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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-08-17

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, August 17, 2000


  • [01] Waterpark to stay open – for now
  • [02] Church relations flare-up again
  • [03] Morphou’s refugees remember invasion
  • [04] Working together to enforce the law
  • [05] Bourse begins to level off
  • [06] Thumbs up for smoking ban
  • [07] Traffic accidents up 36 per cent on last year
  • [08] The cost of keeping the peace revealed

  • [01] Waterpark to stay open – for now

    By Jennie Matthew

    The Aphrodite Waterpark in Paphos has met its Monday deadline in securing its operating permit, a representative from the Yeroskipou Municipality said yesterday.

    After a three-year-old boy drowned at the park on July 30, the municipality gave the park just eight days to acquire the full spectrum of necessary permits, or face shut down, as negative publicity spiraled in the days following the accident.

    Park authorities were blamed for the accident because Vassilis Amdjias died before lifeguards could see him, as he was screened from view by a curtain of water coming from a waterfall.

    One of the owners of the park, Theodoros Aristodemou last week fended off criticism for not having the correct permits.

    "We applied 20 days before opening. It was not for us to decide when to grant the permission – it could have been one week, one day, one year," he said. He added that the licences and the drowning were two separate issues.

    Even now the operational permit is not permanent. "The permission that has been given is not permanent, it is temporary and it will have to be reviewed after a short time," said the spokesman from Yeroskipou Municipality.

    The municipality went on to affirm that it was fully confident of the park’s safety after completing a full investigation.

    The park obtained the necessary Town Planning and building permits prior to its opening on July 28.

    Paphos CID were unable to confirm whether they had wrapped up their own investigations, and what charges, if any, the boy’s parents would press against the park.

    The waterpark is thought to be relying on the granting of the operational permit to boost confidence among potential customers. Before the drowning, the park averaged 1,000 visitors a day – a figure that plummeted by up to 70 per cent in the aftermath.

    No one from the park was available for comment.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    [02] Church relations flare-up again

    By Martin Hellicar

    Relations between Archbishop Chrysostomos and his namesake the Paphos Bishop have hit an all-time low, with the two senior clerics publicly exchanging thinly veiled insults.

    On Monday, the Paphos Bishop described the Archbishop as a man whose "poor health" was affecting his memory. The Archbishop retorted the next day by referring to the Paphos Bishop as an "enemy", albeit one to be forgiven out of Christian kindness.

    The spat revolves, as it has for months, around sex allegations against the Bishop of Limassol, Athanasios.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos has also taken a swipe at the man thought to be behind the allegations against Athanasios, Archimandrite Constantinides. The Church leader said the archimandrite "should have been defrocked years ago."

    A three-man Holy Synod committee is currently investigating claims that Athanasios had a homosexual affair with a Mount Athos novice about 15 years ago. Archbishop Chrysostomos insists Atnanasios of Limassol is innocent. Bishop Chrysostomos begs to differ.

    In an interview televised on Sunday night, Chrysostomos of Paphos insisted that he had informed his superior of Athanasios’s alleged sexual misdemeanours a decade ago.

    The Archbishop promptly denied this on Monday and again insisted the Limassol Bishop was innocent.

    The Paphos Bishop responded by suggesting that the Archbishop’s comments had been misquoted. Failing that, he said, the only explanation he could think of for the Archbishop to deny having known of Athanasios’s "activities" was that the Church leader’s memory was being affected by the "poor state of his physical health". The Archbishop suffers from a weak heart.

    Tuesday was a holy day – the dormition of the Virgin Mary – but this did not stop the Archbishop from firing off another round in response to his Paphos namesake.

    "Christ taught us to forgive our enemies," he told reporters when asked about the Paphos Bishop questioning his mental faculties. "My memory may not be what it used to be, but I do not expect people to ridicule me," he added, evidently irked.

    The Archbishop said he would be meeting with Chysostomos of Paphos to discuss the issue soon.

