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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-05-10

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, May 10, 2001


  • [01] Matsakis' 'violation' of medical code to be probed
  • [02] Radio Napa show shortlisted for prestigious US award
  • [03] Stormy weather wreaks havoc
  • [04] Sigma leads the way in fines for code violations
  • [05] Court stenographers strike
  • [06] Cyprus lodges official UN protest in Tsiakourmas case
  • [07] Last chance to get your UK postal vote
  • [08] Missing man
  • [09] Cyprus 'lagging behind' on green harmonisation issues
  • [10] Patsalides and Christiana to wed in prison
  • [11] Cabinet seeks disciplinary investigation over missing drugs
  • [12] Louis share case was issue of political morality, critics charge
  • [13] Two bombs go off overnight
  • [14] Cypriots taking more and more holidays
  • [15] 'Huge interest' in 'Coast of Miracles' theme park plan

  • [01] Matsakis' 'violation' of medical code to be probed

    By Jennie Matthew

    THE PANCYPRIAN Medical Association has launched an investigation to determine whether pathologist Marios Matsakis violated the medical code of practice either before or after attending the autopsy of a 14-year-old boy who died tragically during an operation to clean an infected wound on April 30.

    President of the Medical Association, Antonis Vassiliou yesterday announced that Matsakis' behaviour before and after he carried out the post mortem on Giorgos Hadjidemetriou, would be scrutinised closely by investigators.

    But Matsakis lashed out against those he said were trying to silence him. He told journalists he wouldn't let anyone shut him up, that he had not committed any crime and that he was doing his job and duty in speaking the truth.

    DIKO deputy and former state pathologist Matsakis is considered a world- class pathologist and the Hadjidemetriou family called him in to observe the official autopsy to determine the exact cause of their son's death.

    Matsakis and state pathologist Eleni Antoniou concluded that Giorgos did not die from infection, scepticaemia or pulmonary embolism.

    The results from toxicological and tissue tests are expected to point to the precise cause of death.

    But Matsakis charged that a shed of material from the boy's trousers, which had lodged inside the wound and was overlooked by the doctors who stitched him up, had caused the boy's infection in the first place.

    Vassiliou said the findings of the investigation are expected to take two weeks to a month.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Radio Napa show shortlisted for prestigious US award

    By a Staff Reporter

    RADIO Napa' weekly oldies programme 'The Retro Flashback' managed to beat 1, 254 entries from 36 countries to become a finalist in the New York Festival Radio Awards.

    The awards, which honour excellence in the communications media, are known as the 'Oscars of Radio'.

    Judges, who have been chosen from the worlds leading broadcasters, including NBC, CBS and ABC, have said Radio Napa's entry is a strong competitor for the Grand Award.

    'The Retro Flashback' is a weekly oldies magazine show that features exclusive interviews with entertainers, classic charts and interactive features.

    Presenter Nathan Morley and producer Chris Yearley will both receive finalist certificates for the Grand Award of Best Weekly Scheduled Music Show in the world.

    Radio Napa representatives will attend the Awards ceremony at New York's luxury Penthouse on June 21, when world broadcasters will gather for the event.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Stormy weather wreaks havoc

    By a Staff Reporter

    POWER CUTS caused disarray yesterday, as bad weather lashed the country with unseasonable wind, rain, hail and even snow.

    Larnaca and Nicosia were the worst hit, after a bolt of lightening struck the Dhekelia electrical supply centre, damaging the protection system on the electricity cables in Dhekelia, Kornos and Pera Chorio.

    Fire engines whizzed through Larnaca and Nicosia all morning, answering desperate call outs from people trapped in lifts or behind jammed electric garage doors.

    Trading on the Cyprus Stock Exchange was delayed by 20 minutes, until the crashed computer system was up and running.

    The traffic build up on the cities' main thoroughfares caused several minor accidents and motorists' irritation soared as the rain came down.

    Rain fell island wide yesterday, in short, sharp showers. Larnaca was battered with hail, and snow fell on the peaks of Troodos.

