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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-07-28

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, July 28, 2000


  • [01] Dead air mars silence
  • [02] Cypriot woman faces death penalty
  • [03] Gun still missing
  • [04] Regina gets a facelift
  • [05] Neophytou: Road safety should be high priority

  • [01] Dead air mars silence

    By Athena Karsera

    A planned silent protest by CyBC presenters yesterday was taken out of their hands by technical problems at the broadcaster’s radio station.

    A fifteen minute protest over a series of demands became two hours of dead air as CyBC3’s transmitter went down from midday until 2.15pm.

    Television broadcasting was only interrupted for the duration of the protest.

    This is the second action in eight days over budgeting and employee concerns.

    According to an announcement from the CyBC’s Technical Services Staff Union (Sytyrik) and Employees Union (Evrik,) the interruptions were undertaken to put focus on a series of Union grievances.

    Sytyrik and Evrik said their complaints included recent managerial promotions, open staff positions not being filled, new positions not being advertised and employee problems not being solved.

    The unions said that they did not agree with the board’s priorities and were put out that the board had ignored a list of union suggestions on managerial issues, going ahead with the appointments.

    Following last Friday’s action, the unions had said that unless vacancies were filled and planned promotions were made during the board’s next meeting, strike action would be intensified.

    CyBC management was unavailable for comment.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Friday, July 28, 2000

    [02] Cypriot woman faces death penalty

    By Athena Karsera

    A Cypriot woman being detained in Egypt on drugs charges could face the death penalty if convicted, police said yesterday.

    Security officials in Port Said told the Cyprus Mail that 19-year-old Maria Antoniadou, a Louis cruise liner employee, had been under surveillance "for some time on suspicion of smuggling illegal substances".

    They said that Antoniadou, from Pallouriotissa, had been found carrying three-and-a-half kilograms of ‘bango,’ a cheap, low-grade variety of marijuana popular in the Middle East.

    Egyptian authorities apprehended Antoniadou on her way back to the Princessa Victoria late Tuesday afternoon. A subsequent search found the drugs concealed in a secret compartment in her suitcase.

    Egypt has a tough policy on drug related crimes, with the maximum sentence for trafficking being execution.

    Antoniadou’s parents arrived in Port Said yesterday morning.

    The Cypriot Embassy in Cairo has appointed a lawyer to her case though they claim they are acting on a humanitarian basis and the family will be paying for the lawyer.

    The representative continued that the Embassy was told of the arrest on Wednesday through the travel agent representing Louis Cruise Lines in Cairo.

    Louis Cruise Lines would not comment on the issue yesterday, the Foreign Ministry was also unavailable.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 28, 2000

    [03] Gun still missing

    By George Psyllides

    POLICE yesterday intensified their investigation into the theft of a loaded service pistol from the holding cells of the central prison in Nicosia.

    The pistol did not belong to any one officer but was issued on guard duty at the cells.

    The discovery was made during a routine check on Wednesday when the pistol was not in the place it was usually stored

    All officers were subsequently searched and questioned to no avail; three deputy sergeants and two officers have been suspended as a result.

    Police Chief Andreas Angelides yesterday ordered the search to be intensified, while the CID cited internal conflict as a possible motive for the theft.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 28, 2000

    By Jean Christou

    SMILING faces were the order of the day on the bourse yesterday as the all- share index shot up almost 29 points to close at 399.49, representing a 7.76 per cent increase.

    Only a day after investors stormed the exchange to protest against falling share prices the floor was filled with audible sighs of relief yesterday as the index climbed steadily after opening nearly three per cent up.

    Relief turned to delight as prices kept on climbing to pass the seven per cent mark in the last ten minutes of trading, a momentum which it managed to sustain until closing. Volume was still low however standing at £23.8 million reflecting a lack of sellers, which indicates less panic, and dumping of shares.

    Yesterday’s rise was attributed to moves by institutional investors to pour some of the millions they have been holding back into the bourse at a time when morale could not have been lower and fears abounded of a total market collapse.

