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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-01-28

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


CONTENTS

  • [01] £222m boost for rural development
  • [02] One small step for the consumer
  • [03] 'State to pay for maid's cancer treatment'
  • [04] Car burnt in village arson attack
  • [05] Castor cargo salvage halted by heavy seas
  • [06] Man held as drugs suspect
  • [07] EAC workers come out against health plan
  • [08] Customs question three over cigarettes

  • [01] £222m boost for rural development

    By a Staff Reporter

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides yesterday announced a Cabinet decision to allocate £222 million for rural development over the next five years.

    This is a large increase in the state budget for countryside development, which was allocated £84 million for the period between 1993 and 2000.

    Addressing a seminar on the future of local authorities in Cyprus, Clerides announced that the amount a community was obliged to contribute to the local authorities for the implementation of development projects would be reduced by amounts of up to 50 per cent, according to its population and the project.

    The state would also contribute £1.3 million to pay off part of local authorities' debts, he said.

    The £222 million will be used for road works, water projects and improving sewage systems in farming areas.

    Addressing the same seminar, Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said: “We plan to gradually involve local authorities more in the decision- making when it comes to community matters and development policies. That will bring us in line with European Union standards.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] One small step for the consumer

    By a Staff Reporter

    A NICOSIA shoe shop was caught on the hop this week after denying a customer consumer rights that were enshrined in a law a year ago.

    On Monday, a woman bought a pair of trainers for her daughter in the Ledra Street branch of the Avraamides shoe shop chain.

    The shoes were satisfactory and her daughter wore them for an hour and a half on the way home from town.

    But the following morning, when her daughter was tying her shoelaces, one of the rivets snapped.

    The mother immediately returned the shoes to the shop, but was unable to get an exact replacement because the shop had sold out of the same style and size.

    But the shopkeeper refused to give her her money back, insisting that she take a credit note instead.

    The law, however, stipulates that shopkeepers are obliged to replace damaged goods, repair them, or cancel the transaction - which means the customer returns the product and the shop returns the money.

    The legislation came into effect on January 28, 2000, as part of the European Union harmonisation process and applies to every consumer transaction.

    The woman took the matter to the Ministry of Commerce, which called Avraamides for an explanation.

    According to the consumer, Avraamides denied all knowledge of the change of law, but promised to scour all the shop's warehouses to locate a replacement pair of trainers in the correct style and size.

    If none can be found, then the woman will eventually get her money back, the Ministry confirmed.

    “It's not the £10, but it's a matter of principle. Before last year, we didn't have any legislation to protect consumers, now we're invested with a lot of power and Cypriots have the same level of protection as consumers in other EU countries,” George Mitides, director of competition and consumer protection at the Ministry of Commerce, told the Sunday Mail.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] 'State to pay for maid's cancer treatment'

    By Athena Karsera

    THE Filipina housemaid suffering from cancer of the womb will be shortly begin treatment paid for by the state, according to the Philippines Consul.

    Contracts for domestic workers stipulate that their employers pay for all necessary medical expenses incurred during the maid's period of employment on the island, but the Immigrant Support Action Group (ISAG) has said that the woman's employers have refused to pay.

    Philippines Consul Yiannakis Erotocritou yesterday said that he had taken the woman into the Consul's care and that she would receive the necessary treatment. He said that as far as he was concerned there had never been any question of the woman not receiving treatment.

    Late on Friday, ISAG charged that the woman had been 'improperly' taken out of their care.

    “The police Immigration Service asked ISAG to arrange for the woman to visit their offices. She and an ISAG member found Philippines Consul Yiannakis Erotocritou waiting there. After a long meeting with the patient, which the ISAG representative was not allowed to attend, Erotocritou announced that he would be taking her under the protection of the Philippines Consul and that he would arrange for her treatment,” it said.

    ISAG, which had been caring for the woman until Friday, said that it had arranged for treatment to take place free of charge at a private clinic, and that it had set up a bank account to raise money for her.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Car burnt in village arson attack

    By a Staff Reporter

    A CAR was badly burnt in Mouttayiaka village in Limassol district early yesterday in what police say was an arson attack. The Mitsubishi saloon belonging to Leila Spyrou was found burning outside her apartment at approximately 5.50am.

