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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-04-25

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, April 25, 2002


  • [01] AEK chairman resigns in wake of storm over Turkish Cypriot signing
  • [02] Cyprus signs 58 million loan for sewage project
  • [03] English School pupils to be expelled after vandalism arrest
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot wants refugees off his land in Limassol
  • [05] Compromise found in Zakaki truck row
  • [06] Minister pledges action to rein in gypsies
  • [07] Markides backs down on call for riot footage
  • [08] Bank of Cyprus expectslower first-quarter profits
  • [09] Why is Cyprus not on the euro map?
  • [10] Fuel liberalisation plan ready by June
  • [11] New morning after pill in Cyprus

  • [01] AEK chairman resigns in wake of storm over Turkish Cypriot signing

    By Soteris Charalambous

    THE POSSIBILITY of Larnaca football club AEK signing Turkish Cypriot midfielder Sabri Selden receded yesterday when both Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and resigning club President Stavros Xenis raised doubts about the nationality of the player's parents.

    Sources suggest that the problem centres on the mother, believed to be Turkish. Board members and fans of AEK expressed displeasure about the possibility of the club signing a Turkish player, forcing club President Stavros Xenis to release a statement confirming that he had resigned his position at the club.

    It was also clear from Christodoulou's statement that the government was unhappy at being informed about the player through the mass media rather than by club officials before it became an issue for public discussion.

    Christodoulou made it clear that if citizenship could be established through presentation of the appropriate documents then no further obstacles remained in Selden signing football for a Cypriot football club. However, warned the Minister, should they fail to provide what is required, the presence of the family in the free areas was illegal and permission could not be given.

    Christodoulou also confirmed that Tuner Selden, the player's father, yesterday met with George Theodorou, Deputy Officer for Immigration.

    In a separate statement, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou confirmed that the Cabinet had been briefed about the situation and that they would await the Minister's decision. Papapetrou explained that in cases where children were born on the island with a single Turkish Cypriot parent a law existed, passed in 1999, giving the Cabinet the power to judge individual cases and make a decision on granting citizenship. Papapetrou further clarified the situation for Selden by stating that if the family chose to file an application for Cypriot citizenship it would be processed urgently and a decision would be submitted to the cabinet by next Thursday.

    However, the statement faxed by Xenis to the Cyprus Mail made it clear that the player had signed a personal contract to Xenis himself and not the club, but that its validity was dependent on the player establishing citizenship. The fax confirmed that all members of the AEK board resigned yesterday and that a general meeting for re-election was scheduled for Monday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Cyprus signs 58 million loan for sewage project

    CYPRUS and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB) yesterday signed a loan agreement worth 58 million to cover half the cost for the extension of the existing sewerage system and treatment facilities in the Nicosia area.

    The loan agreement was signed by Finance Minister Takis Klerides and Director General for Loans of the CEB Rainer Steckhan.

    Klerides said that part of the remaining cost of the project, which would be concluded in seven years, would be financed by the European Investment Bank.

    He added that a series of other projects were under examination with a view to submitting them to CEB, including the construction of school buildings, the new Famagusta and Nicosia hospitals, and sewerage systems in other areas.

    "Cyprus joined the Bank after its independence in 1962 but it started borrowing substantial amounts from 1974, following the Turkish invasion on the island and its tragic aftermath", Klerides said.

    In his remarks after signing the loan agreement, Steckhan congratulated Cyprus for its "impressive economic growth rates", and said that the 40 years of co-operation between Cyprus and the Bank had been "very constructive".

    Steckhan said the loans the Bank gave to Cyprus so far were almost exclusively in the social sector and added that the Bank "wants to stay with Cyprus" and continue its work on the island.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] English School pupils to be expelled after vandalism arrest

    By Alex Mita

    A GROUP of 16 English School students caught vandalising school property on April 7 are to be expelled, Headmaster Robert Swan has said in a letter addressed to all parents.

