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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-11-13

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, November 13, 2001


  • [01] Papandreou: no enlargement without Cyprus
  • [02] Clerides: Denktash must not be allowed to bypass UN process
  • [03] How the rich became richer
  • [04] Share plunge rocks new-found confidence
  • [05] Relatives 'trying to sway witnesses' in land scam case
  • [06] Yugoslav wanted after 'key ring gun murder'
  • [07] Drawing up a bioethics code for a new age
  • [08] One dead, six injured on day one of the hunting season

  • [01] Papandreou: no enlargement without Cyprus

    GREECE cannot approve any future European Union expansion if it does not include Cyprus, Foreign Minister George Papandreou was yesterday quoted as saying.

    Athens expects its other EU partners to respect an accord that the island will be able to join regardless of whether its political division is settled.

    "The Greek parliament has sent us the message that it cannot ratify expansion without Cyprus. There is the Helsinki (EU summit) decision, and we are just asking that decision be upheld," Papandreou told Ta Neanewspaper.

    A diplomatic wrangle on Cyprus is looming as it races through preparations for EU membership. If its entry is blocked, Greece will halt eastward expansion, but if it does become a member Turkey has said it may annex the occupied north -- effectively dashing its own membership hopes.

    Papandreou has been walking a diplomatic tightrope in pursuing better relations with long-standing rival Turkey on a raft of other issues as the Cyprus conflict simmers.

    The decades-old logjam could come to a head towards the end of 2002, when the EU is widely expected to announce which countries are to be included in enlargement.

    Ankara has admitted for the first time that the Cyprus situation is a problem, Papandreou said.

    "It now acknowledges it exists, it does not try to hide it. Previously it would say there was no problem," he said.

    Settlement talks have been at a standstill for a year amid demands by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to be regarded as equal to Glafcos Clerides, president of the internationally-recognised government of Cyprus.

    Denktash last week invited Clerides to hold face-to-face talks to head off a crisis. The Greek Cypriots said they would agree to a meeting on condition Denktash also returned to UN talks he halted last year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] Clerides: Denktash must not be allowed to bypass UN process

    By Jean Christou

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides has made it clear there can be no solution to the Cyprus problem outside of UN resolutions and the good offices of UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan.

    Speaking at a news conference following his address to the UN General Assembly in New York on Sunday, Clerides said the offer made last week by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to meet face to face was aimed at bypassing the UN.

    The Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported from New York that the Greek Cypriot side was willing to back the creation of " a new partnership of two communities' but did not agree with a partnership of two sovereign states, as demanded by the Turkish Cypriots.

    Clerides added he would be glad to meet Denktash face to face, " once we both accept to return to the negotiating table".

    "Mr Denktash wanted to bypass the good offices of the UN Secretary-general and go to direct talks when it was he who insisted on proximity talks," Clerides said, adding that he did not want to give Denktash the opportunity to throw aside the UN. " Because without the good offices (of the UN) it will not be possible to find a solution,"he said.

    Clerides said that Annan had told him he could not give him a timetable within which he hoped to bring Denktash back to the negotiating process.

    Asked if he realistically expected to see a Cyprus solution within his lifetime, the 82-year-old president said he had no intention of "leaving this planet tomorrow" and doubted Denktash was in a hurry either. "Let us utilise the time we have," he said.

    Earlier in the day during his address to the UN General Assembly, Clerides had called on Ankara to halt its threats to annex the north of the island if Cyprus joined the EU and urged Denktash to return to negotiations.

    "The Turkish Cypriots will benefit considerably from the accession of our country to the European Union. I urge Mr Denktash to realise that he and I are not getting any younger and that we owe it to the younger generations of Cypriots to do away with the walls of division," Clerides said.

    "I recommend to the leadership of Turkey to abandon its threats for the annexation of the occupied part of Cyprus," Clerides said, arguing that resolving the Cyprus problem would boost Turkey's own aspirations for EU membership. Turkey's envoys boycotted Clerides' speech to the assembly's annual general debate, as they have for the past eight years.

    Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said earlier this month that annexation of the north was an option if the European Union admitted Cyprus before a settlement could be reached.

