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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-09-29

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, September 29, 2000


  • [01] Denktash accuses Greek Cypriots of ‘moaning’
  • [02] Vassiliou highlights positive aspect of the proximity talks
  • [03] ‘One of the worst days of the year’ Market hits a new low
  • [04] Strong Cyprus contingent for NY women’s march
  • [05] Investors ‘led like sheep to the slaughter’
  • [06] Probe after CID sent criminal data abroad
  • [07] Foundation sets up new ‘home from home’ for the retarded
  • [08] Boost for Intercollege med school plan
  • [09] Police help ‘boat people’ adrift off Cape Greco
  • [10] Larnaca’s turn for a torrential downpour
  • [11] Tourists held after raid on flat

  • [01] Denktash accuses Greek Cypriots of ‘moaning’

    By Jennie Matthew

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash both doled out the criticism yesterday after their return from the inconclusive fourth round of UN-

    sponsored proximity talks in New York.

    Clerides denounced politicians who have exploited the proximity talks for their own purposes, while Denktash accused the Greek Cypriot delegation of “moaning”.

    The talks are an issue of the utmost importance that should be used to bring the parties together, not be used for internal political gain, the President told journalists immediately after his plane touched down at Larnaca yesterday evening.

    Representatives from all the major political parties accompanied to Clerides to New York, to advise him during the negotiations.

    The Greek Cypriot delegation boycotted the talks for two days after UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan called on the two parties to “represent its side – and no one else – as the political equal of the other”.

    Speaking in Istanbul last night, Denktash said “the Greek Cypriots used this as a pretext to avoid meetings for two days, with moaning and crying”.

    Clerides confirmed that the Greek Cypriot delegation had rejected any proposals that did not conform to either UN Security Council resolutions or European Union standards.

    The Turkish Cypriots have interpreted Annan’s opening statement as an important step towards recognition, which Denktash insists the Greek Cypriots must concede before face-to-face negotiations begin.

    Both sides are expected to attend a fifth round of UN-sponsored proximity talks from November 1 to November 10 in Geneva.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [02] Vassiliou highlights positive aspect of the proximity talks

    By Athena Karsera

    UNITED Democrat president George Vassiliou yesterday said that a positive message could be taken from the last series of UN-led proximity talks in that ideas had been put forward by the international organisation for the first time in eight years.

    “It essentially took eight whole years for us to get back to proposals,” he told CyBC yesterday. “This time we should look at these, not as imprisoning us but as ‘Thank goodness these proposals are being made, even now’. Because Cyprus is lost if we give them the impression that we don’t take them seriously, don’t show goodwill and do not convince every last person that we are interested in and believe in a solution.”

    Vassiliou also said that he had not interpreted the UN Secretary-general’s Special Representative Alvaro de Soto’s ideas on the constitution issue of the Cyprus problem, rejected by the Greek Cypriot side, as a backwards step.

    “I don’t accept this: the proposal was rejected because it was not workable. Also, it was not really a proposal; we have to clarify that first of all, it was a set of ideas with various options and they wanted reactions. But within these ideas was something that was very important. That it talked about federation and not confederation. This was clear. Also it did not talk of numerical equality.”

    He said that fears in Cyprus that UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan’s mentioning of both sides being politically equal in the event of a solution would mean that any future ideas would be based on numerical equality had been exaggerated.

    The most recent series of UN-led proximity talks on the Cyprus problem ended in New York on Tuesday with the next, 10-day round, set for November 1 in Geneva.

    President Glafcos Clerides arrived back in Cyprus late yesterday afternoon.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [03] ‘One of the worst days of the year’ Market hits a new low

    By Jennie Matthew

    THE CYPRUS Stock Market crashed to its lowest point this year as the all- share index plunged to 354.39 points and the volume closed at just £20.62 million.

    The index fell immediately after opening and bumped around between the 355 and 354 mark for the last 30 minutes of trading.

    The close was 1.54 per cent down on Wednesday’s finish – new depths for the second day running.

    “It was one of the worst days of the year. I mean it was very, very bad today,” said broker Demos Stavrides of AAA Stockbrokers. “And there will be more big drops to come in the next five to ten days,” he added.

    Of the 136 listed titles only 26 managed a positive performance, compared to the declining fortunes of 105.

    GlobalSoft has been the bourse’s healthiest share throughout the slump. Without it, brokers estimate that the index would be scraping rock-bottom at a mere 335 points.

    Stockbrokers put the dismal performance down to market volatility in Greece and companies, desperate for a public listing, which are trying to build up large-scale stacks of capital.

