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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-09-05

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, September 5, 2001


  • [01] School chaos looms as both sides dig in
  • [02] Cyprus complains to US and Canada over ship
  • [03] News on Olympic talks expected tomorrow
  • [04] Another day, another fall on the CSE
  • [05] Autopsy confirms asthma killed Barnard
  • [06] Bahrain ordeal over for Cypriot businessman
  • [07] 3 million for Curium facelift
  • [08] Killer oven was not earthed

  • [01] School chaos looms as both sides dig in

    By Melina Demetriou

    THE GOVERNMENT and teachers were at each others throats yesterday after teachers' union OELMEK announced a string of radical measures in protest at a government decision to go back on a promotions agreement.

    Education Minister Ouranios Ioannides branded the teachers' threats illegal and anarchic.

    Secondary schoolteachers' union OELMEK on Monday vowed to act unilaterally and force implementation of what they say was in the disputed agreement next Monday.

    The union charged that the Education Ministry would "be responsible for the chaos that will be caused", and threatened to "step up" action if necessary.

    The changes the teachers are implementing include reducing the teaching hours of teachers with six or seven years of experience from 24 to 22 and those with 13 to 15 years of experience from 22 to 20.

    OELMEK also warned that assistant heads and teachers of specialised subjects would not perform all their duties.

    The union said the agreement reached between the two sides earlier this year provided for these reductions in teachers' workloads.

    Teachers announced last week that school inspectors would be denied access to schools, protesting at the fact that a new teachers' evaluation system was not yet in place.

    Teachers returned to school on Monday after the summer holiday. Pupils return to school next Wednesday.

    The agreement between teachers and the Education Ministry provided for the filling of 299 positions - many of them assistant heads - and for changes in the evaluation system.

    OELMEK's secretary general Sotiris Charalambous yesterday accused the ministry of "masterminding the sell off of public education".

    "The current evaluation system with school inspectors is anachronistic. It only exists in Cyprus and in some third world countries. If the agreed system was up and running it would change the nature of Cypriot schools," Charalambous argued.

    "We don't ask for more money, we ask for better schools," he added.

    But Education Minister Ouranios Ioannides hit back, reversing the accusations.

    "It is not us sabotaging education, as teachers claim, but those who cause the disorder," Ioannides charged.

    The minister described the measures announced by teachers as "out of line with laws and regulations".

    He dismissed the claim that the government had gone back on the agreement in question, insisting his ministry had demonstrated "religious respect" for the agreement.

    "They are trying to cause trouble for no reason by putting forward their unreasonable and superficial claims. They demand to be on higher scale than the rest of the civil servants and to work fewer hours," the minister complained.

    "They are trying to cause anarchy but we won't let them," he vowed.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Cyprus complains to US and Canada over ship

    By Jean Christou

    THE GOVERNMENT has officially protested to the governments of Canada and the United States over the legality a joint Canadian-US criminal investigation into the alleged ramming of an American trawler by a Cyprus- flagged tanker in which three fishermen died last month.

    Shipping sources told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the protest was issued late last week and that the Americans had already sought clarifications on the issue.

    The official protest delivered to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade in Ottawa and the US State Department in Washington cites the violation of international law both by Canada and the US in the case of the Cypriot-flagged Virgo, a Russian-owned tanker.

    The Virgo came under suspicion after three fishermen on board the US trawler Starbound were killed on August 5, when their boat was hit by an unidentified ship off the coast of Massachusetts

    The Russian captain of the Virgo and two crew members are on bail in Newfoundland awaiting the outcome of a hearing on October 17 for their extradition to the US to face charges of involuntary manslaughter, misconduct and aiding and abetting.

    Cyprus is arguing that the US-Canadian investigation is in breach of Article 97 of the UN maritime convention, which states: "In the event of a collision or any other incident of navigation concerning a ship on the high seas, involving the penal or disciplinary responsibility of the master or of any other person in the service of the ship, no penal or disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against such person except before the judicial or administrative authorities either of the flag State or of the State of which such person is a national".

    Cyprus has also protested at the way in which the US and Canadian authorities seized all the evidence aboard the Virgo, preventing the Cypriot investigator from doing his job.

    In 1991, three Indian crew members from the Cypriot-flagged Zulfikar were tried in Cyprus under the law of the sea after their ship collided with a trawler off Portsmouth in the English Channel.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] News on Olympic talks expected tomorrow

    By Jean Christou

    THE GREEK government's adviser on the privatisation of Olympic Airways (OA) is expected to announce the results of negotiations with Axon by tomorrow, reports in Greece said yesterday.

    According to the reports in Naftemporiki, three main points will sway the decision: the future of OA aircraft that must be decommissioned, the number of staff to remain in the company and the methods of financing the acquisition of OA.

    Cyprus Airways (CY) is second in the bidding line for the ailing Greek carrier if the Axon deal falls through.

    Sources in Cyprus close to the negotiations for OA told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that it appeared that talks with Axon were going well, but that it was not likely the final results would be announced before the end of October.

    The sources said the Greek government was not likely to announce anything final on OA until after ruling party PASOK's annual conference in mid- October, because the OA sell-off was a political hot potato.

    "It would cause political turmoil for them, so they delay and delay," the source said.

    Cyprus Airways (CY) is waiting for details of the Axon negotiations before responding to Greece's request to extend its bid for another two months.

    The national carrier told Greece last week it wanted to be fully briefed on the state of the Axon deal before making its decision. The continued delay has put the CY business plan in jeopardy, particularly in relation to the necessary replacement of one third of the OA fleet by next April.

    "Eleven of the 31 aircraft have to be replaced," CY spokesman Tassos Angelis said yesterday. "How can we undertake to acquire 11 aircraft within the space of a few months? We are very concerned with the delays and the whole situation has changed for us."

