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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-08-31

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Friday, August 31, 2001

CONTENTS

  • [01] Pedalo rider drowns in Ayia Napa
  • [02] Bank robbery arrest made
  • [03] Bank of Cyprus beats forecasts with upbeat results
  • [04] How Cyprus police helped catch 5 tonnes of Colombian cocaine
  • [05] De Soto has second meeting with Clerides
  • [06] Leaking pipe was to blame for supermarket puddle
  • [07] Opposition working to squeeze DISY at local elections
  • [08] School inspectors protest
  • [09] Man wanted after woman's scratch-card misery
  • [10] Turkish forces parade in occupied Nicosia

  • [01] Pedalo rider drowns in Ayia Napa

    A 21-year-old British tourist drowned yesterday after he and three friends were tossed from a hired pedalo in choppy seas off Ayia Napa's popular Nissi Beach. Sean Williams had been missing for three hours when a professional diver found his body on the sea bottom near sunset yesterday.

    Sean and three other young Britons holidaying in the resort had taken the pedal boat out about 150 metres from the beach at around 4pm when the sea suddenly turned rough. The vessel overturned, throwing Sean and the three other men into the sea. The three managed to swim ashore, but Sean never made it.

    The survivors raised the alarm and police launched a search for the missing man, with coastguard vessels and a helicopter. Private boats also joined in the search, while divers searched below the waves.

    A diver eventually found Sean's body at around 7pm and pulled it ashore with the hep of other divers.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Bank robbery arrest made

    POLICE yesterday arrested a 26-year-old man in connection with a 170,000 raid on the Protaras branch of the Arab Bank on August 7. An armed raider wearing a carnival mask walked into the bank and held up the single bank worker before riding off on a moped.

    Police said the suspect arrested yesterday, who is expected to appear in court today, came from a village in the Larnaca district.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Bank of Cyprus beats forecasts with upbeat results

    BANK of Cyprus exceeded expectations yesterday with a 12.1 per cent rise in first half after tax profits, confirming it had fared better than its peer Laiki in a stock market downturn. The bank, Cyprus's largest financial group, said after tax profits were 32.4 million, and added it planned an interim dividend of five cents per share, or 10 per cent on stock nominal value, steady from half year 2000.

    Analysts had forecast a 25-30 million gain for the bank.

    Bank of Cyprus's pre-tax profits grew to 46.1 million pounds from 43 million in the first half of 2000.

    The bank said it was satisfied with the results since they were achieved amid a decline in the Cypriot and Greek stock markets.

    "Our forecast was that their losses from investments were not as high as Laiki's losses," said Adonis Yiangou of Expresstock.

    In its own half-year results on Tuesday, Laiki reported flat operating profits and a dent to its pre-tax and net earnings from a decline in the island's stock exchange. The market has fallen more than 30 per cent this year.

    Bank of Cyprus shares closed unchanged in Nicosia at 2.04, while in Greece it climbed 0.56 per cent to _3.56.

    Total assets grew by 11.2 per cent since the start of the year to seven billion pounds.

    The bank said that its Greek operations were showing robust growth, with a 50 per cent increase in customer deposits to 1.2 billion by June 30.

    But it said that results were burdened by initial set-up costs for a large number of new branches in Greece and the establishment of a new bank in Australia.

    The introduction of the euro in Greece at the beginning of 2001 had also affected foreign exchange commissions and dealing profits of the bank's Greek operations.

    The impact from the introduction of the euro, it said, was felt across the Greek banking sector.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] How Cyprus police helped catch 5 tonnes of Colombian cocaine

    POLICE said yesterday they had played a key role in foiling the transport of five tonnes of cocaine from Colombia to Spain, considered one of the biggest international successes in the war against drugs. A police statement yesterday said the drug squad had received information about the planned haulage of the drug in March last year.

    The information said that a large load of cocaine would be shipped from a Latin American country towards an unknown destination.

    After verifying the information, police conveyed it to the representative of the US Drugs Enforcement Agency (DEA) based in Cyprus.

    The drug squad, DEA and the Spanish authorities then drafted a plan based on the information to arrest the traffickers and seize the cocaine.