    The vandals - all 7th formers in their final year - painted blotches of red on walls and windows of the school on April 7, but were caught red-handed by a patrolling police unit.

    Five of the pupils were arrested and "held overnight in police custody for criminal damage," the letter said.

    Pranks and practical jokes are a tradition among seventh-form leavers, but the school now appears to have decided that enough is enough.

    In his letter to the parents, Swan said the police would in due course formally charge five of the students with criminal damage. The school itself will not press further charges.

    However, the 16 students involved will be expelled on the day of their last A Level paper and barred from attending the graduation ceremony. They will also be charged 200 each for the damage and the cost of securing the school against similar incidents.

    Swan said such behaviour was unacceptable, and would not under any circumstances be tolerated.

    He added that any student contemplating any act of vandalism should know that in the future the school was likely to press charges as well as expel the perpetrator.

    The headmaster was not available for further comment yesterday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Turkish Cypriot wants refugees off his land in Limassol

    THE TURKISH Cypriot owner of a house in Limassol, which he abandoned in 1974, has demanded the eviction of the Greek Cypriot refugee family living there since so that he could resettle, the House Refugee Committee said yesterday.

    The issue was raised by DISY deputy Christodoulos Taramoundas, who claimed the authorities had already asked the refugee to leave the house.

    He warned that if the authorities insisted in making the family refugees for a second time then they would have bear the brunt of all the refugees.

    "The refugees in the area have informed me that they would react to this attempt, wherever it comes from," Taramoundas said.

    Taramoundas revealed that the Turkish Cypriot man has already received 1.5 million in compensation for his land in Polemidia that the Republic had appropriated to build the refugee estate.

    "It is the first case of an attempt to evict a Greek Cypriot refugee from a Turkish Cypriot house he's been living in since 1974 in order to return it to the Turkish Cypriot owner," Taramoundas said.

    He added: "We recognise this right but all legal procedures should be followed."

    Around 5,000 abandoned Turkish Cypriot homes were by law handed over to refugees after the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Taramoundas said the move could create a precedent for the return of thousands of Turkish Cypriots demanding their homes and properties.

    A few hours later, the Interior Minister sought to put an end to the issue by assuring the deputy that his ministry's departments would not be involved in the eviction procedure any further.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Compromise found in Zakaki truck row

    By Alex Mita

    ZAKAKI residents have agreed to allow use of their roads by lorry drivers, until a dirt road adjacent to the suburb is surfaced in a month's time to accommodate lorries.

    The move comes after members of the House Communications Committee joined Limassol Mayor Demetris Kontides in a visit to the area yesterday in an effort to solve the issue of trucks passing through Zakaki.

    DIKO deputy Marios Matsakis told the Cyprus Mail that the use of the dirt road was a temporary solution suggested by the mayor and members of the House Communications Committee, until the main by-pass connecting the port with the new Hospital roundabout is constructed.

    "Today, we visited the area and we looked at a dirt road that bypasses the built-up area and was used before by trucks carrying stone for the construction of the port," Matsakis said. "The Zakaki people have accepted this solution, as long as the road is built in one month."

    The Ministry of Communications and Works says that the main by-pass will be constructed within a year; nevertheless, Matsakis said he always took everything with a pinch of salt and that's why he had suggested the dirt road be surfaced so it could be used for the next three years.

    The DIKO MP commented on the absence of specialised routes to and from the port, and blamed it all on Communications Minister Averoff Neophytou.

    "The Minister of Communications and Works is to be blamed for this problem, " he said.

    "We have a large port and there are no access roads. This government is to blame for what happened in the last 10 years, but of course, other governments are to blame for what has happened in the last 30 years."

    In reply to Neophytou's comments to the Cyprus Mail last week, that the mayor should be able to solve his own problems, Matsakis said it was not the Mayor's job to build roads.

    "It's not the mayor's fault, Averoff is totally wrong. It's not the mayor's job to build roads, it has nothing to do with the mayor," he said. "In fact, this by-pass is not within the boundaries of the Town of Limassol. Neophytou should get out of Rally cars and start doing some work."