    The other problem is nervous tension. Investors are buying shares and selling them only three or four days later, frustrating medium- and long- term investment prospects – the forum for serious growth.

    “Psychology is the major obstacle and because we’re a Mediterranean island, and the index is a baby one there is still a lot of inexperience,” Stavrides said.

    One shock performance yesterday was the £4.49 million of volume generated by the tourism sector, however. In recent weeks, tourist companies have clocked up daily volumes of less than £1 million.

    Golden Sun Leisure made its trading debut as the day’s most traded share as a massive 3.39 million changed hands.

    In keeping with the trend of the slump, prices stayed on the even keel, opening at £1.01 and closing at 99 cents.

    The manufacturing and trading companies fared the worst, each dropping 2.98 per cent of their market share.

    Both had low volume -- £630,467 and £946,742 respectively.

    The insurance group failed to gain ground after two successive days of major drops. The sector weakened by 1.91 per cent. Volume was up at a still marginal £759,496.

    The banks closed just 0.11 per cent down as the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) picked up some ground compared to Wednesday, rising 4 cents to finish at £6.54.

    There was no price fluctuation for Cyprus Popular Bank, which started and finished at £9.37.

    Investors are waiting for the Bank to announce its plans for capital-

    raising – news analysts hope could spur more energy into the markets.

    The real kick is expected to come in the BoC’s imminent debut on the Athens’ exchange.

    Investment companies levelled out an average day’s work with a loss of 0.69 per cent and £1.49 million worth of transactions.

    (See also page 3)

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [04] Strong Cyprus contingent for NY women’s march

    By Staff Reporter

    SOME 60 to 80 Cypriot women will join the International Women’s March 2000 in New York next month to highlight women’s issues and call for the reunification of Cyprus.

    The delegation will present the UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan with a headscarf embroidered with the names of the Greek Cypriot missing.

    The march will take place on October 17.

    The delegates will be collecting signatures on cards in Eleftheria Square between 10am and 1pm tomorrow.

    The cards, along with banners and leaflets, will be distributed in New York to highlight women’s concerns and the Cyprus problem.

    “It’s about women’s rights, poor people, violence against women and of course the Cyprus problem,” said a representative from POGO, left-wing Akel’s women’s movement.

    Delegates from 24 women’s organisations in Cyprus will fly to New York for the event.

    It is not confirmed whether Turkish Cypriot women who applied to go on the march will be attending.

    Two Cypriot women will also march in Brussels on the European Women’s March 2000 on October 14.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [05] Investors ‘led like sheep to the slaughter’

    By George Psyllides

    A PROTEST by debt-ridden investors yesterday disintegrated into a media circus and forced the chairman of the investor association to resign.

    The disgruntled investors had intended to close Nicosia’s Grivas Dighenis Avenue outside the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE), and then march to the Presidential Palace to protest against the plight of the price index.

    The protest was scheduled to begin at 10am, when police and media converged en masse outside the building. But by around 10.15am only a dozen or so investors had gathered outside the building, each with his own horror story about the CSE.

    “We were led like sheep to the slaughter,” said one.

    “They are all thieves,” said another.

    Those gathered outside the television room, where investors follow trading, accused brokers of ‘regulating’ the market to cater for their own needs.

    At the same time across the road, well-groomed brokers parked their expensive cars and made their way into the CSE, diligently avoiding the congregated investors.

    At 10.30, when trading began, the pavement emptied, leaving just the television trucks.

    The debate moved inside so punters could keep an eye on the monitors.

    Live links were set up by the stations, and CSE officials bounced from reporter to reporter to give their explanation on why the market is down.

    In the background the angry investor rant continued unabated with accusations flying in all directions.

    “It’s the government’s fault. They held on to our money for one year and no one can touch them.”

    “What about the interest we lost on our money?”

    Several investment companies have been repeatedly accused by investors of holding on to millions of pounds, creating cash flow problems on the market.

    The poor performance of the market by 11am prompted several investors to go outside for a stress-relieving cigarette.

    The arrival of the Chairman of the Investors Association (PASEHA), Alkis Argyrides, sparked a fresh round of finger pointing, this time inward.

    Investors charged the association with being indifferent to their plight and asked why it had failed to support their demonstration.

    “You are not doing anything for us. You just believe whatever the brokers feed you,” accused one.

    “When they saw the market was recovering they (specific broker’s office) dumped millions of shares and caused it to plunge again,” alleged another.

    Argyrides said he would resign because he was being unfairly accused.

    “I will resign from the council and call fresh elections,” he told reporters later.

