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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-02-21

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, February 21, 2002


  • [01] Wanted: large space for fallow deer
  • [02] De Soto flies off the brief Security Council on talks
  • [03] Paphos road contractor refuses comment on works delay
  • [04] Cosi still a sell-out 220 years on
  • [05] Cyprus to buy spy planes for EU force contribution

  • [01] Wanted: large space for fallow deer

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE AGRICULTURE Ministry has decided to try and find private homes for the fallow deer in the Tylliria Mountains rather than slaughter them as originally planned.

    The deer have been a problem on the island for over 20 years now, ever since two female and one male deer were shipped over from Switzerland in 1980.

    The government had initially wanted to breed Persian fallow deer on the island, a species native to western Asia and the Mediterranean, but the Swiss sent the wrong species. When challenged, they reportedly refused to take them back.

    Last September, the government decided to cull the deer after attempts to offload them onto zoos abroad came to nothing.

    But now the Forestry Department has decided to give the animals away to small community or hotel zoological gardens and parks for private keeping, rather than slaughter them.

    Government vet Klitos Andreou said yesterday that the veterinary services had no objection to the move.

    "As long as the areas provided for the animals' keeping satisfy animal protection laws, there is no reason not to give the deer to private owners, " said Andreou.

    He said the law stated that owners of such animals "must arrange to have them looked after by competent persons with appropriate knowledge and practical experience".

    Suitable funds are also necessary as their upkeep is expensive. Although he said their feed was vegetative, it has to be supplemented with vitamins, minerals and concentrates rich in proteins, particularly since the deer won't be fending for themselves.

    "And the space provided for them should be large enough to fulfil their biological needs," said Andreou. In other words the temperature, humidity, light and air within the provided space all have to meet the animals' requirements. For instance a two by three cage would not be appropriate, he said.

    Nonetheless, at present some 50 to 60 deer are housed in an enclosure - originally built for three - near Stavros tis Psokas.

    Andreou said the animals needed to be caged in at present because of their rapid reproduction rate.

    "We can't let them roam wild because they will multiply within no time and will destroy the forests," he said, explaining that the island's wild vegetation was minimal and would be consumed by these ruminant animals in no time.

    "This will then lead to even greater problems. For one, it will force the government to issue licences to hunt them, which will mean unpleasant gunfire all over the mountain region. The next problem is that the deer will come down into the villages from the mountains destroying gardens and fields. And thirdly they will eradicate the moufflon, because they will be competing against each other for food - and the deer, which is the stronger breed, will win."

    "That is why the male deer will have to be castrated by their new owners anyway," he said, "because if they are not they will only end up multiplying and we'll have the same problem all over again."

    In fact, Andreou did not see why the animals should not be slaughtered and their meat sold as venison.

    "In Switzerland you can eat venison," he pointed out.

    "Besides, in this case there is no point in keeping them so as to maintain the species. It's not like the moufflon that is a traditional, indigenous animal to Cyprus that is listed as an endangered species."

    However, the move to find them private homes will go ahead despite his personal views.

    Cosi still a sell-out 220 years on

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] De Soto flies off the brief Security Council on talks

    By Jennie Matthew

    LESS THAN 24 hours after the first round of direct talks on the Cyprus question came to a close, the UN Special Adviser flew to New York and the Government Spokesman travelled to Athens to brief the Security Council and the Greek government respectively.

    UN envoy Alvaro De Soto said on Tuesday he was optimistic about the 14 preliminary meetings between the two leaders, President Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash.

    But Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou was more reserved about his experience on the Greek Cypriot negotiating team.

    He said the first round of talks "cannot make someone more optimistic or optimistic on the substance [of the negotiations]".

    In contrast to the 'reserved optimism' expressed by the government before the process, thanks to the Turkish agreement to direct talks, he said it was too soon to expect concessions.

    Diplomats hope the picture should come into focus in the second round, due to start on March 1, but Papapetrou said that if Ankara continued to insist on a two-state solution, there would be no settlement.

    "If for any reason Turkish intransigence prevents a solution to be reached, we must not lose our patience," he said, adding there was no question of pulling out now.

