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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-07-21

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, July 21, 2000


  • [01] Denktash calls for recognition
  • [02] Bank of Cyprus gets the go-ahead for Athens listing
  • [03] Clerides to protest to UN about Turkish actions
  • [04] Ex-head asks old pupils for a job
  • [05] Union to help replant burnt areas
  • [06] Two remanded as drugs suspects
  • [07] Cool down centre closes
  • [08] Victim of road tragedy buried
  • [09] Ice cream makers may sue EAC over lost frozen assets
  • [10] Work hard and the sky’s the limit, says Stelios
  • [11] Share fall continues

  • [01] Denktash calls for recognition

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday called upon the Greek Cypriots to accept his breakaway state and reiterated that the Turkish people will never surrender their ‘republic’.

    Denktash who took the salute at a military parade in the occupied part of Nicosia, marking the July 20, 1974, Turkish invasion of the island, urged the government to accept and recognise his ‘state’.

    "Like we recognise you, like we accept your Greek government, accept us in the same sense. Join us and we will establish bridges of friendship," Denktash said. "Recognise that our Turkish people will not surrender their Turkish republic."

    Crowds holding red and white balloons and flags cheered as parachutists draped with Turkish flags landed at the parade site.

    Turkish tanks lumbered down the road and F-16 fighters flew overhead in the first major show of force by Turkish air power in 18 months.

    The show of strength came just days after appeals by the United Nations for the two sides to be restrained in their anniversary events.

    Diplomatic sources said the parade was upgraded compared to other years.

    "The presence of these planes goes against the Secretary-general’s plea for both sides to be restrained in the events marking the anniversary," a UN spokeswoman told Reuters news agency.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [02] Bank of Cyprus gets the go-ahead for Athens listing

    By Michael Ioannou

    THE GREEK authorities gave the green light yesterday for the Bank of Cyprus's listing on the Athens Stock Exchange, ending months of speculation that the blue-chip's application had run into trouble.

    "It is a giant step towards internationalising the Bank of Cyprus. New sources of capital will be tapped,

    enabling further expansion. The prospects are tremendous," a beaming Solon Triantafyllides, chairman of the bank, told reporters minutes after he got the final word from Greek authorities.

    Earlier, the hierarchy of the bank had spent some tense hours huddled in its Nicosia headquarters,

    waiting for the phone to ring from Athens.

    The Bank of Cyprus applied for its listing last December but delays were inevitable because of changes to legislation required for the debut of foreign companies. Some 350 companies are in the queue waiting for a listing on the Greek stock exchange.

    The group, which today has a market capitalisation of £2.5 billion, is planning to issue 39 million

    shares, or the equivalent of 12 per cent of its share capital, on the Greek market.

    The strike price of the issue would be calculated through book building, using as a basis the closing

    price of the Bank of Cyprus's share on the Cyprus bourse at a date yet to be defined.

    The Bank of Cyprus closed yesterday nine cents lower to £ 7.20. If the share remains steady until the issue ate, scheduled either for September or October, it stands to absorb at least £280 million from the Greek market.

    The bank, which made its foray into the Greek market in 1991, now holds a two per cent market share.

    The Bank of Cyprus has been rapidly expanding overseas in recent years in the face of a saturated domestic market. It has a 45 per cent market share on the island.

    In addition to new branches planned for Greece, the Bank of Cyprus is planning to open its first branch in Australia in September and is finalising the takeover of the Greek-owned Interbank in New York.

    The bank still needs clearance of its listing particulars from the Capital Markets Committee but

    this is expected to take place "very soon", Triantafyllides said yesterday.

    Under Greek law, the bank has to proceed with an issue within three months of the final approval.

    "The issue won't be in August. It will be in September or October," the Bank of Cyprus chairman said.

    An October issue would make new shareholders eligible for a one-for-five bonus share issue the bank plans for all its shareholders around October 20.

    Adviser to the issue is Alpha Finance. Alpha Finance and National Bank of Greece are co-lead managers.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [03] Clerides to protest to UN about Turkish actions

    By Athena Karsera

    GOVERNMENT Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday said that President Glafcos Clerides will raise the issue of recent Turkish provocations when the UN-led proximity talks resume in Switzerland next week.

    Papapetrou was referring to frequent violations of Cyprus’ airspace over the past few days during celebrations in the occupied area marking the anniversary of the 1974 invasion.

    The UN-led talks are set to restart in Geneva on Monday after being interrupted in order for each side to examine a set of suggestions put forward by the UN special envoy for Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto.

