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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-10-29

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, October 29, 2000


  • [01] 84 lose their licences in one week
  • [02] Archbishop accused of questioning integrity of the Holy Synod
  • [03] Police arrest eight ‘illegal immigrants’
  • [04] Neolithic site yields new finds
  • [05] ‘Ochi Day’ parades
  • [06] Property scam probe ‘finds overseas bank accounts’
  • [07] Cyprus problem makes no sense, says Clinton

  • [01] 84 lose their licences in one week

    By a Staff Reporter

    EIGHTY-FOUR people were deprived of the right to hold or obtain a driving licence between November 16 and 22, a week that saw 130 traffic accidents, four deaths and 11 serious injuries.

    According to the latest police statistics, 3,148 various traffic violations were reported over the same period, of which 645 have already gone to court resulting in the licences being withdrawn and fines amounting to £45,490.

    The police said there had also been 1,486 cases of speeding, 171 of driving without a seatbelt, and 27 cases of a trade vehicle without a grill behind the driver.

    Ten motorcyclists and 43 moped drivers were fined for not wearing crash helmets, and 26 out of 345 drivers breathalysed were charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.

    Sunday, October 29, 2000

    [02] Archbishop accused of questioning integrity of the Holy Synod

    By Athena Karsera

    THREE bishops were yesterday waiting for Archbishop Chrysostomos to reply to their request for a Holy Synod to be called without delay amid complaints that a circular he issued on Friday questioned the Synod’s integrity.

    Paphos Bishop Chrysostomos, Bishop of Kyrenia Pavlos and Morphou Bishop Neophytos, the latter two of whom are on the three-member Holy Synod committee investigating part of the Church scandal with Trimithounda Bishop Vassilios, sent their written request to the Archbishop late on Friday.

    They were responding to a circular issued by the Archbishop on Friday morning in which said he would use ancient privileges to call a Major Synod, a gathering of local bishops augmented by a number of their peers from the wider Orthodox world.

    The Archbishop said he would call the Major Synod because “there have been charges made against a Bishop of the Church which have scandalised the Christian flock, and because there were charges by clergymen and laymen that some clergymen conspired against a fellow clergyman, and that they bribed or tried to bribe people to make false testimonies and manufactured or tried to manufacture fake witnesses.”

    In their letter, the bishops said that the Archbishop’s circular had included “vague charges putting the honour and dignity of members of the Holy Synod into question, and putting their decency in doubt in the eyes of the church-going public of Cyprus”.

    The bishops also said that the Archbishop’s publicising concerns that members of the clergy had conspired against another “not only insults members of Holy Synod but also creates practical difficulties for the Major Synod, which will essentially be called to examine an issue on which there is no (Holy Synod investigative committee) report”.

    They also said that he was not entitled to call a Major Synod without consulting the Holy Synod, a charge the Archbishop rejected yesterday.

    Bishop Neophytos said yesterday he believed the Archbishop had intended to call a Holy Synod in any case, but that while he was not against a Major Synod being called he believed the correct procedures should have been followed.

    Bishop Pavlos said that yesterday was too soon to expect a reply from the Archbishop. He also said that “all problems within the Church can be solved through a Holy Synod, but only if some don’t prevent the truth from emerging”.

    “This land will not tolerate a dictatorship” was all Paphos Bishop Chrysostomos would say yesterday.

    The Church has been rocked by bitter allegations among its members, with a Holy Synod committee investigating allegations that Limassol Bishop Athanassios is a homosexual and that his accuser, Limassol archimandrite Andreas Constantinides, fathered two illegitimate children.

    Athanassios has since said that the archimandrite and others were conspiring against him and producing false witnesses, charges that are being investigated by the police. Attorney-

    general Alecos Markides is expected to make his opinion on the case known tomorrow.

    Sunday, October 29, 2000

    [03] Police arrest eight ‘illegal immigrants’

    By a Staff Reporter

    EIGHT people thought to be illegal immigrants, including a mother and her two children, were arrested in the early hours of yesterday in Protaras after allegedly coming ashore on a small fishing boat.

    The immigrants, believed to be Iraqis, were arrested after a hotel employee alerted the authorities when some of them tried to change money at the hotel’s reception.

    Staff suspicions were aroused by the way they were dressed and they way they behaved.

    Police launched a manhunt in the eastern coastal town and rapidly rounded up eight people who were taken to Paralimni police station.

    Five men were due in court late yesterday for a remand hearing, police said. The woman and her two young children were not expected to be remanded and were being cared for, they said.

    Police believe the immigrants arrived on the island on a small boat in the early hours.

    Justice Minister Nicos Koshis said he was troubled by this new batch of arrivals. He said it was harder to spot smaller vessels with the equipment currently being used.

    Sunday, October 29, 2000

    [04] Neolithic site yields new finds

    By a Staff Reporter

    A FRENCH archaeological mission from the National Centre of Scientific Research (CNRS) has uncovered the largest ever building found at the Neolithic site of Khirokitia in the Larnaca district.

    The Antiquities Department said the team, led by Dr Alain Le Brun, uncovered a building they described as “remarkable for its size and inner organisation”. The building has an inner diameter of five metres.

    “Almost half of its living space is occupied by a U-shaped structure, about 80 centimetres high, resting against the wall of the building. The structure is also exceptional for the presence, on one of its plastered faces, of the superimposed remains of green, red or pinkish painting decorations,” the Department said.

    A number of exceptional artifacts was also found in the building, including a group of three stone vessels and a pounder, a worked stone covering two scapulae, one of a fallow deer and the other of a sheep or goat, an antler and a fallow deer scapula lying on the fireplace, and another deer scapula nearby.

