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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-05-03

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, May 3, 2001


  • [01] Clerides dismisses talks speculation ahead of Athens visit
  • [02] Pilots call off action after management response
  • [03] German doctors 'bit police officer'
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot plans appeal to European court over inability to vote
  • [05] Limassol boy critical with meningitis
  • [06] Rolandis completes contacts in US

  • [01] Clerides dismisses talks speculation ahead of Athens visit

    By Jean Christou PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides arrived in Athens yesterday on a two-day official visit during which he was due to meet Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    He was received at Athens airport by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou.

    Speaking to reporters before his departure from Larnaca Airport yesterday, Clerides said he would convene a meeting of the National Council after the May 27 parliamentary elections following reports of a new round of efforts to have the UN-led Cyprus talks resumed.

    Clerides said that, officially, the government had not been given any new scenario for a solution, and dismissed press speculation on what course of action the UN might take to persuade Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to return to the negotiating table.

    Fuelling the speculation that an initiative was underway were comments by New Horizons leader Nicos Koutsou that behind-the-scenes deliberations were taking place and that decisions would be taken during the Athens visit.

    Koutsou said the National Council should be informed of these developments but Clerides said many reports were being published, "which have nothing to do with reality".

    "There is an industry built up of various scenarios", he said, stressing that neither the UN nor any of the foreign embassies in Cyprus had informed the government of any scenarios.

    "Therefore there is no reason during this time to convene the National Council," Clerides said.

    He said Denktash and Turkey continue to insist that the Turkish Cypriot side would not return to talks unless negotiations were held between two sovereign states. "Neither the UN nor anyone else is responding to this demand," he added.

    "When I return and the parliamentary elections are over, I will convene a

    meeting of the National Council and inform the members on developments. He added, however, that he did not believe any decisions would be taken in Athens that would alter the existing stance of the Greek Cypriot side.

    While in Athens, Clerides will also have meetings with the President of the Greek Parliament, Apostolos Kaklamanis, with Archbishop Christodoulos and political party leaders and with Defence Minister Akis Tsohatzopoulos.

    Clerides is accompanied by Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou and Under-Secretary to the

    President Pantelis Kouros. He will return to Cyprus tomorrow night.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Pilots call off action after management response

    Jean Christou EUROCYPRIA pilots yesterday called off plans to disrupt flights on Friday over Cyprus Airways' (CY) stance on efforts to resolve a row over promotions to captain within the charter firm.

    A source told the Cyprus Mail that while Eurocypria pilots were meeting to decide on the measures on Monday, a letter of acceptance had come from CY management to the proposal made by Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas last month.

    The Eurocypria pilots had accepted the proposal almost immediately, but had not heard anything from the company, and on Monday voted not to fly with CY captains working in the charter firm as a first step towards pressuring the company for a response.

    The pilots said the measure would have caused havoc to tourists flying with the charter firm.

    The source said yesterday that the letter from CY had been received by the union representing the pilots late on Monday night, saying management had accepted the proposal but needed some clarifications.

    "The Minister has already written back to the company, saying that it's not up to the company to interpret his proposal," the source said, adding that the pilots were happy with the response given to he company and had decided to call off the measures.

    Eurocypria needs 20 captains and 20 co-pilots to fulfil its flight obligations. Six of the captains are seconded from CY. If they had been taken out of the roster, there would not have been enough teams to carry out the Eurocypria flights. Around ten flights to and from European destinations would have been disrupted,

    Under the agreement already accepted by the charter firm, two Eurocypria co- pilots were to receive immediate promotion to captain and those who lost out on captainships due to the transfer of pilots from CY would be compensated financially.

    The Labour Minister's proposal was not a solution to the overall problem of promotions within the charter firm, which has been going on for around three years, but a temporary measure to prevent strike action threatened by Eurocypria pilots earlier this year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] German doctors 'bit police officer'

    By a Staff Reporter A GERMAN couple in their sixties, both doctors, have been charged by police after allegedly hitting and biting an officer outside Larnaca Airport when they arrived on Tuesday.