    During his visit to Greece, Papapetrou will meet Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou, his Greek counterpart Christos Protopapas and party leaders to discuss the latest developments.

    Also questioned about the hope of finding a solution, Denktash told journalists in the north on Tuesday: "it's not easy to solve 38-year-old problems."

    He said the two sides had harboured their respective difficulties over the years, citing the importance of avoiding new ones and disposing of the old ones.

    Denktash said he wanted the talks to continue in good will, so that the "realities" could come to the surface and the public was informed of any conclusions to facilitate a referendum should the two leaders reach an agreement.

    Referring to comments from Denktash that there were no refugees in Cyprus, Papapetrou called for patience and restraint.

    "[At some stage] the Turkish side will realise that it is in its interest and in the interest of the Turkish Cypriots to alter this stance and co- operate for a settlement, within the framework of the UN Security Council resolutions," he said.

    Direct talks will resume on March 1, after the 10-day period of reflection.

    In the second stage, meetings will be held twice, instead of three times a week, but they will last longer and tackle the issues in greater depth.

    The 14 meetings so far have dealt with central authority, the constitution of a new republic, the principles of a future agreement, functions, structure, security and territory.

    De Soto is due to return on February 28.

    Cosi still a sell-out 220 years on

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Paphos road contractor refuses comment on works delay

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE ENGINEER heading the construction team responsible for delayed road works in Paphos yesterday refused to comment on recent allegations that he had blackmailed the government to pay him more money to complete the project on time.

    George Michaelides works for the Limassol-based construction company, George P. Zachariades, and is the engineer in charge of the road works on Poseidon Avenue in Paphos.

    The road works cover a 1.5 kilometre strip from the Rania Hotel as far as the CTO in Yeroskipou and affect a total of seven hotels, according to hotelier Andreas Constandinou.

    According to the original plans, the road would be completed by the end of April - before the start of the peak summer season.

    But Constandinou, a majority shareholder of Constandinou Bros ltd hotels group and operator of three of the hotels affected, said Michaelides had violated his contract and intended to work right through until July.

    Michaelides would not give a reason for the delay and was adamant in his refusal to comment.

    "It's not right for us to make public statements about the matter. There has been a lot of fuss in Paphos and maybe it's better to talk to the government and Public Works Department about this matter. I hope they will be fair since they know they truth," he said.

    But instead of supporting the engineer, Public Works Department officials told parliament on Tuesday that the contractor had "blackmailed the government, asking for £1.3 million in addition to his agreed payment in order to finish road works in time". An AKEL deputy added the contractor had even threatened to "work the drill outside the hotels if his demand was not met".

    Constantinou told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that several of his clients had expressed concern about staying in Paphos during the summer if the road works were still under way.

    "All I can say is we will continue our struggle to get the project completed, or at least suspended until the following winter season, and we intend actively to involve the government, the Tourism Ministry and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation in the matter. This situation cannot go on. Something must be done," he stressed.

    Cosi still a sell-out 220 years on

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Cosi still a sell-out 220 years on

    By Kath Toumbourou

    MOZART'S bittersweet opera is given an injection of life in tonight's performance of Cosi fan tutte at Limassol's recently restored Rialto Theatre.

    Having been given the privilege of a sneak-preview at a full dress rehearsal, I arrived on Tuesday night to a reception of vivid colours, bright costumes and lusty vocals.

    The production promises something for every type of audience member. Lovers of opera will appreciate the director's dedication to the ambiguous emotion and the tight balance between comedy and tragedy of the original score.

    Fans of spectacle are promised a visual frenzy with sets designed by Piero Vinciguerra that wouldn't look out of place in any modern interior design magazine and where Jutta Dellorme's sophisticated costumes are worthy of fashion's modern best.

    For those who think opera is a pack of fat, warbling tenors and some ageing diva wearing too much makeup, you haven't seen anything like Anthony Pilavachi-Popoff's take on Cosi fan tutte.

    First performed in 1790, Cosi fan tutte (roughly translatable as 'Thus do all women') is the simple story of a wager gone wrong and what happens when you make light of fidelity.