    Police say the car, worth £1,000, was badly damaged in the fire and that it had not been insured. They say an empty container of a flammable substance was found next to the burning vehicle.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Castor cargo salvage halted by heavy seas

    By Athena Karsera

    STRICKEN Cypriot-flagged tanker the Castor has been towed eastwards to avoid heavy seas off Spain, interrupting the transfer of the ship's cargo of 29,500 tons of unleaded petrol.

    According to Lloyd's List, the move was made necessary because the adverse weather was making an already treacherous salvage operation even more difficult.

    “Some 6,500 tons of gasoline were offloaded safely on to a smaller shuttle tanker, the Giovanna, at the start of this week in what was considered the riskiest phase of the operation,” the paper said.

    But since then, the Giovanna has been unable to transfer the cargo to another vessel or ashore. “The Spanish authorities have told Tsavliris, the firm handling the operation, that even routine ship-to-ship transfers are not permitted in their territorial waters,” the paper said.

    Shipping experts from Cyprus and abroad met in Limassol last week to decide the fate of the 1997-built Castor, which has been seeking shelter in the western Mediterranean since New Year's Eve when the crew reported a crack in the deck.

    Fears that the petrol might ignite prompted several countries in the region to refuse shelter to the ship, which until Thursday was in international waters some 55 miles off the Spanish port of Cartengena.

    Salvage in open seas is risky, but after experts discussed various scenarios it was decided to go ahead with the operation. Before the meeting in Limassol, the authorities even considering blowing up the ship in a worst-case scenario.

    The meeting heard that, despite numerous inspections by various port authorities in the past, the Castor had never before been detained.

    The ship left Ukraine on December 24 and was on its way to Lagos in Nigeria when the deck crack developed after a storm.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Man held as drugs suspect

    By a Staff Reporter

    FAMAGUSTA District Court yesterday remanded a Paralimni man for eight days on suspicion of possessing and supplying drugs.

    Requesting the remand of 27-year-old Constantinos Sotiris Rossou, the investigating officer told the court that a plastic bag containing 27 grams of cannabis was found in Rossou's car.

    Famagusta drug squad also had information that the suspect regularly sold drugs to various people in the Famagusta district, the investigating officer said, adding that a search at Rossou's home had uncovered a cannabis cigarette stub and a pipe device used to smoke the drug.

    He told the court, sitting in Larnaca, that Rossou had told police he imported the drugs from the Ukraine on January 18, and that police suspected a larger stash of drugs had been hidden.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] EAC workers come out against health plan

    By Melina Demetriou

    ELECTRICITY Authority of Cyprus (EAC) employees are staging a two-hour strike from 7.30-9.30am on Tuesday in protest at a government plan to introduce a universal health scheme.

    Union members do not want to be included in the proposed National Health Plan, saying that the new scheme pales in comparison to the health plan currently covering them.

    “The health plan will not cover the needs of our members, is anachronistic and out of line with the provisions of our collective contracts,” the union said yesterday.

    “The Union's secretariat will handle the matter and decide on further action if necessary,” it said.

    The proposed health scheme has already come under fire from the powerful civil servants' union PASYDY and the bank workers' union ETYK, whose members have already gone on strike in protest.

    These two unions, as well as PASY-CyTA representing CyTA staff which has also announced a two-hour protest stoppage on Tuesday, want their members to be exempted from the new state scheme so they can stay with their own health plans.

    Party leaders are dithering about when to put the contentious bill on the agenda for the House of Representatives Plenum, wary of possible opposition to the proposed law from opposition parties AKEL and DIKO.

    AKEL and DIKO want changes to be made on certain provisions of the bill.

    The House Health Committee chairman, Andreas Parissinos of DISY, said earlier this week that “a compromise solution is on the way”.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Customs question three over cigarettes

    By a Staff Reporter

    THREE Britons were last night still being questioned by Customs officers at Larnaca Airport after they were found to have five suitcases containing more than 4,000 packets of cigarettes.

    They had been about to board an early morning flight to London when the authorities checked their luggage and found only packets of cigarettes.

    The three told the airport authorities that they had bought the cigarettes legally.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001


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