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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-06-15

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, June 15, 2001


  • [01] Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship
  • [02] Police to introduce speed trap warnings
  • [03] Kyprianou upbeat ahead of treatment
  • [04] Nicos Moushiouttas in intensive care after heart surgery
  • [05] Development Bank staff to go on indefinite strike
  • [06] Cyprus airports hit by work stoppage
  • [07] Police report on boy's death due next week
  • [08] US report sees settlement spurring economic growth
  • [09] Centre set up to look after retired racehorses
  • [10] House approves new committees despite Michaelides protest

  • [01] Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    By George Psyllides

    IN A MOVE condemned by the Journalists' Union as censorship, a tobacco company yesterday secured an interim court order against a daily newspaper, which has published several reports on the company's business activities.

    The order prohibits Politis from publishing "libellous and defamatory" reports concerning C.T. Tobacco Limited until further court notice.

    C.T. Tobacco, which is owned by Christoforos Tornaritis, is suing Politis through the law office of Loukis Papaphilippou and Co. for a string of articles it has published concerning its business activities.

    Papaphilippou yesterday sent a letter to the distributor of Politis demanding the "immediate withdrawal of the newspaper from the news stands".

    "If you do not act immediately, you are in breach of the court order, thus we reserve our right to take the appropriate measures against you for disobeying that order", the letter said.

    Although the company describes the publications as libellous and defamatory, the six libel suits have only just been filed and have not been proved in court.

    In a statement yesterday, the journalists' union said it strongly objected to the issue of "preventive orders" against the media, which it said muzzled the freedoms of the press and expression.

    "This tactic is unacceptable," said the union.

    The union statement said it disapproved of the interim court order against Politis, which is being prohibited from publishing anything deemed defamatory concerning C.T. Tobacco.

    The union said such orders were "effectively a form of preventive censorship and violate the principle of freedom of the press".

    In this case, the statement continued, the order was issued before the libel suit had been tried, without being certain if there had indeed been defamation.

    The union said it was the job of the courts to decide whether any publications were defamatory, and that preventive censure should not be imposed through court orders.

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Police to introduce speed trap warnings

    By a Staff Reporter

    FOLLOWING public outcry over the punitive use of speed traps, police chief Andreas Angelides has ordered warning signs to tell motorists they are approaching a radar, Politis reported yesterday.

    Chief of traffic police George Voutounos has confirmed that his department intends to tip off motorists to upcoming speed traps with permanent signs reading 'radar'.

    Presently, there is no legal obligation for police to warn of radar checks.

    However, parliament did pass a more general law last year approving an amendment to the relevant law that states warning signs must be posted two and half kilometres from a speed trap warning drivers they will be penalised if they exceed the speed limit.

    In a separate development, the chief of traffic police has also given orders for officers to issue motorists a written statement when an offence is not deemed serious enough for an actual penalty, said the Politis article. Police have handed out 50 such warnings since the practice began on June 1.

    Politis has been running a campaign on the issue this week, arguing speed traps are being used to collect fines rather than increase safety. The paper claims some hidden traps could even cause accidents by forcing motorists to slam on the brakes when they finally catch sight of a hidden police trap.

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Kyprianou upbeat ahead of treatment

    By Martin Hellicar

    SPYROS Kyprianou was yesterday facing treatment for bone-cancer in his pelvis with a smile on his face, making his doctors more hopeful of an eventual full recovery.

    It was announced on Wednesday that the 68-year-old former President, one of the island's best-known public figures, had been diagnosed with malignant cancer earlier this month, and had already begun a course of radiotherapy treatment.

    "Mr Kyprianou is facing the whole situation with a smile, with great strength, and people who face illness with such an attitude usually do better," Dr Adamos Adamou, of the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre said yesterday.

    Former DIKO leader Kyprianou began radiotherapy treatment at the centre on Wednesday and underwent more again yesterday morning. Kyprianou's successor at DIKO, Tassos Papadopoulos, who visited the former President at his home at around midday, concurred with the medics about Kyprianou's state of mind. Papadopoulos said Kyprianou was showing a "desire to fight" and "excellent attitude".

    Kyprianou's doctors said the pelvic cancer was a secondary condition and they would be carrying out further tests to try to determine the source of the bone cancer. "We will find the original source and then will move to systemic treatment and not just the topical treatment being given at the moment," Dr Adamou said.

