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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-09-12

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, September 12, 2000


  • [01] Matsakis: I’ll be more active outside politics than within
  • [02] Market breaks through 400 points
  • [03] 7,000 show up for Ledra Palace festival
  • [04] Jet blast blacks out Paphos airport
  • [05] Repats: We just want to be treated as equals
  • [06] Synod convenes over rival allegations
  • [07] Village blockade over pig stench
  • [08] New Greek ambassador bears message of support

  • [01] Matsakis: I’ll be more active outside politics than within

    By Jennie Matthew

    MAVERICK Diko deputy Marios Matsakis said yesterday that being an MP was a hindrance to his outspoken campaigns and that stepping down at the next parliamentary elections would boost his efforts to campaign on behalf of the Cypriot people.

    He denied his current decision not to stand for re-election next May had anything to do with the battery of criticism he has endured in the last week from the government, for raising a Cyprus flag at an unmanned Turkish guard post on August 14, the anniversary of the fall of Famagusta.

    He denied that the government could browbeat him into keeping a low profile, despite his decision to stay away from Sunday’s bi-communal fête at the Ledra Palace, occasions he often attends.

    "I didn’t want to give the excuse for any people to create any problems or to think that I was there to create problems," he said.

    A campaigner at heart, Matsakis is champion against the Turkish occupation and against British Army infringements on the environment or local residents’ peace. He sits on several house committees, and as state pathologist made clear his disgust of government health policy -- an honesty that eventually cost him his job.

    But yesterday he attacked government inertia and party politics as a hindrance to action.

    "It’s an illusion to think that if you’re on a parliamentary committee, you can help. I can be in committees from morning to night, and journalists can go away and write about it, but do things really happen? If I can contribute by causing problems on the ground, by putting my life in danger, then I will. Things only move in Cyprus if there is a crisis."

    He has enemies across the board. The police have told him that his life is in danger.

    But he sees his future as a one-man band taking on the Turkish occupation and the British Army. "It doesn’t matter what the government of Cyprus says. I don’t trust the government and I embarrass them when I show their deficiencies, their inadequacies and there are lots and lots and lots of them," he said.

    As far as the British are concerned, he wants the army to come to an understanding with the Cypriot people, to improve the Cypriot lot and boost the image of the British Ministry of Defence. For example, he singles out British antennas in the environmentally protected salt lake at Akrotiri.

    "If the army says it wants to stop interfering with salt lake and finance a bird sanctuary in area, they don’t need the government for that. I will assist them and be their best friend. Not just friend, I will go out and pronounce how wonderful they are," he said.

    He wants to see closer co-operation between the Bases and Cypriot archaeological societies over sites at Akrotiri. He wants Cypriots dying on SBA territory to have inquests in the Republic, for the sake of their bereaved families. He wants the SBAs to be answerable to the European Court of Human Rights, regardless of their status, separate from both Britain and the Republic.

    As for the occupation, "I would be the saddest person on earth if I ever decided to stop my campaign against the Turkish occupation of Cyprus. And I hope that the same holds for every Greek Cypriot. If it doesn’t then I will be devastated. But I will always fight for the relief of Cyprus from occupation forces," he said.

    "I’m not representing the Matsakis’ ideology, I’m representing the common people’s point of view. The people in this country are fed up, they want their voice to be heard and right now their voice is not heard because they are not represented by the politicians," he said.

    He again denied that the government had tried to barter an agreement to get him to stand down. "The government would like me to be sent to Siberia for a long period, but if I step down they will see more of me, not less," he said.

    [<a href="greek0912.htm">Greek Press</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    [02] Market breaks through 400 points

    By Jean Christou

    THE STOCK Market yesterday sustained last week’s strong momentum to burst through the 400-point barrier for the first time in months, closing 2.76 per cent up on its last close.

    Trading opened up at 402 and rapidly climbed to 405 before falling back to 399 and rebounding in the last half hour to close at 401 points, the highest the all-share index has been since July.

    All sectors gained, particularly insurance, which rose 5.97 per cent, trading companies which were up 4.57 per cent and investment, up 2.45 per cent. Other sectors showed minor gains of around 1.5 per cent, while banking rose 3.36 per cent.

    Bank of Cyprus (BoC) shares added 20 cents to close at £7.10 and Laiki were up 32 cents to end at £10.04. Hellenic also gained, rising 10 cents to finish at £2.31.

    In the tourism sector, Libra gained big with a 15-cent rise to close at £3.55 in an otherwise uneventful sector.

    Much activity again took place in the ‘other’ companies sector, which ended 1.58 per cent in the black. Heavy profit-taking on previous gains pushed GlobalSoft three cents down to £5.15 on a traded volume of over 700,000 shares.