    The Church leader then turned his attention to archimandrite Constantinides. Constantinides has been accused of having an "illicit affair" with a young woman working at a shop he owns in Limassol. The claims, which he denies, suggest he has had two children with the woman.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos made it clear he believed the archimandrite’s detractors, insisting he should have been defrocked a long time ago.

    The archimandrite responded by challenging the Archbishop to charge him before the Holy Synod.

    Constantinides is allegedly behind the sex allegations against Athanasios. Reports suggest it was the archimandrite who brought Greek hairdresser Christos Stangos – the one-time Mount Athos novice Athanasios is alleged to have slept with – to Cyprus to testify against the Limassol Bishop before the Synod investigative committee.

    Chrysostomos of Paphos was once seen as the Archbishop’s favourite to succeed him as leader of the local Orthodox Church, but things have gone distinctly sour between the two men in recent months.

    Church insiders suggest Athanasios has taken over the Paphos Bishop’s position in the Archbishop’s affections, raising the Paphos cleric’s heckles.

    In the run-up to last year’s elections to find a new Limassol Bishop, Chrysostomos of Paphos charged that Athanasios’s Mount Athos mentor had molested nuns at a Paphos nunnery 15 years earlier. Athanasios won the elections hands-down despite the accusations.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    [03] Morphou’s refugees remember invasion

    By Athena Karsera

    Residents of the occupied town of Morphou held a peaceful gathering last night outside Phaneromeni Church in old Nicosia to commemorating the 26<sup>th</sup> anniversary of their town’s invasion.

    In a petition handed to representatives of the five permanent UN Security Council members earlier in the day, the Morphou refugees said that the occupation was an affront to humanity and repeated their determination to return home.

    They also expressed their disappointment and bitterness at the absence of action to force the Turkish troops off the island.

    Delivering the petition Morphou mayor Antigoni Papadopoulou said, "We demand that an agreed solution should safeguard the return of all towns and villages, not only Morphou but all occupied areas."

    She said that the people of her town also expected the solution to secure human rights while the petition said, "It is a disgrace to civilised humanity to accept that at the dawn of the 21<sup>st</sup> century, the thousands of Greek Cypriot refugees are still deprived of the right to return to their homes and properties."

    It continued, "We believe that Europe and also the governments of the US, Russia, China, France and the UK can exert more pressure on Turkey to change its attitudes and work towards a just solution to the Cyprus problem."

    The petition concluded, "Cyprus is too small to be divided forever. We ask for action not promises."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    [04] Working together to enforce the law

    By Jenny Curtis

    WHILE politicians struggle on in their battle to find a solution to the Cyprus problem, a dedicated team of 110 Greek and Turkish Cypriots are continuing to work harmoniously together as officers for the Eastern Sovereign Base Area Police Force.

    They do not separate themselves from each other in the same way the island is divided, but rather accept that they are all Cypriots and concentrate instead on the job they are employed to do -- maintain law and order.

    This week is the 40th anniversary of the SBAs, and members of the force in particular hope they will be seen by the rest of the island as an excellent long-standing example of how the two communities can work together without animosity.

    Take for example, Inspector Suleyman Kiamil, who has worked for the SBA Police for 31 years. He has mixed with Greek Cypriots for most of his life, as he was brought up in Lefkara and educated at the American Academy, although when trouble broke out in 1963 he was forced to move to a Turkish- only school in Nicosia.

    As an officer he says he cannot recall any incidents where his nationality has caused a problem. "One of the reasons we work so well together is because we don't look upon each other as either Greek or Turkish, but rather as friends and colleagues. Our lifestyles are very similar: the only way we are different is our language and our religion -- apart from that we are the same."

    Within the Eastern SBA Police, 80 officers are Greek Cypriot and 30 are Turkish Cypriot, says "The force here is proof that amidst the lengthy and troubled negotiations, the two sides can work together in a constructive and harmonious way," says Chief Superintendent Jim Guy, the Divisional Commander. "In the 21 months I have been on the island they have consistently illustrated a committed and co-operative spirit."

    He does not think of them as being from either side: "To me they are simply officers, and if a job needs doing I send whoever is available at the time - - their origin makes no difference to me." He says it is far more likely that a pair of officers on patrol will be mixed, than say for example, two Greek Cypriots.

