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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-01-20

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

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


Sunday, January 20, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] Denktash paper on the missing expected tomorrow
  • [02] Masouras remanded again
  • [03] Appeals to Europe over loss of savings
  • [04] Benefits card sent to woman who died 32 years ago
  • [05] Deportee takes Internet snipe at authorities
  • [06] National Guard arsenal raided

  • [01] Denktash paper on the missing expected tomorrow

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will tomorrow hand the Greek Cypriot side a document suggesting a series of practical measures to help resolve the issue of missing persons.

    Denktash's move came a day after he received a paper from the Greek Cypriot side on the same issue.

    Denktash said yesterday the Greek Cypriot document expressed positions and views that were already being discussed.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader said on Friday that he would take into account the Greek Cypriot stance before submitting a paper from his side.

    The government remains tight-lipped over the content of the Greek Cypriot document.

    The exchange of papers was agreed between President Glafcos Clerides and Denktash 10 days ago in an effort to resolve the long-standing humanitarian issue.

    The identification of remains from two cemeteries in Nicosia, through DNA testing, has helped reduce the original list of 1,629 Greek Cypriot missing persons to 1,480. The Turkish Cypriot side lists some 800 people missing between the outbreak of the inter-communal troubles of 1963-64 and the Turkish invasion 10 years later.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Masouras remanded again

    THE CHIEF suspect in the case involving the 'fixing' of electricity meters nationwide was re-remanded in Nicosia District Court yesterday for eight days.

    Police officers told the court that they wanted to use the time to question 80 people under suspicion for having enlisted the alleged services of 71- year-old Michalis Masouras.

    The retired Cyprus Electricity Authority (EAC) technician was arrested before Christmas in December on charges of altering meters to show lower consumption so that private homes and businesses could pay less on bills.

    Nearly 150 electricity meters nationwide are under investigation, and earlier this month the government released the names of 46 companies suspected of using Masouras to tamper with their meters.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Appeals to Europe over loss of savings

    TURKISH Cypriots are to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights over the loss of their savings when banks went bust in the occupied areas in 2000.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot press reports yesterday, thousands of account holders have still not received promised repayments two years after the bankruptcies crippled the north.

    Five private banks were forced to freeze their assets in February 2000 because they were unable to repay clients' deposits.

    At the time the so-called Turkish Cypriot 'central bank' was accused of misconduct in its lack of regulation of the banking sector.

    The crisis precipitated the collapse of smaller banks and the onslaught of a serious economic recession in the occupied north.

    It is not yet known how many Turkish Cypriots plan to take their cases to Europe.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Benefits card sent to woman who died 32 years ago

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THEANO Patsalou was sent a special card this week by the Social Services department. The card entitles her to several benefits, but unfortunately a miracle isn't one of them.

    Theano died 32 years ago of natural causes. If she were still alive today, she would be turning 103 on August 8.

    But that didn't stop the Ministry of Labour posting her a 'Kinoniki Karta' (social card) this week.

    The card is issued to Cypriots over the age of 63, irrespective of whether or not they are pensioners. It bestows certain privileges to the person named on the card: free tickets to theatre or cultural events organised by the Ministry of Education and Culture or the SKALA theatre, free bus passes, 50 per cent reduction for the State Fair Exhibition, special offer Cyprus Airways tickets during the low season, reduced cruise fares, 20 per cent reduction on lab tests and discounts at specific hotels.

    When Nadia Coatsworth of the Cyprus Mail checked her post box on Tuesday, inside she found an official letter from the Ministry of Labour. It addressed to a Mrs Theano Patsalou.

    “At first I didn't know who this person was,” Nadia said. “Then I remembered it was my granny -- who died over 30 years ago.” Nadia now lives in her granny's old house.

    “At first I laughed and thought it was amusing,” she said. “But when I thought about it, I wondered how she'd remained in the system for so long without anybody knowing she'd died.” For the relative of someone who had died just recently, to receive such letter could be very distressing.

    A Social Services department employee denied there had been any negligence on the social card department's part.

    “When the government decided to issue social cards to all people over the age of 63, we were unable to track down all the names of those people who are not registered as pensioners,” she told the Sunday Mail. “Therefore we had to ask every district officer to give us a list of all the names, of all individuals over 63, on the voters' register.”

    It would appear that Patsalou's death must not have been recorded with the district officer, for if it had, she would have been removed from the voters' list, she said.

    The Labour Ministry employee said there had been an announcement on television warning viewers of the possibility that deceased people could be sent a social card.

