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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-07-17

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, July 17, 2001


  • [01] Top union lashes out at CY pilots
  • [02] CyTA slashes cost of calls to mobile phones
  • [03] Index sinks as Globalsoft hits new low
  • [04] Cassoulides in Bahrain
  • [05] Man dies after hurled from car
  • [06] Leptos expands
  • [07] Popular Bank offers loans for UK properties
  • [08] Turkey 'plans new settlements after EU accession'

  • [01] Top union lashes out at CY pilots

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) pilots came under fire from top union SEK and from Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas yesterday over Friday's work stoppage which paralysed the national carrier for two hours.

    SEK general-secretary Demetris Kittenis said CY pilots union PASIPY was an organisation of back stabbers who had violated the industrial relations code.

    On Friday morning, 15 flights were grounded and 3,200 passengers stranded when PASIPY called a meeting to discuss long-standing grievances they had with the company.

    The meeting was only announced at 11pm on Thursday night, giving CY no chance to make alternative arrangements.

    PASIPY said the meeting was called after the company went back on a deal concerning captain promotions in CY's charter arm Eurocypria, which the union has long laid claim to for its members. It insisted the walkout was not strike action, but the company called it "a strike in disguise".

    Kittenis said yesterday what the pilots had done was "unacceptable" and had caused untold harm to tourism and to the economy.

    "SEK sees the unacceptable actions of the members of PASIPY as a stab in the back to Cyprus Airways workers and the workers of Cyprus and to the whole of Cypriot society," he said.

    He said PASIPY had now given a chance to those who wished to impose restrictions on the workforce in Cyprus a chance to do so.

    "They have given them the opportunity which will endanger workers` rights in Cyprus."

    Kittenis said small unions like PASIPY should have a more responsible leadership that would take decisions not only in their own short-term interests. "It's time for these groups to be put into one organisation so they can have the correct and responsible leadership," he said.

    Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas said it wasn't the first time CY pilots had acted selfishly and without taking the consequences into consideration.

    PASIPY, however, remained unrepentant yesterday and blamed CY for failing to sort out the Eurocypria issue adequately, although the union expressed its sympathy to the public.

    A spokesman said they had tried to follow the industrial relations code, which requires ten-day notice of strike action following the failure of disputing sides to reach an agreement through mediation.

    However, nothing had come from their efforts and the union had reached breaking point on the issue, the spokesman said, passing he blame to CY and the Labour Ministry.

    CY spokesman Tassos Angelis said yesterday the airline was consulting with its lawyers over Friday's action by the pilots. He said the walkout was "unprecedented" and had cost the company thousands of pounds and tarnished its reputation "tremendously".

    "We want the pilots to comply with the industrial code," he said. "Can you imagine if CyTA or the Electricity Authority workers wanted to have a meeting and they switched off the electricity and the phones?"

    The PASIPY action has also prompted a new debate on the issue of strikes in essential services, a plan that has been around for over five years.

    Although agreement was reached in 1999 between unions, employers and the Labour Ministry, the proposal has not yet reached parliament.

    Yesterday, employers' organisations OEV and KEVE called on the government to finalise the issue.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] CyTA slashes cost of calls to mobile phones

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE CYPRUS Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) yesterday announced that landline calls to mobile phones would be slashed by 35 per cent by the end of the year.

    The cuts are part of the latest price restructuring by the semi- governmental organisation, as it aligns for full liberalisation of the telecommunications sector by 2003.

    CyTA chairman Stathis Papadakis made the announcement after presenting the authority's annual results for 2000 to Communications Minister Averoff Neophytou and President Glafcos Clerides.

    As of August 1, peak time calls from fixed telephones to mobiles will fall 17 per cent from six cents to five cents a minute. Off-peak talk time will stay the same at three cents a minute.

    Papadakis said prices would fall by a total of 35 per cent by the end of 2001.

    Nevertheless, the standard connection fee will go up 25 per cent, from 20 to 25 from the beginning of next month.