    More rain is expected today, but winds will be southern rather than northern and temperatures should be a little higher. Conditions look set to remain the same over the weekend.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Sigma leads the way in fines for code violations

    By a Staff Reporter

    FOUR television channels and one radio station were fined £13,700 in total for violating the broadcasting code of practice in 99 different cases recorded between December 2000 and February 2001.

    Thirty per cent of cases involved intrusion of privacy and violation of human rights and another 30 per cent involved showing scenes of excess violence.

    The television channels censured are Sigma, Mega Channel, Paphos TV and New Extra TV and the radio station is Radio Proto, said an announcement issued yesterday by the Broadcasting Authority, which has imposed the fines.

    Sigma broke the code of practice more times than any other channel or station.

    In one case, Sigma was fined £5,000, the biggest fine of all, for broadcasting a movie that contained scenes that "could hurt the natural, mental or moral development of minors who watched it," the announcement said.

    Sigma had shown the movie during family viewing hours.

    In another case, Sigma showed close-up shots of a corpse and of grieving relatives during a news bulletin. The channel was fined £1,500 for the offence.

    Mega Channel was fined £1,900 for running advertisements of children's toys during hours when such advertisements were banned.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Court stenographers strike

    By a Staff Reporter

    ABOUT 20 stenographers at the Nicosia District Court yesterday staged a two- hour strike complaining of unfair treatment.

    The stenographers, holding a protest outside the Court between 11am and 1pm, said that the government had broken an agreement reached with civil servants' union PASIDY last month, providing that all court stenographers, 74 in total, would work on some weekends. In exchange, some new posts would be created.

    "But in the end stenographers who work at the Supreme Court and at all the other courts apart from the District Courts don't work any extra hours. That's unfair because the new posts could be filled by them, while they don't work as hard as we do," Kyproulla Papalazarou said on behalf of the protestors.

    The stenographers threatened to stage a 24-hour strike if the government did not address the situation soon.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Cyprus lodges official UN protest in Tsiakourmas case

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE GOVERNMENT has lodged an official protest with the UN over the kidnapping and conviction of Greek Cypriot contractor Panicos Tsiakourmas by the Turkish Cypriot regime.

    In a letter to UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan, Cyprus` permanent representative to the UN said the government wished to protest the 'court' decision to convict Tsiakourmas on drugs charges.

    Tsiakourmas, 39, was sentenced to six months in jail on April 25, but was freed later in the day after the 'court' decided he had served his time. The Greek Cypriot had been detained in the north since last December 13 after being abducted from British bases territory on his way to pick up Turkish Cypriot workers outside Pergamos.

    He was convicted and freed only hours after his mother died of a stroke doctors said was brought on by her son's plight.

    "The government of Cyprus considers this so-called ruling as non-existent, illegal and contrary to every notion of legality," the letter to Annan said.

    "Mr Tsiakourmas was abducted and held hostage in an obvious attempt of the illegal regime to blackmail the government of Cyprus in order to gain the release of a convicted Turkish Cypriot felon."

    The Turkish Cypriot side had threatened to kidnap a Greek Cypriot in retaliation for the arrest of Omer Tekogul, 42, from the mixed village of Pyla. Tekogul was jailed for 10 years on heroin charges in March.

    "It is obvious the intention was to exchange Mr Tsiakourmas with the Turkish Cyprot felon," the letter said. The government is asking Annan to circulate the protest at the Security Council.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Last chance to get your UK postal vote

    IF YOU are eligible and want to vote in the British General election but have not yet registered for a postal vote then you need to get your skates on.

    Britain is offering expats postal votes for the first time ever, but with the big day having been set for June 7, the official closing date for getting in applications for postal, or proxy, votes has expired.

    The British High Commission in Nicosia nevertheless urged those wanting to vote to try to get themselves registered back home anyway, but to act today or tomorrow.

    "It is just possible to get a vote if you move fast. It is worth sending an application form immediately, though it is cutting things a bit fine," a High Commission spokesman said yesterday.

