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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-10-11

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, October 11, 2001


  • [01] Clerides to meet Annan on November 6
  • [02] Markides hits back at his most vocal critic
  • [03] Refugee levy 'to be abolished'
  • [04] A holiday island, but not for most Cypriots
  • [05] Twelve cross from the north, seeking a 'new life'
  • [06] CY denies Mideast traffic downturn
  • [07] Police hunt Limassol bombers

  • [01] Clerides to meet Annan on November 6

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides will fly to New York on November 6, for a re- scheduled meeting with UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday.

    Clerides will address the UN General Assembly and discuss the Cyprus situation with Annan.

    On November 9 the President will hold a working lunch with ambassadors of the five Permanent Members of the UN Security Council -the US, Britain, France, China and Russia.

    Annan invited Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to New York last month to resume the search for a comprehensive settlement under UN auspices.

    Denktash turned down the invitation. Clerides accepted, but his plane was en route to the US on September 11, when the terrorist attacks took place, and he was diverted to Canada.

    He returned to Cyprus without seeing Annan, because of the crisis in New York.

    Papapetrou stressed that the November trip was not connected to a resumption of UN-sponsored proximity talks between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    There has still been no invitation from the UN for these negotiations to resume after nearly 10 months of stalemate.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Markides hits back at his most vocal critic

    By George Psyllides

    A PUBLIC spat has broken out between Attorney-general Alecos Markides and a senior public prosecutor over should act as Attorney-general when Markides and his deputy are out of the country.

    But observers see this issue as just the tip of the iceberg, since the two men have been at loggerheads ever since Markides took office.

    For some time senior state attorney Akis Papasavvas has had weekly articles published in the communist daily newspaper Haravghi , mouthpiece of main opposition party AKEL. In his columns, Papasavvas routinely accuses the government, including President Glafcos Clerides, and Markides, of incompetence and corruption.

    So far Markides has turned a blind eye to the harsh criticism, but in a letter sent to Papasavvas' lawyer, Andreas Angelides, after his client complained that he should be acting Attorney-general in Markides absence, he said: " I feel that further tolerance on my behalf of your client's behaviour cannot be justified."

    " My duty is clear: to take all necessary measures for the protection, not only of the legal service's authority and proper operation, but also the authority of the State, whose employee, your client, behaves inappropriately as a civil servant,"Markides added.

    In the letter, Markides explained that civil servants could not replace state officials, and that such a practice would be unconstitutional.

    Yesterday he went even further saying that Papasavvas did not allow anyone to check him, and that refused to write a brief to Markides, a practice carried out by everyone else in the service, on the outcome of the cases he handled.

    " Here we have a civil servant who not only expresses his opinion, but systematically abuses his superior, the state leader and other state officials,"Markides said.

    " In light of the situation he created he cannot ask why I do not appoint him as my replacement when I'm away."

    The Attorney-general said that it would be unthinkable for him to go abroad and leave Papasavvas in charge. " What if he rules that US planes cannot be allowed to use the island's airspace, just because he wants it?"he asked.

    " He is not aware where legal issues end and where the government's political responsibilities begin,"Markides added.

    Papasavvas' lawyer Andreas Angelides said the Attorney-general's stance was inconsistent with natural justice, adding that Markides had no right to condemn Papasavvas.

    " That can only be done by the courts,"Angelides said.

    Papasavvas said it was his constitutional right to have an opinion and that the court rulings on several cases involving the state justified his criticism.

    He said the legal service was not a private business in which the master could kick out anyone who disagreed.

    " Mr Markides can say whatever he wants; it doesn't mean that because he is the chief he is the service. They are two different things,"Papasavvas said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Refugee levy 'to be abolished'

    By Melina Demetriou

    THE government plans to abolish the emergency temporary refugee levy (TRL) on imports as a way of simplifying bureaucratic procedures.

    Finance Minister Takis Klerides said that the measure in question would be included in the government's plan on tax reform, which will be tabled before the House of Representatives for approval at the end of this month.

    He told the Cyprus Mailyesterday that the state earned 2 million a year from the refugee levy on imports, but at the same time lost money because of complicated bureaucratic procedures involved in its collection.

    "So to make things easier we want to abolish the levy. Imported goods are currently taxed at 1 per cent of their value,"Klerides said.

    The minister briefed the Commerce Committee on Wednesday about measures the government may take to moderate possible effects of international developments on the economy.

    Klerides said there were currently no signs of economic recession in light of the US-led war on terrorism.

