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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-05-22

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, May 22, 2001


  • [01] Heat wave hits Cyprus
  • [02] Gypsies will no longer be treated 'like tourists'
  • [03] Dams open for fishing again
  • [04] Antiquities chief seeks to clamp down on use of new Turkish names
  • [05] Parents threaten to keep children at home over curriculum chaos
  • [06] Rights court dismisses appeal in divorce case

  • [01] Heat wave hits Cyprus

    By a Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS is bracing itself for a week of scorching weather, with temperatures five degrees above the seasonal average and rising.

    Just one week after torrential rains flooded Nicosia and hail wrecked crops around the capital, the weather has now taken on a distinctly summery feel.

    Temperatures, which began rising on Saturday, are expected to rise to 37 degrees by Saturday, the Meteorological Department warned yesterday, adding they were expected to remain high for the foreseeable future, heralding an early start to Cyprus' stifling summer season.

    The electricity authority is expecting power surges as people begin turning on the air conditioners as temperatures increase.

    People have already started to flock to the beaches to sunbathe, though hospitals have not yet reported any cases of heat stroke.

    Meteorologists say the increase is due to a high-pressure system over Cyprus.

    The heat has increased the fire risk on the island and the fire brigade had to tackle two major forest fires over the weekend.

    The first blaze broke out at around 1.30 pm on Sunday, in the buffer zone area between Kokkinotrimithia and occupied Yerolakos. The fire burnt three square kilometres of crops and wild scrub and also threatened an UNFICYP lookout post. It was put out thanks to a combined effort from the fire brigade, local residents, UNFICYP officers and Turkish Cypriot fire fighters.

    The other fire broke out around midday on Saturday, on a plot of private land near Vizakia village. Sixty-five foresters, firemen, National Guardsmen, policemen, game wardens and local residents battled the blaze, which scorched 30 hectares of wild scrub, pines and almond trees.

    The Forestry Department has warned that lighting a fire within a state forest is illegal.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Gypsies will no longer be treated 'like tourists'

    By Martin Hellicar

    GYPSIES arriving from the north can no longer expect to be treated as "tourists", Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou has stated in a fresh warning to would-be Roma "defectors" from the occupied areas.

    Christodoulou said the unpopular gypsy arrivals would no longer get government handouts or state-sponsored housing.

    The minister was commenting on a recent influx of Turkish Cypriot gypsy families from the occupied areas that has proved a political headache for authorities.

    He said another 10 of the 100 or so gypsies who came over from the north earlier this year had chosen to go back to the occupied areas last week. Twenty-three gypsies went back north in late April, complaining that they had been kept within a compound at the Nicosia central prisons.

    "State policy, which has been and will be implemented strictly, is that the handling of the Roma as tourists will end - something which has already happened," Christodoulou said on Sunday.

    "It is up to them (the gypsies) to behave as Cypriot citizens. The provision of subsidies and hotel accommodation came to an end two months ago," he said, repeating his earlier discouraging warnings to gyspy arrivals. He said arrivals from the north would be allowed to stay only where the government said and it would be up to them to find work to support themselves.

    Christodoulou's 'tough talk' reflects public sentiment about the gypsies, who are widely seen as scroungers and undesirables. Justice Minster Nicos Koshis has risked fuelling public fears by suggesting there could be occupation regime spies hiding amongst the gypsies.

    The 100 or so gypsies who crossed over from the north in late March and early April were given money and accommodation by the government, provided they could prove they were Turkish Cypriots and not Turkish settlers. Some of the gypsy families were housed in largely abandoned, remote Turkish Cypriot villages in the Paphos area. Others were temporarily put up in a cheap Nicosia hotel or in a purpouse-built facility at the Nicosia central prisons.

    But, as public reaction to the influx from the north grew, the government hatched a plan to place the unpopular arrivals in a special detention centre sited at least three miles from any other habitation.

    The detention centre plan brought a reaction from Attorney-general Alecos Markides, who warned Cyprus could face reaction from abroad for "mistreating" the gypsies. Markides sent to parliament a legal amendment that would have made denial of personal freedom by the state a criminal, rather than just a civil, offence. Markides' bill, backed by the House of Representatives human rights committee, was not voted on for procedural reasons.

    Christodoulou defended the detention centre policy, saying the gypsies would be free to come and go from such a facility as they wished. He said the arrivals from the north were being treated fairly and suggested some of them were out to "exploit" government goodwill.

    The detention centre plan has apparently since been put on ice.

    The gypsy families mostly came to the government-controlled areas by crossing the buffer zone in the flat plains west of Nicosia.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Dams open for fishing again

    By a Staff Reporter

    HUNDREDS of people flocked to the dams on Sunday to take advantage of the new fishing season.

    Kalopanayiotis, Palekhori and Xyliatos dams reopened for fishing on Sunday, joining the reservoirs at Lefkara, Kalavasos, and Dipotamos, which resumed duty the previous Sunday.

    The dams were reopened for fishing when heavy winter rains topped up water levels after several consecutive years of drought.