    Trunk calls will fall 33 per cent from three to two cents a minute during peak hours and by 50 per cent in the evenings, at weekend and on public holidays from two cents a minute to two cents for two minutes.

    But people can expect to pay slightly more for peak local calls: two cents for three minutes rather than four minutes. Off-peak local charges will stay the same.

    CyTA's annual report for 2000 will be made public on Thursday, after House President Demetris Christofias has been briefed on its contents on Wednesday.

    The CyTA chairman, however, stated publicly yesterday that the results were "really good".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Index sinks as Globalsoft hits new low

    By a Staff Reporter

    SHARES on the Cyprus Stock Exchange sank 2.17 per cent to a new year low yesterday as investors rushed to lock in profits from Friday's technical rebound in banks, and a new limit down hit technology heavyweight Globalsoft.

    The benchmark index dropped 3.64 points to 164.36, registering its lowest level since July 1999. Turnover was four million pounds lower than Friday at 11.6 million.

    The FTSE/CySE index of 20 blue chips eased 2.85 per cent to 613.97 points.

    Bank shares lost 2.25 per cent on declines for Bank of Cyprus and Laiki; both stocks rose on Friday but traders said unnerved investors were still not prepared to stay in the market for the long term.

    Globalsoft, the technology stock battered in a wave of selling last week, troughed 20 cents to a new all-time low of 82 cents.

    Shareholders have been dumping the stock for a week on fears the impact of 30 million new shares would have on the market value.

    "I can't realise why it's happening. How much can 30 million new shares affect the price of a company which has a float of 129 million shares already?" wondered Demos Stavrides of United Stockbrokers.

    Globalsoft's decline brought its information technology sub-index 12.15 per cent lower to 21.40 points.

    Declining issues heavily beat advancing ones 106 to 37 with 30 unchanged on 173 traded. Some 18 issues plummeted to new year lows.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Cassoulides in Bahrain

    By a Staff Reporter

    FOREIGN Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides yesterday began a two-day official visit to Bahrain.

    Leaving Cyprus on Sunday night, Cassoulides told reporters that Cyprus and Greece had launched an intensive diplomatic campaign on the island's political problem, while the US and Britain were attempting to counter Turkish propaganda.

    Cassoulides said there was no danger that the breakaway Turkish Cypriot regime in the north would be recognised, despite Turkish propaganda.

    "We are making intensive efforts to tackle this Turkish diplomatic attack," he said.

    Cassoulides said he was visiting Bahrain to explain the position of the Cyprus government and to promote bilateral relations between Cyprus and Bahrain.

    "Turkish diplomacy has passed through its own messages to the countries of the Persian Gulf and our views should certainly be heard," he added.

    The Minister is meeting his Bahraini counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, and said he would also visit other countries in the region. He has already visited Qatar.

    Commenting on reports that Turkish propaganda had gained ground in Belgium's EU Presidency, Cassoulides said such reports were unfounded.

    Belgian Foreign Minister Louis Michel was last week reported as saying that a proposal put forward by the Turkish side for finding a solution to the Cyprus question based on confederation has "some pros".

    However, Cassoulides said that, having read several notes referring to the discussions that Michel had with his Turkish counterpart Ismail Cem, he did not attribute great

    importance to the Belgian Minister's remarks, made before the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Man dies after hurled from car

    By a Staff Reporter

    A 29-YEAR-old man was killed in a car accident near Psimolofou village on Sunday.

    Syrtakis Aslanides was travelling along the Machairas to Nicosia road with two other people at 10.20pm when the car left the road and fell into an adjacent field one and a half meters below the road.

    The car rolled over several times. Aslanides, who was sitting in the back, was thrown out of the car and fatally injured.

    The driver of the car was injured and kept in hospital for further treatment, while the other passenger was treated and released.

    Police are asking anyone with information about the accident to come forward.