    In a message to Denktash, Clerides invited the Turkish Cypriot leader to "join me in sharing the vision of a Cyprus too small to be divided".

    "Listen to the desperate voices of our Turkish Cypriot compatriots and stop placing obstacles at each turn to the good offices of the Secretary-general for a solution to the Cyprus problem,"he added.

    "I urge Mr Denktash to realise that he and I are not getting any younger and

    that we owe it to the younger generations of Cypriots to do away with the walls of division," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] How the rich became richer

    By George Psyllides

    THE biggest part of £1.7 billion invested in the stock market (CSE) during 1999 and 2000 ended up in the pockets of the rich, according to a Central Bank survey presented yesterday.

    Central Bank Governor Afxentis Afxentiou told a news conference that the majority of those who made money from the CSE were old investors (who had bought shares before 1999) from high-income groups.

    Afxentiou said 76 per cent of those who made a profit were old investors, many of whom had sold all the shares they owned.

    The majority of those old investors who have not sold their shares continue to make a profit even with today's prices, Afxentiou said.

    At the beginning of 1999, the index opened at 90, reaching a staggering 849 by November.

    From then on it tumbled continuously, hitting rock bottom - 104 - in September this year.

    The Governor conceded there had been a substantial transfer of wealth towards the affluent social groups, which could broaden the inequality gap between classes.

    " There was surely a shift of wealth from certain classes to others; it's a fact, but it's extent is not easy to determine,"Afxentiou said.

    The survey, which was conducted by Cyprus College on behalf of the Central Bank, found that around £1.7 billion had been invested on shares during 1999 and 2000.

    Rural households invested almost the same amount of money as urban ones, with old investors putting in much less than new punters.

    According to the survey, 77 per cent of the funds invested in the CSE came from peoples' nest eggs, while the rest - 23 per cent - was made up of bank loans and account overdrafts.

    In general, the savings used to invest into the CSE had been earmarked for personal and family needs, which could explain why consumption had not been affected, Afxentiou said.

    " Most funds were destined for future family needs, which explains why the CSE collapse has not affected consumption directly,"he said.

    Fourty-three per cent of the money had been set aside for emergencies, 24 per cent for family expenses, and 19 per cent for the children's studies.

    A further18 per cent was being saved for building a house, 15 per cent for land acquisition, eight per cent to buy a car, and five per cent for business expansion.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Share plunge rocks new-found confidence

    By Jean Christou

    SHARE prices plunged 3.5 per cent yesterday in a disappointing session, which took the all-share index back to 132.7 points, dashing hope of a solid recovery.

    Hopes had been building up over the past month that the shaky bourse was on the threshold of a turnaround, but sellers surfaced in their droves yesterday as profit-taking dominated the day's trading.

    Blue chips were even harder hit, as the FTSE/CySE dropped 3.25 per cent to 515 points, while volume fell back from last week's double digits to only £7.5 million.

    All sectors except fish farms ended in the red, with losses ranging from 0.51 per cent in the technology sector to 4.58 per cent in the investment sector.

    The three main banks topped the most active list but came under heavy selling pressure, which left the sector with losses of 2.9 per cent. Bank of Cyprus lost six cents to £1.88 and Laiki Bank shed four cents to £1.48. Hellenic dropped three cents to 89 cents.

    GlobalSoft (GLC) and New Marathon Tours (NMT), which were suspended from trading last month for alleged breaches of stock market regulations, returned to the floor on Monday under certain conditions. Both stocks recorded significant gains. GLC ended at 17 cents and NMT at 13 cents.

    Overall, 87 titles declined compared to 27 gainers and 32 that closed unchanged.

    " We had been expecting some profit-taking after the good run we had over the past few weeks,"said one analyst. " I just hope that it doesn't shake investor confidence too much and that we can look forward to the rest of the week's trading."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Relatives 'trying to sway witnesses' in land scam case

    By George Psyllides

    RELATIVES of a suspect held in connection with the illegal transfer of land in the remote Tyliria area have repeatedly tried to dissuade material witness from telling police the truth, a court heard yesterday.

    The claim was made by Superintendent Andreas Naoum during the hearing to renew the remand of two Land Survey Department officials suspected of illegally transferring land belonging to other people.