    “Most of the members of the association support me, but I cannot sacrifice my personal peace and be accused as if I am to blame for the situation,” Argyrides said.

    He added that the association supported the protest but had not organised it.

    “If a group of investors wants to demonstrate we will support them, but they cannot table demands concerning matters that are currently being discussed with CSE authorities,” he said.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [06] Probe after CID sent criminal data abroad

    By Melina Demetriou

    THE Human Rights and Crime ad hoc House Committees are investigating allegations of human rights violations by the CID, which sent personal data on 30,000 people convicted of crimes to a US company to digitise police archives without the knowledge of the Justice Ministry.

    The CID chief admitted yesterday his department had sent data such as fingerprints and other personal information such as religion, colour, race and address to the Print Track Company in Los Angeles a few weeks ago.

    “We have contracted the company to digitise some data. It will come in handy later when we join an Interpol programme to trace criminals all over the world through an international police network,” Tassos Panayiotou told Deputies.

    The House Committees and the Ombudswoman say the police action might be tantamount to intrusion of privacy and family life, according to an EU law which provides that everyone – including convicted criminals -- is entitled to the right of privacy and that no one except a country’s police is authorised to possess personal information about that country’s criminals.

    It was established that the contract signed by Print Track and the CID does not provide that the company will be held responsible if a third party gains access to the confidential data, only if the company itself is proved to have deliberately leaked it.

    “What guarantee do we have that the company will not leak any information to other agencies or people?” asked Akel’s Kikis Yiangou.

    Ombudswoman Eliana Nicolaou said there is no effective law in Cyprus to protect the right to privacy and family life, and added it was urgent that such a law be implemented soon.

    Deputies lashed out at the CID chief for having taken the initiative to send national data abroad without notifying and having the consent of the Legal Department and the Justice Ministry which both said they new nothing about the deal.

    The CID admitted that it had subjectively chosen which criminals’ personal files should be among those sent to the US, but it said they were of people who had been convicted for serious crimes.

    Panayiotou said it would have taken one and a half years and a lot of money to digitise the data in Cyprus because of inadequate technology, while Print Track will have carried out the work by the end of the month at a low cost of £54,000.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [07] Foundation sets up new ‘home from home’ for the retarded

    By Athena Karsera

    ONE OF Cyprus’ most benevolent philanthropic organisations has set up a home for mentally retarded adults who can no longer be properly cared for by their families.

    The Elli and Stelios Ioannou Foundation’s Saint Christopher Home for Mentally Retarded Persons is on the outskirts of Nicosia near the new GSP stadium and can house 48 permanent residents.

    Elli Ioannou said yesterday that the home had been her and her late husband’s vision for some time, and that its ultimate goal was to prevent mentally retarded adults from being put into unsuitable institutions.

    “Two cases have come to our attention recently where mentally retarded adults are being cared for solely by foreign domestic workers who they difficulty communicating with and who are often the only company they have, ” she said.

    “I am very happy that three years after the decision to build the home was taken, three fertile years of planning and creative work, the vision we shared has become a reality.”

    The Saint Christopher Home is not a government institution, but is sustained by its own resources provided by the Elli and Stelios Ioannou Foundation and the active support of the Friends of the Christos Stelios Ioannou Association, she said.

    Foundation board president Costakis Emilianides said that the basic idea of the home was that every tenant felt like a member of a family. “Every family stays in its own apartment in a neighbourhood. For this reason, groups of six people, the size of a typical extended family, were created.”

    He said each group would live in a small house comprising six bedrooms, a living room, kitchen, bathroom and showers. The houses were also designed to accommodate the needs of those who may be bed-ridden or use a wheel chair.

    Home manager Pavlina Pavlou said that each house and each of its six bedrooms had been decorated differently to help the tenants feel more at home.

    The central building, besides housing the administration and auxiliary services, also has rooms for relaxation and entertainment, television, occupational therapy, a large dining area and a kitchen, as well as a consultation room, pharmacy, coffee-shop and kiosk.

    One feature unique to the home is a ‘Snoezelen room’, a specially equipped area designed to stimulate and relax tenants using sound, light, images and textures.

    Set in gardens grown containing only indigenous Cypriot plants, endemic trees and aromatic herbs, the Saint Christopher Home cost the Foundation and the Hadjioisif family an initial £2 million and was built on government- donated land.

    Covered wheelchair-friendly outdoor corridors link the houses and buildings and the gardens also boast an outdoor amphitheatre.

    The home will be officially opened by President Glafcos Clerides next week, but it has already been operating for three weeks with eight tenants.