    According to police, the unnamed couple's car was stopped outside the airport by an officer who suspected the driver was intoxicated. "It was one man and his wife and the officer asked to see his driving licence," a police spokesman at Larnaca said yesterday.

    "The police officer suspected the driver had been drinking and asked for his licence, but the man in the car would not co-operate and then he hit and bit the officer."

    The officer was bitten on the leg after the driver allegedly became abusive, and the man's wife also allegedly struck out at the police. Husband and wife were arrested and later charged and released at Larnaca.

    Police said the two Germans were in their sixties and were both doctors. A spokesman at the German embassy said he was unaware of the incident.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Turkish Cypriot plans appeal to European court over inability to vote

    By Jennie Matthew A TURKISH Cypriot man living in the south is on track to take Britain, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus to the European Court of Human Rights for not allowing him to vote in this month's parliamentary elections, if the Supreme Court in Nicosia rejects his case.

    His lawyer, Sotiris Drakos, yesterday applied to the President of the Supreme Court to hear the case in order to wrap up a verdict before the general elections on May 27.

    He expects an answer to his letter today. If the Supreme Court rejects these conditions, then Drakos will petition Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou to postpone polling day until the case has been concluded.

    Turkish Cypriots living in the south are disenfranchised under the current political situation, given that the Constitution only allows Greek and Turkish Cypriots to elect their own representatives, on a ratio of 7:3.

    But since the Turkish Cypriots pulled out of the constitution in 1963 in protest at Greek Cypriot demands to introduce amendments, all aspects relating their affairs have gone untouched, and Turkish Cypriots living in the south have had no parliamentary representation.

    If the Supreme Court rejects the suit, then Drakos will take the case straight to the European Court.

    "I am preparing the appeal against the government, the UK, Greece and Turkey because they did not keep their promises and obligations according to the Constitution," Drakos told the Cyprus Mail.

    He said the case would commit the events of 1963 and 1974 to legal history, which would be a vital step in Greco-Turkish relations and reflect the negotiations in the Cyprus problem.

    His client, who has been living in the south all his life, brought the case to his attention at the beginning of this year.

    Drakos has also filed a case at the European court on behalf of a Turkish Cypriot, who was forced to go abroad to get married, after Turkish Cypriots were left out of a 1990 amendment that permitting civil ceremonies for Greek Cypriots.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Limassol boy critical with meningitis

    By a Staff Reporter A 13-year-old boy from Limassol was yesterday in a critical condition in the town's hospital, struck down by bacterial meningitis.

    "The child's case is indeed very critical - even though all necessary treatment has been given, and everything possible is being done, his situation is still critical," said Limassol's senior health officer, Chrystalla Hadjianastasiou.

    The teenager showed the first symptoms of the potentially deadly disease on Monday and was taken to Limassol hospital by his parents on Tuesday.

    His family and students and staff at his school, the Katholiko Gymnasium, have all been treated with antibiotics in a bid to stop the bacterial meningitis from spreading.

    The Health Ministry last month warned of an impending outbreak of viral meningitis - a less serious form of the disease - in Limassol. This is the first case of bacterial meningitis reported in the town this year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Rolandis completes contacts in US

    By a Staff Reporter COMMERCE, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis said yesterday that relations between Cyprus and the United States had been given a new dimension through discussions held on economic issues this week with senators and members of the House of Representatives.

    Rolandis was speaking at the conclusion of a three-day visit to Washington before travelling to Baltimore for a meeting with the Maryland governor and airport officials to discuss the possibility of direct flights between the US and Cyprus.

    On Tuesday, Rolandis met the President of the Senate Trade, Science and Transport Committee, Republican John McCain, as well as the Republican President of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Frank Murkowski and Democrat member of the same Committee Eliot Engels.

    "They all showed a special interest in Cyprus and the issues we discussed," Rolandis said. "They agreed that discussions on wider economic issues give a new dimension to relations between the two countries."

    Rolandis also met Democrat senator Paul Sarbanes, with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem, an issue also at the centre of a working lunch with US State Department co-ordinator for Cyprus Tom Weston.

    The minister left the US to return to Cyprus later yesterday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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