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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-03-16

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, March 16, 2001


  • [01] CSPCA hits out at municipality cat traps
  • [02] Minister under pressure over delays in breast cancer plan
  • [03] DIKO claims government exploited woman's death for hospital announcement
  • [04] Markides awaiting further information from Belgrade
  • [05] House approves increase in child benefit
  • [06] Meat imports must be checked with officials as disease fears rise
  • [07] Municipality warns man of 95 over wedding to 45-year-old Bulgarian

  • [01] CSPCA hits out at municipality cat traps

    By Jennie Matthew THE VETERINARY Department yesterday rejected criticism from the Cyprus Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) that they murdered family cats caught in traps laid by the local authorities.

    CSPCA President Toulla Poyadji maintains that local authorities have spent the last three years planting cat traps to capture, neuter and, if they are not claimed, put them down.

    The Veterinary Department hit back, saying the CSPCA only made waves when it was trying to attract donations.

    Poyadji sent an open letter addressed to Attorney-general Alecos Markides, to the director of the Veterinary Services Pavlos Economides, Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades and the Union of Municipalities, complaining that traps set in the dead of the night snapped up family pets as well as strays.

    "Despite our protest to the veterinary department, the persecution continues with its tolerance," she said.

    Senior veterinary officer Klitos Andreou said that all cats and dogs were kept for two or three days, in the hope that owners would come forward to claim them.

    If no one does, then they are taken to the district veterinary office to be exterminated, with medicines approved for pet euthanasia by the RSPCA in the UK.

    "No cat or dog is put to sleep unless a logical period of time has passed," said Andreou.

    He dismissed outright Poyadji's allegations that the services practised inhumane euthanasia that subjected animals to fear, pain and stress before death.

    He said all unaccompanied dogs caught wandering alone were legally certified as strays.

    Poyadji says Andreou himself admitted to the House Agriculture and Interior Committee that 375 cats had been culled in 1999.

    Andreou said all euthanasia figures were published in the government's report, adding that there was nothing to hide.

    Stray cats are considered a big problem in Cyprus and neutering is seen as a method of controlling the numbers who patrol the streets.

    The CSPCA urges local authorities to switch their attention to cleaning up the number of animal carcasses that litter the streets and ask that living animals be left alone to exist in the way that nature has provided for them.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Minister under pressure over delays in breast cancer plan

    By Melina Demetriou DIKO deputy Marios Matsakis called on Health Minister Frixos Savvides to resign yesterday after Savvides admitted he was unaware of the problems that his ministry had in enforcing a breast cancer prevention plan.

    A national committee looks likely to be set up to combat breast cancer.

    The House Health Committee yesterday convened to discuss the lack of policy for breast cancer prevention.

    The Pancyprian Medical Association's Adamos Adamou, who was present at the meeting, said that there were 300 new cases of breast cancer every year, but there were no statistics indicating how many of those women died and how many were cured.

    "Breast cancer is the number one cause of death for women over 40 in Cyprus, " he said.

    The ministry last year announced a national prevention plan, but deputies yesterday complained that the scheme had not been implemented yet.

    The plan aims to offer every woman over 40 in Cyprus the opportunity to have annual mammograms to help in the early detection of the disease.

    "But there are only three radiologists assigned with the job. One is based in Nicosia's State Hospital, one in Limassol's and the other in Larnaca's. Mammograms are provided only twice a week. The problem is not equipment but staff," Committee chairman Andreas Parissinos of DISY pointed out.

    Soulla Kyriakides, the president of the Cyprus branch of Europa Dona, the European Breast Cancer Coalition, told the Committee that women were put on long hospital waiting lists to have a mammogram. A woman has to wait for about four months to be examined.

    It costs 40 to have a mammogram at a private clinic.

    Adamou of the Medical Association, which mediates between the ministry and the private sector, said that plans to contract private clinics with part of the task had failed.

    "We didn't manage to reach a deal with them," he said.

    The minister, who was surprised to hear of the problems, admitted: "I had no idea we had these problems. We have drawn up a national plan but now I realise there are some difficulties in putting it into effect and that this task is taking us too long to finish."

    "If you don't know about the problems of your own ministry then resign," DIKO deputy Marios Matsakis said.

    Matsakis charged that the number of women dying from breast cancer could have been limited if a state plan had been up and running.

    Kyriakides called on the government to set up a national committee to organise efforts to combat breast cancer.

    Both the Committee and the minister favoured the idea and said they would look into it. Deputies called on the state to raise awareness among women about the importance of early diagnosis through mammograms.

    "And the national plan was supposed to be up and running last December. The state must see that the scheme is implemented as soon as possible," said Kyriacos Tyrimos of AKEL.

    The minister promised to come up with solutions to the problems and to keep the Committee posted.

    "In two weeks from now I will come again to brief you," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] DIKO claims government exploited woman's death for hospital announcement

    By Melina Demetriou DIKO leader Tassos Papadopoulos has accused the government of lacking respect for both to the living and to the dead, charging it had taken advantage of a woman's death to announce a decision for a new hospital.

    Speaking at a party conference late on Wednesday, Papadopoulos linked the earlier Cabinet announcement that a hospital in the Famagusta district would be up and running within three years to the death of a mother who had just given birth on Tuesday.