    Officially, Britons abroad wanting to vote back home must be registered with their constituency six weeks before polling day. This is true whether expats want to vote by mail or by proxy. But the Home Office is apparently showing some leniency with late applicants.

    Forms for registering in a UK constituency are available form the High Commission in Nicosia, Alexander Pallis Street, telephone 02-861100.

    Only British citizens who have been registered on a UK electoral register with a British address in the last 20 years are eligible for a postal vote.

    The High Commission announced arrangements for the new postal vote system in February.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Missing man

    By a Staff Reporter

    A LIMASSOL doctor and director of the prenatal unit at Limassol General Hospital, George Kinni, 48, was reported missing yesterday by his wife, Angeliki Kinni. She told police that she last saw him at 9.30 am on Tuesday at which time he was wearing dark blue jeans and a yellow short sleeve T- shirt. Dr. Kinni is about 1.74 metres tall and slim.

    Please call Limassol CID at 05-805005 if you have any information on his whereabouts.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [09] Cyprus 'lagging behind' on green harmonisation issues

    By Martin Hellicar

    EU officials are concerned that Cyprus is dragging its feet when it comes to harmonisation with the environmental acquis communautaire, the Green party charged yesterday.

    The greens leaked to the press a copy of a letter sent to the Foreign Ministry by the Cyprus delegation to Brussels. "Among EU experts. the impression has been formed of slipshod handling of this very important issue on our behalf," the island's delegates warn the government in the letter, dated February 28.

    The letter speaks of lack of progress on green issues, noting that whereas Cyprus was ahead of the queue of accession candidates when consideration of the environmental chapter began, "we now present a negative picture".

    The Brussels delegates urge the Foreign Ministry to heed the warnings coming from EU officials.

    The Green Party warned that lack of progress on environmental issues threatened the island's accession course.

    "Already, the environmental chapter, which was due to be closed in May 2001, has been postponed to October 2001, despite intense behind-the-scenes efforts from our accession talks team," the party stated.

    The Green party listed the areas the government had to get its act together on: handling of solid wastes, recycling, fuel quality, athmospheric pollution, treatment of liquid wastes, noise pollution and habitat protection.

    British MEP Chris Davies last month warned that Cyprus could not join Europe unless the government preserved the Akamas peninsula. Widespread illegal bird trapping - thought to account for 12 million migrant birds a year - is another issue known to be of great concern to MEPs.

    The island is doing well in closing other chapters of EU harmonisation.

    In March, Cyprus' chief EU negotiator, George Vassiliou, said he was confident another four to six chapters would be closed before the end of Sweden's current EU presidency. This would bring the island more than 80 per cent of the way towards full harmonisation.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [10] Patsalides and Christiana to wed in prison

    By Martin Hellicar

    FORMER fugitive and shooting suspect Petros Patsalides is to wed Christiana Andreou, the woman he was, until two months ago, charged with trying to gun down outside a Nicosia nightclub.

    But the unlikely happy couple will not get to consummate their union until after the shooting suspect is released from behind bars, prison governor Haris Themistocleous said yesterday.

    Patsalides has been a remand prisoner at the Nicosia central prison since late February, when he gave himself up to police 18 days after he famously gave five officers the slip in old Nicosia. His trial, on charges of shooting at Nicosia's Dow Jones club in the early hours of January 21, hitting two bystanders, begins before the Nicosia Criminal court on May 22. The 34-year-old carpenter denies the charges, but, if convicted, it could be years before he gets to share a bed with Andreou.

    "There was absolutely no reason not to allow him to marry," Themistocleous said yesterday. He said it would not be the first time a prisoner had been granted permission to marry while still behind bars.

    But he said Petros and Christiana would get to enjoy a honeymoon or wedding night "only in their heads".

    "Prisoners' wives can visit their husbands, but these are not conjugal visits," the prison boss said.

    The planned wedding represents a bizarre turn-around.

    Patsalides was originally charged with attempting to murder his 22-year-old wife-to-be, who was in the Dow Jones at the time of the January shooting incident. Police said Patsalides had returned to the Dow Jones toting a machine-gun after bouncers threw him out when he tried to drag Andreou, who was his ex-fiancée at the time, out of the club.