    A Cypriot officer flew to Spain to co-ordinate the operation.

    Around two weeks ago, on August 16, the combined endeavour paid off and seven drug smugglers were arrested in international waters while unloading the cocaine on to another ship.

    On the same day Spanish police arrested a further seven people suspected as being part of the same cartel.

    Among them was the leader of the gang.

    The Director of the Drug Squad's International Co-operation Bureau, Charitos Yiangou said the operation was considered one of the biggest police successes internationally.

    "We believe in this way we contributed in the war against the drug traffickers," Yiangou said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] De Soto has second meeting with Clerides

    U.N. SPECIAL Envoy to Cyprus Alvaro de Soto met President Glafcos Clerides yesterday morning for the second time since flying in to the island on Wednesday. They talked for an hour and 10 minutes over an 8am working breakfast at the Presidential Palace.

    Asked how he felt his contacts were going, De Soto told reporters that since he hadn't yet met Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, it was too early to comment.

    Instead, he urged the two sides to show a spirit of co-operation in order to move settlement talks forward.

    The UN Envoy lunches with Denktash today, the first of four timetabled meetings before his return to New York on September 5.

    In addition, there are another four scheduled discussions with Clerides, following the initial two this week.

    De Soto's visit is being seen as a chance for the UN sponsored proximity talks to break out of nine months of deadlock.

    The process has been stalled since Denktash abandoned negotiations over demands for political equality.

    Denktash this week reiterated his support for a settlement based on a loose confederation between two states rather than the bi-communal, bi-zonal arrangement favoured by the government and the international community.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Leaking pipe was to blame for supermarket puddle

    By Rita Kyriakides

    CHARALAMBIDES supermarket has discovered that the large puddle that had accumulated over the last month on the road leading to its store in Engomi was caused by a leak in a water pipe, not overflow from its air- conditioning system as initially believed.

    Andreas Avraamides, technician at the Nicosia supermarket, told the Cyprus Mail last week the water was coming from air conditioners used to cool down the supermarket.

    However, Avraamides said yesterday that when the air conditioners were turned off during the weekend in an effort to sort out the problem, it was discovered that the units were not responsible for the puddle, but that it was a leak in a water pipe not belonging to the supermarket.

    The problem has now been sorted out and the water puddle has been cleared.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Opposition working to squeeze DISY at local elections

    By Melina Demetriou

    PARTIES have already started to jostle for position ahead of the upcoming municipal elections in December, with an emerging opposition alliance between AKEL, DIKO and KISOS looking to squeeze governing DISY out of the running.

    AKEL and DIKO have unofficially proposed to back KISOS heavyweight Takis Hadjidemetriou as candidate for Nicosia Mayor.

    DIKO, however, suggested such an agreement with KISOS should provide that the socialist party does not maintain all five mayoral posts that it currently holds.

    If Hadjidemetriou is elected as Nicosia Mayor, KISOS will get a boost after suffering a major blow when it garnered only 6.5 per cent of the vote in May's Parliamentary elections, compared to 8 per cent it won in the 1996 elections.

    KISOS currently holds five mayoral posts - Paphos, Strovolos, Lefkara, Mesa Yitonia and Athienou.

    But KISOS' Paphos branch is not prepared to let go of the Paphos post to pave the way for the election of a KISOS man in Nicosia.

    KISOS' Paphos District Secretary, Andreas Omirou, brother of party leader Yiannakis Omirou, insisted yesterday that, "the party is traditionally strong in Paphos and it would be inconceivable not to fight for the re- election of Phidias Sarikas as Mayor".

    Yiannakis Omirou's response to his brother's statement to the media was muted. He only said the opposition parties were in negotiations ahead of the elections.

    But a senior member of KISOS, Louiza Mavromati, was more outspoken: "It is absolutely pointless to make such public statements while the three parties are still trying to agree on a coalition. This is a very sensitive and critical time and we should be careful when we talk publicly," she told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    Mavromati saluted the idea that Hadjidemetriou might run for Nicosia Mayor.