    Anglers can obtain fishing licences from the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research. The licences last until December 31 and are only issued to persons over the age of 12. The licences cost 3 for one dam, 6 for two dams, 9 for three dams and 10 for more than three dams.

    Fishing is allowed one hour before sunrise and one hour after sunset, and only at dams that are open to the public. A catch of 15 trout a day is allowed, all of which have to be at least 15 inches long.

    Fishermen can face a fine of up to 5,000 or six months in jail or both if they disobey the laws set by the Fishery Department.

    For more information, contact the Department of Fisheries and Marine Research at (02) 807830 or 807821 or 807815.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Antiquities chief seeks to clamp down on use of new Turkish names

    By Jean Christou

    THE ANTIQUITIES Department will today publicise a resolution passed at an international archaeological conference in Nicosia last week, which condemns the use of Turkish Cypriot names on historical sites in the north.

    The resolution was passed at the last minute during the conference on Neolithic Cyprus, after it was revealed that Turkish Cypriot archaeologist Dr Muge Sevketoglu, who attended the conference, had published a book on the occupied site of Akanthu, calling it by its new Turkish name of Tatlisu.

    Some of those attending the conference said they were "appalled" by the move against the lone Turkish Cypriot archaeologist, which was initiated by Antiquities Department Director Sophocles Hadjisavvas. "It puts everyone in a bad light," said one conference participant, who said there had been no debate on the issue before the resolution was passed.

    "No time was given to discuss it or its ramifications, which speak for themselves," a second conference participant said.

    But Hadjisavvas yesterday defended the move and said it was not a personal attack against the Turkish Cypriot woman.

    He said the book was being published in the UK and that it was necessary to clear up the situation with regard to the names of sites, which have been used for decades in international archaeological circles.

    "The resolution was about using names which have been fabricated and are not the original place names," he told the Cyprus Mail. He said he did not raise the issue with Sevketoglu personally because the conference was not the place to discuss politics.

    "There was a unanimous decision that the use of fabricated names creates a problem because some of these localities have been the subject of publications in the past with well known names."

    Hadjisavvas denied the Turkish Cypriot woman had been targeted in any way. "The resolution does not refer to her. It's to safeguard the place names of Cyprus."

    Hadjisavvas added that Sevketoglu had been allowed to mention illegal excavations in her presentation. "We allowed her to mention illegal excavations and we were attacked because we allowed her to do that," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Parents threaten to keep children at home over curriculum chaos

    By Rita Kyriakides

    PARENTS are threatening to keep their children at home today in protest over government plans for curriculum reform.

    The National Confederation of Parents of Secondary Schoolchildren said yesterday it was calling a strike at all Secondary Schools today.

    The parents are threatening a 24-hour strike because the school curriculum for next year has still not been finalised.

    Confederation President Elias Demetriou said subject packages for school children going on to Secondary School have not been decided on, making it difficult for children to decide what to choose.

    "The deadlines have been extended three times. First it was April 11th, then April 23rd and then May 10th but nothing has been finalised," said Demetriou.

    He said the Confederation was not out to get the government in the week before the elections and had stood by ministry decisions in the past.

    The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education Petros Kareklas said yesterday the delay was being caused by problems at several schools, which his department was trying to resolve before finalising the curriculum.

    Kareklas yesterday pleaded with the Confederation not to strike during this vital period of the school year just before exams.

    The Ministry is hoping to meet with the Confederation to resolve the problem today.

    Meanwhile, the Parents' Association of Ayios Nicolaos Primary School in Limassol refused to send their children to school yesterday.

    According to Association President Pantelis Metaxa, the school had been promised an events hall by the ministry last May, but nothing happened.

    "Parents of schoolchildren at Ayios Nicolaos have been paying thousands of pounds for things that should have been paid for by the government," said Metaxa.

    The school is in a worse position this year because of funds going towards the installation of computers at the school, meaning a further delay.

    The Ministry of Education has told the Association that the hall would be built during the coming school year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Rights court dismisses appeal in divorce case

    By a Staff Reporter

    A CYPRIOT divorcee has failed in his attempt to get the European Court of Human Rights to block a local court action forcing him to reveal his financial assets for a divorce settlement case.

    Evgenios Kollarides appealed to the European Court claiming that provisions in the Cyprus divorce settlement law violated his right to own property, his right to privacy and his right to a fair trial.

    Kollarides lodged his appeal before the European Court of Human Rights after the Supreme Court rejected his earlier appeal in May 2000.

    The appeal was declared inadmissible in a ruling announced by the six-judge bench of the European Court on April 11. The decision was publicised by the Attorney-general's office yesterday.

    Concerning the right to own property, the human rights court judges stated that the divorce settlement law did not prevent the plaintiff from owning property, but only forced him to disclose what he owned so it could decide on a fair divorce settlement.

    The judges said the right to privacy was not violated, as all revelations concerning the plaintiff's property were only required to be made in court.

    On the issue of a fair trial, the court ruled there were no grounds to the plaintiff's claim that the court subjected him to an examination of his personal assets without taking his line of defence into account.

    Cyprus's former Attorney-general, Loukis Loukaides, was among the six European Court of Human Rights judges who threw out the appeal.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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