    Matsakis was also critical of Police Chief Andreas Angelides' move last week to partially lift the truck ban ordered by the city council, saying that a solution would have been found much sooner had the Chief not interfered.

    "This suggestion about this road was put on the table before Angelides stepped in and we were in the process of sorting this out when out of the blue Angelides showed up and made his decision without consulting anybody," Matsakis said.

    "Technically, he has the right to block roads, but he should have consulted the local authorities before doing so."

    However, Zakaki Muchtar Andreas Demetriades said yesterday that Paros Street would be closed to lorries until schools shut for the Easter holidays and said that during the break lorries would be allowed access only with a police escort.

    The president of the Hauliers' Association, Andreas Kokou, said he was not certain the dirt road would be surfaced exactly as promised, adding he hoped lorries would be able to use the road without any problems.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Minister pledges action to rein in gypsies

    By George Psyllides

    POLICE presence will be stepped up in Limassol's Turkish Cypriot quarter, the Interior Minister said yesterday.

    The decision comes in the wake of complaints from Greek Cypriot refugees living in the area that Turkish Cypriot gypsies are creating problems to the point where residents are afraid to go out at night.

    Yesterday, Christodoulos Christodoulou pledged an increased police presence in the area aimed at keeping law and order.

    "Police will make their presence in the Turkish Cypriot quarter more intense and annoying, in the good sense of the word," Christodoulou said after a meeting held to discuss the problems raised by the residents.

    "It seems that gypsies make too much noise in the middle of the night, some relieve themselves in public, drive without licences, and some do not co- operate concerning their medical examinations," he said.

    He added: "This cannot continue because the state will make its presence felt."

    The minister said that if the gypsies wanted to be - and were -- welcome to live in the Republic's free areas they should respect the laws of the state and the rights of other citizens.

    Christodoulou said that despite increased police patrols in the area, the Limassol police director had been given instructions to turn up the heat and cut no slack.

    Limassol Police Director Theodoros Stylianou said: "We will do everything possible to enforce law and order in the town and district of Limassol.

    "The minister was clear on his instructions, which we will follow," Stylianou added.

    Christodoulou said several plots of land would be leased to the municipality and turned into parks, parking lots, and open areas as a step to upgrade the environment and the quality of life.

    Limassol Mayor Demetris Kontides said the situation in the area would definitely be improved.

    Around 278 gypsies currently live in the area along with over 2,000 Greek Cypriot refugees. The total number of gypsies in the free areas is 465.

    "It is not a terrible number but the problem is created because their bulk is concentrated in one place and they do not comply with the basic rules of hygiene and social behaviour," Christodoulou said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Markides backs down on call for riot footage

    THE ATTORNEY-general yesterday withdrew his demand for the footage of last Thursday's demonstration outside the Israeli ambassador's residence in Nicosia after strong objections from the journalists' union, who said such a move would endanger reporters on the job.

    On Saturday, Alecos Markides announced he would ask television stations to hand over the uncut footage of the night's demo in which police clashed with protesters.

    Four men were arrested, one of them for assaulting Nicosia Police Director Nicos Theodorides.

    Two of the men arrested were injured in the ensuing clashes. One has already filed a suit against the police, while police have charged him with assaulting police officers, causing actual bodily harm, and disorderly conduct.

    The journalists' union reacted angrily to Markides' demand, suggesting such a move would affect reporters' work in the future and effectively put them in danger since they would be viewed as potential police informers.

    Speaking after a meeting with Markides yesterday, the chairman of the union, Andreas Kannaouros, said the Attorney-general had found the union's arguments strong and had decided to withdraw his demand for the footage.

    He added that Markides told him he had given instructions for the procedure to be terminated so that time would be given to both sides to hold discussions in an effort to find the best solution.