    The modern hospital will include maternity and intensive care units.

    The Cabinet decision was announced less than 24 hours after the woman's death, which some blamed on the lack of proper hospital facilities in the area. There had been speculation that 34-year-old Chrystalla Krassia, who died from the syndrome of eclampsy, could have been saved if blood sent for a transfusion to the private clinic where she had given birth had arrived from Larnaca sooner or if there had been a state hospital closer to her home.

    The state coroner has dismissed the suggestions, saying the blood would have made little difference to her condition.

    "The government took advantage of this tragic incident to announce that a hospital, including a maternity unit, would be ready in 2004. The government respects neither the living nor the dead. Did someone have to die for Famagusta to have a proper hospital?" Papadopoulos asked.

    But Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou yesterday dismissed Papadopoulos' claims out of hand.

    He hit back at DIKO leader, saying it was he who was guilty of using the woman's death for party political purposes in the countdown to the parliamentary elections on May 27.

    "The decision had been taken weeks ago," said Papapetrou, adding that the government would not put up with such "offences".

    But Health Minister Frixos Savvides admitted on Wednesday that the government's decision for the hospital to include a maternity unit had come at the last minute.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Markides awaiting further information from Belgrade

    By a Staff Reporter ATTORNEY-General Alecos Markides said yesterday he was waiting for more information from Belgrade before the government could move to investigate claims of massive Serbian money laundering in Cyprus between 1991 and 1994.

    "We have told them that as things stand, there is nothing we can do unless they explain to us objectively why these companies are suspect, and they said they would gather the information and send them to us by the end of the week," Markides said.

    A bilateral agreement signed between Cyprus and Yugoslavia in 1986 provides a legal basis for the investigation to go ahead.

    The Governor of the Yugoslav Central Bank, Mladjen Dinkic, told a news conference on Wednesday that he suspected Cyprus had been a transit point for money leaving Yugoslavia illegally between 1991 and 1994. A total of $4 billion is thought to have left the country over the period.

    Markides said Cyprus had an obligation to assist Belgrade in trying to establish whether state funds had been laundered, co-operating fully with all requests from the War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague.

    Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides is due to fly to Belgrade on March 28 to give formal approval to the investigations going ahead in Cyprus.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] House approves increase in child benefit

    By a Staff Reporter LARGE families will get an extra 3 per child per month thanks to a bill unanimously approved by the House of Representatives plenum yesterday afternoon.

    The cash bonus is part of a government package for large families that aims to encourage people to have more children amid concerns about falling birth rates. The government also plans to lower the threshold for qualifying as a 'large family' to three children from the current four.

    The provision passed by the plenum yesterday means large families will get an allowance of 30.74 per month, up from the current 27.74.

    The measure will cost the state 1,796,500.

    Allowances for mothers of large families will also rise to 30.74 a month. The new bonuses will be effective, retroactively, from January 1 of this year.

    There are 29,770 families on the island with three children or more, 11,000 with four children or more.

    Deputies yesterday also unanimously approved a bill providing for increases in the road tax for heavy goods vehicles. The increases, part of the EU harmonisation effort, do not come into effect till January 2003.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Meat imports must be checked with officials as disease fears rise

    By a Staff Reporter IN REACTION to the spread of foot-and-mouth disease beyond Britain, the government yesterday announced fresh preventative measures aimed at keeping the viral infection away from the island.

    A few days after the appearance of the first foot-and-mouth case in France, the Veterinary Services stipulated that importers of animal products should check with them first before bringing in anything from any country.

    "Due to the spread of foot-and-mouth in the UK, in France and possibly in other countries of Europe, Argentina and elsewhere, all importers (of animal products) are asked to refer to the Veterinary Services to secure the necessary information concerning measures in effective for each individual country," an official announcement read.

    Anti foot-and-mouth measures already in place include the disinfection of the footwear of all persons arriving from Britain or the occupied areas.

    No case of the disease, which strikes hoofed livestock, has been recorded in Cyprus since 1964.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Municipality warns man of 95 over wedding to 45-year-old Bulgarian

    By a Staff Reporter A CIVIL marriage application between a 95-year old Cypriot man and a 45-year-old Bulgarian woman was referred to the immigration department for investigation by an unnamed Municipality in Nicosia because of the age difference, reports said yesterday.

    The couple, who wish to remain anonymous, told Phileleftheros newspaper that the man and his Bulgarian care worker applied for a civil licence, but the Municipality decided to look further into the case.

    A police and immigration probe found nothing amiss, but the Municipality, although it cannot stop the wedding, has issued advice to the would-be groom about the age difference.

    Asked to comment on the case yesterday, Nicosia Mayor Lellos Demetriades said Municipalities did not have an obligation to get involved in such cases, but were allowed to be vigilant. He said such a case would have to be handled with due respect for human rights. "If we think it's a fictitious marriage, it's our duty to be a little careful," he said. "One has to find out what's happening."

    Demetriades said that, if he had been the mayor involved in this particular case, he would have looked into it simply because of the age difference although this issue would not come up if the man was much younger than 95. "It does look a bit unorthodox," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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