    Speaking after a commemoration service in Nicosia for those killed during the invasion, Papapetrou said that despite a plea by the UN Secretary- general for the two sides to avoid taking any action that might provoke the other, the Turkish side had carried out a greater number of violations of the Republic's airspace than ever before.

    "I am certain that this issue will be raised by the President of the Republic on Monday when talks resume, to demonstrate once again how each side responds to calls by the UN," Papapetrou said.

    The statements came as the country commemorated and paid tribute to all those who were killed during the invasion.

    Air raid sirens sounded at 5.30am yesterday, the same time Turkish troops landed on the northern shores near Kyrenia 26 years ago, flags flew at half- mast, and memorial services were held for the fallen and the missing.

    Meanwhile, Greece yesterday reiterated its support for Cyprus' settlement efforts within the framework of UN Security Council resolutions and pledged to help the island in its accession to the European Union.

    In a message marking the anniversary, Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis said that in order for relations between Greece and Turkey to heal completely, a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem must be reached.

    "It will benefit both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots if they show the necessary will and take the necessary steps that would break the deadlock of long years of unfruitful negotiations," Simitis said. "This is the time, in the light of rapid developments in the process of European unification and reforms in Europe, for an end to be put to the situation in Cyprus," he added

    Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos called upon foreign mediators to exercise their influence on the Turkish side, Greek Parliament speaker Apostolos Kaklamanis made a similar plea, and all the country’s political parties issued statements denouncing the invasion.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [04] Ex-head asks old pupils for a job

    By Melina Demetriou

    A RETIRED headmaster and part-time member of the secret service is asking for a job from former pupils because he hasn’t been paid by his current employer -- the Presidential Palace.

    Presidential adviser Christos Artemiou says he has worked for the past five months without pay.

    He already has a case pending against the government for breach of contract, and is now raising money to pay for another case claiming back pay.

    Artemiou has been employed at the Presidential Palace since 1995.

    His claims arise from a new bill passed in the house which states pensioners working for the government are no longer needed.

    "The President and I have signed a contract to expire when the Presidential term runs out, and by breaking it the state is breaching the law," Artemiou complained.

    He has repeatedly asked the President Glafcos Clerides to let him go but the President refuses on the grounds that ‘he liked his work’.

    Akel, one of the parties that voted in favour of the bill, argues that the former high-school headmaster should be able cope just fine on his monthly pension of £2,000.

    "At the moment, my lawyer and I are waiting to hear from the Court. I am prepared to go as far as the International Court of Human Rights to win this battle," said Artemiou.

    He says he has not resigned because he was told by Palace officials that they would somehow find subsidies to pay him until the next presidential election.

    But according to the Under-secretary to the President, Pantelis Kouros, there is not much the state or the Palace can do.

    "There are no subsidies available for the Palace to use, but if the Court hears that Artemiou should be compensated, then the state has no other option.

    "It was the parliament’s decision (to let Artemiou go), not ours, and the situation is now entirely beyond our control," Kouros said.

    Attorney-general Alecos Markides has suggested to all parties involved that the government should table the issue of pensioners before the House Plenum, advising them to revise their decision.

    Failing that, Markides said the government should come up with subsidies to reimburse them.

    Artemiou said: "It is deplorable. What would the European Union say about this? I am fighting, not only for my rights, but also for those of all the other pensioners who have been left jobless."

    Artemiou said he faces big debts because of the loans he took out to pay the fees for his three children’s medical studies and he has placed a job advertisement in Alithia newspaper, appealing to his former pupils.

    Akel sources said yesterday that the bill had to pass.

    "The state faces a huge public deficit and the only way to keep it down is by cutting back on unnecessary spending. The truth is, we no longer need pensioners in government offices. There are a great number of unemployed young graduates desperately needed. It is not the Parliament who appointed Artemiou, it is the government, and it is now responsible for finding a way to compensate him."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [05] Union to help replant burnt areas

    RIGHT-WING union Sek yesterday offered to help replant areas devastated by the recent forest fires, in an initiative welcomed by Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous.

    Representatives of the union met the minister yesterday morning and presented him with a letter pledging their support.

    "We feel obliged to help the government to restore the destroyed places, and plant trees to make the environment better for people," Sek secretary- general Demetris Kettenis told the Cyprus Mail.

    The executive committee of the 65,000-member union, made the decision to offer its assistance in an effort to widen environmental awareness. "It is an objective of trade unions to improve the quality of life of people, not just by increasing wages, but in other ways," Kettenis added.

    The Forestry Department, which comes under the jurisdiction of the Agriculture Ministry, will draw up specific programmes that will use Sek labour when the replanting season begins in winter.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [06] Two remanded as drugs suspects

    TWO Famagusta men were yesterday remanded in custody for two days suspected of possessing cannabis.

