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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-08-09

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, August 9, 2001


  • [01] Clerides confirms De Soto visit
  • [02] Tour operator reassures tourists over compensation
  • [03] Police release portrait of wanted bank robber
  • [04] Engineers sceptical about Moushiouttas proposal
  • [05] Share index breaks even
  • [06] KLM's Tel Aviv crews to overnight in Cyprus
  • [07] Turks ferried in for Kokkina commemorations
  • [08] Monastery to sink 25 million into Lakatamia shopping centre
  • [09] Clean up your act
  • [10] Authorities resigned to Salt Lake parking

  • [01] Clerides confirms De Soto visit

    By Melina Demetriou

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides yesterday confirmed reports suggesting that Alvaro de Soto, UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan's envoy for Cyprus, is due to arrive on the island on August 29.

    De Soto's arrival will come one day after Annan's scheduled meeting in Salzburg with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on August 28, the President said.

    Clerides was talking after a meeting of the Council of Ministers, which took place in the cool of the Presidential cabin on the Troodos mountain range yesterday as the mercury hit 40 degrees Celsius in Nicosia. The President had lunch with his ministers and with members of the media.

    Denktash is due to meet Annan in an attempt to kick-start the stalled Cyprus proximity talks, which went into limbo last November when the Turkish Cypriot leader declared the process dead.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader wanted the talks to be held on a 'state-to- state' basis with a view to a confederal solution, and is expected to try and persuade the UN to resume the talks on a new footing, something that would be unacceptable to the Greek Cypriot side.

    Clerides said it was possible that Annan would try to arrange a meeting between him and Denktash but said nothing had been scheduled yet.

    The President also commented on reports suggesting that Denktash was pushing for a high level agreement between the two sides hoping this would pave the way for the recognition of his breakaway regime and a confederal solution for Cyprus.

    Clerides said that neither the UN nor the Greek Cypriot side had ever considered such an idea.

    The Cabinet also discussed a four-month-old loans scandal involving officials at the Paphos co-operative bank including its chairman and DIKO deputy Nicos Pittokopitis. Ministers asked Attorney-general Alecos Markides last April to rule on the issue after a state-appointed committee charged with probing goings-on at the Paphos co-op identified only disciplinary, and not criminal, offences. The probe did suggest, however, that the actions of the co-op members in question constituted an abuse of trust punishable with sacking.

    Markides ruled there would be no criminal investigation against Pittokopitis or the other officials.

    But the Cabinet yesterday asked the Attorney-general to suggest what kind of action the Cabinet should take when this sort of cases occur.

    The President will be on holidays for the next two weeks. The Cabinet will reconvene on August 29.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Tour operator reassures tourists over compensation

    By Jean Christou

    UK-BASED Cyprus specialists Olympic Holidays yesterday apologised to clients whose claims for compensation following salmonella poisoning at a Paphos hotel in May went unacknowledged.

    Nine of Olympic's British clients were among a group of 75 tourists who ended up in a private clinic after a food poisoning outbreak at the Avlida Hotel in Paphos.

    One couple said yesterday their several letters and emails to Olympic had gone unheeded. Roy Tubbet from Northamptonshire said he and his partner had contracted food poisoning during their first meal on their first day at the hotel and spent a week in hospital.

    "The second week of our holiday was confined to our hotel bedroom due to our condition and we were still receiving treatment as outpatients," Tubbet said in a letter to the Cyprus Mail. "Our holiday was a total nightmare."

    Tubbet said he felt as if he was "hitting his head against a brick all in the UK and getting nowhere".

    A spokesman for the company in London told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the claims had been passed on to the Public Liability Insurance Association, which handled all the cases from various tour operators.

    "It's true that a token acknowledgement should have been sent," he said, but added that Olympic had assumed this had been done by the insurance handlers and was unaware that no acknowledgements had been sent out.

    "The Public Liability Insurance is actively looking at the claims and we expect them to return with the estimates for offers in the next few days," the Olympic spokesman said.

    The state lab's report on the outbreak confirmed the existence of hygiene problems at the hotel, which had earlier blamed the outbreak on the water supply. Local water authorities denied that there had been any problems with the supply.

    The state lab took samples from the Avlida after the 75 tourists, including 60 elderly Austrians, had to be rushed to a local clinic with food poisoning symptoms the day after their arrival on May 30. It had been reported that two kitchen assistants had been allowed to continue working at the hotel despite coming down with salmonella.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Police release portrait of wanted bank robber

    By Melina Demetriou

    POLICE yesterday released a portrait of the man wanted for the armed raid on a bank in Protaras' tourist area in broad daylight on Tuesday.

    Police have set up roadblocks, searched cars and questioned several people they thought might know something about the incident. But they said yesterday they were still far from making an arrest.

