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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-01-05

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Saturday, January 5, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] Mother seeks fate of two before ECHR
  • [02] Meter case uproar continues
  • [03] A long haul to free Willy
  • [04] More bad weather on the way
  • [05] Profit-takers pull index down
  • [06] It's more expensive here than Germany and Luxembourg

  • [01] Mother seeks fate of two before ECHR

    TURKEY IS set to be called before the European Court of Human Rights again to provide details on the fate of two Greek Cypriots who have been missing since they were arrested for questioning in the 1974 invasion. Panayiota Pavlou Solomi has filed an application to the ECHR demanding Ankara divulge the whereabouts of her husband and son. She is also claiming access to her property in the occupied village of Komi Kebir. In a painful recollection of her story, Solomi said that the Turks rounded up all the people from Komi Kebir and led them to a nearby village for questioning. Many of the people who were involved in the arrests were Turkish Cypriots she knew, she said. Eventually the women and children were sent home, with the promise from the Turkish occupation forces that the rest would join them after further questioning. "That was the last time I saw my husband and son, in the hands of the Turkish army, I have heard nothing about their fate and I am still waiting," she said with a lot of bitter feelings and anger for what has happened. In an interview with CNA, Solomi said she personally handed a letter to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash a year after the invasion containing the details of her relatives' arrest and asking for their release, Despite his promises to help on the matter, she has heard no word from Denktash in the past 28 years, she said. Lawyer for Solomi, Achilleas Demetriades, said the application was filed on the basis of precedents set by previous ECHR judgments relating to the disappearance of Kurds in Turkey, the Fourth Interstate Application of Cyprus against Turkey for human rights violations and the case of Titina Loizidou. Solomi claims the occupying forces - and by implication Turkey - are flouting five articles of the European Convention on Human Rights.They refer to the prohibition of inhuman or degrading treatment; the safeguarding of the right to freedom and security; the respect of personal and family life; the prohibition of discrimination and the protection of the right to peaceful enjoyment of one's property. The application was filed in time for the January 16 commencement of peace talks on the Cyprus problem but, as Demetriades explained, discussions on property within the context of the talks have nothing to do with any individual claim. In its judgment on the Loizidou case, the Court said that the fact that property rights were the subject of inter-communal talks was no justification for the "continuous denial of access and a purported expropriation without compensation." Solomi's is one of many cases due before the ECHR involving missing relatives. A three-member committee operating with UN approval in Cyprus has been working on the issue of missing persons, Greek and Turkish Cypriots alike, for the past 20 years but so far has yielded no result. The two sides have submitted about 2000 files on their respective missing to the Committee of Missing Persons.