    Angelis said that if CY was satisfied with the answers they received from the Greek government, a decision would be made by the airline's board whether to go along with another delay. If not, CY could pull out of the deal altogether.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Another day, another fall on the CSE

    By Jean Christou

    SHARE prices continued to plunge yesterday with the all-share index hitting a new year-low of 145.7 points, a drop of 1.49 per cent as investors continued to panic sell.

    The blue-chip FTSE/CySE index also dropped, losing another 0.7 per cent to close at 562 points while volume reached only 4.7 million.

    Trading opened at 147 points, one less than Monday's close, and dropped another point before flat lining for the remainder of the session.

    All sub sectors ended in the red sustaining losses ranging from 0.5 per cent in the manufacturing sector to 4.72 per cent for fish culture companies.

    The banking sector managed to minimise its losses to 0.5 per cent. Bank of Cyprus slid one cent to close at 2.02 while Laiki Bank gained one cent to 1.53.

    Tech stock GlobalSoft remained unchanged at 22 cents after 1.3 million shares changed hands making it to number three on the most active list.

    The list was topped by Rolandos Enterprises, which ended the day one cent poorer at 36 cents after 1.1 million shares were traded.

    "Investors are panicking," said Nicosia trader Demos Stavrides. "All of them are selling but not to buy other shares. They are pulling out of the market."

    Stavrides said investor psychology had been affected by the poor six- monthly results announced by Laiki Bank last week. The bank said it had made a net profit of only 400,000. "The results were very frustrating for investors," Stavrides said.

    "During the last week, we have entered a panic situation, but I am advising investors that it's ridiculous to sell at these levels. They should hang on because I have a feeling that in six to ten months they will regret it."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Autopsy confirms asthma killed Barnard

    By Rita Kyriakides

    SOUTH African heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard died after an intense asthma attack, an autopsy confirmed yesterday, not heart failure as initially suspected by health officials.

    Pathologist Eleni Antoniou, who conducted the post mortem yesterday, said that Barnard's heart was in excellent condition, rejecting early speculation that Barnard had suffered a fatal heart attack.

    She said the cause of death was a bronchial blockage brought on by the attack.

    Antoniou said she was told that Barnard, who had been suffering from chronic asthma, had had a severe attack on Saturday night and had another attack on Sunday morning, which proved fatal.

    She said Barnard had been under medical treatment for his bronchial asthma for several years. His condition worsened due to high temperatures and high levels of humidity, she added.

    Barnard's agent Walter Lutschinger said witnesses had told him that Barnard was grappling with an asthma inhaler just before he collapsed.

    Barnard, a frequent visitor to Cyprus, arrived last Thursday for a seven- day break ahead of a tour of Germany and the United States where he was to promote his new book, Fifty ways to a Healthy Heart.

    Barnard made medical history in December 1967 with the world's first human heart transplant on 53-year-old grocer, Louis Washkansky, who lived for another 18 days before dying of pneumonia.

    Barnard, who was a regular visitor to Cyprus, was granted Greek citizenship in 1993 for being a well-known Philhellene - a distinction that has only been granted to six people worldwide since 1821.

    Barnard's funeral will be held in Beaufort West, Cape Town, where he was born.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Bahrain ordeal over for Cypriot businessman

    ONE OF the Cypriot businessmen held in Bahrain for over a month, flew home on Monday after the authorities there decided that he had finished helping them with their investigations. Andreas Papayiannis, who runs a publishing company in Nicosia, was yesterday back at work after his ordeal.

    His colleague, Costas Polemidiotis, who accompanied him to Bahrain on business last month, remains in the Gulf State.

    But his lawyer Christos Clerides expects him to return home within days.

    The men were arrested on July 25 to assist with investigations into a faked bank guarantee for $50 million.

    Clerides says his clients are innocent and lashed out against the Bahrain authorities for keeping them for so long, without any charges brought against them.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] 3 million for Curium facelift

    A 3 MILLION project to upgrade Curium will begin in October, director of the Antiquities Department Sophocles Hadjisavvas said yesterday. Already slightly delayed, the Department insists that the plan to turn the archaeological site into a large-scale regional visitor centre will only take 18 months.

    The hold-up was yesterday attributed to problems relating to the installation of adequate shelters to preserve the Curium mosaics.

    The intention is to set up a museum and increase the number of productions held in the amphitheatre in order to maximise the potential of the site.

    The government-funded refit includes a large car park, souvenir shops and a cafeteria.

    Paths will be renovated, raised walkways installed and information panels on the displayed artefacts erected.

    Hadjisavvas also made some reference to a modern artistic "beautification" of the centre, which he insisted would not interfere with the archaeological findings.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] Killer oven was not earthed

    POLICE officers looking into the death of a 25-year-old Hungarian man who was electrocuted checking the oven at a Limassol apartment he was thinking of renting yesterday turned their attention to the company, which installed the building's electrical appliances. The incident happened on Monday afternoon as Ferenc Mityok was inspecting an apartment at Pekora Court in the Yermasoyia area.

    According to police, Mityok was trying to see how the electric oven worked when he was electrocuted.

    The two shocked representatives of the flat's owner, who lives in England, immediately called for help but it was too late.

    The scene was examined by state pathologist Eleni Antoniou, who ruled out any foul play.

    A senior officer of the Electromechanical Service inspected the oven and found that it had not been earthed, effectively allowing the electric current to circulate through the appliance.

    Mityok arrived on the island in August and was employed by an offshore company.

    The Hungarian embassy has asked the authorities for information on the circumstances of the 25-year-old's death.

    A post mortem will be carried out today.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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