    The wanted man is between 30 and 35 years old, dark skinned and of average build. Police are basing their information on the testimony of an eyewitness who said he saw the raider just before the 8.30am attack on a branch of the Arab Bank.

    The robber is 1.70 to 1.75 metres tall and speaks Greek with a Russian accent.

    He was wearing a brown wig with blond highlights and an old man's mask at the time of the robbery.

    Police sketches made public yesterday show how the thief looks like with and without the wig. The police yesterday called on anyone who might have seen the man to contact the Famagusta CID or any police station.

    The wanted man is believed to be a Pontian Greek from Russia.

    Police say a man matching the description had raised suspicions when he was spotted loitering outside a jewellery shop near the bank several days ago.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Engineers sceptical about Moushiouttas proposal

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) engineers hinted yesterday that they were not happy with a mediation proposal from Labour Minister Andreas Moushiouttas because it "reflected management's position".

    Moushiouttas gave CY and engineers' union ASYSEKA the proposal on Tuesday night to help resolve a long-running promotions dispute. The two sides were given until August 20 to return with their positions.

    However ASYSEKA representative Nicos Malaos said yesterday that although the union had not studied the proposal in depth, at first glance "it appears to coincide with the company's position".

    "But I don't want to say any more before we study it," he added. Malaos said the proposal would be scrutinised by ASYSEKA members tomorrow.

    CY chairman Haris Loizides said there would be some difficulties in satisfying the wide-ranging demands of the union.

    "We would have to look into the whole structure of the company's 2,000 workers for the sake of 150," he said.

    "We can't have a special arrangement for 150 without considering the rest."

    Loizides said CY would begin a study of the Minister's proposal, which he said was accompanied by a series of productivity measures.

    ASYSEKA threatened strike action a week ago but called it off after Moushiouttas said he would intervene.

    Their refusal to give precise details of when they planned to stop work was condemned by CY management as industrial guerrilla warfare set to cause maximum inconvenience. The company refused point blank to negotiate further unless the threat of action was lifted.

    The engineers abandoned work for two hours on July 20, grounding all CY flights and leaving passengers stranded at the height of the tourist season.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Share index breaks even

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE all-share index managed to break even yesterday after a rough session, which ended at 156.2 points, 0.06 per cent up on the previous day's close.

    The FTSE/CySE blue chips index fared slightly better, adding 0.24 per cent to 586.7 points while volume stood at 6.8 million.

    Losing sub sectors included manufacturing and construction companies, and banks, which dropped 0.03 per cent.

    Bank of Cyprus added one cent to 2.04 and Laiki Bank ended the day unchanged at 1.6.

    GlobalSoft was the top traded share of the day. The stock added two cents to close at 37 cents on a volume of 4.2 million shares worth 1.4 million. The share's positive mood brought the technology sub sector up 2.0 per cent.

    "It seemed during the pre-opening that investors were in a buying mood but it didn't last long," said one trader. "The index tried to pull itself up but failed miserably, although things could have been worse."

    Gains were recorded by 61 stocks while 62 dropped and 114 remained unchanged.

    The trader said blue chips were at very attractive prices and were a necessary part of any share portfolio. "It's never a bad idea to hold at least some solid stocks but investors here are still rather immature despite some tough lessons over the past year," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] KLM's Tel Aviv crews to overnight in Cyprus

    DUTCH carrier KLM said yesterday it was once again altering its schedules to Tel Aviv so that flight crews could stay overnight in Cyprus rather than Israel due to the security situation.

    KLM's evening flight from Amsterdam to Tel Aviv will leave an hour later and stop in Larnaca to change crews. Flight crews will stay the night in Larnaca rather than in Tel Aviv, KLM said in a statement.

    The new crew will then work the return flight to Amsterdam, which leaves two hours after landing in Tel Aviv.

    "Since KLM attaches the highest priority to the security and safety of its flights, the company has decided to adjust its schedule to Amsterdam-Tel Aviv in view of the current situation in Israel," KLM said.

    "KLM will continue to closely watch further developments in the situation in Tel Aviv and adjust its operations accordingly from day to day," it said.

    Tension remains high in the region as the 10-month Palestinian uprising spirals into further bloodshed.

    The security situation late last week prompted Swissair to also change its schedule to Israel so crews will not sleep in Israel. Swissair's evening flight from Zurich will leave later to allow a short stay in Tel Aviv, with the same crew working both directions.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Turks ferried in for Kokkina commemorations

    By a Staff Reporter

    TURKISH Cypriots yesterday converged on the Turkish held enclave of Kokkina to mark the 37th anniversary of the Tylliria battles.