    The doctor added that, at the present time, there was no need for Kyprianou to go abroad for treatment.

    Kyprianou has a history of poor health. In January last year, he underwent open-heart surgery in Ohio.

    When he stepped down as House of Representatives president earlier this year, Kyprianou drew the curtain on a 40-year political career that included a decade as President, between 1978 to 1988, and 12 years as Foreign Minister before that.

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Nicos Moushiouttas in intensive care after heart surgery

    By a Staff Reporter

    FORMER DIKO deputy Nicos Moushiouttas was recovering in intensive care at London's St.Mary's hospital yesterday after undergoing heart surgery on Tuesday.

    The chain-smoking ex deputy, 70, was in a slightly more stable condition than on Wednesday, when doctors described his condition as critical following the development of complications during the surgical procedure.

    Moushiouttas, the older brother of Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas, woke from a quiet night yesterday and doctors were hopeful he could be discharged from intensive care today or tomorrow.

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Development Bank staff to go on indefinite strike

    By Melina Demetriou

    DEVELOPMENT Bank employees yesterday vowed to stage an indefinite strike starting next Monday in protest at a government decision to sell off a chunk of their bank.

    The employees, members of bank workers union ETYK, had already stayed away from work yesterday and on Wednesday. In a meeting yesterday, they decided to take further industrial action.

    An ETYK announcement yesterday complained that Development Bank bosses had kept its members in the dark over a deal to sell 38 per cent of the bank's share capital to Greece's Piraeus Bank. The government announced the deal in late April.

    "Our members decided to hold a definite strike because the Development Bank has not responded to their protest. Their silence and the fact that they insist our members had been briefed about the content of the deal feed our worries about the real agreement," the union said.

    "In its website, the Piraeus Bank refers to the matter as a 'take over' and a 'consolidation'. So it is clear that this is all about a sell-off," they charged.

    "ETYK shall never stop fighting for the sake of clarity and will use all means to protect the interests of the bank's members and of the bank itself, " the union vowed.

    Finance Minister Takis Klerides has said there was "complete openness" about the deal. "All details have been given to parliament and to the media. Everything about the deal has been written in the papers," the minister said on Wednesday.

    The agreement with Piraeus Bank will cut the government's stake in the Development Bank from 88 per cent to 45 per cent.

    The buy-up will cost the Piraeus Bank group some 27.9 million for 37.87 per cent of the Development Bank's share capital. The agreement with the government also provides for the Development Bank's floatation on the stock market in Cyprus, Greece or elsewhere.

    The Development Bank has always been limited to investment activity but the Central Bank recently granted the institution license to expand its operations into all aspects of banking.

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Cyprus airports hit by work stoppage

    By a Staff Reporter

    LARNACA and Paphos airports were forced to a standstill yesterday evening by a two hour work stoppage by airport employees protesting government privatisation plans.

    A total of 24 flights, many of them carrying holidaymakers, were cancelled.

    Airport workers ignored last minute appeals from the government to drop their industrial action which started at 6pm.

    The walkout by civil aviation staff was sparked by a government decision to tender for a partner to develop the airports at Larnaca and Paphos.

    Fourteen companies have been short-listed. The winner, expected to be announced later this year, will get the rights to run the two airports for a period of between 15 and 20 years.

    Speaking on behalf of the protestors, Savvakis Alexandrou, said yesterday that they "opposed the government's plans which will lead to the sell off of a service which is so prosperous and cause the state losses of 600 million."

    Air traffic controllers did not participate in the strike.

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Police report on boy's death due next week

    By George Psyllides

    THE ATTORNEY-general's office yesterday said it could be at least another week before any decision was taken over potential criminal or administrative responsibilities in the operating theatre death of a 14-year- old boy in late April.

    On Wednesday, Health Minister Frixos Savvides said there was a disciplinary case for the doctors involved in the death of Georgios Hadgidemetris.

    Yesterday, Savvides met with Attorney-general Alecos Markides to discuss the findings of an administrative probe launched by the Health Ministry.

    After the meeting, Savvides said there were disciplinary issues concerning the duties and behaviour of medical staff, adding that these issues were not necessarily linked to the boy's death.