    According to Kannaouros, Markides assured him that there was no issue of "prosecuting or gagging the media, or violating journalists' sources".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Bank of Cyprus expectslower first-quarter profits

    BANK of Cyprus said yesterday it expected to report lower first-quarter profits next month, but forecast an improvement in the second half of the year.

    The bank said its results had been hit by the weakness in the world economy in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the US but said the first quarter was not an indication of what to expect for the full year.

    "We expect the results of the second half of 2002 to be better than those of the corresponding period of 2001, which was affected by negative factors, " it said.

    Chairman Solon Triantafyllides told shareholders at a general meeting yesterday that the bank's stock would soon be included in the Athens bourse's general index.

    "We expect this to happen in one to two months," he said.

    The company will report first quarter results on May 22.

    The AGM approved the payment of a final dividend for 2001 to shareholders of 0.08 per share, in addition to the interim dividend of 0.05 per share, already paid out.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] Why is Cyprus not on the euro map?

    By Jean Christou

    A BRITISH Euro MP is outraged that Cyprus has not been included on the map of Europe depicted on the euro notes and coins even though the map stretches all the way to Moscow.

    The government and the Central Bank said yesterday they had not noticed that Cyprus had been excluded but they would look into the issue today.

    Chris Davies, a Liberal Democrat MEP for the north of England and member of the EU-Cyprus joint parliamentary committee, said that although Cyprus was close to EU membership and the Cyprus pound was pegged to the euro, the island had been omitted from the map.

    In a press release issued yesterday, Davies said even though the map stretched as far as Moscow, "it stops just short of the island" but included eastern European candidate countries.

    Davies said this was unacceptable. "At least in part, the common currency is a political project aimed at bringing together the people of Europe," he said. "To become an EU member but not to feature as one on the map is bound to cause some resentment."

    Davies, who tabled a question at the European parliament on the issue, said that Pedro Solbes Mira, the EU's economic and monetary affairs commissioner tried to explain away the problem by describing the design on euro coins as "a representation of Europe as opposed to a map of Europe".

    A close inspection of the map shows that although parts of north Africa are also included, albeit in white rather than green, the area where Malta, another candidate country, should be situated was shown as sea.

    Davies also said Mira had said there was no intention to modify the design following enlargement.

    "The design of notes and coins is frequently changed over time," Davies said. "All that Cyprus needs is for the map to be extended by a millimetre to the east. If sense prevails that shouldn't be too big a problem."

    Both Central Bank Governor Afxentis Afxentiou and a senior Finance Ministry source said yesterday they would be looking into the issue today.

    "We were not aware of this," the source said. "We will talk with the Central Bank and examine the matter. If the map stretches as far as Moscow there is no excuse for it not extending here."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Fuel liberalisation plan ready by June

    A COMPREHENSIVE proposal on the liberalisation of fuel prices will be ready by mid June, Trade and Industry Minister Nicos Rolandis said yesterday.

    Speaking after a meeting with the representatives of a company which has been hired to do a study concerning the matter, Rolandis said the liberalisation of the fuel market was a very important issue, as well as an obligation towards EU harmonisation.

    Rolandis said his ministry would be ready to present a proposal to the Cabinet in June.

    "There are some peculiarities in Cyprus regarding the existence of a refinery, which would remain as is until 2010, as there was no other solution," the minister said.

    He added: "The question is what happens if the refinery's products are more expensive than the ones imported from abroad."

    Rolandis said another big issue was the government's ability to set a ceiling on the sale price of various products.

    "The company's representatives know about these peculiarities and would be ready to submit their study in six weeks from today," Rolandis said.

    He added that the company believed a price ceiling could be imposed, not ruling out implementing other methods that could be more effective.

    "We await the final suggestions in order to process them and submit them to the Cabinet as soon as possible so that a free price and competition system would be in place before the end of the year, not only between the four companies but also between petrol stations," Rolandis said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [11] New morning after pill in Cyprus

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE MORNING after pill is now available in Cyprus, its importers announced yesterday, but only by prescription.