    Lucas Siderenios, 25, and 27-year-old Elias Elia, both from Frenaros, were arrested for alleged drug possession and use after police stopped their car for a routine breathalyser test.

    They were pulled over on Wednesday at 3.30am on the Paralimni to Protaras road. As soon as the car stopped, Siderenios opened the door and flicked out what police told the court was a smoked joint of cannabis.

    Police say that as they were searching Elia, Siderenios tried unsuccessfully to get rid of a plastic sachet.

    The sachet was recovered and found to contain what was thought to be 3.5 grams of cannabis, police said.

    The suspects were taken to the police station where they refused to give a statement.

    Police yesterday told the court they suspected the two men were also dealing in drugs because they found £800 on Siderenios.

    The suspect could not give an adequate explanation about how he got the money, the court heard.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [07] Cool down centre closes

    THE 24-hour ‘cool down’ centre Nicosia Municipality equipped with air- conditioners and generators to provide a safe heaven during the recent heatwave has now been closed because of the drop in temperature.

    But if the heat returns with a vengeance the centre will open its doors once again.

    The centre helped several ill and elderly people when temperatures soared over the 44-degree mark two weeks ago and there were lengthy electricity cuts because of too high a demand for power.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [08] Victim of road tragedy buried

    By Athena Karsera

    THE second pregnant woman to be killed on Cyprus roads this week was buried yesterday evening in her home village of Alassa, Limassol.

    State pathologist Eleni Antoniou carried out an autopsy earlier on 26-year- old Giorgoulla Tofali, and said that saving her unborn baby would have been impossible because she was only four months pregnant.

    Tofali’s Pajero collided with a mini-bus at approximately 12.20pm on Wednesday near Polemidia dam on the Platres to Limassol road, when her car veered into the opposite lane.

    The mother of an 18-month-old little boy, Tofali was rushed to Limassol hospital where she died soon after. Four other people hurt in the accident, including bus Demetris Poullis, 45, were still being treated in hospital yesterday.

    Police say they want anyone with information about the accident to contact Limassol Police Headquarters or their nearest police station.

    Tofali’s death followed that of 20-year-old Argyro Ioannou last Sunday. She died just minutes after giving birth to a boy who has been christened Argyros after his mother.

    He is still fighting for his life at Nicosia’s Makarios hospital after the accident on the Polis to Paphos road when an overtaking car crashed into Argyro and her husband Michalis as it came round a bend. The young couple had been on their way to hospital for Argyro to give birth.

    Neither woman who died was wearing a seatbelt.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [09] Ice cream makers may sue EAC over lost frozen assets

    By Jennie Matthew

    THE Electricity Authority has called in its lawyers after reports that ice cream suppliers may be on the brink of filing for compensation after the power cuts that hit Nicosia two weeks ago today.

    Electricity failed across the capital on July 7 and 8 after an explosion at a transformer station. It was blamed on excessive air conditioner use in blistering temperatures.

    At the time, the EAC came under fire for failing to warn consumers of power cuts and for restoring electricity to areas by cutting off the supply to others.

    The Cyprus Ice Cream Association is meeting to determine a possible course of action against the EAC, after assessing the extent of damage incurred and the amount of compensation it believes should be paid.

    "It’s too early to fix an amount, or decide whether to pursue action or not, " Chris Protopapas of Regis Milk Industries Ltd told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    Manufacturers battled to stop the meltdown of thousands of kilos of ice cream in a weekend that saw midday temperatures rise to 45.

    EAC public relations manager Tassos Roussos has confirmed that the authority has received a number of letters of complaint, and that he expects more to arrive in the coming weeks. However "very few letters have requested compensation so far", he said.

    One ice cream manufacturer does not think that ice cream suppliers will end up going to court to secure compensation.

    Heraclis, producers of 1,000 kilos of ice cream a day, retained its frozen assets when others lost theirs: it transferred supplies to a giant refrigerator for the duration of the power failure and they came to no harm. And now -- just in case there’s a next time -- the company has spent £6,000 on a generator. It will not be seeking compensation, but says it intends to support any rivals who do.

    "Of course we will support them, because it could happen to us – either in the factory or at the kiosks," Heraclis Vrontis told the Cyprus Mail.

    Pahit-Ice Ltd already had a generator pre-installed, but that did nothing to help its many clients hit by an electricity outage in midday heat of 42 Celcius and above.