    Lakis Theodoulou, AKEL's Paphos District Secretary, yesterday blamed his KISOS counterpart for "not letting an opposition alliance evolve naturally".

    Meanwhile, DISY deputy Panayiotis Demetriou yesterday held meetings with Greens' representative George Perdikis and ADIK leader Dinos Michaelides to test the water for possible coalitions for the elections.

    The Greens and ADIK have only one seat each in the Parliament.

    Perdikis, however, was adamant his party would not cooperate with any other party "to secure the election of any candidate".

    But ADIK's leader found common ground with Demetriou as they both agreed that coalitions for the December elections should be formed "with no strings attached," referring to the Presidential elections in 2003.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] School inspectors protest

    SECONDARY school inspectors yesterday announced they would not submit all evaluation reports to teachers concerning the last academic year in protest at an Education Ministry plan, which they think undermines them. Civil service union PASIDY's school inspectors' branch yesterday slammed a ministry scheme to evaluate teachers, charging that it completely ignored their positions.

    "The plan alters some of the main provisions of our working contracts and harms public education irreversibly," an announcement said yesterday.

    The inspectors announced measures they were taking to protest at the ministry plan.

    "We will not submit evaluation reports of type A and B to teachers, we will not participate in meetings of consulting committees and we are calling off planned seminars for September," said the announcement.

    The inspectors also criticised teachers' decision to deny them access to schools from tomorrow in protest at the government's move to go back at a promotions agreement.

    "They have no right to do that," the announcement said.

    The sector threatened to "step up action if the government keeps ignoring us".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [09] Man wanted after woman's scratch-card misery

    A NICOSIA woman was allegedly short-changed to the tune of 24,975 by a Larnaca scratch-card seller after she thought a 25,000 wining ticket was worth only 25. The lottery-ticket seller failed to point out her error and rushed off after giving her just 25, Dora Hadjiefraim complained to police yesterday.

    Police yesterday issued a description of a scratch-card seller they wanted to question over the alleged theft.

    According to the complaint made to police, Hadjiefraim bought a 1 'Casino Super' scratch-card while she was out eating at the 'Koullis' taverna in Larnaca on Wednesday night. Having scratched the card, she found three As on the left-hand panel of the card, winning the 25,000 jackpot. But, Hadjiefraim told police, she thought she had won just 25. She found the scratch-card seller and told him she had won 25. The seller took her winning ticket, gave her 25 and then left, police were told.

    It was only later on Wednesday night, after Hadjiefraim had bought another 'Casino Super' scratch card, that she realised she had been cheated, she told police.

    Police said they were looking for a scratch-card salesman aged between 25 and 30, about 1.75 to 1.80 metres tall, of average build and with short dark hair.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [10] Turkish forces parade in occupied Nicosia

    TURKISH occupation forces yesterday flexed their muscles in a military parade to mark Turkish army day. As UN envoy Alvaro de Soto flew in to Cyprus in an effort to jump-start settlement talks, and Turkish Cypriot demonstrators took to the streets demanding a solution to the Cyprus problem, Rauf Denktash watched the tanks rumbling down the road.

    Among the military hardware on display, Turkish forces showed off newly- arrived M15 203mm artillery and T122 multiple rocket launchers.

    The Turkish air force did not take part in the parade, although three helicopters - two Hueys and a Cougar - flew over the parade, carrying troops dangling on ropes.

    Far from displays of military might, around 5,000 Turkish Cypriots - members of 41 non-governmental organisations - on Wednesday rallied in occupied Nicosia demanding the immediate resumption of talks to solve the Cyprus problem.

    The demonstrators shouted slogans such as: "Welcome peace", "Denktash resign", and "Cyprus is ours, we shall govern it".

    During the rally the Turkish Cypriot protesters read out a letter they sent to the UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan, reiterating their support for a swift and lasting solution of the problem and the establishment of a bizonal bi-communal federation, opposed by Denktash and his followers.

    "We demand that the two community leaders abandon their narrow nationalistic and intransigent policies and do whatever is necessary for a lasting solution and make every effort to take positive steps towards a solution that is based on the 1977 and 1979 Summit agreements," the letter said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001


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