    Norlevo, first developed in France three years ago, is the only drug of its kind.

    It is an emergency contraception pill to be taken after unprotected sexual intercourse to prevent pregnancy.

    Its manufactures suggest taking it when you have had sexual intercourse and used no contraception, if your condom has broken, slipped, been displaced or been improperly removed, if your partner has withdrawn too late, if you usually take a contraceptive pill, but you have forgotten to take one or more pill, or if you have been raped.

    Norlevo is not an abortion pill, because it is believed to prevent ovulation and therefore fertilisation, said biologist Marios Poullikos.

    "If, however, fertilisation takes place, the pill's active ingredient levonorgestrel acts as a blocking agent and prevents the fertilised ovaries from being implanted in the womb."

    It takes one week for a fertilised ovary to travel to the womb for pregnancy to begin, explained Poullikos.

    "But once the egg has made it to the womb, Norvelo cannot affect the pregnancy in any way, nor does it harm the embryo," he stressed.

    In fact, the pill itself has no known side-effects, said Panos Panayiotou, representative of importers Akis Panayiotou & Son Ltd.

    "Because this pill only contains the hormone progesterone, it is completely safe for any woman who has started her menstrual cycles," he said. "Unlike the contraceptive pill, which has until now been used by gynaecologists as both a morning after pill and a means of birth control, Norlevo does not contain oestrogen."

    Panayiotou said that until now gynaecologists had used an earlier form of 'morning after pill', but that it ran the risk of side effects such as vomiting.

    "Before Norlevo was developed," he told the Cyprus Mail, "doctors used to give women high doses of the contraceptive pill to bring on a period, thus preventing pregnancy. But the presence of oestrogen in contraceptive pills can have side-effects on some individuals, which is why Norlevo has been such a success. In fact, it is twice as effective at preventing pregnancy according to clinical trials and yet with no fear of becoming ill."

    In fact, unlike the contraceptive pill, women can smoke and take this product without it affecting their health in any way, he added.

    Norlevo should be taken as soon as possible and no later than three days after unprotected sex, biologist Poullikos warned.

    "Each packet is made up two pills," he said. "The first pill is most effective if taken within 12 hours of having had sexual relations, but can be taken up to 72 hours afterwards. If taken within the first 12 hours, however, it is 99 per cent effective, rather than only 60 per cent effective three days later. The second pill should be taken 12-14 hours after the first one."

    Poullikos said, if successful, a woman could expect her period as normal, give or take a few days.

    But, at present the drug will only be available by prescription, said Panayiotou.

    "This is because our government is a little bit on the conservative side. However, in other European countries it is now sold over the counter. In fact, in the UK, some conservative organisations tried to get the courts to reverse it to a prescription drug but lost, because it does not pose any health dangers."

    He said he believed it should be an over the counter drug (OTC) because it is more effective if taken immediately.

    "Most people will want it following a Saturday night out," he said. "Well, if they have to wait till Monday to get a prescription, its effectiveness will decrease. Because of the nature of the drug, I think it should have OTC status."

    Although it is not a drug that should be abused and could only be taken once a month if need be, otherwise it would disrupt the menstrual cycle, it would not be dangerous if, hypothetically, someone were to use it in place of birth control.

    "I don't really think any woman would use it in that way though," he said, "because for one, how often are you going to have unprotected casual sex? And second of all, if you're in a relationship I should think you use other forms of birth control." Besides there had been no record of abuse in any of the number of countries it is used in, Panayiotou said.

    Biologist Poullikos said this pill was expected to prevent up to 1.7 million pregnancies in a year and to reduce abortion rates by 40 per cent.

    "Norvel prevents women from having to face the serious psychological trauma of abortion," he said. "In fact because it is so safe, in France, family planning clinics and schools work together and administer it to schoolgirls if they tell a teacher they want it."

    The pills are 5.95 a packet and are already available at pharmacies throughout the island.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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