    Deputy Attorney-general Petros Clerides said his office was awaiting the completion of the police inquiry into the death.

    He said he expected to have the case file early next week after pathologist Marios Matsakis had submitted his report on the case. Matsakis observed the autopsy on behalf of the boy's family.

    "We have studied the Health Ministry's report and have decided to wait for the police case file in order to look at them together," Clerides said.

    He added: "The police inquiry will be complete as soon as Mr. Matsakis submits his report on the cause of death."

    Clerides said that would be early next week, and that his office would take two to three days to decide on the course of action.

    Inquiries into the untimely death of the 14-year-old boy were launched after his grief-stricken parents complained that hospital doctors had been cursory in their treatment of the minor injury that led to the boy's death.

    Tissue tests carried out in London showed the boy died of a shock to the lungs brought on by an infection.

    An autopsy found that doctors in three instances had failed to remove a small piece of fabric from the boy's trousers from the wound, caused by a rusty metal rod.

    Matsakis has accused the doctors of negligence.

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] US report sees settlement spurring economic growth

    By Jennie Matthew

    AN INDEPENDENT American report has cited economic growth, better employment opportunities and Turkish Cypriot prosperity in a post-solution Cyprus as powerful incentives to concluding a settlement.

    It predicts rapid private sector growth in tourism, finance and construction, accompanied by a shrinking public administration, manufacturing and agriculture, all over Cyprus.

    Economic projections were worked out on the basis of interviews with policy experts, civil servants, financiers, businessmen and academics from the north and south.

    Resolutely non-political, the report leaves the details of the settlement vague, other than pointing to a bi-zonal solution under a unitary state.

    By the report's admittance, the predictions are "rough" and calculations of economic growth range from the "conservative to the dramatic".

    For example, real GDP could increase from 60 to 150 per cent among Turkish Cypriots, and between five and 20 per cent amongst wealthier Greek Cypriots.

    They pitch employment growth in the south 25 per cent higher with a settlement than without, with comparable growth between 1.6 and three per cent on the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Given its heavy basis in assumption, the report leaves more questions unanswered than it solves.

    Although a solution is likely to see one Central Bank, a single currency and central air and shipping controls, it is not clear what level of economic activity will be planned and conditioned at community rather than national level.

    The report points out that to make central economic policy work, it must be influenced primarily by economic rather than political considerations - potentially an extremely difficult feat to achieve.

    The economists also predict Turkey will play a huge role in the Cyprus economy post-unification.

    They see Turkey and Greece as natural trading partners and sources of private investment, skilled and unskilled labour to Cyprus - issues that are likely to be met with staunch political objections.

    European Union accession is mentioned, but its tremendous input and spin- off benefits have not been factored into the statistics.

    The report, begun in 1999, assumes that a solution will predate EU membership, whereas Cyprus is now faced with the prospect of EU membership, eventually followed by a solution.

    Turkish Cypriots fear that could plunge their economy into yet more misery and postpone the chances of reaching a solution in the near future.

    The other major question mark, which could jeopardise prosperity, is the transition period likely to be attached to any settlement package, which would restrict the free flow of labour, capital, goods and services, as well as contribute to a period of unease.

    The two-year project was carried out by Nathan Association Inc and funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID).

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [09] Centre set up to look after retired racehorses

    By Noah Haglund

    A BRIC-a-brac sale at Saint Paul's Anglican Cathedral in Nicosia tomorrow will benefit the newly formed Cyprus Racehorse Rescue Centre (CRRC), raising funds to treat and care for horses that can no longer compete on the track.

    Cyprus breeds hundreds of racehorses every year and many animals are left to an uncertain fate when their professional careers end. Most racers must retire by the time they reach the age of five, while a horse's life expectancy is generally around 30.

    Afterwards, some are found abandoned, starving, dehydrated or otherwise neglected when they are no longer of economic use to their owners.

    "Cyprus has a big problem," says CRRC president Dr. Akis Petris, a veterinary surgeon and former chairman of the Jockey Club who has spent a lifetime caring for horses. He feels that, "for such a small island, we are producing too many racehorses. We are over-breeding - around 700 racehorses are being bred every year".

