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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-09-13

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, September 13, 2001


  • [01] CY reviews Middle East schedules in wake of US terror
  • [02] Stock market closure angers brokers
  • [03] US attacks took monumental planning
  • [04] Second archimandrite confined to monastery
  • [05] PASYDY elects new leadership

  • [01] CY reviews Middle East schedules in wake of US terror

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) has altered its whole schedule to the Middle East in the wake of Tuesday's devastating terrorist attacks in the United States.

    CY spokesman Tassos Angelis said aircraft crew would no longer be staying over night at Beirut, Amman, Damascus or Cairo. He said the former night flights to the four Middle East destinations as well as Tel Aviv would be changed to early morning and would return to Cyprus immediately.

    The new measures will remain in place until Sunday. " We will review the situation then,"he said.

    Flights to Tel Aviv were cancelled on Tuesday after Israel closed its airspace to foreign airlines. They will resume when Israel reopens for traffic but CY crew will not be staying overnight after pilots expressed their concerns to the company.

    CY did not alter its schedule when other European airlines did last month because the turnaround in Tel Aviv was only four hours and staff stayed close to the airport.

    " They used to stay over in Tel Aviv and the other four destinations but now the flights will leave in the mornings and come straight back,"Angelis said.

    One pilot, commenting on the attack in the US, in which terrorists hijacked four commercial aircraft, said Tel Aviv was not a huge concern for pilots.

    " Everyone thought Tel Aviv was a risk but it turned out to be than safer than the US,"he said.

    The pilot said crew were trained to deal with hijackings but told not to try to be heroes,

    We are told to go along with them but if they are crazed you could try something as a last option,"he said. " The main objective for a pilot would be to get the plane on the ground and let the negotiators take over."

    Increased security measures at Larnaca Airport, which were imposed immediately following Tuesday's attack in the US, were still in place yesterday, police said.

    Three flights that had been headed for Tel Aviv on Tuesday night and had to be diverted to Larnaca were immediately refuelled and returned together with their passengers to their country of origin.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Stock market closure angers brokers

    By Jean Christou

    THE CYPRUS Stock Exchange (CSE) remained closed yesterday in the wake of Tuesday's terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, angering some brokers and analysts.

    The Exchange issued an announcement early yesterday that, inview of the situation, the CSE Council had decided, in agreement with the Securities & Exchange Commission, to suspend trading for the day.

    " The CSE considers that there are such circumstances which justify this action in the best interests of public interest, for protection of investors and the public in general,"the announcement said.

    The CSE board will convene again early today to review the situation.

    Although European stock markets suffered heavy losses on Tuesday in the wake of the attack, they began to stabilise yesterday. Apart from New York itself, only Turkey also decided to shut up shop yesterday.

    Athens opened as usual, but trading was suspended after a bomb threat and the index ended over seven per cent down.

    The CSE index, which was already on a major downslide, closing at 132 points on Monday after losses of over three per cent, would almost certainly have suffered yesterday, one broker said.

    However, he said suspending trading was unacceptable and would not accomplish anything.

    Asked why he thought the CSE had made such a move, he said: " This is a good question. Maybe because this is a country of bananiotes."

    " It's unacceptable that we closed just because of the investors' mentality and because the index is already low. We should have faced it because who knows if there will be a terrorist strike tomorrow or the day after. Should we stay closed just in case?"

    The broker said analysts had predicted that if the market opened yesterday the index could have fallen as far as 90 points. " This was the worst case scenario, but even so in three or four days it would have stabilised again around 115,"he said. " There were big fluctuations in other markets and they didn't close. Obviously, no one is going to buy shares now when they don't know how the US will react or if the terrorists will strike again. But if they kept thinking like that the markets would never open again."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] US attacks took monumental planning

    By George Psyllides

    WITH the world still reeling at the audacity and devastating success of Tuesday's co-ordinated terrorist strike against the United States, attention is turning to how such an attack could have been carried out.

    Already, American officials are hinting that Islamic fundamentalists were behind the attack, in particular Saudi militant Osama Bin Laden.

    Harris Themistocleous, a former Canadian armed forces officer with specialised training in anti terrorism and a lecturer in criminology and organised crime, said yesterday that terrorism was the poor man's weapon.

    " If you don't have a standing army that's how you fight a war,"he told the Cyprus Mail .

    Themistocleous, currently Governor of Nicosia prison, suggested the terrorist operation had been meticulously planned over a long time.

    " The logistics of the operation were monumental.

    " It needs preparation and planning for a long time before you get into the execution phase.

    " It also needs trained people and money,"he said.

    Themistocleous refrained from speculating who might have been behind the attack before more information was available.

    He suggested, however, that the perpetrators of the gruesome attacks must have had inside help.

    Themistocleous said: " They could have paid some people millions to leave the gates open."