    Glory jumped 30 cents yesterday to close at £6.00 while Renos Hadjioannou Farm maintained last week’s strong debut to rise another two cents yesterday, finishing at £1.11 with over 1.1 million shares changing hands.

    Pandora’s investors yesterday continued to bail out, pushing the stock down even further below its 25-cent issue. The share lost almost another cent to close at 23.5 cents, with over three million shares traded.

    Market analyst Christos Achillides told the Cyprus Mail the CSE’s upswing was solely a result of a boost in the Athens Stock Exchange. "We will probably see more of this because of the (upcoming) BoC listing in Greece," he said.

    He said many investors were waiting for an improvement on the CSE in September after a disastrous August holiday period, when the index fell as low as 357 points.

    Achillides said he could not predict a reversal in the CSE’s fortunes just yet. "A lot depends on Greece," he said. "But we should see a knock-on effect if Greece manages to sustain its recent gains."

    [<a href="greek0912.htm">Greek Press</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    [03] 7,000 show up for Ledra Palace festival

    By Melina Demetriou

    A RECORD 7,000 Greek and Turkish Cypriots joined forces in the name of peace at the Ledra Palace, attending a Festival of Mutual Understanding on Sunday.

    The event took place only two days ahead of the start of the New York proximity talks between Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash. It was organised by political parties from both sides -- Greek Cypriot Disy, Akel, Kisos and the United Democrats and the Turkish Cypriot Communal Liberation Party, Republican Turkish Party and Patriotic Unity Movement.

    The festival aimed at bringing the two communities closer and sending a message that Greek and Turkish Cypriots could live together in peace and unity.

    It was the first time so many people turned up at a non-UN bi-communal event.

    Fifty per cent of the participants were Greek and the other 50 were Turkish Cypriots, according to UN sources.

    The usually quiet Ledra Palace UN headquarters were flooded with people, returning the disused hotel to its glory pre-1974 days when it was the centre of Nicosia’s social scene.

    A bi-communal cultural programme with music, dance and poetry entertained the participants who met and talked to their former neighbours or friends

    Speeches and songs about peace in Greek and Turkish created a warm atmosphere among the members of the two communities.

    Akel leader Demetris Christofias told reporters that the success of the event showed that the Cypriot people wished their country reunited.

    "It is clear that people long for peace and for reunification and I hope this kind of event is the starting point for a real, just and lasting solution to be established based on UN resolutions for Cyprus."

    Untied Democrat leader, George Vassiliou said at the festival that if more such events were organised, the two communities might stop fearing each other and being prejudiced.

    Slovak Ambassador to Cyprus, Dusan Rosbora, who co-ordinated the event, said in his welcoming speech: "It fills me with deep emotions to see so many of you being side by side regardless of your Greek Cypriot or Turkish Cypriot origin or of your political affiliation. It is maybe the first time for some of you, especially those who were born later, and up to whom it will be to decide whether this is the way you want to live in harmony and in an everyday festival of life."

    "Only a few days before the proximity Cyprus talks in New York, you and the political parties present at this festival are sending a clear message. No doubt, the message will be heard."

    Rosbora said more similar events were planned for the future.

    [<a href="greek0912.htm">Greek Press</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    [04] Jet blast blacks out Paphos airport

    A JET blast from a Boeing 747 dislodged wires on the runway at Paphos airport late on Sunday causing a 40-minute blackout.

    Airport manager Antonis Lemesianos told the Cyprus Mail the incident happened around 9pm after two 747s had taken off in quick succession.

    A jet blast from the second aircraft blew the wires one metre back into the power supply, plunging the runway into darkness for around 40 minutes, Lemesianos said.

    He said air traffic controllers had been expecting seven to eight flights after 10pm and had to work quickly to repair the damage. "We issued information to all aircraft about the power failure but no flights were affected," Lemesianos said, adding that the lights on one side of the runway were still operational.

    "It would only have affected take off and not landing," he said.

    Normally the wires would have been underground but extension works at the airport, and in this case the apron, meant the wires would be temporarily over ground. "It was a one in a million incident," he said.

    [<a href="greek0912.htm">Greek Press</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    [05] Repats: We just want to be treated as equals

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE GOVERNMENT is beginning to pay attention to the particular problems faced by returning Cypriots, a satisfied chairman of the Federation of Repatriated Cypriots said yesterday.

    Kyriacos Tsolakis - whose federation organised its first ever conference in Cyprus in Nicosia on Sunday - said the demands voiced by Cypriots returning from Britain, Australia, South Africa and elsewhere were now being heard in the corridors of power.

    "We are very pleased, the government is showing a lot of interest," Tsolakis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    Returning Cypriots are wont to complain of being made to feel like outsiders in their own home country. Sunday’s conference was all about voicing such feelings and concerns and looking at ways of sorting things out, Tsalakis said.