    But the attempted murder charges were dropped after Andreou began declaring her undying love for the man accused of trying to kill her. There were tearful scenes at the Nicosia courts as Patsalides embraced his alleged target as he was brought up for remand hearings in late February. This dashed state prosecution hopes that Andreou would testify against Patsalides in court, making an attempted murder conviction unlikely.

    The carpenter from Nikitari in the Troodos foothills still faces a number of charges relating to a machine-gun attack on the Dow Jones. He and his co- accused, Andreas Christodoulou, still face charges of injuring two Russian girls hit by bullets outside the club. They are also charged with illegally carrying and using an army issue G3 automatic.

    Patsalides and Christodoulou, 22, were arrested shortly after the January attack. But, on February 6, Patsalides gave a five-man police escort the slip in old Nicosia. He remained on the run for 18 days after, in the end surrendering to police through well-known Sigma TV reporter Demetris Mamas.

    Prison boss Themistocleous yesterday said Patsalides' nuptials would take place safely behind bars: "The civil ceremony will take place at a office within the prison, for security reasons - the guy is in custody after all."

    He said no date had been set for the wedding, but that it would take place "shortly".

    Petros and Christiana are having a civil wedding because the local church has not yet recognised his divorce from his Norwegian first wife.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [11] Cabinet seeks disciplinary investigation over missing drugs

    By Jean Christou

    THE CABINET yesterday appointed a special investigator to look into the possibility of taking disciplinary measures over the disappearance of kidney drugs from Nicosia General Hospital in 1999.

    The announcement was made a day after Attorney-general Alecos Markides ruled that no criminal case could be brought against any person due to lack of evidence.

    "The Cabinet today appointed as an investigating officer, the director general of the Justice Ministry Lazaros Savvides, to investigate the possible existence of disciplinary offences and disciplinary issues," Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou told journalists yesterday.

    In May 1999, it emerged that 4,131,000 units of the kidney drug erythropoetine, worth around £41,310, had gone missing from the Nicosia hospital after the Health Ministry launched an investigation to find out why there were shortages of the drug.

    Press reports suggested the drug had been stolen by criminal gangs and used for doping horses at the Nicosia racetrack. But police found no evidence to back up the claim.

    Markides said on Tuesday his investigation had been thorough, and, although drugs had gone missing, it could not be proved whether they had been stolen or used at the hospital without being accounted for.

    "There is no data as to where, how much or how the drug was administered, and that can only be deduced by hypothetical calculations based on the patients' health as it appears in their files," the report said.

    The report added that patient records were not kept up to date, while others who had to receive their treatment in one department got it in another because they were acquainted with the staff.

    Those kidney patients who were too ill to go to the hospital sometimes sent friends or relatives to collect the drug.

    The report described the situation at the hospital in relation to the drug's administration as "chaotic" and suggested there might be a political issue in relation to the situation.

    However, Health Minister Frixos Savvides yesterday denied there was either chaos or any political responsibility.

    "What is sure is the fact that there was no system for recording the movement of the drug, which made the job of the investigators more difficult," he said. "This is something that has been corrected and now the pharmaceutical service is in a position to know where and how the drug is being prescribed. We have taken corrective measures and this is the most important thing."

    Markides meanwhile called on people to respect his ruling on the issue. He said the investigation had identified a certain confusion in the control of drugs and said that access to the pharmaceutical area had been possible for any number of people including doctors, nurses, patients and their relatives.

    (See also editorial)

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [12] Louis share case was issue of political morality, critics charge

    By Jean Christou

    DISY deputy and anti-corruption crusader Christos Pourgourides yesterday criticised the clearing of 22 public officials of any criminal responsibility in the purchase of shares on private placement in Louis Cruise Lines.

    On Tuesday, Attorney-general Alecos Markides ruled there was no evidence to constitute a criminal case against the 22 public figures, including a minister, who acquired the shares in 1999.

