer for this type of activity."

    Yerasimou said that about half an hour later, he noticed that Kareklas had closed the assembly room doors and was carrying out the interview.

    "I did not interrupt out of respect for the Bishop," he said.

    Yerasimou said he believed the Plenum assembly room was a place that should be respected. "Unfortunately, there is no law on contempt of the Plenum and no punishment for any abuse."

    Presiding over the Plenum yesterday, Akel deputy Avraam Antoniou said the media were given every facility to help with House-related work and that incidents such as this were deplorable.

    Diko deputy Nicos Pittokopitis said the matter was one of security: "The House president, permanent-secretary and deputies should not have to act as policemen," he said.

    Akel parliamentary spokesman Andreas Christou said the issue was very serious, but more one of respect than security.

    His colleague George Lillikas said the Plenum should request that CyBC not screen the interview until it was filmed elsewhere, while Kisos’ Andreas Philippou suggested an ad hoc Committee be formed to discuss the issue.

    Antoniou said he did not believe any debate was necessary as the matter was clear: "The House cannot be used by anyone without permission."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, June 9, 2000

    [04] Hannay meets Clerides in preparatory talks

    By Athena Karsera

    BRITAIN'S envoy for Cyprus yesterday met with President Glafcos Clerides ahead of the third round of proximity talks due to start in Geneva early next month.

    Both Sir David Hannay and Clerides refrained from making any statements after the 90-minute meeting, in accordance with a request from the UN Secretary-general for a news blackout.

    Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou later said merely the meeting had focussed on preparation for the third round of talks.

    Papapetrou said Britain continued to back substantive negotiations with a view to finding a solution to the problem.

    "President Clerides and Sir David reviewed the situation in Cyprus and talked about the preparations for the third round of proximity talks. Such discussions are no substitute for negotiating or for the proximity talks but provide preparatory thinking on all aspects of the problem."

    Papapetrou also said the government had not received any request to postpone the talks following statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that he would be returning to Cyprus on July 14, for invasion anniversary celebrations.

    The third round of talks is expected to begin on July 5 and to continue for three weeks.

    Sir David, who was accompanied by British High Commissioner Edward Clay and other diplomats, was also expected to meet Denktash yesterday.

    Last night he was scheduled to give a lecture in occupied Nicosia on the European Union's common foreign and security policy.

    He will be accompanying Clerides for a cruise on his yacht today, and will give a news conference in the afternoon.

    He due for a second meeting with Denktash over dinner tonight and will be attending a bicommunal event in Pyla tomorrow.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, June 9, 2000

    [05] Security Council: don’t miss this opportunity

    THE U.N. Security Council has urged the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to take advantage of the window of opportunity for progress during the upcoming proximity talks.

    Following a Wednesday briefing by the UN Secretary-general's special advisor for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, Council president Jean-David Levitte of France issued a statement saying the issue was important to the Security Council.

    "This is a matter which the Security Council continues to follow with the closest of interest. The council has stated repeatedly that the status quo in Cyprus is unacceptable."

    The council statement also, "welcomed the fact that the first two rounds of talks had been conducted in a positive and constructive atmosphere, and without preconditions."

    The council members also "commended the commitment shown by the participants, and encouraged all concerned to continue their efforts towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus question on the basis of the relevant resolutions of the Security Council."

    The third round of proximity talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is scheduled to begin in Geneva on July 5.

    The first two rounds took place in New York last December and in Geneva earlier this year. Clerides and Denktash did not meet face-to-face, but held separate sessions with UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan, De Soto and other UN officials.

    The Security Council, meanwhile, is also expected to approve another six- month renewal, until December 15, of Unficyp, the 1,240-member peacekeeping force stationed in Cyprus since 1963.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, June 9, 2000

    [06] Vassiliou back in Cyprus, could return to work in a fortnight

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE HEAD of the island's EU accession talks team, George Vassiliou, could resume his duties in two weeks' time after undergoing surgery to remove a brain tumour early last month.

    The 69-year-old ex-President yesterday returned to Cyprus from London, where the operation, pronounced a complete success, was carried out on May 10.

    Vassiliou's personal physician yesterday scotched rumours that her patient could be out of action for several months yet.

    "It will certainly not be a question of months before Mr Vassiliou returns to his duties, it is more a question of days," Vassiliou's doctor, Janet Buck-Stylianaki, told the Cyprus Mail. "He is doing well and has recovered completely from the surgery."

    "It usually takes six weeks to recover from such an operation, and it has been a month already," Dr Buck-Stylianaki said. This would suggest Vassiliou will be ready to get back in the saddle of his official duties, which can involve up to three trips abroad a week, by June 21.

    The doctor said Vassiliou had already been doing some work from London, but added she would have to examine her patient before a final decision was made on his date of return to full action.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, June 9, 2000

    [07] Caution returns to the market as speculators heed warnings

    By Michael Ioannou

    THE fizz started leaving the equity market yesterday as traded volumes stoked by speculators earlier this week deflated, and the index ended with a daily retreat of 0.6 per cent. Traded values fell to £54.2 million from a year peak of £64.1 million posted on Wednesday, with 37.5 million shares in total exchanging hands.

    "There have been quite a few cautious words expressed on the risks of speculation and some investors might have taken note," one floor dealer said, commenting on the seesaw on small shares strong on intraday deals earlier in the week.

    Small caps were on a roller-coaster ride for most of this week, moving on idle speculation of takeovers or corporate moves which would have an impact on shares, preferably upwards.