    “We made the announcement precisely for that reason. We did not want to alarm or distress anyone,” she said. “Unfortunately it was something beyond our control, since the district officer handed us the voting register with all the names on it and any name over the age of 63 on there was issued a social card.”

    She explained that perhaps because Theano Patsalou died so long ago, before the Turkish invasion in 1974, the death certificate had been misplaced. But this was not the fault of the Social Services department, and Coatsworth should now return the card and inform the department officially of her grandmother's death.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Deportee takes Internet snipe at authorities

    By Jean Christou

    DEPORTED British businessman Graham Cockroft has defended an Internet page he set up offering information on land purchase in the north, which got him thrown out of Cyprus last August and again ten days ago.

    Cockroft, 56, from Leeds, has a company called Rockpool Homes Ltd, a joint venture with Cypriot partners in Pissouri, that builds solar-powered houses. He has filed suit against the government at the Supreme Court in an attempt to find out why he was deported. His case is due back in court tomorrow.

    Cockroft claims he does not know why he was deported in August but he believes local competition pulled strings to have him thrown out of the country after ten years on the island. He said no one told him or his lawyer why he was deported other than some vague allegations that he was involved in property deals in the Turkish-occupied north of the island.

    On his web page 'Cymplycyprus', which had been taken down but is back up and running again, Cockroft says: "I am proud to say I do have the position and facts are now available on holidays, property, investment, banking, the economy and any other tid bit of information you may require. If you would like information of land purchase, villas or holidays in the North, just let me know."

    The website extols the virtues of the north and of buying property there: "There is an abundance of property for sale and at lower prices than in the south. The views are stunning especially as you climb away from the coastal areas up to the mountains. Also land is much less expensive than in the south."

    Cockroft denies that he carried out any property deals in the north and that he is merely providing information. He also takes a snipe at the authorities on the Internet site: "This is the page which has upset the Cypriot Immigration authority. Mr Polydorou (Chief Immigration Officer) tells me I sell property in the north from this page. If you spot any property on here for sale, please advise me, or him." Cockroft also cites a Cyprus Mail article in which Attorney-general Alecos Markides tells a parliamentary committee that it is not illegal to trade with the north.

    Asked by the Sunday Mail what information he could offer on land purchase in the north, Cockroft said he actually has little information other than what he would be able to find if he trawled the Internet.

    "I could tell no one any more than I've told to you. That's all I know about it," he said. "The web page is a one-off that resulted from two trips over there a couple of weeks apart. It's just information that I picked up. Houses are cheaper. You can get a villa for £50,000 but I can't point you in the direction of one. I don't know where there is one. I'm not particularly interested in the north or in doing any business in the north. There is very little information I can give. I don't deal in the north. They're saying that I do. Ask them to prove it."

    Cockroft said he has no interest in getting involved in the political situation in Cyprus and that he has committed no crime by setting up a web page which is registered in the UK and has no connection with Rockpool.

    "They have said I do business in the north but there is nothing on the web page that says I do business in the north. It said I could give you information. But that's not doing business, that's not exchanging money or contracts," he said.

    "Someone in Pissouri sent the web page along to the immigration department, that's for sure, and it's wrong for me to be deported because somebody's got upset," he claimed.

    Markides believes Cockroft is merely splitting hairs by saying he is only offering information. "I think he is covering himself," the Attorney- general told the Sunday Mail. "It's misleading and proves the authorities were perfectly right to expel him," he said.

    Markides said it is legal to trade with the north as long as the goods enter through a legal port of the Republic of Cyprus. In the case of property sales, he said all property deals must go through the Land Registry department of the Republic. "Therefore one cannot advertise sales in the north," Markides said, adding that this applied to Cypriots and foreigners alike.

    "The occupied area is the territory of Cyprus and everyone is bound to comply with the law," he added.

    Referring to Cockroft's offer to give 'information' to interested parties, Markides said: "There is only one item of information that can be given: that no dealings in property in the north are lawful unless the seller is the rightful owner and unless any dealings are made through the appropriate lands department of Republic of Cyprus. It's obvious that he's doing something illegal and that the authorities rightfully expelled him."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] National Guard arsenal raided

    THREE hooded men broke into the arsenal at the National Guard camp in Evrychou in the early hours of Saturday and stole a number of weapons.

    At around 1.30am, the three attacked a National Guardsman, grabbed his rifle and tied his hands together.

    After seizing weapons from the arsenal, they fled in a getaway car, having alerting the driver by mobile phone.

    Preliminary investigations by police and the army indicate that two of the three men are Greek Cypriots and that at least one was familiar with the military installation.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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