    Support Sergeant Evagoras Limistiras has worked for the ESBA Police for 14 years and recalls how when he joined he was asked at the selection board whether he would have a problem working along side Turkish Cypriots. His reply? "If the Greek Cypriots can live with two or three million tourists each year of multi-language, multi-religion and multi-origin, then I can see no difficulties in working and living with the Turks here, who at the end of the day are Cypriot, just as I am."

    Both he and Inspector Kiamil admit there was a potential case for tensions in August 1996, when two Greek Cypriot demonstrators were killed at Dherynia, but they say that as officers they remained professional and worked together as a body.

    Inspector Kiamil, the only officer who was in the force in 1974, remembers the year of the invasion as being a difficult time. "Yes, it was hard -- the nation had very intense feelings, but as policemen it was more important than ever before that as a force we remained united. We retained our mutual respect for each other and showed concern and sensitivity to what the other side was feeling."

    PC Mustafa Kemal, who has worked for the SBA Police since 1991, says he has never said to himself "this person is Turkish, while he or she is Greek"; to him they are all part of the same country.

    "I have very good friends who are Greek Cypriot," he says. "I am close to many of them and our children too play together on a regular basis." The force also holds a number of social functions each year which are enjoyed by family members from both sides.

    Sergeant Kikis Sophocleous has been an SBA Police officer for 12 years: he was brought up within the base area and cannot remember a time when he did not have daily contact with Turkish Cypriots.

    "I wish we could find a solution to the Cyprus conflict," he says. "Then I would be free to visit my Turkish friends as and when I wanted. There is so much history to the difficulties here and certainly I do not think our children, the next generation, will have the same problem."

    There is a large mixed Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot workforce throughout the Eastern Sovereign Base Area, (a proportion of approximately 70:30) and members of the two communities work side by side in a wide range of roles.

    "These long-standing arrangements stem ultimately from the provision of the 1960 Treaty of Establishment, but also reflect the bases commitment to provide equal opportunities for its employees," says David Bonner, the Chief Officer for the SBAs Administration. "All concerned can take pride in the efficient and harmonious way in which these arrangements continue to operate."

    Kyriacos Demetriades, the Area Officer for the SBA Administration in Dhekelia, says staff invariably get on well together, and he believes this is because they rarely discuss politics and don't allow it to form the basis of their relationships.

    Chief Superintendent Jim Guy says of his force: "The officers here manage to continue operate smoothly as a team, despite the stressful situations they have to encounter on a daily basis. It is essential they can depend on each other, particularly in violent situations. In addition they must be able to trust each other way beyond the norm. If they can do this -- and they clearly can -- then yes, I believe Greek and Turkish Cypriots as a whole can live and work together."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    [05] Bourse begins to level off

    By Jennie Matthew

    THE MARKET continued its pattern of stabilising yesterday as the volume rose and the all-share index dropped slightly from Monday.

    The all-share index dropped by 0.34 per cent to close at 391.88 points – 1.21 points lower than Monday’s close. The index is expected to hover around the 400 mark for the rest of the holiday lull, as analysts predict significant shifts no sooner than in September.

    "It began with a strong performance and went up one per cent compared to profit taking on Monday, then it dropped because of the minimal number of shares changing hands, despite a strong pick up in the last 10 minutes of trade," said analyst Christos Achillides.

    The volume of transactions notched up to £18,856,726, compared to the more modest £14,045,367 that changed hands on Monday.

    "The volume was a nit higher than expected possibly because individual investors are flirting with the idea of re-investing in the market," said broker Stavros Agrotis. "But they’re still a bit cautious," he added "and a lot of people are on holiday or away from Cyprus at the moment."

    The increase marks a respectable climb from last week’s record low volume of transactions, pitted at just over a mere £12 million, but continues to fall well-short of the £80 million processed daily on the Stock Exchange in the massive highs of 1999.

    Nevertheless, there was a feeling of quiet optimism amongst analysts yesterday afternoon.