    Don Alfonso (Karsten Küsters) is a cheeky old bachelor who challenges officers Guglielmo and Fernando to place a wager on the fidelity of their respective betrothed.

    Being confident that their lovers, sisters Dorabella and Fiordiligi are faithful, the lads accept the wager without hesitation and pretend an urgent mission must take them away.

    They return the same day disguised as Albanian merchants and each proceeds to seduce the other's fiancée.

    The carefree mood turns into drama as Don Alfonso - with the aid of the girls' hairdresser, Despina (played with vigour by Katherine Stone) - manages to convince all involved that the twisted farce they're all party to is actually reflective of the true nature of women.

    The masquerade eventually comes to an end, resulting in heartbreak for all involved.

    There's really no question of understanding what's being said. Though there are Greek and English translations projected overhead, I was reluctant to take my eyes off the stage - afraid that I would miss out on some of the action. The temptation proved too much and I eventually just surrendered myself to my knowledge of the plot and rudimentary grasp of Italian.

    Marion Costa and Katharina von Bülow are outstanding in their respective roles of sisters Fiordiligi and Dorabella. They throw their youth into the opera's modern setting and add all the more life to the piece.

    Küsters' portrayal of Don Alfonso is further amplified by his bright red costuming, which is reminiscent of some sleazy Italian pimp. Armin Kolarcyk and Tomislav Muzek bookend one another perfectly as Guglielmo and Ferrando.

    Players grind on the floor, throw their drinks around and receive a makeover in this lively production that sees Cyprus-born director Pilavachi- Popoff transport the setting from eighteenth century Naples to a twentieth century poolside in the Mediterranean summer.

    In mixing old and new, the team manage to breath new life into the medium and prove that opera is truly a timeless art.

    The production is a mammoth collaborative effort on the Rialto's behalf, with the aid of the German and Israeli embassies, the Ministry of Education and Culture and various sponsors.

    As a result, it is an opera conducted in five languages. Vocals are provided by Germany's Bremen opera, the 40-piece orchestra is from Israel, the opera is sung in Italian, the locals speak Greek and they all communicate in English.

    Despite being a transformed cinema, the theatre's acoustics are admirable. Conductor Spyros Pisinos takes charge of the Israel Camerata, his baton peeking out of pit, which niftily doubles as a swimming pool.

    Cosi's season is lamentably short. Tonight is opening night and it closes tomorrow - both performances are sold out - so if you don't have tickets, cross your fingers for a return season or another production soon.

    Cosi still a sell-out 220 years on

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Cyprus to buy spy planes for EU force contribution

    CYPRUS will buy unmanned spy planes for the European Union rapid reaction force, defence sources said yesterday.

    But the sources would not confirm a news report that a tenders' panel endorsed an £11 million contract for two of the unmanned airborne vehicles (UAVs) from Israel's Aeronautics Unmanned Systems Ltd.

    "UAVs will be acquired and will be part of our contribution towards the EU force," an army source said.

    "The ministry is not involved in issues related to the special tenders' board," a Defence Ministry spokesman said.

    Strategically placed at the edge of the volatile Middle East, Cyprus is a frontrunner for membership in the next European Union enlargement expected in 2004.

    The embryonic EU force will be a pool of resources rather than a standing army. It is supposed to be deployable by 2003.

    Politis said yesterday the tenders' commission had endorsed the bid from Israel Aeronautics Industries over rivals Sagem of France and Israel Aircraft Industries (IAI).

    IAI declined comment on the matter, saying a decision had yet to be made.

    Israel's Aeronautics told Reuters it was still in the running along with its partner, European Aeronautic Defence and Space Co NV.

    "Aeronautics with its European ally EADS, is participating in the Cyprus UAV tender," said Idan Shimon, vice president of marketing at Aeronautics.

    "Up to date, Aeronautics did not receive any official announcement from Cyprus's government. Aeronautics and EADS will be honoured to co-operate with Cyprus in the UAV programme."

    Cosi still a sell-out 220 years on

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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