    During widespread intercommunal strife in 1964, Kokkina and surrounding villages in the Tylliria area became the focus for bloody fighting between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. Over 50 people were killed and at least 125 injured during clashes as the National Guard pushed into a large enclave established by Turkish Cypriots in the area. On August 8, 1964, the Turkish air force began three days of bombing with napalm, targeting Greek Cypriot fighters in the area.

    A Turkish navy destroyer was anchored off Kokkina yesterday as a cruise boat and three other pleasure craft ferried Turkish Cypriots to the enclave from the occupied areas for an annual commemorative event.

    Church services to remember the Greek Cypriot victims of the fighting are set for Sunday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Monastery to sink 25 million into Lakatamia shopping centre

    By Martin Hellicar

    KYKKOS monastery is reportedly planning to sink millions of pounds into building a massive shopping and entertainment centre in the Lakatamia suburb of Nicosia.

    Lakatamia mayor Christrakis Violaris yesterday welcomed the latest Church venture into business, though he admitted he had not seen the plans for a commercial centre reportedly worth almost 25 million.

    The development firm that usually handles commercial projects for Kykkos monastery, Ayios Andronikos Ltd, said it had not heard of the ambitious plans reported in Alithia newspaper yesterday, but Violaris said the municipality had been approached about a Kykkos development in 1999.

    "They came and saw us about a couple of years ago; the official application for a building permit has not yet come to us, but is at the Town Planning department, which has to license such developments first," Violaris said.

    Alithia newspaper yesterday reported that Kykkos was to co-operate with a French firm to build a "massive tourism complex" in the Nicosia suburb. Lakatamia is not exactly on the tourist trail and Violaris said he did not know if the proposed development would include hotel accommodation.

    The Lakatamia mayor suggested the Church project was more likely to take the form of an out-of-town shopping and leisure centre. "It is a development to go up behind the Archangelos church and which includes shops, a commercial centre, car parking and entertainment centres," he said.

    "I do not know if there will be a hotel too - maybe not, but rather a shopping centre you drive to in your car and shop and have lunch in a restaurant."

    He said Lakatamia would welcome such a development so long as it was designed to minimise the impact on local residents. "The development would help develop our area," the mayor said.

    The local Orthodox Church and Kykkos monastery are no strangers to commercial ventures. The Church is the island's biggest landowner and owns hotels, breweries and other major commercial concerns.

    Violaris said most of the land in the Archangelos and Makedonitissa areas of Nicosia belonged to Kykkos monastery. "It is said that the land owned by Kykkos is so extensive that one can walk from Nicosia to the Kykkos Monastery in the Paphos forest without ever leaving Kykkos land," Violaris said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [09] Clean up your act

    By George Psyllides

    IN AN EFFORT to make Cypriots clean up their act, the Public Works Department (PWD) yesterday made a desperate plead to the public to stop littering the island's motorways.

    Chief PWD Engineer Lefteris Stylianides said they cleaned the motorways twice a year but they were still dirty.

    "This is an embarrassment," he said.

    He added:" I'm desperate; we clean the roads twice a year and they are still dirty."

    "You won't believe the rubbish we collect."

    Stylianides said people had no shame.

    "They open their windows and just chuck anything out," he said.

    He suggested that it was mostly locals who did the damage.

    "They want their homes to be clean but they have no respect for the environment," he said.

    The PWD are trying to make people sensitive on the issue by putting up signs on the motorways and getting the police to campaign against littering.

    Stylianides urged the public to report those who litter by taking down their licence plate number and giving it to police.

    Police Spokesman Stelios Neophytou confirmed that according to law citizens have the right to report any littering that they witness.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [10] Authorities resigned to Salt Lake parking

    By a Staff Reporter

    LARNACA Public Works department (PWD) yesterday said there was nothing more they could do about cars parked near the airport.

    A hard core of motorists is refusing to use the airport car park, instead dumping cars around the Salt Lake next to the airport.

    After a long struggle to move all the cars, the PWD fenced off the area for around 500 metres to the west of the airport.

    But that did not stop those who were reluctant to pay the parking fees of about 5 a day. They just moved further along.

    Larnaca PWD official Georgos Kareklas was resigned yesterday.

    "What can we do? We can't fence all the fields to stop them from parking their cars."

    He said the department had cleared the immediate area next to the airport so that tourists who had just arrived did not have to see the eyesore as soon as they left the terminal.

    Kareklas said that if people wanted to walk for around a kilometre then they were free to do so.

    He said people's mentality was such that they had moved huge concrete blocks placed to stop cars from entering while the area was being fenced off.

    The cars were now so far that they were not so much of an eyesore, Kareklas said.

    He added the problem would probably go away when the new airport was finished and the approach road became a motorway.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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