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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-09-26

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, September 26, 2001


  • [01] Natural gas pipeline to supply Cyprus by 2006
  • [02] Government considering WHO warning on chemical war
  • [03] Cancer charity appeal
  • [04] Census to take place next month, at the same time as the EU
  • [05] Cyprus-flagged ship runs aground in Red Sea
  • [06] State warehouse boss defends procedure over uniforms
  • [07] Cyprus to fund university in Kenya

  • [01] Natural gas pipeline to supply Cyprus by 2006

    By Melina Demetriou

    NATURAL gas will in a few years have replaced sulphur-rich black oil for the production of electricity in Cyprus, Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis said yesterday, announcing a deal to transfer natural gas to Cyprus from Syria through an underwater pipeline.

    Rolandis was speaking after a meeting with Egyptian Petroleum minister Sameh Fahmy, who is on the island for a two-day visit.

    Rolandis said that Cyprus, Egypt and Syria had reached an agreement to set up a tripartite ministerial committee with a view to handling matters relating to the construction of the underwater pipeline.

    "Cyprus has to comply with European Union directives on the use of natural gas, which is environmentally friendly as well as cheaper than oil," Rolandis said, adding that it would take about three to four years before Cyprus was ready to start using natural gas.

    "We expect that the Electricity Authority (EAC) will be able to start using natural gas in place of sulphur-rich black oil to produce electricity by the end of 2005 or in 2006,"Rolandis said.

    The minister expects that, in 10 to 15 years, the EAC would " make big use of natural gas" .

    Rolandis noted that natural gas could also be used for industrial and domestic purposes.

    Cyprus would also promote renewable sources of energy so that by the year 2010, about 12 per cent of the energy produced would come from the sun and the wind, Rolandis added.

    Rolandis and Fahmy also agreed yesterday to appoint a committee of experts to delineate the sea boundaries between Cyprus and Egypt as part of further research for crude and natural gas deposits in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Both countries need to define economic exploitation zones offshore in the southeast Mediterranean basin, which would allow them to tap deposits freely without encroaching onto a neighbour's reserves.

    " It was agreed this issue will be settled based on the Law of the Sea, which both countries signed in 1982,"said the Commerce Minister.

    " We will appoint a committee which will work towards defining the sea areas of the two countries. We hope we will be able to conclude this within the next few months,"he added.

    The Cypriot government has been tight-lipped in giving details of where it believes energy deposits are, but has confirmed it plans to recruit mapping and exploration experts.

    Rolandis said there would also be a third committee between Cyprus and Egypt to work on technical questions on geophysical issues concerning the two countries.

    Fahmy said that he was pleased with the outcome of the meeting with Rolandis and expressed his country's readiness to co-operate with Cyprus in the areas in question.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Government considering WHO warning on chemical war

    By George Psyllides

    THE GOVERNMENT said yesterday it was looking into ways of dealing with a biochemical war after the World Health Organisation warned all the countries to prepare themselves for such a possibility in light of global developments after the terrorist attack on the United States.

    Interior Minister Chirstodoulos Christodoulou told reporters yesterday that the island's civil defence was in a position to provide help within its limited area of responsibility, conceding, however, that the island did not have the equipment necessary to face a potential biochemical hazard.

    " The civil defence has around 150 units of equipment capable of protecting from chemicals,"the minister said.

    He said no country in the world was prepared for such a possibility, adding that he was in touch with the Health Minister while the Civil Defence Commander was consulting with the Head of Industrial Health and the Director of Medical Services.

    " We're studying the situation and processing ways and means of dealing with such incredible possibilities,"Christodoulou said.

    The minister said the government was being briefed on measures taken in other countries and had decided to increase the number of chemical protection units but not to cover the population, something he said no country had done or would do.

    Asked about the consequences of biological warfare, Christodoulou said it was something for which the Health Ministry was solely responsible, suggesting it was already looking into ways of dealing with the event.

    Christodoulou said the cost of adequate measures depended on the degree of exaggeration with which the situation was viewed.

    " If we assume that Cyprus - something completely unbelievable and incredible - would be engulfed in a biochemical war, then we are talking about hundreds of millions of pounds.

    " But if we view the issue logically, no one, no matter how crazy, would not risk using biochemical weapons, not only in Cyprus, which is not a target, but also in Israel which is surrounded by Muslim countries, "Christodoulou said.

    He added: " There are no criteria, which make chemical gas or biological weapons capable of distinguishing religion or ethnicity."

    Christodoulou avoided commenting on specific measures being discussed, lest the public got the feeling there was a serious problem afoot.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Cancer charity appeal

    By Rita Kyriakides

    A STREET Collection is to be held on main roads all over Cyprus to raise funds for the Cyprus Association of Cancer Patients and Friends (PASYKAF).

    The collection - to be held on October 12-3 - is part of a month-long campaign to mark the association's 15 thanniversary.

    PASYKAF offers services to cancer patients and their families during all stages of the illness.

    But the association made a loss of 31,581 last year, making it urgent for them to raise more funds.

    Income for 2000 came to 681,687, but expenses were 713,268.

