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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 01-11-25

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, November 25, 2001


  • [01] Best could be out of Limassol clinic today
  • [02] New delay in coming up with Akamas plan
  • [03] Work begins to restore Nicosia landmark... eight years after it was saved from the bulldozers
  • [04] Gun attack against ex-wife's boyfriend
  • [05] Defendants remanded till trial

  • [01] Best could be out of Limassol clinic today

    By Rita Kyriakides

    FOOTBALL legend George Best might be released from the Limassol clinic today, where he was yesterday still recovering from a stomach virus.

    Cardiologist Andreas Stylianides, who is treating the former Manchester United and Northern Ireland star, yesterday confirmed that Best's condition was stable.

    Best, 55, fell ill while on holiday with his wife Alex after contracting a mystery virus believed to have been picked up from an air conditioning unit.

    His manager, Philip Hughes, said yesterday that Best was more susceptible to the illness after being weakened by years of heavy drinking.

    " I'm sure if you or I had picked up the same virus we wouldn't be as ill, "he said yesterday.

    " George was made well aware by his doctor that it was never a case of just stopping drinking and that would be it. " He said it would take at least two years. He has been 12 months without a drink and he has no intention of having another one."

    Best and his wife checked into the Amathus Beach, a luxury five-star hotel on the Limassol seafront, on Tuesday.

    Hughes said Best would either fly straight back to England or spend a couple more days on the island after his release from the clinic.

    Alex Best called her husband's London doctor Professor Roger Williams when he fell feverish on Thursday, and Williams arranged for Best to be seen by his Limassol colleague, Stylianides.

    The former football star was admitted to the private clinic on Thursday night.

    At 16, Best was famous for his dribbling skills and scored some memorable goals for Manchester United. He was voted European Footballer of the Year in 1968. He retired at 26, before making a brief come back for Fulham. He also made 37 appearances for Northern Ireland.

    He now works as a pundit for Sky TV.

    Best will be back in London for his television commitments next weekend, his manager said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [02] New delay in coming up with Akamas plan

    By George Psyllides

    THE government has still not managed to come up with a proposal concerning the future of the Akamas peninsula, one of the last virgin territories on the island, amid concerns from environmentalists that it is bowing to pressure from business interests.

    Agriculture and Environment Minister Costas Themistocleous told the Sunday Mailthat there were still issues that needed further discussion. He would not elaborate.

    A ministerial committee including four ministers on Thursday failed to come up with a plan for the Akamas, postponing its discussion for the end of the year.

    " If it doesn't happen in November and it happens in December it's not the end of the world,"Themistocleous said.

    The issue has been on the agenda for than a decade, when a World Bank report recommended national park status for the area. The report has been approved by parliament and endorsed by the EU, but the government is seen as reluctant to upset local landowners keen to develop the area's tourism potential.

    The minister once more declined to discuss the issues that stood in the way of a final decision from the ministerial committee, adding in any case it was the Cabinet that would have the final say on the matter.

    But the Greens view the delays with suspicion.

    Green deputy George Perdikis said the government's protracted indecision on the issue had confirmed what they were saying all along: that the Akamas issue was viewed according to the interests of a businessman who owns a large tract of land in the peninsula.

    " Instead of being viewed as an issue of protecting nature and the development of the area's communities, it is seen as how to reconcile with the interests of one businessman,"Perdikis said.

    Perdikis claimed that businessman Photos Photiades and his advisers had been present at Thursday's meeting, something he described as " grossly unacceptable" .

    But Themistocleous was quick to set the record straight.

    " Mr. Photiades was not present at the session.

    " The ministerial committee met with him prior to its session, as it had done with all involved parties, environmental groups, local community representatives and the island's technical chamber (ETEK), in the past, "Themistocleous said.

    The minister tried to dispel suspicions that the committee was acting based on Photiades' interests.

    " Akamas is not only about Photiades; he only owns some land in the area.

    " There are also Toxeftra, Lara, Inia, Neo Chorio; Photiades is just part of the problem,"Themistocleous said.

    Asked why the state did not simply expropriate the private land that lay within the potential national park area, as is it would for any big infrastructure project, Themistocleous said the various parties involved had been given the choice of either exchanging their land with land elsewhere, outside the protected area, or facing expropriation.