    Most of the additional capital injected on the market came from investors disposing bank holdings and rousing concerns that they were exposing themselves to a considerable degree of risk.

    "Investors should stop listening to parrots," said the dealer, a colloquial Greek term for people who deliberately spread rumours.

    The CSE broad index notched up marginal gains at its open, which it managed to cling on to for the first 20 minutes. Profit taking pressures eventually depressed the index by 1.6 points, to a close of 527.73 points. Investment shares bucked the downbeat mood onthe broad market to register gains of 2.78 per cent. The sector absorbed 25 per cent of overall trading volumes, while the other category took 35 per cent.

    Heavyweight bank stocks, which were 0.58 per cent off, represented a pithy 12 per cent of volumes.

    In terms of volume, Worldmax dominated on its foray into the market yesterday. Some 3.65 million shares changed hands as it hit the market at 41 cents, more than double the net asset value of 20 reported earlier. It closed at 39 cents.

    Investment firm Athina emerged from its slumber as the second highest traded stock with 2.55 million shares changing hands and rising 12.8 per cent to a last trade of £1.15. Its 1996/2002 warrants surgedmore than 15 per cent, or 33 cents, to a last trade of £2.46.

    Frindlays was also a surprise high performer, jumping 35.1 per cent to a close of 60 on 2.2 million shares.

    There were strong rumours on the market that it was being pursued for takeover by a company now active in online trading.

    Bourse briefs

    MALLOUPPAS and Papacostas said yesterday they planned to expand into Greece with five stores in 2000. M&P said they had signed lease agreements to open up a Mango store in the Peloponnese city of Patras, and for a Bagatt shoe store in the Tsimiski area of Salonica. It was in negotiations to lease three more stores, which would sell the Bagatt line in Athens, M&P said. The company has received Central Bank permission to export the two million pounds needed as an initial investment for the Greek venture.

    FINANCIAL services firm Severis and Athienitis is taking to the skies by buying a 20 per cent equity stake in Flyworld, which offers helicopter pilot training. SAFS said Flyworld has secured an initial permit from the Transport Ministry to start flying and would soon get its final permit from the civil aviation department. The acquisition was a £20,000 cash deal, SAFS said. The remainder of Flyworld's equity is spread between Waterworld Holdings and Norway's Norcopter AS.

    PRINTERS JC Cassoulides said yesterday turnover in the first five months of 2000 had increased by 36 per cent, with an outlook that operating profit would double over the entire year.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, June 9, 2000

    [08] Did aliens leak ‘paramilitary’ evidence?

    AKEL deputy Doros Christodoulides yesterday wondered if aliens might have leaked key testimony in the case of a ‘paramilitary’ group the party alleges was tasked by Disy to keep tabs on National Guard officers.

    Akel is incensed over the leak of the testimony of Colonel Avraam Marangos - - understood to be an Akel Sympathiser -- who blew the whistle on the alleged group by handing over documents to Akel deputy Costas Papacostas.

    On Monday, however, Marangos allegedly confessed to tampering with at least two of the documents submitted as ‘proof’ of the clandestine group, and his testimony found itself paraded on national news.

    On Wednesday, Akel pressed Attorney-general Alecos Markides on the issue of the leak.

    Markides, who condemned the leak, said he would look into it and assured the deputies it did not originate from his office.

    Yesterday, Christodoulides suggested the police were behind the leak since only they and the Attorney-general had access to the testimony.

    With Markides saying he did not even have the file at the time of the leak, it meant it could only have come from the police, Christodoulides suggested.

    "Two police officers who had the report said they did not leak it, the Attorney-general said he did not have file: was it aliens who leaked this testimony?" the Akel deputy wondered.

    Defence Committee Chairman Takis Hadjidemetriou of Kisos said leaks were unacceptable and hindered the investigation.

    "For the system to work, all sides should operate responsibly, something which some public departments did not do in this case," Hadjidemetriou said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, June 9, 2000

    [09] State to set up special body to fight drugs

    By Melina Demetriou

    AN INDEPENDENT council to fight drug trafficking and use will be set up if a Health Ministry bill is adopted in Parliament, the House Health Committee heard yesterday.

    The plan, which was discussed before a ministerial committee 10 days ago, has the support of the Centre for Drug Awareness and Addiction Treatment and other anti-drug organisations.

    The ministerial committee brought together representatives of the Ministries of Health, Justice, Education, and Labour.

    If the law is passed, representatives of the four ministries, as well as those of Defence and Finance, and the Youth Organisation, will staff the anti-drug council.

    The council will be funded by the state, and four advisory sub-committees will be set up, for prevention, treatment, legislation and research.

    At yesterday’s meeting, the Centre for Drug Awareness had suggestions of its own regarding the structure and staffing of the council.

    The council should be flexible and quick in taking and implementing decisions, and not tied to lengthy civil service procedures, the president of the centre, Kiti Bishop Chrysostomos, told the committee.

    The council should be staffed with qualified scientists and experts in drug prevention, he added.

    "The members of the council drawn from the public sector must be released from their duties to be able to work around the clock. Drug dealers and users do not start wheeling and dealing before midnight."

    "The Youth Organisation must have a decisive role in the council's policy making," the Bishop added.

    Diko deputy Marios Matsakis argued that drug addiction treatment units were unable to provide sufferers with the proper therapy, and were far from satisfying European standards.

    "The units are placed within the psychiatric hospital sections and the addicts are treated by psychiatrists, not trained specialists. There is an urgent need to set up proper units," said Matsakis, himself a doctor.

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