    The buying trend began on Wednesday pushing the index up 1.93 per cent after some institutional investors, under heavy fire for holding out, began to loosen their purse strings to take advantage of bargain prices.

    One investor at the bourse described yesterday’s increase as a healthy one.

    "I told people not to panic and sell but unfortunately they didn’t listen," he said. "Now some people who sold their shares are trying to get them back believing they have reached their lowest point and will not drop further."

    He said it appeared from yesterday’s trading and the low volume that more investors were hanging on to their shares.

    A market analyst said there had been a positive reaction to Wednesday’s slight reversal. "It looks like Wednesday’s intervention by long term investors paid off but we couldn’t call it a confirmation of a permanent reversal," he said referring to the low volume.

    "A reversal applies when there is a reversal of a trend."

    The analyst said it had been a good day but advised investors to remain cautious of where they put their money. "There was an explosion of small caps which confirms there is still a volatility," he added.

    Multichoice was again the day’s star performer and appears to have been targeted by a large investor. Over £1.6 million worth of Multichoice shares were traded adding 20 cents to close at £1.17.

    Bank of Cyprus (BoC) yesterday gained 25 cents to close at £7.02 while Laiki, which had sustained heavy losses in the past to weeks, recovered its momentum adding 57 cents to close at £9.99. Hellenic Bank also won yesterday gaining 19 cents to end at £2.33. The banking sector rose 5.03 per cent but was still outperformed by every other sector.

    The ‘other companies’ sector gained 12.73 per cent, manufacturing 11.56 per cent, tourism 10.95 per cent and the trading sector 10.49 per cent.

    Analysts predict the current correction is likely to continue into today’s trading.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 28, 2000

    By Melina Demetriou

    THE MAYOR of Nicosia Lellos Demetriades is determined to stop the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) from leaving the central business district.

    He is prepared to take his appeal to the courts and claims that the law is behind him.

    He says there are several alternatives to moving trading to the International Merchandising Centre (IMC) in the outskirts of town.

    The IMC’s owner, Andreas Kaisis, has spent almost £1 million preparing the building for the CSE and says he is equally determined to see the move take place.

    A public hearing, scheduled for August 2, will determine whether the Town Planning Relaxation Council (responsible for zoning decisions in greater Nicosia) will give its permission.

    The CSE reached a deal with the owners of the IMC last winter for a move due to have taken place earlier this year.

    Brokers, investors and a daily steam of media crews who crowd into the current building in central Nicosia frequently complained about the lack of space.

    The IMC is currently used as a central location for buyers from countries in the region to purchase goods wholesale.

    Speaking at a media conference yesterday, Demetriades said that the area in question was not zoned for financial operations and the plan would constitute a breach of the town-planning law.

    "The law provides for the development of the town centre into an area of economic activity. Nicosia is already falling behind because of economic development in the suburbs."

    Kaisis said: "I have spent £700,000 renovating the building so it can accommodate the CSE. There is no European city where development is restricted to its centre. Demetriades should hold his horses and wait for the Council’s decision."

    Demetriades says that rumours of the CSE’s move have urged people to purchase pieces of land in the surrounding area thinking their value would go increase.

    In accordance with the law, the CSE has had to apply for the move to be temporary, with the maximum stay being six years.

    Demetriades insists that does not make things any better.

    "Once the Exchange is housed at the IMC, there is no turning back. The move will be followed by an amount of blue chip companies, stock market offices and restaurants moving in the area. After that, it will be impossible and meaningless for the CSE to move back."

    The Mayor has suggested the Stock Market expands rather than moves.

    "In order to solve the overcrowding problem, the CSE premises could expand to a piece of land next door, currently serving as a parking lot, owned by the Municipality.

    The addition of an extra floor could serve as the trading floor or maybe, the Exchange could move to the building which used to house the Bank of Cyprus."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 28, 2000

    By Jennie Matthews

    A TOURIST kiosk in the mountains has become a subject of outrage for selling hardcore pornography among the nuts and stuffed donkeys.

    The stall displays pornographic videos and magazines at a child’s eye level.

    One mother of three, Geraldine Demetriou, was horrified.