    Other explorations at the foot of the hill along the Maroni River have revealed the ruins of several buildings damaged by erosion, suggesting that the Neolithic settlement covered a wide area.

    Proximity to the river also required terracing to level and drain the ground. Buildings were constructed on layers of sand and pebble beds.

    Sunday, October 29, 2000

    [05] ‘Ochi Day’ parades

    By a Staff Reporter

    WAR veterans, students, scouts, guides and members of refugee, trade union and sports associations yesterday took part in Republic-wide ‘Ochi Day’ parades marking the anniversary of Greece's refusal to surrender to the Axis forces in 1940.

    President Glafcos Clerides took the salute at the Nicosia parade outside the Greek Embassy, flanked by Archbishop Chrysostomos, Greek Minister of Economy and Finance Yiannos Papantoniou, House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, and Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Christos Panagopoulos.

    Attorney-general Alecos Markides, ministers, leaders and representatives of political parties, Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades, the military and police leadership, and other officials were also present.

    Sunday, October 29, 2000

    [06] Property scam probe ‘finds overseas bank accounts’

    By Athena Karsera

    THE POLICE are extending their investigations into a ring suspected of scamming elderly people out of their property to overseas.

    A brother and sister remain in police custody on suspicion of being behind the scam, which police now believe may involve up to £1 million.

    Religious studies teacher Symeon Symeou, 49, was arrested in late September.

    Symeou is expected to have his remand renewed for the sixth time today.

    A police source told the paper that investigations were being extended to the United States and Greece and that bank accounts holding “tens of thousands of pounds” relating to the case had been located.

    The case came to light when one of the alleged victims told police that Symeou had swindled him into signing a power of attorney, which gave him full control of his property.

    Police said the teacher and his sister were believed to have conspired between 1996 and 1999 with several other people, managing under false pretences to take control of the property of an unknown number of elderly people.

    The list of suspects in the hands of police also includes a certifying officer and another person currently on trial on suspicion of being involved in a similar case.

    Police said that Symeou had visited elderly people at their retirement homes, posing as a representative from a charity helping the aged and, after gaining their trust, got them to sign papers handing their property over to him.

    Sunday, October 29, 2000

    [07] Cyprus problem makes no sense, says Clinton

    By Jean Christou

    U.S. PRESIDENT Bill Clinton said yesterday the Cyprus problem made no sense and was a price not worth paying when it came to Turkey risking its future with the European Union.

    Speaking at a press conference at the White House, Clinton said he regretted not having been able to make more progress in solving the Cyprus question during his term in office.

    "One of the relatively small number of real disappointments I have, after eight years of working in the foreign policy field, is that I have not made more progress in helping to resolve the Cyprus issue,” Clinton said.

    “It just.. makes no sense in the larger context of the future of Greece, the future of Turkey and the future of the Cypriots themselves to maintain this present impasse with all the bad feelings and conflicts and estrangements that it has brought us.”

    He said he had always felt that Turkey should be integrated into Europe and that Turkey and Greece should be natural allies because they were allies in NATO.

    “The Cyprus problem ought to be a fairly straightforward problem to solve and the fact it keeps Greece and Turkey apart is a very sad thing,” he said.

    Referring to Turkey’s EU aspirations, Clinton said the Cyprus problem was keeping it at arms’ length from Europe. “It’s a price not worth paying,” he said.

    But the US President expressed the hope that some headway could be made before he leaves office next month. A new round of UN-led proximity talks begins in Geneva on Wednesday.

    “I still hope it can be resolved,” Clinton said. “There is actually some chance we can make a little progress before I leave office. If we don’t, it’s something I will keep an interest in and would be willing to keep working for even after I’m gone from here.”

    In a statement issued later, the leaders of the National Co-ordinated Effort of Hellenes (CEH) welcomed Clinton's remarks.

    "We also welcome his personal commitment to stay involved in Cyprus settlement efforts after leaving office", they said.

    US Vice-president and Democratic candidate Al Gore has also pledged to make Cyprus one of his foreign policy priorities if elected.

    In a letter this week to Andrew Athens, National Chairman of the United Hellenic American Congress (UHAC) and World President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad (SAE), Gore said his administration "will continue to fully support the relevant UN Security Council resolutions calling for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation uniting Cyprus".

    Gore also said he hoped that the ongoing UN-sponsored talks would resolve the “bitter differences that have long divided the island for the good of the people of Greece, the people of Turkey and most importantly, for the people of Cyprus".

    Gore made special reference to a meeting between Clinton and his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Necdet Sezer in which the US President said the UN talks would break down if the Turkish Cypriot side made its status a precondition to negotiations on other issues.

    "If I am elected President, I will make Cyprus one of my foreign policy priorities. My administration will continue to fully support the relevant UN Security Council resolutions calling for the establishment of a bizonal, bicommunal federation uniting Cyprus,” Gore said.

    UN envoy Alvaro de Soto said on Friday there was no shortcut to a solution and that no one should be under any illusions about it.

    Speaking at the end of a five-day visit, de Soto made it clear that there was no prospect of face-to-face talks at the moment.

    The proximity talks began nearly a year ago in New York and four rounds have already taken place.

    De Soto said the procedure would be long and drawn out, and that the aim of the talks was the implementation of all agreements on all fundamental issues in legally binding terms.

    He said the UN has asked the parties to eschew labels and set aside for the present some of the major stumbling blocks to progress in the talks, mainly the political status of the Turkish Cypriot side which has been seeking recognition as a separate state.

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