    PASYKAF's Home Care Services treated 816 patients during 15,378 visits last year in all areas of Cyprus and visited patients in over 180 villages.

    The Psychological Support Services treated 877 cancer patients and their families at their homes, at association offices and at hospitals, with centres in Nicosia and Limassol and one to open in Paphos soon.

    The association also takes patients to the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre in Nicosia for examinations and therapy, as well as offering physiotherapy.

    PASYKAF also provides financial support to patients unable to work during their illness.

    It has been sponsored by Universal Life for the past 11 years and by Unicars since last year.

    Anyone wishing to make a donation can deposit money into the following accounts:

    National Bank of Greece: 523-566342-01

    Hellenic Bank: 122-12-053183-00

    Central Co-Op Bank: 5000731-2

    Laiki Bank: 015-08-010728

    Bank of Cyprus: 0175-01-004227

    Universal Savings Bank: 142-8-0000187-60027

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Census to take place next month, at the same time as the EU

    By Alexia Saoulli

    CYPRUS has decided to conduct its census a year early, the head of the government's Statistical Services Pambis Philippides announced yesterday.

    Usually censuses are carried out every 10 years, and the last one took place in 1992. However, Cyprus has decided to conform with a decision taken by the European Statistical Service, Eurostat, to appoint 2001 as the census year for all EU countries.

    The raw data, in the form of questionnaires, will start being collected on October 2 and should be completed by the end of November. About 650 census- takers, all carrying identification, will be involved in the task. During this period, they will visit all residences on the island, making house-to- house calls.

    Philippides yesterday called on the public to co-operate with the census- takers and to answer all the census questions, as this is mandatory. He stressed all answers were completely confidential.

    The aim of the census is to record the population of all the free areas of Cyprus and to collect data on the composition of the population and households, based on their demographic, social and economic characteristics.

    This basic source of information and statistical data can then be used to evaluate existing programmes as well as in implementing new plans and policies, both within the government, as well as is in the public and private sector.

    The cost of the entire process, from gathering the raw data to drawing results from the statistical data, is expected to reach 1.4 million.

    The Statistical Research department estimates that 290,000 houses will be recorded, accounting for a population of some 700,000 people.

    All permanent residents of every household will be accounted for. In other words, the census will include people temporarily absent (soldiers, students, sailors, people temporarily in institutions or working abroad temporarily) as well as live-in household help.

    The census took two years to prepare and for the first time an optical questionnaire processing system will be used to the scan all the information collected into a computer database, thus ensuring a more efficient data processing procedure. To ensure universal participation in the census, both English and Greek questionnaires are available.

    The census will be made up of three types of questionnaires. One will focus on the actual residence and household, with information from the type of residence and facilities it has to whether or not it has Internet connection.

    The second questionnaire will look at institutions (old peoples' homes, monasteries etc) and if any household members are residing there or are planning to be there longer than a year.

    Finally the third questionnaire will be individually based and will focus on sex, age, parents' place of birth, family status, nationality, religion, language, education level, profession, hours spent working etc.

    The preliminary results are expected to be out by the first week of December and the final results will be concluded and published by May 2002.

    This is the 13 threcorded census since 1881 and the fourth census since the Turkish invasion.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Cyprus-flagged ship runs aground in Red Sea

    THE CREW of the Cyprus-flagged Ocean Breezewere yesterday reported to be safe after abandoning ship when it ran aground in the Red Sea on Monday.

    Reports said the crew of about 20 Greeks, Ghanaians and a Ukrainian captain left the vessel on Monday afternoon on two lifeboats after it ran aground on a remote islet.

    They were rescued yesterday by another Cyprus-flagged vessel, the Nordstrand, which was sailing in the area, shipping authorities said.

    "We have been told the crew are fine," Nicos Economides of the Department of Merchant Shipping told Reuters. The crew were to be taken to Port Said in Egypt, he said.

    The vessel, built in 1980, had left Saudi Arabia and was heading to the Seychelles to load fish. "It is believed the ship ran aground on an islet. Weather conditions were good at the time," Economides said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] State warehouse boss defends procedure over uniforms

    By George Psyllides

    THE AUDITOR-general's office yesterday said it had launched an investigation into the purchase of substandard fabric for the manufacture of National Guard uniforms.

    The issue emerged last week when the House Defence Committee refused to approve funds for making the uniforms after its members were informed from other sources that the fabric had little holes, which could affect the endurance standards specified by the army.

    Deputies also accused officials from the State warehouse of withholding crucial information from them, saying they had failed to inform parliament about the flaws.

    A House source told the Cyprus Maillast week that the Auditor-general had already censured officials for receiving earlier batches of substandard fabric, something they had apparently ignored.

    But Deputy Auditor-general George Kyriakides told the Cyprus Mailyesterday that the letter concerned the procedure used to receive the fabric.

    " It seems that a specific batch had been sent straight to the factory which makes the uniforms without the proper documentation from the State Warehouse,"Kyriakides said.