    In another road accident, a 16-year-old was seriously injured during the early hours of yesterday morning in Limassol.

    Yiannis Agathocleous sustained cranial injuries when a taxi driven by a 27- year-old man from Limassol crashed head-on into his motorcycle.

    Agathocleous was taken to the Nicosia General Hospital where he is being held for treatment.

    Yermasoyia police are investigating the accident.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Leptos expands

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE LEPTOS-owned Pandora group of companies is planning 33 new tourist projects while its hotels branch Calypso has announced the expansion of the Coral Beach in Paphos.

    Chairman Michael Leptos told shareholders at the group's recent AGM that Pandora had acquired land in Paphos and in Greece where the new tourist projects would be created.

    One of the projects will be the development of 700 villas and other types of housing at Kamares, Olympus and Coral Bay.

    Pandora's turnover reached 18.2 million last year, while net profit reached 6.1 million.

    Leptos Calypso Hotels is also expanding with another 180-rooms to being added to the Coral Beach and the completion of 30 bungalows with their own swimming pools at the Panorama Hotel in Chania, Crete.

    Calypso Hotels recorded a turnover of 14 million in 2000, a 35 per cent increase, while the company's net profit rose to 488,873 compared to losses of 53,865 in 1999.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Popular Bank offers loans for UK properties

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE POPULAR Bank is offering loans worth up to 100,000 to Cypriot nationals wishing to buy property in the UK.

    The scheme, only open to those holding Cyprialife insurance policies, has been set up in the wake of the Central Bank's decision to end the prohibition on Cypriots buying overseas property.

    The Central Bank granted permission for Cypriots to buy property abroad worth up to 100,000 at the beginning of the month, and for investment companies to invest up to 50 per cent of their net worth (with a limit of 20 million) overseas.

    Property is purchasable by transfer of capital from onshore accounts or by loans from foreign banks.

    Called the 'Overseas Private Residence Acquisition Loan for Cypriot Residents', the popular Bank loan can be taken out in sterling, US dollars or euros in Cyprus or in the UK.

    Since the Central Bank allowed Cypriot nationals to borrow in foreign currency at the beginning of this year, 80 per cent of credit extended in Cyprus was borrowed in a foreign currency.

    Fearful that the excess of Cyprus pounds in bank reserves will force them to cut interest rates, the Central Bank last week advised people always to borrow in the currency in which they receive their income.

    The statement pointed out that vagaries in fluctuating exchange rates could outstrip any benefit gained by lower interest rates.

    Prospective borrowers should contact Cyprus Popular Bank on 0800-2000 in Cyprus, or 00 44 207 307 8400 in the UK.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Turkey 'plans new settlements after EU accession'

    By a Staff Reporter

    ANKARA is ready to send another 26,000 mainland settlers to the north of the island, Turkish Cypriot opposition newspaper Avrupa said yesterday.

    According to the report the 26,000 would be granted 'TRNC' citizenship as soon as Cyprus joins the EU.

    Quoting reliable sources, the paper said Ankara feared Turkish Cypriots would begin to take more and more Cyprus passports and abandon the island altogether for Europe when the island joins the bloc.

    Ankara has ordered that these Turkish Cypriots be replaced by settlers, the paper added.

    Avrupa said the process was already under way, because the authorities in the north have a policy of not asking those who enter the island how long they will stay or how much money they have.

    It added that the votes of the new settlers were to be channelled into the Democratic Party, which supports Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    The government estimates that the number of Turkish settlers in the north now outnumbers that of Turkish Cypriots.

    It also says that the exodus of Turkish Cypriots from the island has worsened and that thousands of visa applications from Turkish Cypriots are pending at foreign embassies.

    Turkish Cypriots made up 18 per cent of the island's total population before the 1974 Turkish invasion. Estimates suggest that there are around 80,000 to 90,000 Turkish Cypriots in the north, compared with just over 100, 000 Turks settled on the island illegally since the Turkish invasion.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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