    He said that if the economy was affected at a later stage the government would take a series of measures such as spending more on development projects, decreasing company taxes and urging the merging of companies.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] A holiday island, but not for most Cypriots

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS may be the ultimate holiday destination for foreigners, but nearly two thirds of Cypriots who take a holiday prefer to go abroad, according to a survey compiled by the College of Tourism and Hotel Management.

    The survey found that in comparison to other Mediterranean residents, such as the Spanish, the French, the Greeks and the Italians, the Cypriot preference was to go abroad. In the other countries most citizens holidayed at home.

    Out of a total 62 per cent of Cypriots who take a holiday every year, 65 per cent travel abroad for their annual break, compared with 64 per cent of Danes and 70 per cent of Germans and Swiss. Even 48 per cent of Britons, the island's biggest source market, holiday at home compared with only 35 per cent of Cypriot holidaymakers.

    In Greece 89 per cent holiday at home, in Spain it's 82 per cent, in Portugal and France 72 per cent, and Italy 66 per cent.

    According to the European Commission in 1998, the top reason given for Europeans going abroad were scenery and climate, with cost of travel and accommodation taking second place.

    "Probably the most interesting findings of the survey come from those Cypriots who went abroad,"the report said. "The leading reason respondents said that they went abroad for their vacation was for entertainment."

    Only around 10 per cent said they travelled abroad for a change of environment, while six per cent said they went for shopping and three per cent for religious reasons.

    Of those who went abroad, 68 per cent came from urban areas; most were also college graduates or public servants.

    "The findings suggest that entertainment is considered an important reason for going abroad as Cyprus does not appear to offer the quality, quantity and selection of entertainment opportunities that exist elsewhere,"the survey concluded.

    It said the findings were a reflection of Cyprus becoming an urban, secular and affluent society. It suggests that the government examine what makes Cypriots want to holiday abroad - and then tap into this potential market at home.

    "It may well be that similar entertainment may be provided for them within Cyprus, saving them money and offering entrepreneurs the ability to capitalise on the demand that is being satiated elsewhere,"the report said. "Future research should also look into the reasons why Cypriots do not stay in Cyprus for their vacation."

    It added that one probable reason Cypriots go abroad rather than holiday at home is cost, and the difficulty in finding hotel rooms during the summer months.

    In 1983, when the last survey was done, only 38 per cent of the population took a holiday -- and only 23 per cent of those went abroad. Half of those polled in the latest survey took two holidays last year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Twelve cross from the north, seeking a 'new life'

    TWELVE Turkish Cypriots, including six children, crossed over from the north yesterday morning and were picked up by police in Xylotymbou.

    Local residents spotted the group wandering around the village and informed police, who arrived on the scene at around 7.30am.

    Carrying bags of belongings, the group of three families, the youngest nine years old and the eldest 39, said they had set out specifically for a new life in the government-controlled areas.

    The gypsies told officers that they had walked from Morphou.

    All carried identity cards stipulating that they were Turkish Cypriot.

    Welfare officers brought the migrants food and clothes, and milk for the children.

    A minibus collected them from Xylotymbou Police Station just before noon and took them to Paphos, where they said they have relatives. The group said it was their first journey to the south.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] CY denies Mideast traffic downturn

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) yesterday denied that traffic to its Middle East destinations had dropped dramatically because of the US-led bombing of Afghanistan.

    Spokesman Tassos Angelis said traffic usually drops slightly at this time of the year as the peak tourist season draws to a close and the winter schedules begin. October is never a peak month,said.

    Angelis also said that apart from Beirut and Tel Aviv, load factors to other Middle Eastern destinations never reach 80 or 90 per cent.

    He said that if traffic dropped extensively to any destination the airline would consider cutting the route or combining it with another. The company is closely monitoring all load factors. This was part of CY's ten-point plan to survive the current global airline crisis caused by the September 11 terrorist attacks on the US, he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Police hunt Limassol bombers

    LIMASSOL police yesterday questioned several people in connection with a bomb blast which destroyed a car and injured one person slightly.

    The device went off just before 10pm on Tuesday under the car of a Yermasoyia barman.

    The vehicle had been parked outside an apartment block on Voltaire Street where the barman lives.

    Police said shrapnel shattered the windows of adjacent flats, slightly injuring one resident.

    The explosion caused a fire which gutted the car, but it was put out before it could spread.

    Police said the homemade device, made using a powerful explosive, had been placed by the vehicle's right rear wheel.

    They believe it was planted by people who had personal differences with their intended victim. Several people have been questioned but no arrests have yet been made, police said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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