    "The banks have continued to stabilize over the last two or three weeks and I expect it to continue until the end of next week – there won’t be any major changes until the end of the month," said Achillides.

    A rival analyst also predicted an even keel for the next few weeks. "The blue chips are also doing well. There was profit taking on earlier gains today and we’re not going to see too many sudden jumps as the market goes up a bit and then down by almost the same proportion," he told Cyprus Mail.

    Agrotis also emphasized that the market has not yet shown clear signs of its longer-term direction.

    The banking sector was the only group to put in a positive performance yesterday, rising by 0.52 per cent.

    Wednesday’s biggest drop hit the trading companies – which lost 2.87 per cent – the same group that saw the largest increase on Monday of 7.19 per cent.

    The tourist industry saw a fall-out of 2.63 per cent, insurance companies dropped by 1.90 per cent, approved investment companies by 1.88 per cent and manufacturing companies by a more modest 0.72 per cent.

    The majority of transactions were concentrated in the other companies sector, which accumulated a comparatively large £9,556,814.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    [06] Thumbs up for smoking ban

    By Melina Demetriou

    A MINI-POLL run by the Cyprus Mail yesterday showed that most people would like smoking to be banned in public places.

    Six out of the 11 people polled were in favour of the law prohibiting smoking in restaurants, bars, clubs and pubs.

    Others suggested clubs, bars and restaurants have a smoking and a non- smoking section as well as good ventilation to keep the atmosphere healthy.

    All agreed that smoking should be banned from public places like hospitals and public transport.

    The police recently launched a blitz on illegal smokers handing out £20 spot fines to 20 people in the first week of the campaign, while in 1999, only three people were fined for the same offence.

    Smokers hit back at the current anti-smoking campaign, complaining to the Justice minister at what they claim is a violation of their right to smoke.

    Police are still determined to implement the law, for years existing on paper only, which bans smoking from public places – meaning taxis, hospitals, theatres and discos.

    One police officer said that his department had arrested one person for smoking in a club.

    Most people said better ventilation and a designated non-smoking area in these places could be the solution.

    Victor, a television editor in his early twenties, said that although he smokes when he goes out, he believes smoking in public should be banned.


    "Smoking should be prohibited where it affects non-smokers. Alternatively, there should be a non-smoking and a smoking section and definitely better ventilation," he said.

    Katerina, 35, a bank employ, said she did not spend more than an hour or so at a bar because she minded the smoke.

    "Ideally, smoking should be banned from entertainment venues altogether. Personally, I think that the problem is bad ventilation."

    You go to a club and the smoke is increasing and increasing to the point you cannot breath anymore. With a good ventilating system and maybe a smoking and a non-smoking section things would certainly improve a lot."

    But sixty-year old Anna said: "You cannot really forbid someone to smoke. It is too authoritarian. But smokers should develop a consciousness and not smoke when they are in public places."

    Two people said banning smoking from restaurants is the right think to do, but banning it from clubs and pubs was unrealistic.

    Andreas Miaoulis, an 80-year old former smoker said he had always taken care not to smoke at the coffee shop when it was crowded.

    "I think smoking should be banned from any busy place, be that a pub or a restaurant."

    British tourists David Humes and Julianne Stockdale said they would prefer smoking was prohibited in discos and restaurants.

    "I would not eat at a restaurant if people were smoking next to me," Cymes said.

    Richard, 50, said he did not mind people smoking in the same place as him as long as there were "effective smoking and non-smoking sections."

    "There is no point in having separate sections if there are right next to each other. The smoking area should be distanced from the non-smoking area."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    [07] Traffic accidents up 36 per cent on last year

    By George Psyllides

    AN 18-year-old National Guardsman was killed in a traffic accident on Tuesday, despite an immense police effort to avoid accidents during the long-weekend break.

    Six people were seriously injured while a further 39 were hurt.

    Theoharis Christofides, from Aglangia in Nicosia, was killed at around 6.30pm after his car smashed head-on into a tree on Dhigenis Akritas Avenue.

    Eyewitnesses said Christofides first hit a parked car and then slammed into the tree.