    "What kind of person goes up to the mountains to buy a gay pornographic video? I thought it was totally out of place among the souvenirs of Troodos. There must be controls on this," she said.

    Shelves were stashed with sex movies and magazines – two of which had their cellophane wrappers ripped, when the Cyprus Mail went to investigate on Wednesday.

    The law states that all adult magazines have to be shrink-wrapped and carry a sticker saying for adult purchase only.

    Demetris Demetriou, Geraldine’s husband was so appalled he moved all the magazines to the top shelf, away from children’s view.

    "It was really hardcore stuff. It was obscene, I’m not easily shocked but it was really horrible," said one accompanying Irish tourist.

    The kiosk manager, who would only give his name as Choriats, seemed unconcerned.

    "Yes the magazines are there, what’s the problem?" he said. Several other tourists in the kiosk also seemed unconcerned. One couple from Manchester, on holiday with their two children, spent nearly ten minutes in the store, and walked past the offending stand several times, without noticing it.

    Although ultra-explicit magazines are prohibited in Cyprus, one media source told Cyprus Mail that they routinely arrive in Limassol by the thousands every month.

    A magazine importer yesterday confirmed that Customs officers reserve the right to refuse entry to any magazines whose covers are deemed too obscene. The company has stopped importing some American titles after several cases of US magazines were destroyed at port. Top Customs official, Demetris Hadjicostis, denied that any illegal pornography is allowed into Cyprus for commercial sale.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 28, 2000

    [04] Regina gets a facelift

    Graham Tait-Cooney

    THE REGINA cinema and hotel is set to reopen its doors in October after an extensive makeover.

    Bought by Paphos-based Laouris Estates, the once popular single screen cinema has been dormant for ten years.

    "Other businesses planned to turn the building into a shopping centre or offices and a film company was interested in renovating just the cinema. We bought the entire building last March after deciding that it would be a good investment," said Giorgos Laouris, the owner of Laouris Estates.

    The revamp is expected to bring more visitors to the area, which has been undergoing its own clean up lately.

    Owner of the multi-screen Zena Palace cinema, George Theodorou thinks that "it is suicide to open a single screen theatre in Cyprus, it has to be a multiplex to survive".

    Laouris says the cinema will be multi-purpose, serving as a conference hall between 9am – 5pm and showing films in the evening.

    "The cinema will have between 250 - 300 seats and be used as a facility for the hotel which will open under a new name next year," said Laouris.

    "The hotel will be three star and we hope to cater exclusively for business people. This will be the first hotel of its kind in Cyprus," he added.

    The hotel will have 50 suites with fax and Internet facilities. Some suites will have private conference rooms for those whose needs do not require a large conference hall.

    Laouris said: "Although we are catering for business people, the general public will not be turned away."

    According to Laouris, the European Community has provided approximately six million pounds for the restoration of old-Nicosia. The Regina is included in these plans and £350,000 of this was set aside for the building.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Friday, July 28, 2000

    [05] Neophytou: Road safety should be high priority

    By Athena Karsera

    Traffic accidents kill approximately 10 Cypriots every month the Communications Minister said yesterday.

    Half of those killed are under the age of forty,

    Speaking to the press before August’s holiday exodus, where the accident rate increases dramatically, Averof Neophytou described the road toll as "a human drama that is repeated again and again: broken families, destroyed lives and destinies cut short".

    The Minister continued that 1999 had seen 113 traffic related deaths and 3, 712 injuries, many of which had permanently maimed the victim.

    "We refuse to see this terrible tally as an unavoidable fact of life."

    Neophytou said that while casualty levels had evened out over recent years, he believed a large margin for improvement remained, "Especially when the numbers in many European countries are much lower."

    He said that Cyprus was the third worst country in Europe in terms of traffic accidents, "We have not yet realised the dangers surrounding our every journey. We don’t always put on our seat-belt or insist that our passengers do, while we rarely wear a helmet and often carelessly use our mobile phones."

    Neophytou continued that in order for death to be kept off the highways, "We have to put road safety high on our lists of priorities."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

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