    Before the organisation came into being, individual CRRC committee members had rescued several dozen racehorses over the years. Since the centre began operating two months ago, it has come to the aid of two more horses. "We need to have this CRRC because there are a lot of horses suffering after they have completed their careers," said Petris and added: "I'm hoping we can educate people to take care of their horses."

    The centre, located in the Nicosia district village of Ayioi Trimithias, hopes to lead by example, allowing people to visit the grounds and see for themselves how the former racehorses are cared for.

    "By showing what the horse were like before and seeing the beautiful, quiet and lovely animal they can become after being treated properly, this will be the best way of educating people, showing that these horses have a future," said a CRRC spokeswoman.

    Tomorrow's sale is one way through which the CRRC seeks support from people concerned about cruelty to animals in Cyprus and horse lovers. The organisation also plans to raise money through membership, events, subscriptions and horse adoption programmes. Proceeds from these activities will help build shelters, pay vets fees and feed the rescued horses.

    The organisation would also like to encourage the sport of riding on the island and maintains that former racers can be trained

    The CRRC invites anyone interested in supporting the new charity to attend tomorrow's event at Saint Paul's Anglican Cathedral on Byron Avenue in Nicosia from 9 am to midday. The organisation will gratefully accept clothes, bric-a-brac, books or other quality second hand items.

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [10] House approves new committees despite Michaelides protest

    By Melina Demetriou

    EVERYTHING looks set for the newly elected Parliament to get down to work, with the second plenum of the new House yesterday approving a proposal on the composition and chairmanships of 17 House Committees.

    The proposal, tabled by the four main parties who struck a deal last Monday on how to share out the 17 chairmanships, would have passed by consensus if the leader of ADIK, Dinos Michaelides, had not abstained from the vote.

    Michaelides complained about AKEL, DISY, DIKO and KISOS sharing out the chairmanships of the Parliamentary committees between themselves. ADIK, New Horizons, the Greens, and the United Democrats - with one deputy each - are allowed to participate in up to three committees each, but did not get any chairmanships.

    "According to the Constitution, KISOS is not eligible to get any chairmanships because it has fewer than six deputies. If you are making an exception for KISOS why not make an exception for the smaller parties too?" Michaelides asked.

    Panayiotis Demetriou of DISY played down the claim of his protesting colleague, insisting that: "We are doing everything by the book."

    The main committees are: Interior, Finance, Legal Affairs, European Affairs and Defence and have between nine and 15 members each.

    AKEL and DISY, with 20 and 19 seats respectively, got six committee chairmanships each (same as before), DIKO, with nine seats got four, compared to three in the last House, and KISOS with four seats maintained only one of its two previous chairmanships.

    AKEL will get the chairmanships of the Interior, Labour, Refugee, Agriculture, Environment and Institutions and Values committees.

    DISY will chair the Education, Foreign Affairs, Legal Affairs, Commerce, Health and Watchdog Committees.

    DIKO will get European Affairs, Finance, Communications and Human Rights.

    KISOS will only get the Defence Committee chairmanship.

    A decision on the formation and chairmanships of ad hoc committees (such as on Crime and on the Cyprus File) is to be made within the next two weeks.

    Committees will convene whenever there are issues to address, but they are not due to start holding regular meetings before September, despite the fact that Chief EU negotiator George Vassiliou has repeatedly sounded the alarm about the need for the House to work through the summer if it is to catch up the backlog of EU harmonisation laws.

    Who got what

    Finance Marcos Kyprianou (DIKO)

    Institutions and Values Andreas Christou (AKEL)

    Foreign Affairs Nicos Anastassiades (DISY)

    European Affairs Tassos Papadopoulos (DIKO)

    Communications Nicos Pittokopitis (DIKO)

    Environment George Lillikas (AKEL)

    Education Prodromos Prodromou (DISY)

    Refugee Aristophanis Georgiou (AKEL)

    Interior Nicos Katsourides (AKEL)

    Commerce Lefteris Christoforou (DISY)

    Labour Andros Kyprianou (AKEL)

    Defence Yiannakis Omirou (KISOS)

    Agriculture Christos Mavrokordatos (AKEL)

    Legal Affairs Panayiotis Demetriou (DISY)

    Health Antonis Karas (DISY)

    Watchdog Christos Pourgourides (DISY)

    Human Rights Aristos Chrysostomou (DIKO)

    Journalists' Union slams injunction against Politis as censorship

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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