    Costas Kalathas and Michalis Makaritis were yesterday remanded in custody for eight days for the third time since the case emerged late last month.

    Three other land survey officials initially arrested with the two suspects have since been released without charge.

    Six other people, including the Mukhtars of Pigenia and Kato Pyrgos, are currently being held in connection with the same case.

    Naoum told the court yesterday police had witness testimony that Makaritis' relatives had repeatedly tried to force a witness to withhold evidence pertaining to the suspect's alleged involvement in the case.

    Naoum said the investigation was a gruelling process, due mainly to the bulk of information coming in from all directions, adding that police were slowly uncovering the money trail, which he said led to how the cash was split by the suspects.

    Naoum said the suspects allegedly collaborated with the others, primarily the Muchtars, to forge and obtain documents under false pretences in order to transfer the land and subsequently sell it, usually above its estimated value.

    From the investigation, police told the court, it emerged that several files thought to be incriminating for the suspects were missing.

    Police say Kalathas was the last person to handle the file, something he denies.

    The file contained documents concerning the transfer of Turkish Cypriot property that was sold to an investment company for £972,197, roughly 30 per cent over its estimated value of £650,000.

    The court heard allegations that £100,000 went to Kalathas, who deposited the money in specific banks and withdrew them the next day in cash, which he distributed among other individuals some of whom are in custody.

    In another instance, Kalathas and the Mukhtar of Kato Pyrgos Krinos Theophanous allegedly 'fixed' all the necessary documents for the transfer of a plot of land in the name of Andreas Georgiou.

    In November 2000, the new owner 'sold' half the land to Kalathas' sister for £10,000 while its value was £50,000.

    In a 26-page testimony, Naoum described how the suspects' in several other instances were bribed to forge documents for the transfer of land.

    Naoum said that Makaritis, who was an auditor, proceeded to approve the transfers, despite the lack of critical documents needed in the process.

    On top of that, Makaritis was found to own a piece of land, which was part of a bigger transfer he had been handling in his capacity.

    Since his arrest, Makaritis has given police two very long testimonies but Kalathas has refused.

    Police told the court that should the investigation be completed before the remand expired, they would proceed to charge the suspects or release them if it was determined they did not have a case.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [06] Yugoslav wanted after 'key ring gun murder'

    A YUGOSLAV man wanted for the murder of a 25-year-old builder from Limassol was still at large yesterday.

    Nicos Panayiotou was shot dead shortly after 4am on Saturday, reportedly after a heated argument with 31-year-old Dragan Pravoulovic in Limassol's Privé club in Mouttayiaka.

    Witnesses said the two men argued while at the bar, then at some point moved towards a corridor connecting the bar to the kitchen.

    Customers then heard a single gunshot and saw Panayiotou stagger back and collapse, covered in blood.

    He was pronounced dead on arrival at Limassol's general hospital.

    Police have unleashed a manhunt for Pravoulovic, who is thought to have used a key ring gun to shot Panayiotou through the heart at point-blanc range.

    The miniature guns are seen as a menace to police worldwide as they can be carried on planes virtually undetected. The weapons have two 32mm calibre chambers, and can kill at up to 20 metres.

    They are around three inches long and as wide as a matchbox.

    Police said the suspect had arrived on the island in February and managed to obtain a long-term visa after he was employed as the director of an offshore company, which is not showing any financial activity.

    Police are confident he is still on the island and his arrest is a matter of time.

    They have also contacted Interpol for clues on the suspect.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [07] Drawing up a bioethics code for a new age

    By Jennie Matthew

    SCIENTISTS and policy makers from across the world are gathered in Paphos for the sixth European Conference of National Ethics Committees, under the general title, Genetics and Society: Opportunities and Threats .

    It was inaugurated on Sunday by Acting President Demetris Christofias, Attorney-general Alecos Markides, Health Minister Frixos Savvides, the Chairwoman of the Bureau of European Conference of National Ethics Committees Nicole Questiaux and Senior Counsel Rena Petridou.

    The conference was founded in Madrid in 1992 and has met since then in Stockholm, Paris, Oporto and Strasbourg, as an opportunity for academics, lawyers, scientists and policy makers to discuss issues indispensable in drawing up an internationally-accepted bio-ethical framework.