    Tenants are accepted based on criteria judged by a special committee, the most important of which is that the person be an orphan or with only one parent who is no longer able to care for them properly. Priority is also given to those over 40.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [08] Boost for Intercollege med school plan

    By Melina Demetriou

    THE government looks set to give the go-ahead for Intercollege in Nicosia to open a medical school.

    Intercollege's long-stalled plan was brought before a special meeting of the House Health Committee following the Education Ministry’s objections to the college’s plans to start training doctors.

    “The ministry has announced to the Committee that it has changed a regulation, which until now ruled out the granting of any preliminary form of approval for the opening of a school until laboratories, equipment and other necessary preparations were concluded,” Dr Andreas Charalambous, co- ordinator of Intercollege’s pre-med programme told the Cyprus Mail.

    Intercollege has already constructed a new purpose-built five-storey £3.5 million medical school building containing the latest in high-tech teaching aids -- including five Internet-

    wired 75-seat amphitheatres.

    “Our application is being resubmitted to the ministry which promised to give it serious consideration,” said Charalambous.

    Nicos Peristianis, Intercollege’s Executive Dean, said he figured by the time the first pre-

    med students graduated later this year Intercollege’s medical school would be open.

    Plans were first broached with the Education Ministry in 1997 to open a medical school as a regional training centre for doctors.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [09] Police help ‘boat people’ adrift off Cape Greco

    By Staff Reporter

    ANOTHER trawler loaded with around 40 people approached Cyprus shores yesterday, with those on board claiming their boat had an engineering problem.

    The vessel was first spotted at 7.45am in international waters off the Cape Greco area by a fisherman who told police the trawler seemed to be drifting. He said the immigrants had pleaded for help, saying their boat had a problem and they could not start the engine to proceed to Italy as planned.

    A police helicopter and patrol boats were sent to the scene and the trawler was put under guard as officers investigated the problem.

    “The government has provided the immigrants with humanitarian aid, including food, clothing and medical aid, but is not responsible for them in any way because their vessel was not in Cyprus waters,” Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said later. “There is no deportation issue here. They are obliged to leave as soon as their boat’s engine is fixed.”

    More than 200 immigrants who ended up in Cyprus two weeks ago after their boat was wrecked off Paphos are still being held on a cruise ship off Limassol.

    The authorities say they have evidence that the 266 illegal immigrants, mainly Iranians and Kurds, sailed from a Lebanese port. But Beirut insists it will not accept their return under a bilateral agreement with Cyprus unless they receive conclusive evidence that the boat sailed from its shores.

    A Cyprus delegation is in Beirut to present the authorities with more evidence proving the immigrants came to Cyprus from Lebanon.

    “I am optimistic we will manage to convince Beirut to take the immigrants back,” Christodoulou said yesterday.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [10] Larnaca’s turn for a torrential downpour

    By Martin Hellicar

    TORRENTIAL rains in the Larnaca area yesterday led to one man being trapped in his car and the fire brigade scrambling to clear mud from a main road in time for President Glafcos Clerides to get home on his return from the New York proximity talks.

    The rains came down in the morning and quickly flooded a section of the old Larnaca road near the new Aradippou fly-over.

    One man, Lefteris Stylianou, got stuck as he tried to drive through a 60-

    metre-long puddle. He later described how the floodwaters began seeping in and the car doors would not open. He managed to climb out through a window and on to the roof. Two other drivers came to his rescue, towing Lefteris’ car out of the puddle with ropes.

    A home in the same area was engulfed in water and mud, and the fire brigade had to intervene to whisk the people caught inside to safety.

    Also, a section of road leading up to the Kalo Chorio motorway junction outside Larnaca was swamped with mud and became impassable.

    Wary of the fact the President Clerides’s entourage would be using the road to get him home on return from the New York talks later in the afternoon, the fire brigade pulled out all the stops to get the road clear.

    The road was back “in action” by the time the President touched down at Larnaca airport at 7pm.

    Torrential rains also struck in the Ayios Theodoros area west of Larnaca.

    On Wednesday, it had been the capital’s turn to be hit by downpours. A sudden shower in the early afternoon led to flooding on several streets.

    Friday, September 29, 2000

    [11] Tourists held after raid on flat

    By Staff Reporter

    THREE 18-year-old British tourists were remanded in custody for five days by the Famagusta District Court yesterday, suspected of possessing 30 grams of cannabis.

    The tourists were arrested on Wednesday after police acting on a tip-off searched a flat in Ayia Napa and found 30 grams of a substance thought to be cannabis.

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