    However, he declined to say whether Photiades had agreed to either of the options set by the government.

    Photiades has already drawn up plans for his Akamas land's development.

    He proposes putting three hotels, an 18-hole golf course, a marina, an artificial lagoon, conference facilities, villas, an electric train service, and many others tourist attractions on his 1.5 square kilometre coastal plot near the tip of the unspoilt peninsula.

    On the other side of the peninsula, local communities claim they have every right to develop their land in order to get their share of the tourist pie.

    So far the government seems incapable of taking a firm stand on the issue and environmentalists worry that one more area will probably be sacrificed to big-money interests.

    Last year, the development lobby appeared to have won when the Cabinet announced a plan to sanction " mild and controlled"tourism development on the peninsula.

    The only areas to be spared were the already protected turtle-nesting beaches of Lara and Toxeftra and the Akamas state forest.

    The subsequent outcry, coupled with EU pressure and government experts' concerns about the workability of the Cabinet plan, has contributed to the government's hesitation in wrapping up the Akamas issue.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [03] Work begins to restore Nicosia landmark... eight years after it was saved from the bulldozers

    By George Psyllides

    WORK began this week to restore the Poulias building in Nicosia as part of the island's new Supreme Court complex.

    The imposing early 20 thcentury building was on the verge of being pulled down in 1993, when environmentalists and conservationists carried out a desperate battle to stop the bulldozers.

    After a protracted three-month fight and the intervention of parliament, the government decided the house would be restored and become part of the Supreme Court's new buildings, next Nicosia's existing courtrooms.

    But it's taken eight years for work to get under way, with the building left open to the elements since 1993.

    The renovation is expected to be completed by February 2004 at a cost of around 7 million.

    The fact the Poulias house is still standing can only be attributed to the exceptional workmanship of its builders.

    Green deputy George Perdikis, who was involved in the original protest to save the building, said yesterday: " What makes us happy today is that fortunately the building resisted, not only the bulldozers but the years of indifference, neglect and abandonment - eight years during which the government seemed to have been begging the elements to bring it down.

    " Despite the damage, time, and lack of measures to protect and maintain it until its restoration, the building endured against all odds,"Perdikis added.

    The restored building is expected to house the Supreme Court's library and archives.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [04] Gun attack against ex-wife's boyfriend

    A JEALOUS 24-year-old man from Kofinou in the Larnaca district, armed with an army-issue automatic, sprayed his ex-wife lover's home with bullets, a court heard yesterday.

    No one was hurt during the incident, which happened at 12.40am yesterday.

    Police told the court that suspect Soteris Angelis, a divorced father of two, apparently held a grudge for Demetris Pouikas, 23, who was having an affair with his ex-wife.

    Sergeant Solon Solomonides said Pouikas got involved with the ex-wife after she and Angelis had divorced last February.

    The court heard that Angelis had allegedly threatened to kill Pouikas life in the past.

    It was alleged that the suspect fired 10 rounds at Pouikas father's house in Kofinou.

    Pouikas works in Paphos and only goes to Kofinou at weekends.

    The shots did not cause any serious damage to the house although one round went through a bedroom window and lodged in the wall.

    Demetris' mother and sister were inside the house at the time of the shooting.

    Immediately after the incident, police said they spotted Angelis driving around in the village.

    They asked him to stop, but he managed to escape the officers and drive home, where he locked his car before bolting himself inside the house.

    After much effort, the officers managed to arrest Angelis. An eyewitness said a car similar to the suspect's but with different number plates was seen leaving Pouikas' home after the shooting.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

    [05] Defendants remanded till trial

    THE Nicosia district court yesterday ordered four defendants allegedly involved in the illegal transfers of land in the Tylliria area to remain in police custody until their trial starts on December 11.

    Businessan Costas Constantinou, 38, Andreas Savvas, 55, a trader and member of the Kato Pyrgos council, the 61-year-old Mukhtar of Kato Pyrgos Krinos Theocharous and Land Survey Department official Michalis Kalathas were on Friday charged and referred to the Assizes Court, where they will have to face three counts of conspiracy to defraud and 40 counts including corruption, bribing, concealment, abuse of authority, forgery and extortion.

    The four defendants are among several suspects detained and charged for similar offences, including the Mukhtars of Pano Pyrgos and Pigenia and a second Land Survey Department official.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2001

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