    The Director of the State Warehouse, Andreas Christou, confirmed this, but explained that they had had little choice but to do so as the army had no uniforms for the new recruits enlisted during that month.

    He said the officials just picked one container out of several received and sent it to the factory while random samples for testing were collected from the rest.

    Christou said there could not be any irregularity because stocks were counted at the end of each year.

    He said there was a lot of confusion concerning the matter, saying there were two different batches supplied by different companies.

    The army decided to use rip-stop material around two years ago when it also decided to change the camouflage better to match the island's environment.

    The specifications were drawn, and when the first batch of the fabric arrived it was tested by an independent laboratory in the UK, which found everything to be all right.

    But, Christou said, the fabric had a lighter colour than the one specified.

    At that time the Army Command said it did not matter because the match with the environment was even better.

    The fabric that went straight to the manufacturer was part of the first batch received during July 1999. The issue ended there with no further disputes.

    When the army requested more uniforms, the tender was awarded to a new company.

    Christou said the fabric was received and the correct procedure was followed: The State Warehouse sets a primary committee, which includes a representative from the relevant department, in this case the army.

    The fabric was sent abroad to be tested, Christou said, and the lab reported there was a minor divergence from the specifications concerning the endurance parameters.

    The primary committee said the fabric did not conform to specifications and the issue was forwarded to a secondary committee as stipulated by the regulations, set up by the Central Tenders Council.

    " My responsibility stops here,"Christou said.

    " If I said the fabric was fine and went ahead and received it, then surely I would have been answerable if it did in fact have holes,"he added.

    He said: " It's up to them (the secondary committee) to decide whether to receive the fabric as is, or conditionally, or not at all."

    The committee decided to pass the fabric but cut two per cent from the price, plus all the expenses incurred by the state in transport, tests, etc, Christou said.

    The issue was then forwarded to the Central Committee of Returns and Claims, which is responsible for all the arrangements with the importer.

    Christou repeated that the defence committee had unjustly accused him.

    " They asked me why I did not report the matter,"he said.

    " What could I do?Report all these people? On what grounds?"he said.

    He added: "I have demanded the issue to be examined because serious insinuations were voiced about me and other department officials."

    Christou revealed that twice in the past he had rejected material, intended for other uses from the same company that provided the camouflage fabric, because it was deemed substandard.

    Deputy Auditor-general George Kyriakides said the department would look into the case and would probably have a preliminary report ready for the House Defence Committee next Thursday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Cyprus to fund university in Kenya

    By Jennie Matthew

    CYPRUS could open a university in Kenya as early as next year, according to the Cyprus High Commissioner to Kenya Michael Stavrinos, as part of plans to upgrade and enlarge the Patriarchal School founded there by Archbishop Makarios in 1971.

    The $100,000 project will be sponsored by the government, the Cyprus Orthodox Church and Greek Orthodox associations in the US, Australia and Finland.

    " All countries in East Africa lack adequate tertiary education. So the purpose is to assist Kenya and also to create future leaders with favourable attitudes towards Cyprus,"said Stavrinos.

    The Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Presidential Palace are said to support the move.

    After eight months of negotiations, the plan for a university was agreed between President Clerides and his Kenyan counterpart Daniel Arap Moi during the latter's state visit to Cyprus in June.

    As a result, the Orthodox Patriarchal School in Riruta is to be upgraded to a university and pedagogical institute.

    The university will be housed in the technological Nyaki Institute, also founded by Makarios and in a building next to the Orthodox School intended for the elderly until a more permanent home can be found.

    The initial plan was to set up a separate institution in two different locations, but plans have been limited to Nairobi due to financial constraint.

    " I think we are near to the final stage. It should be up and running by the end of this year or the beginning of the next, but you know that bureaucracy can sometimes spoil our target,"said Stavrinos.

    Details over precise funding, academic recognition and accrediting still have to be finalised.

    Discussed since Stavrinos was appointed High Commissioner to Nairobi last September, the project is part of a long tradition of Cyprus-Kenyan friendship.

    Makarios was the first Orthodox Bishop to officiate in the Nairobi Cathedral of St Anargyroi on his return to Athens from exile in the Seychelles. The cathedral serves a small Greek community of about 150 families.

    Kenya and Cyprus both fought for liberation from British colonial rule at the same time, and the Cypriot prelate addressed Kenyans about freedom and justice while both countries were still under colonial rule.

    On his third visit in 1971, Makarios laid the plans for the Orthodox Patriarchal School. It eventually opened in 1981.

    There are currently just over 40 students at the school drawn from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Madagascar, Zimbabwe and Cameroon, who graduate to become Orthodox priests and missionaries throughout the African continent.

    Stavrinos expects the number of applicants to run into hundreds after the school upgrades to a tertiary college.

    The curriculum would include history, sociology, child and educational psychology, the ethics of Orthodoxy and the sociology of East African education, as well as religious and Orthodox studies.

    Students would be taught in English, with Orthodoxy classes in Greek and some additional instruction in Swahili.

    Stavrinos expects teachers to come from the University of Nairobi, the ecclesiastical school, abroad and perhaps the University of Cyprus in Nicosia.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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