    "We want the government to be more involved and to look on out problems with more respect," the federation chairman said. "We do not want to be treated better than any other citizen, we just want to be treated as equals, " he said.

    The main talking point at the conference was education. Repatriates are demanding that the government foot the bill for their returning children to go to private, English-language schools on the island.

    Tsolakis said returning Cypriots of school age could not be expected to attend Greek-language state schools because their Greek was rarely good enough and "they do not know how long they will be staying in Cyprus for anyway".

    The Presidential Commissioner for overseas Cypriots, Manolis Christofides, yesterday said returning school children were offered free Greek lessons at private language institutes and extra Greek tuition in schools.

    On Sunday, Christofides promised conference delegates that the meet would henceforth be a bi-annual event.

    It is estimated that some 500,000 Cypriots currently live abroad, half of them in Britain and the rest mostly in Greece, Australia, South Africa, Canada and the US.

    [<a href="greek0912.htm">Greek Press</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    [06] Synod convenes over rival allegations

    IT WAS judgment day for the Church yesterday as a Holy Synod tripartite committee convened to examine the findings of investigations into lurid allegations levelled against two of rival clergymen, Limassol Bishop Athanassios and Archimandrite Andreas Constantinides.

    The Church has for months been torn by a feud between Athanassios and the Archimandrite, who is backed by Paphos Bishop Chrysostomos. Constantinides has accused Athanassios of engaging in homosexual relations with a Mount Athos novice some 15 years ago, while the archimandrite himself faces charges of fathering two illegitimate children.

    Reports yesterday suggested the Synod had reviewed only the charges against Athanassios, and that it would require several sessions before it could reach a conclusion, given that the separate findings submitted were said to be "of considerable length," up to 100 pages each, according to one account.

    The three separate findings were submitted by the bishops of Morfou, Kition and Arsinoe.

    In his report, the bishop of Morfou, Neophytos, concluded that the charges against Athanassios were unjustified and did not warrant further examination. Media reports also said that the Synod was yesterday "divided" over its decision because the findings’ conclusions were very different.

    An Archbishopric spokesman yesterday told the Cyprus Mail "there was no

    telling when the Holy Synod would conclude its proceedings," though media reports quoted tomorrow as decision day.

    And there was no sign that the Synod investigation would restore order to the fold, with reports yesterday indicating the Paphos bishop planned to release new "evidence" against Athanassios who claims the whole row is part of a conspiracy to dethrone him.

    [<a href="greek0912.htm">Greek Press</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    [07] Village blockade over pig stench

    VILLAGERS baulking at the smell from local pigsties yesterday blockaded a road through Moni, outside Limassol, to demand action to end their suffering.

    The protesters - from the villages of Monagroulli, Pyrgos and Moni – closed off the road to the regional primary school for an hour from about 8am. The protesters were joined by local secondary school students, who decided to forego the first day of lessons to make their anti-pig-smell point.

    Monagroulli mukhtar, Paraskevas Irakleous, said local residents wanted "something done" about the pig stench, or the sty owners compensated to move their farms elsewhere or close them down.

    He said the farms were not just a nuisance but had also led to pollution of local groundwater.

    "We have tried for five continuous years to solve the problem through meetings with Ministers. They promised much but nothing has happened, so we came down to protest," Irakleous said.

    The mukhtar warned that villagers would escalate their protest actions if the state failed to do something about the situation.

    [<a href="greek0912.htm">Greek Press</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, September 12, 2000

    [08] New Greek ambassador bears message of support

    GREECE'S new Ambassador to Cyprus Christos Panagopoulos arrived on the island yesterday conveying a message of support and co-operation from Athens.

    Speaking on arrival at Larnaca Airport, Panagopoulos said Greece and Cyprus were struggling for a solution to the Cyprus problem and the island's accession to the European Union, noting that as long as Turkish intransigence continued, the two countries needed to upgrade the island's defence capability.

    Panagopoulos pledged he would put all his strength into the common struggle, noting that his arrival on the island coincided with the start of the fourth round of peace talks in New York.

    "The strategic aim is to obtain such circumstances that will allow the survival of Cypriot Hellenism in conditions of security and increased prosperity," he said.

    He said that, to achieve this aim, Athens and Nicosia had defined the UN Security Council decisions on Cyprus as guidelines to achieve a solution, which must provide for the reunification of the island, the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation, with a single international personality, a single sovereignty, without foreign troops, settlers or refugees.

    Panagopoulos added that "as long as Turkish intransigence continues, we are obliged on a daily basis to strengthen the upgrading of the island's defence and we will do this in the context of the joint defence pact (between Greece and Cyprus)".

    [<a href="greek0912.htm">Greek Press</a>]

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

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