    One client, the Glace Café on Ledra Street, was livid at losing £250 to £300 worth of ice cream. The café said it was relying on Pahit to pursue compensation rights for them. But Pahit, which spent £1,500 restocking the ruined supplies of customers, has no intention of helping.

    "If I have damage in my factory I do not expect my customers to pay," said Christos Pahitas. "Still, they must do something. Somebody should raise a voice, and when they do I believe others will follow. You sign a contract with the EAC that they will supply you and they have to keep to that," Pahitas added.

    POLICE want to question a Syrian man in connection with a stabbing incident in Limassol on Wednesday night.

    They say the 33-year-old suspect visited his brother’s house on Icarias Street in the Ayios Ioannis area at 8.10pm to discuss a financial difference. Also present were two other men, 25-year-old Bassem Chreban, and Ferras Ebdegul, 24.

    Police say the discussion quickly became a fierce argument, and the suspect rushed outside and pulled out a large knife from his motorcycle. He then allegedly attacked the three men, stabbing Ebdegul in the chest, and inflicting a lighter cut on Chreban’s arm.

    Ebdegul was seriously wounded and has been kept in hospital for observation.

    The suspect fled the scene before the arrival of the police, who then arrested the suspect’s brother after discovering he had been living on the island illegally.

    An arrest warrant was issued for the suspect, who police said yesterday was still at large.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [10] Work hard and the sky’s the limit, says Stelios

    By Maria Breslin

    STELIOS Haji-Ioannou, the Cypriot founder of the budget British airline easyJet, was flying high yesterday after being awarded an honorary fellowship.

    Liverpool John Moores University chose to bestow the honour on the multi- millionaire because he was a "fine role model" for students.

    The fellowship also recognised his contribution to reviving the fortunes of Liverpool Airport, which has seen business boom since easyJet made it the company's second UK base.

    Now the fastest growing regional airline in Great Britain, easyJet has pledged to increase the frequency of flights from Liverpool and introduce new routes.

    Speaking on the steps of Liverpool Cathedral, the 33-year-old entrepreneur said hard work and good preparation were the secrets to a successful business.

    "I believe that we are entering a new era where business, especially starting your own business,is cool again. It's Cool Britannia when even Tony Blair is telling people to start up on their own.

    "I think what the university is trying to do - and what I'm happy to be part of - is provide young men and women with inspiration. To say if it all goes well one day they too could have their own business.

    "Over the last year with the rise and fall of dot com millionaires everyone favoured making a fast buck. But I think hard work has now been established as the way forward. Hard work and good preparation which means a good education," Hji-Ioannou added

    The airline boss, who graduated from the London School of Economics and has anMSc in trade and finance, said he had "good relations with academia".

    "Some people were saying at some stage it was better to drop out of school and start your wn company. People like Richard Branson and Bill Gates have made it that way.

    "All I'm saying is that a successful business and an academic education are not mutually exclusive." (PA)

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 21, 2000

    [11] Share fall continues

    Jean Christou

    Share prices continued to tumble yesterday with the all-share index barely escaping a new year low to close at 412.75 points, down 1.33 per cent as volume dipped to £15 million.

    The index opened over half a percentage point higher and headed upwards during the first 20 minutes, hovering under one per cent for some ten minutes before sliding into a decline from which it never rebounded.

    "The market opened slightly higher but was unable to retain its early gains mainly due to a bit of profit taking," said broker Stephanos Hailis. "Volume was low due a lack of sellers and the hesitation of buyers."

    All sectors except manufacturing ended in the red with heaviest losses incurred in the insurance sector, which was down 2.85 per cent, and trading companies 2.52 per cent. The ‘other companies’ sector lost 1.76 per cent, investment companies 1.67 per cent and the banking sector 1.18 per cent.

    Despite yesterday being a big day for Bank of Cyprus (BoC), which was awaiting news of its Athens listing, the share lost eight cents to close at £7.21 after hitting a high of £7.40. Laiki Bank and Hellenic Bank also lost eight and six cents respectively.

    Hailis said the Athens listing was already a given, a fact he said which was in a sense reflected during yesterday’s trading. Although the share finished down yesterday Hailis said overall it has increased around 20 cents in the past week or so.

    Less than half of listed companies ended in the black yesterday and the majority of those gains were insignificant. Only Toxotis gained 19 cents to close at £3.31 and Euroinvestment and Finance ended up 24 cents to close at £9.64.

    Biggest losers of the day were Triena Investments, which lost 49 cents to end at £3.71 and Cyprus Forest Industries, which dropped 41 cents to close at £4.80.

    "The market seems to be stabilising and building a base of between 406 and 420 points," Hailis said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

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