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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-10-07

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, October 7, 2001


  • [01] There could be benefit for Cyprus in the long run
  • [02] Three drugs suspects held
  • [03] Going private 'not the answer for the EAC'
  • [04] SEC knew all about Kyprianou probe
  • [05] Tourists suspected of going on stolen credit card spree

  • [01] There could be benefit for Cyprus in the long run

    By Jean Christou

    THE U.S.-LED global war on terrorism is likely to benefit the Cyprus problem in the medium and long term as attention turns to solving regional conflicts, political analysts say.

    In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, fears mounted that the Cyprus issue would be placed on the back-burner.

    President Glafcos Clerides was flying to New York on the day of the tragedy to meet United Nations Secretary-general Kofi Annan to discuss the possible resumption of the stalled UN-led talks, even though Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had refused to go.

    Analysts say that although the short-term scenario indicates the Cyprus problem has been shelved, it is a temporary lull which will lead to a greater impetus as a new world order emerges.

    "It may be positive in the sense that everyone realises that local problems have to be addressed and shouldn't be left alone to fester," said analyst Sofronis Sofroniou. He said any statements to the contrary were short- sighted. He also said that Russia's warmer relations with the US would be positive for Cyprus and could lead to indirect pressure on Turkey.

    Ruling DISY party international relations officer Manthos Mavrommatis said a clear picture wouldn't emerge until the situation around Afghanistan is sorted out.

    "In the medium term I believe that the world and the US and its allies will realise that dealing with small regional problems like the Cyprus problem will help them concentrate on the big issue of fighting terrorism and greatly increase stability in the eastern Mediterranean," he said. "The scenery in the whole area may change in the medium term."

    Mavrommatis also believes that the new American-Russian relationship will diminish Turkey's importance in the region. "If the US can use bases in the central Asian republics under Russia's guidance, Turkey becomes much less important that it was during the Gulf War."

    But communist AKEL believes that the international community will still baulk at putting pressure on Turkey.

    "Even before, the international community was not eager to tell Turkey its responsibilities concerning the Cyprus issue and now we see the same thing again. The Security Council has limited itself to note Denktash's refusal to go to the talks, so we simply have a mere reprimand of the Turkish side for its stance and not a decisive reaction which would aim at putting Ankara and Denktash in line with UN resolutions," said AKEL Central Committee member Yiannakis Kolocassides. " Under no circumstance must the new developments take us off the track," he said.

    Political analyst Dr Andreas Theophanous of Intercollege said that after what happened on September 11 the world was a different place and that he had no doubt regional problems would be addressed, including Cyprus.

    "But great powers do not do things out of altruism," he said. "They do things to promote their long-term interests. In order for the US to sustain its long-term interests, and also the other powers, the international endeavour will move into a situation of adopting a set of minimum standards and principles. This is a positive development."

    Diplomatic sources were also reassuring. "It's understandable that in a small island like this people will instantly worry what the effects of an international problem on them is, but in this case I don't think their fears are justified," said one diplomat.

    "The key point is that what happened before (the attack on the US) was Mr Denktash's refusal to attend the talks and that hasn't changed at the moment and the reason why it's a really bad idea for the Turks to let that continue. Cyprus joining the EU in December next year hasn't changed and that pressure is continuing. I think everyone is making it very clear to the Turks that they can't use this as an excuse to get out of anything."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Three drugs suspects held

    By a Staff Reporter

    THREE foreign men were yesterday remanded in custody for eight days on suspicion of smuggling and trafficking 1,200 grams of cannabis in Cyprus, police said.

    The suspects, one Egyptian, one Lebanese and one Palestinian, were arrested in Limassol on Friday. Police later confiscated 13 grams of a substance they believe to be cannabis from the Egyptian's residence.

    The suspects have admitted smuggling cannabis to Cyprus, according to police.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Going private 'not the answer for the EAC'

    By Jennie Matthew

    THE GENERAL Manager of the Cyprus Electricity Authority, Costas Ioannou, yesterday called for an "in-between model"for the EAC that instead of full privatisation of the sector.

    In marked contrast to most speakers at this week's British Council conference on privatisation and liberalisation, Ioannou spoke in favour of reform and efficiency -- without privatisation.

    "One school of thought is that electricity is so important it shouldn't be left to private individuals. Privatisation is not required by the EU directives,"he said.

    "The EAC was founded in 1952, after the failure of private companies. The two key words here are 'privately owned companies'and 'failure',"he said.

    The Cyprus electricity sector must change from a semi-governmental monopoly to a partly liberalised industry by January 2003 -the initial target date for the country's accession to the European Union.

    The EAC will retain its control as generator, supplier, distributor and supplier of electricity in Cyprus, despite allowing other players access to 33 per cent of the market.

    Provisional legislation should be passed by the end of the year, independent regulators will be appointed in March 2002, secondary legislation is timetabled for April 2002, and the 'new'EAC should operate for a six-month trial period from July 2002, ready for the accession target of January 1, 2003.

    Ioannou said he was committed to meeting EU directives, but claimed good service and the small size of the Cyprus market were strong reasons for the EAC not to go private.