    " No doubt they had other accomplices who are still at large; not only terrorists but Americans too,"he added.

    " I would imagine some of these people - if we take as fact that they were Muslim fundamentalists, because we do not know that 100 per cent - were wanted and probably entered the US illegally through Mexico or Canada."

    Themistocleous said the operation was so well organised and executed that even a well-trained and equipped military unit would find it difficult to pull it off with such success.

    But how did America's legions of secret agents fail to pick up the warning signs for such an attack?

    Themistocleous suggested the agencies probably had some kind of intelligence but lack of co-operation between too many agencies led to the failure to prevent the attacks.

    " In the US, there are around 30 agencies dealing with terrorism, "Themistocleous said.

    Every agency has its own definition of terrorism - the CIA's definition or approach is not necessarily the same as the NSA's (National Security Agency) - because every agency has its own purpose for existence, he said.

    He added: " This could happen anywhere; you can't have absolute security."

    " And this is nothing, imagine what would have happened if they used Anthrax or poisoned the water supply.

    " No doubt, they would drop an atomic bomb if they thought it was the right time,"he said

    Themistocleous said the Americans would not sit back after the attacks.

    " We haven't seen the end of this; this is just the beginning."

    But what could the US do that would hurt those behind the attacks?

    Themistocleous' reply was clear.

    " You can't shoot a fly with a canon,"he said. " What would be the gain?"

    He said that a massive hit against the USA had been rumoured since the 1991 Gulf War.

    Themistocleous dismissed suggestions the terrorists' actions were thoughtless or crazy.

    " They are neither stupid nor idiots. All their moves are calculated; they look at all possible scenarios before they do something,"he said.

    During the Second World War, people thought Japanese kamikaze pilots were picked out of mental asylums, Themistocleous said.

    " But they were all university students. Terrorism has nothing to do with religion. The guiding principle is fanaticism,"he said.

    After all, most of the world's countries gained their independence through acts that could be considered terrorism, Themistocleous added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Second archimandrite confined to monastery

    By George Psyllides

    THE HOLY Synod did not reach a decision over the fate of an Archimandrite accused of defaming Bishop Athanassios of Limassol, a Church spokesman said yesterday.

    Earlier however, Paphos Bishop Chrysostomos told reporters that suspended Archimandrite Andreas Constantinides had been ordered by the Synod to be confined in a monastery.

    " He was found guilty, but he was not defrocked,"Chrysostomos said.

    He added that Constantinides' indefinite suspension had not been lifted and that that would be done when he joined the monastery.

    The time Constantinides would do at the monastery would be decided by the Synod when he begins his confinement, Chrysostomos said,.

    Coming out of the Synod, Constantinides tried to appear happy, saying he was satisfied with the " fine"result.

    He said he was a monk and would gladly join a monastery.

    Apparently ignoring the fact that the Bishop of Paphos had earlier told journalists that the suspension had not been lifted, Constantinides thanked God for being once again able to carry out his duties as a cleric.

    Minutes later, the Holy Synod's spokesman said the body had not reached a decision concerning Constantinides and that it would convene for that purpose on a later date.

    On Tuesday, the Holy Synod defrocked another archimandrite, Constantinides' protégé Chrysostomos Argyrides, after finding him guilty of defaming the Bishop Athanassios by branding him a homosexual.

    The Synod decided by majority vote to defrock Argyrides.

    The decision was based on evidence incriminating him.

    " We were presented with fresh evidence today," said Holy Synod spokesman Father Marios, speaking after the body's marathon meeting on Tuesday.

    The two Archimandrites are accused of spearheading a campaign to brand the Bishop of Limassol a homosexual.

    The Holy Synod last year vindicated Athanassios at the end of a long and often bitter investigation.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] PASYDY elects new leadership

    THE CIVIL servants union PASYDY yesterday elected Andreas Christodoulou as chairman at the union's electoral conference, forced by the shock resignation of 52 councillors on August 10.

    The mass resignations exposed a damaging rift between former chairman Antonis Antoniou and general-secretary Glafcos Hadjipetrou, who was yesterday re-elected to his post.

    Previous elections had only taken place four months ago and Antoniou accused Hadjipetrou of instigating a " war"against him.

    Argiris Papanastasiou was elected vice chairman, Giorgios Flourentzou and Costas Fotiou as junior general-secretaries, Charalambos Christodoulides as secretary, Christakis Zinonos as junior secretary, Savvas Tsialides as treasurer and Costas Loizou as junior treasurer.

    The 13 other elected members of the executive committee are Sotiris Avgousti, Lenia Georgiou, Paraskevi Evangeli, Antonis Koutsoulis, Stelios Kouzas, Costas Kyriacou, Panicos Kyriacou, Costas Constantinou, Sotiris Milikouris, Andreas Xenofontos, Stavros Socratous, Kyriacos Tsolakis and Giorgos Charalambous.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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