    A long haul to free Willy

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Meter case uproar continues

    By George Psyllides

    THE UPROAR over who may have been involved in the electricity meter tampering case continued yesterday, with the government urging AKEL deputy Kikis Yiangou to stop playing hide and seek and hand any evidence he has over to the authorities. "There is a former minister involved -- I insist," Yiangou said yesterday. The government on Thursday published a list of 56 names of people and businesses it said were under investigation for alleged involvement with meter tampering. The list featured the names of several prominent businesses as well as that of a Stelios Kiliaris. Former Trade Minister Stelios Kiliaris has issued a statement saying that the person on the list is a relative and that they have no connection, not even socially. Yiangou said the name of the former minister would soon become public along with some other "white collar names". Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou called on Yiangou to hand over any evidence he might have in order to help resolve the case. "I urge him to either give the government or the police, or publish, any evidence he has, thus helping the investigation," Papapetrou said. "I assume what we all want is for the case to be investigated in depth and resolved, not to play hide and seek trying to put the blame on each other," the spokesman added. Papapetrou said the decision by the cabinet to publish the list had been unanimous, despite some doubts concerning potential rights violation or exposing those named to public ridicule. Trade and Industry Minister Nicos Rolandis echoed Papapetrou that the decision to publish the list had been unanimous. He rejected press reports that he and Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou had objected to its publication on the grounds that it would be better to take the money owed to the Electricity Authority (EAC) and drop the issue. "This is completely inaccurate," Rolandis said. "No one took this position. The whole cabinet agreed that legal prosecution should take its course even if the bills were settled." He added that everyone in the cabinet agreed that publishing the list was necessary and in no case would the government settle the issue by just receiving the money owed. EAC Chairman George Georgiades said no one had expected the issue to take on such a scale: "We only realised when police found the notebook with the names and addresses," he added. The notebook was found in the possession of the sole suspect in the case so far. A retired EAC technician, 71-year-old Michalis Masouras, has been arrested for allegedly adjusting meters to show lower readings. Masouras, who allegedly made thousands of pounds from tampering with meters across the island, kept a notebook with the names and addresses of his alleged clients. The list published on Thursday is based on that notebook. Georgiades yesterday did not rule out more names being made public as police, in co-operation with the authority, dug deeper into Masouras' notes. Rumours of cover-ups and other conspiracy theories yesterday prompted the Head of the Nicosia CID, Tassos Panayiotou, to defend the force. "Why should there be secrecy in handling the case? I'm really surprised by what I hear and read," he said. He said the police were impartially and methodically investigating the case and to determine the extent of the alleged offence would take time. He said they were investigating potential tampering with of more than 120 meters, and that was a difficult and complex job. Deputy Attorney-general Petros Clerides also said it was unacceptable that shadows were being cast over the investigation just because no arrests have yet been made. "These offences cannot be resolved in an hour, and police can't arrest people at will," he said. Clerides said arrest warrants needed to be justified and the collection of evidence could not carried out with haste. Clerides told the Cyprus Mail that th

    A long haul to free Willy

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] A long haul to free Willy

    By Jean Christou

    SALVAGING the Cypriot tanker Willy, which ran aground off Cornwall on Tuesday night, is likely to be a "long, slow process", reports from the UK said yesterday. Salvage workers have found there is no crack in the hull but seven of the 10 cargo tanks and the engine-room have been flooded. Although the ship's cargo of petrol had been offloaded at Plymouth, her vapour-filled holds sparked explosion fears. The vessel had been carrying 93 tonnes of intermediate fuel oil, 41 tonnes of gas oil and five tones of lubricating oil when she was grounded. The grounding of the vessel in 30- knot gales on Tuesday caused the evacuation of 150 residents of the nearby village of Cawsand as police imposed a 1,000-metre exclusion zone and the 12-strong crew was safely evacuated. Two of the 12 tanks on board still contain about 80 tonnes of fuel and they appear to be intact. Andrew Healy, of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, said the other tanks which were breached are naturally venting and air is also being pumped in to disperse vapour, Lloyd's List reported yesterday. "It is not going to be a rapid operation," Healy said. "It will go on for some days yet and we are being hampered by southeasterly winds. We are in a long, slow process." Salvage workers are hoping winds will die down sufficiently by today to allow work to begin to remove the remaining oil from the vessel. It is understood repairs will then be made, so water can be released from her ballast tanks and she can be refloated. The intention is to tow vessel to Falmouth after refloating. The Cyprus Merchant Shipping Department (MSD) on Thursday sent two UK-based ship inspectors to the scene of the stranded tanker, which the department said had been in excellent condition and had simply been a victim of bad weather.

    A long haul to free Willy

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] More bad weather on the way

    By Elias Hazou

    THE MET MEN warned yesterday to prepare for more bad weather this weekend as they forecast gale-force winds and heavy rain sweeping the island. Today the unusually low temperatures are expected to drop to 10C in the central plains and 12C in the coastal areas, plummeting to -2C in the mountains, where more snowfall is forecast. Snow will also fall over the Troodos foothills. Police are advising the use of snow-chains on cars on mountain roads, and they urge drivers to be especially careful as extra traffic is expected on highways on Epiphany Day tomorrow when city folk traditionally head to the coast. The low pressure front moving in from the eastern Aegean will pass over the island and start heading towards Turkey by Monday. Strong winds reaching force 8 are also expected, with seafarers warned to batten down the hatches. According to the Meteorological Service, even worse will come tomorrow, with a further 2C drop in temperatures. However the service's director Kyriacos Theofilou said the island would be spared the worst, as the cold weather front warmed up somewhat as it passed above the eastern Mediterranean before reaching our shores. Things will start clearing up by late on Sunday afternoon, and Monday will see partial cloud cover and less forbidding temperatures. Greece and southeast Europe have been less fortunate, suffering a spate of deadly winter storms in recent weeks.