    Electricity for domestic consumption in Cyprus is currently the third cheapest in Europe, but because of subsidisation prices will rise 20 per cent.

    Ioannou said subsidisation was a parliamentary decision, not an EAC decision. He called for a more flexible relationship with the House and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

    The EAC is on track to meet EU directives on the environment and the Kyoto protocol.

    To conform to a draft directive that 22.1 per cent of electricity production must come from renewable energy sources (RES), the EAC has brought a solar-power installation, capable of producing 90 kilowatts.

    He promised roof top units that would enable consumers to produce their own electricity, or sell it back to the network.

    Ioannou also spoke of plans to take advantage of liberalisation in other sectors of the economy, such as telecommunications, desalination and consultancy.

    "We're going to be more productive, efficient and re-organise into business units irrespective of privatisation. Maybe there is an in-between model. The best thing is to go slowly and wait and decide on things as they come along."

    The chairman of the EAC board, George Georgiades, said that electricity generation and supply in the Greek Islands had not been privatised because the market was considered too small, although the Cyprus market is considered large enough to handle competition.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] SEC knew all about Kyprianou probe

    By Melina Demetriou

    SECURITIES and Exchange Commission chairman Marios Clerides said yesterday that the Commission had been aware for the past month of the US investigation into fraud allegations involving GlobalSoft chairman Lycourgos Kyprianou.

    But the Commission only issued an announcement on Friday to give investors a chance to be informed about the recent developments relating to the company's chairman.

    The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) suspended GlobalSoft's trading on Friday for one day only after the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed a civil complaint in the Federal District Court in New York accusing Kyprianou and his associate Roys Poyiadjis of being involved in "one of the largest financial frauds in history".The US SEC alleges that Kyprianou and Poyiadjis, former co-chief executives at AremisSoft, a publicly traded software company in New York, defrauded investors of at least $200 million. The two men are also alleged by the SEC to have engaged in "massive insider trading during the period of reported fraud", selling millions of shares through offshore facilities. It was also claimed that AremisSoft falsified its books and records.The SEC contended that Kyprianou and Poyiadjis had used false financial statements to inflate the price of AremisSoft stock and then sold millions of shares in AremisSoft to unwitting investors during late 2000 and early 2001.

    AremisSoft has invested heavily in GlobalSoft, the largest IT company in Cyprus.Clerides told the Sunday Mailyesterday that GlobalSoft trading had been suspended for a day to give the chance to investors to be informed about the investigation in New York.

    We have known for months that AremisSoft was under investigation. But about a month ago we contacted the SEC. From contacts we made we figured out that Kyprianou was indeed a suspect. The SEC requested information concerning our legal system and other things -- I can't give more details,said.

    Asked why the Cyprus SEC had not informed the public about the US SEC investigation into Kyprianou earlier, Clerides replied: First it was a general investigation into AremisSoft, then it started pointing to certain people. Anyway it was widely known that AremisSoft was under scrutiny.

    "We are waiting for the investigation's results to see whether GlobalSoft and investors in the CSE have been affected in any way by illegalities, said.

    He said the Commission was co-operating closelythe US SEC on the matter, and also with other countries'and Exchange Commissions.

    He described the allegations against the Kyprianou as very serioussaid that if found guilty he would be made to step down as chairman of GlobalSoft.

    A New York federal judge on Thursday froze the assets of Poyiadjis and Kyprianou and directed them to return the proceeds of their stock sales.

    Bloomberg financial news agency said that the judge, Charles Haight, would convene an October 18 hearing on the SEC charges.

    Kyprianou lives in Nicosia while Poyiadjis is a British citizen who has a home in New York City, according to the SEC complaint. Richard Sauer, assistant director for the Commission's enforcement division, would not say on Friday whether the authorities knew where Kyprianou and Poyiadjis were, but he said neither man was in custody.The Sunday Mailhas been unable to reach Kyprianou for comment.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Tourists suspected of going on stolen credit card spree

    By a Staff Reporter

    THREE BRITISH tourists were remanded for five days in custody yesterday suspected of using a stolen credit card to run up a total of 3,645 at 12 separate locations in Ayia Napa.

    Jane Crawford, 28, Mark Leacock, 33, and Sean Lee, 20, allegedly went on the stealing spree from Monday to Friday at shops and restaurants in the resort town that were not equipped with an electronic JCC system, capable of tracking stolen or faulty credit cards.

    Investigating officer Steve Theodoulou told Famagusta District Court that he was investigating 12 counts of using false identity, forgery, eliciting goods on false pretences, circulating forged documents, and theft.

    The police said that on Friday Crawford and Leacock allegedly tried to use the American Express card, issued in the name of P. Turner, to buy 600 worth of jewellery.

    Crawford said she handed over the card, but that the JCC machine refused to accept it.

    Crawford and Leacock then fled on the back of a motorbike, hired by Leacock, the court heard.

    Crawford told the court she found the card while she was walking around Ayia Napa.

    Police asked the court for a six-day remand, to give them time to collect another 25 statements relating to the case.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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