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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-03-31

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

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


Sunday, March 31, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] Wanted: Russian scientists at $80,000 each
  • [02] Farmers call off their strike - for the moment
  • [03] Noisy planes ban 'could help our tourism'
  • [04] $43.6 million: the cost of UNFICYP for a year
  • [05] Man killed in car accident

  • [01] Wanted: Russian scientists at $80,000 each

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE GOVERNMENT has decided to offer Russian scientists $80,000 a head in an effort to attract them to Cyprus to work in technological incubators, high- technology specialised units focusing on innovative research and development.

    Commerce Minister Nicos Rolandis said this week he would be signing a first ever technological incubator deal with the Russian Federation following a high-tech co-operation deal established between Cyprus and the Russian federation during his recent visit to Moscow.

    “We are moving into high tech in Cyprus,” Rolandis said yesterday. “By this summer the island will be ready to host five technological incubators. This means we shall have 50 to 60 places for scientists working on innovative highly technological discoveries and inventions.”

    During his Moscow visit, Rolandis and Russian Deputy Commerce Minister Michael Kirpichnikov discussed ways to attract Russian scientists to take part in these specialised units.

    “We are trying to get agreements with various universities, institutions, governments and technocrats so we can create a flow of scientists into Cyprus,” Rolandis told the Sunday Mail, adding that the Cabinet had decided to make the scientists “quite a generous offer” of $80,000 per head.

    The Minister cited 'Silicon Valley' in California 50 years ago and Israel ten years ago as examples of similar scientific incubators.

    “Russian scientists will come here and move into incubators and then into the technology and industry sectors,” he said, adding that 860 Cypriots working for multinationals and governments abroad were already trying to persuade the US to join the scheme.

    Cyprus has consistently ranked among the lowest GDP contributors to research and development.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Farmers call off their strike - for the moment

    TWO HUNDRED and fifty farmers ended their two-day strike at the Rizoelia roundabout outside Larnaca at 11am yesterday, police said.

    The move came in response to President Glafcos Clerides' announcement that a ministerial meeting would be called to discuss the farmers' grievances.

    The Larnaca farmers had been blockading the key roundabout with tractors and trucks since Thursday in protest at what they saw as the government's negligence in meeting their demands.

    According to the Cyprus Farmers' Association General Secretary, Michalis Lytras, their demands are threefold: to stop paying social insurance for seasonal foreign workers; that the state subsidise diesel prices; and that farmers' debts be settled.

    Yesterday morning, representatives from farming organisations met at Rizoelia to discuss what course of action to take. The previous evening there had been threats of a nationwide farmers' strike, including a march on the Presidential Palace in Nicosia.

    But, as a measure of good will, after Clerides' announcement, the farmers decided to call off their strike for the time being.

    “If, however, the government does not respond to our goodwill gesture,” Lytras said, “we will call on all farmers to join forces and go on a nationwide strike.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Noisy planes ban 'could help our tourism'

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS tourism could benefit from an EU ban on noisy Russian aircraft, Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis said yesterday.

    Following his trip to Moscow this week to assess tourism prospects from the Russian market -- Cyprus' third largest after the UK and Germany -- Rolandis told the Sunday Mail that arrivals from Russia would be up between 10 and 15 per cent this year.

    “Another thing we may be helped by is the noisy planes, which cause noise pollution and will not be accepted in European countries,” Rolandis said.

    He said the EU candidate countries, mostly Eastern European states with still-strong ties to Russia, were pushing the EU for an extension to accept these aircraft.

    “Some of the other candidate countries are trying to keep taking these planes until the end of 2004, and probably we shall try to do the same,” Rolandis said. He said that Russia was currently negotiating with the EU to allow charter flights to some European destinations, if they are operating to airports at a reasonable distance from residential areas.

    Russian Deputy Prime Minister Victor Khristenko was in Brussels last week for intensive talks with the EU. He said an understanding had been reached with Greece, the Scandinavian countries, Holland, and Belgium. Consultations with Germany and France have almost been completed, but he said the greatest problems concern Italy and Spain. Khristenko said he had received firm assurances from EU authorities that the problem would be resolved by the end of 2002.

    To overcome the ban Rolandis said his ministry would be looking at both of the island's airports to see if they can meet the criteria for a transitional period.

    “Paphos airport is away from residential areas and the same might apply to Larnaca because the landings and take-offs are in areas that are not really residential,” he said. He added that several Russian tour operators had asked about this in Moscow. “We will look into the matter this week, and if other candidate countries manage to secure a transition period until the end of 2004 we shall try to do the same,” he said.

    Rolandis also said the indications for 2002 tourism from the UK were improving. “It may be better than we anticipated, and we have quite a number of late bookings,” he said. “If we manage to have the same figures this year from the UK then we will have the same figures all over.”

    The Hoteliers' Association also said yesterday that arrivals from the UK for the western Easter this weekend were healthy. “Cyprus is in very much demand among British Easter holiday-makers, and as expected during this period we have received an influx of people choosing Cyprus,” said Zacharias Ioannides, the association's director-general.

    “The feeling is that hotels are fully booked and we are very glad that the pattern which prevails every Easter continues this year as well.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] $43.6 million: the cost of UNFICYP for a year

    U.N. SECRETARY-GENERAL Kofi Annan has recommended to the General Assembly the appropriation of $43.6 million for the maintenance of UNFICYP for the 12-month period from July 1, 2002, to June 30 next year.

    An amount of $20.5 million is to be funded through voluntary contributions from the governments of Cyprus and Greece.

    Referring to UNFICYP's political mandate, Annan said: "Since the hostilities of 1974, the Security Council has adopted a number of resolutions, requiring UNFICYP to perform additional functions relating, in particular, to the maintenance of a buffer zone between the lines of the Cyprus National Guard and the Turkish forces as well as a de facto ceasefire, which came into effect on 16 August 1974.”

    With regard to the humanitarian and economic role of UNFICYP, Annan said that the Force encourages and facilitates the resumption of farming in the UN buffer zone. It also sponsors bi-communal contacts and encourages co- operation between the Greek and Turkish Cypriots in restoring normal conditions, the report says.

    UNFICYP also undertakes routine visits to deliver humanitarian aid to more than 425 Greek Cypriots and more than 150 Maronites living in the northern part of the island and to the 300 Turkish Cypriots living in the southern part, the report added.

    The current authorised strength of UNFICYP stands at 1,230 troops, 35 civilian police monitors, 44 international staff and 147 local staff. For the period from July 1, 2002, to June 30, 2003, a net reduction of 42 local posts is proposed to reflect efficiency gains, gained from outsourcing catering services.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Man killed in car accident

    A 38-year-old Bulgarian was killed in a car accident on Friday evening, police said yesterday.

    Gencho Asenov Damyanov was crossing the road in Mesoyi village in the Paphos district when he was hit by a car driven by 40-year-old English tour representative.

    He was taken to Paphos Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

    Police said yesterday the driver of the car is in hospital suffering from shock. She will be questioned when she is released.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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