    Delegates from the 40 member-states of the Council of Europe, the European Commission, representatives from National Bioethics Committees (co- ordinated by the International Bioethics Committee and UNESCO) international organisations, the US and Canada, are attending the three-day event in Paphos, in an effort to form a common policy on bioethical issues.

    The Steering Committee of Bioethics, of which Petridou is the Cypriot representative, is now engaged with the drafting of additional protocols on genetics, organ and human tissue transplants, biomedical research, biotechnology and others.

    In his opening address, the Attorney-general spoke of the value of lawmakers in striking a balance between " unimaginably rapid technological progress"and the adequate protection of human rights and human dignity.

    " We need a national as well as an international, clear and reliable legal system to solve emerging dilemmas in a balanced way,"he said.

    Cyprus has signed the European Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine and its Protocol Prohibiting Human Cloning.

    The Bill of Law on Bioethics 2001, which provides for the establishment and operation of a National Bioethics Committee in Cyprus, is scheduled for discussion at the House Plenum on Thursday.

    Markides promised that the government would continue to assist the Council of Europe in the drafting and adoption of other future protocols and conventions on the protection of human rights from all possible abuse of biology and medicine.

    For his part, Christofias drew an analogy between the ethical problems faced today and those confronted by the ancient Greeks.

    He referred delegates to the Hippocratic oath - a doctor's duty to respect patient confidentiality, look after his patient's best interests and adhere to professional conduct.

    " It is obvious that we live in the new era of genetics and biogenetics, but it would also be useful as in every important period to turn to history and draw wisdom, experiences and lessons, hoping to be protected from current and future mistakes and dangers,"he said.

    For Savvides, issues of bioethics and human cloning are inescapable and fundamental.

    " We are all called, the scientists, the politicians, the philosophers, the citizens and society, to be deeply concerned and sensitised in order to obtain the best possible utilization of the knowledge and avoid malpractice, "he said.

    Today's debate includes presentations on the significance of genetic screening for public health, prenatal screening, the human genome, patenting DNA, reproductive and therapeutic cloning.

    Yesterday offered an overview of genetics today in Europe, North America and Canada.

    Hosted by the government, the conference finishes today at the Coral Beach Hotel, Paphos.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [08] One dead, six injured on day one of the hunting season

    By Jennie Matthew

    THE HUNTING season started at dawn on Sunday and within hours one man was dead and six had been injured in the rampage to gun down partridge and hares.

    Costas Spyrides, a 65-year-old retired teacher from Limassol, was found dead from a heart attack near Vikla by a fellow hunter from Sotira.

    Officers from the Fire Brigade had to carry the body to the nearest road, from where it could be driven to the Limassol morgue.

    State pathologist Eleni Antoniou, who later performed the autopsy, said he died of a heat attack, there were no external injuries and no suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.

    Spyrides died at 6.30am. Forty-five minutes earlier, Loukas Mousoulos, 24, from Tersefanou, was shot in the left eye while hunting with his brother in Mersini near Oroklini.

    There were another five injuries before 11am.

    At 7am, Stelios Stylianou, 31 from Kato Pyrgos, slightly injured himself near Pigenia village.

    At about 7.10am, Spyros Georgiou, 64 from Phrenaros, slipped and fell six metres into a ravine, while on the stake out for prey near Layia village.

    The alarm was raised and an ambulance from Lefkara rushed him to casualty at Larnaca General Hospital, where he was kept in for treatment.

    At 8am, Andreas Menelaou, 43, from Limassol, sustained bullet wounds to his left eye and face out hunting with his brother, in the open near Ayios Tychonas.

    His brother took him to Limassol General Hospital, where he was also kept in for treatment.

    Eleftherios Eleftheriou, 36 from Kyperounda fell at around 10.50am, when his gun went off and inadvertently injured his right side.

    He was taken to the village hospital and from there, driven by ambulance to Limassol General for observation.

    Finally, a 15-year-old high school student, Andreas Andreou from Astromeritis was shot in the body and face in Potamiou.

    His father took him to Nicosia General Hospital for a check-up.

    Police were yesterday treating all injuries as accidents.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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