    Those under scrutiny included former Communications and Works Minister Leontios Ierodiakonou, Communications Ministry Permanent Secretary Vassos Pyrgos, and then Ministry of Commerce and Industry Permanent Secretary Michalis Erotokritos.

    Others included Central Bank officials, including Governor Afxentis Afxentiou, high-ranking civil servants, officials of semi-governmental organisations and other companies in which the state holds shares.

    Although the investigation did single out the cases of Ierodiakonou, Pyrgos, and Erotokritos as having the potential to constitute offences of corruption, the report concluded it could not be proved there was any certainty that the share would be profitable.

    But Pourgourides said yesterday the behaviour of the officials in buying the shares had been morally wrong and unacceptable for public figures. He said criminal responsibility was one thing and political responsibility another.

    "At the end of the day, just because no criminal offence was proved, I do not consider that the issue ends there," he said.

    "This is unacceptable behaviour. All those who indulge in such behaviour in my opinion do not have a place in public life."

    Communist AKEL spokesman Nicos Katsourides also said its was an issue of political ethics. "Those who are involved were in a position to influence things even if there is no criminal responsibility. I think there is a political responsibility and measures should be taken," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [13] Two bombs go off overnight

    By a Staff Reporter

    TWO bombs exploded within four hours of each other in the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, one in old Nicosia and one in a village outside Larnaca.

    The first bomb went off at the entrance of a ground floor massage parlour in Trikoupis Street in Nicosia's old town at about 11.15pm on Tuesday.

    A 40-year old woman who was in the building was unhurt, but the blast caused extensive damage to the massage parlour and to nearby shops.

    The second bomb exploded in Livadhia village in the Larnaca district at 3.10am yesterday. The bomb had been planted under a Mitsubishi, belonging to P&P Kekkos Ltd. The car was parked outside the house of Charalambos Georgiou, director of the company.

    The explosion caused minor damage to the Mitsubishi and to another car parked nearby.

    The Criminal Investigation Department is investigating both cases.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [14] Cypriots taking more and more holidays

    By a Staff Reporter

    ALMOST twice as many Cypriots go on holiday every year as did in 1983, according to a survey conducted by the College of Tourism and Hotel Management in Nicosia.

    Dr Craig Webster, who supervised the survey, said yesterday there were plenty of statistics about tourists coming to Cyprus, but not enough about Cypriots' own holidays. The last survey on Cypriots' holiday habits was carried out in 1983.

    The 1,000 respondents to the November 2000 survey were aged between 18 and 60, and were from both urban and rural areas. Holidays were defined as three or more nights away from home.

    The results showed that 62 per cent of respondents had gone on holiday in 2000, compared to just 38 per cent in 1983. Of those who did take a holiday, 65 per cent went abroad.

    The survey also showed that Cypriots on average took 1.7 vacations a year and that 15 per cent took three or more vacations a year.

    The favourite overseas destinations for Cypriots are Greece, the United Kingdom and Germany.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [15] 'Huge interest' in 'Coast of Miracles' theme park plan

    By a Staff Reporter

    CARTOONIST George Mavroyenis is pressing ahead with his ambitious plans to convert the ailing Larnaca port into a massive history theme park.

    Mavroyenis yesterday met with Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis to discuss the 'Coast of Miracles' plan, a Disneyland-style theme park with massive reconstructions of the Seven Wonders of the World and representations of events from the history and mythology of the island and region.

    After the meeting, the well-known satirical cartoonist said the government continued to view his proposals "very positively".

    He said a private company had been set up with the aim of competing for the right to revamp the cargo harbour when the government puts the job out to tender at the end of this month.

    Mavroyenis said the 'Coast of Miracles' company would begin by seeking local investors and would then also seek overseas investors for the ambitious project. "There is already a huge amount of interest in the project," he said. The estimated cost of the theme park is some £65 million.

    The government plan is to convert Larnaca port from a goods to a passenger terminal. Mavroyenis says the 'Coast of Miracles' super-spectacle, which would include a casino, conference facilities and high class restaurant, would not only attract cruise ships to Larnaca, but keep them there too.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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