    The collision was so violent that the car became a mangled wreck, trapping the soldier inside.

    The fire service managed to free Christofides but he died in the ambulance on the way to hospital.

    Tuesday’s accident raises the number of road deaths to75, a stunning 36 per cent increase compared to 55 in 1999.

    During the long holiday police reported 135 accidents, compared to 80 for the same period last year.

    A total of 45 people were injured, while last year police reported 38 injuries, of which 14 were serious.

    Police had drafted a special plan for the four-day holiday, incorporating traffic departments in all districts and aimed at preventing accidents.

    Around 100,000 cars were expected to be on the road, island-wide, and police repeatedly urged drivers to be extra careful and follow traffic rules. ENDS

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    [08] The cost of keeping the peace revealed

    By Athena Karsera

    MAINTAINING the UN Peace-Keeping Force in Cyprus (Unficyp) from July 2000 to the end of June 2001 with cost taxpayers almost £9 million.

    The Cyprus government provides approximately £8.79 million while Greece has pledged £10.3 million of the £27 million total.

    Circulating a resolution on the financing, the UN General Assembly on Monday expressed regret that appeals for voluntary contributions and calls for the full payment of considered contributions had largely fallen on deaf ears.

    The resolution noted, "Some 22 per cent of the member states have paid their assessed contributions in full, and urges all other member states concerned, in particular those in arrears, to ensure payment of their outstanding assessed contributions."

    Without naming the countries it referred to, the resolution also said that the Assembly wanted the Secretary General to continue efforts to recruit local staff to reduce costs.

    The planned budget was made public in March this year with 23 per cent of the total gross budget relating to civilian personnel costs, 18 per cent to operational costs, 55 per cent for military personnel expenses and four per cent devoted to staff assessment.

    In order to fulfil its obligations under the Security Council mandate, Unficyp maintains a 180 km buffer zone between the cease-fire lines.

    Unficyp’s authorised strength on January 28 2000 stood at 1,230 troops, 35 civilian police officers, 44 international members of staff and 215 members of local staff.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Thursday, August 17, 2000

    A YOUNG American-Cypriot woman is currently on the island searching for a father she can’t remember.

    According to Sigma and I Deilini (Simerini) newspaper Larissa Michael Beers, 24, grew up with her American mother in New Jersey and was told very little about her Greek Cypriot father.

    The television channel and newspaper, which belong to the same group of companies and which Beers approached to help her with her search, have reported that Beers’ parents broke up when their daughter was only a few months old.

    The only information she has is that her father’s name was Michalis Stylianou.

    Anyone with information on Stylianou’s possible whereabouts can contact the Cyprus Mail, who would be happy to pass on any messages.

    A LIMASSOL man was yesterday in custody after attempting to run his son-in-law over with a truck.

    Antonakis Menelaou, 55, was arrested after he chased his 27-year-old estranged son-in-law with his truck, and caused him a broken arm and several lacerations.

    Reports said the two men argued fiercely at the younger man’s house at the Trahoni estate, but as the dispute escalated the son-in-law jumped on his motorcycle and tried to get away.

    Menelaou chased the man with his truck and eventually managed to intercept him but only after he hit the motorcycle, throwing the son-in-law off.

    On Tuesday Menelaou was remanded in custody for five days.

    A FIRE thought to have started by a short circuit gutted the second floor of a house in the village of Koloni in the Paphos district on Tuesday.

    The owner, Marios Georgiou, told police he heard a small explosion at around 8.30pm while he was downstairs.

    Georgiou rushed upstairs but the blaze had already started.

    It is thought the fire started by a short circuit of the mosquito repellant device.

    Damages have not yet been estimated.

    RESIDENTS of the occupied town of Morphou held a peaceful gathering last night outside Phaneromeni Church in old Nicosia to commemorating the 26<sup>th</sup> anniversary of their town’s invasion.

    In a petition handed to representatives of the five permanent UN Security Council members earlier in the day, the Morphou refugees said that the occupation was an affront to humanity and repeated their determination to return home.

    They also expressed their bitterness at the absence of Government action to force the Turkish troops off the island.

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