    A long haul to free Willy

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Profit-takers pull index down

    CYPRUS investors booked profits from Thursday's sharp price increases, pulling the all-share benchmark 1.6 per cent lower yesterday. Paring a firmer open, the all-share index ended 2.21 points down to 131.16 points. Turnover reached £3.3 million on 14.1 million shares traded. The market recorded its highest advance in weeks on Thursday of 3.45 per cent on upbeat hopes of settling the island's long-running conflict at the direct talks on the Cyprus problem due to start on January 16. But it swiftly attracted investors anxious to lock in profits after the tumbles of recent months, analysts said. All sectors registered declines, led by small shares of financial companies with a decline of 3.17 per cent and investment shares which lost 2.44 per cent. Bank heavyweights fared better than other sectors, losing 0.7 per cent on Bank of Cyprus slipping a cent to £1.90. Laiki and Hellenic were unchanged. Declining issues beat advancing ones 102 to 25 with 17 issues unchanged on 177 traded.(R)

    A long haul to free Willy

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] It's more expensive here than Germany and Luxembourg

    By Alexia Saoulli

    IF CYPRUS was already in the EU and had changed to the euro on January 1 it would be the sixth most expensive euro zone state to live in. This finding is based on today's prices and on an already published Reuters study that took a basket of six goods within the euro zone and compared and assessed their prices. But vector in the price of a standard four-door Renault Mégane with no extras, and Cyprus would be the most expensive country in the euro zone region in which to buy a car -- and the most expensive country overall in which to live. With the introduction of the common currency in 12 EU countries out of the 15 member states, such a comparison becomes easy. Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Ireland, Spain, Luxemburg, Holland, Portugal and Finland might have adopted the common euro currency on January 1, but they did not adopt common fixed prices for all products. The Reuters survey looked at six goods in all 12 euro zone regions: a litre of milk, a 1.6-litre Renault Mégane, a Big Mac, a stamp for a postcard to a euro zone country, a CD in the top 10 and a can of Coke. The Cyprus Mail wanted to look at how we would rank alongside the published figures if the euro were the island's national currency as well. With the help of the Hellenic Bank's Prodromos branch in Nicosia, here are the findings (at 58.7 Cypriot cents to one euro): A litre of milk in Cyprus would cost 71 euro cents, ranking it the fourth cheapest country in the euro zone; A Renault Mégane would set you back 23,299 euros here -- the most expensive, with the next cheapest being Finland at 21,700 euros; A Big Mac would cost 2.51 euros, making Cyprus the third cheapest country for the fast food burger; A stamp for a postcard to a euro zone country would cost 45 cents, rating the island the second cheapest country for this product; A CD in the top 10 would cost 20.77 euros, ranking Cyprus the fifth most expensive country; A can of coke would cost 52 cents, making us the fourth most expensive country. So Cyprus can hardly be called the cheapest country in Europe at the moment; in fact it ranks sixth overall if you remove the price of the car from the equation. Finland scoops the prize for most expensive euro zone country to live in and Italy is the cheapest. In order of ranking, from most expensive to cheapest, and excluding the cost of the car, which would make Cyprus the most expensive country overall, the countries and total prices of the remaining five items are: 1. Finland - - 28.98 euros 2. France -- 27.7 euros 3. Belgium -- 26.72 euros 4. Netherlands -- 26.38 euros 5. Ireland -- 26.02 euros 6. Cyprus -- 24.96 euros 7. Austria -- 24.32 euros 8. Luxembourg -- 22.21 euros 9. Germany -- 22.06 euros 10. Portugal -- 21.93 euros 11. Spain -- 20.76 euros 12. Greece -- 20.24 euros 13. Italy -- 20 euros.

    A long haul to free Willy

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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