Browse through our Interesting Nodes for Entertainment in Greece Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923) Read the Convention Relating to the Regime of the Straits (24 July 1923)
HR-Net - Hellenic Resources Network Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Sunday, 3 December 2023
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Interesting Nodes
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts

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

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, May 1, 2002


  • [01] 'Hundreds could die' if toxic time bomb goes off
  • [02] Runaway bus crushes rental car in Ayia Napa
  • [03] Activist warns AIDS carriers deliberately spreading virus
  • [04] Clerides delays Central Bank announcement
  • [05] Bases 'blackmailing' local community over antenna plan
  • [06] Fasting on fast food
  • [07] Priest charged and release over gun offence
  • [08] Ministry clears trips to Greece, but too many children have pulled out
  • [09] CY takes delivery of new Airbus
  • [10] APOEL fan expected to make full recovery

  • [01] 'Hundreds could die' if toxic time bomb goes off

    By Melina Demetriou

    DEPUTIES on the Environment Committee yesterday warned that hundreds could die in case of an explosion at the grounds of the former Chemical Industries, which have not been cleared from dangerous substances yet.

    After a meeting of the Committee yesterday, Green party deputy George Perdikis spoke of "a huge chemical bomb waiting to erupt" and accused the government of failing to address the danger.

    The former industries' grounds are located near the Vassiliko power plant between Limassol and Larnaca. They used to house a power unit, an ammonia factory, a chemical acid factory and a fertilizer plant until the industries closed down about 10 years ago.

    The Committee yesterday sounded the alarm about the existence of chemical substances in the area.

    Government officials at the meeting shared deputies' concerns and assured deputies that a private company would soon be commissioned to clear the area from the dangerous materials.

    But George Perdikis of the Greens charged that the Commerce Ministry had not followed standard procedures in assigning the project.

    "They have invited tenders without setting the conditions first. They plan to do that after they make a shortlist of companies, a practice followed only in illegal states," he charged.

    Perdikis further claimed that certain companies that had expressed interest in the project were not qualified to carry out the task.

    "There is a huge cocktail bomb made of toxic, cancerous and explosive materials. If there is an explosion, hundreds will die and the fact that the Vassiliko plant is near the area makes things even worse," Perdikis said, also citing the environmental damage that such an incident could cause.

    Perdikis said the Committee had tried in vain to convince officials to set the terms of the agreement before issuing an invitation for tenders.

    "The Commerce Ministry should give the project to a company that will have a co-operation agreement with a foreign company that knows how to handle these cases," the deputy argued.

    Marios Matsakis of DIKO complained that the grounds of the former industries were not guarded.

    "Anyone can enter the area and steal materials to create a bomb or cause damage," he warned, adding: "it is possible to dispose of corpses by throwing them in one the acid tanks."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Runaway bus crushes rental car in Ayia Napa

    ONE man was seriously injured yesterday in Ayia Napa after an empty runaway bus crushed a rental car before smashing into a holiday complex.

    The driver, Andreas Akritas, 57, was seriously injured in the accident but his condition was not life threatening.

    The accident happened at 8am on Teukros Anthias Street, when the bus failed to stop at a junction, hitting the corner of building.

    The bus continued its uncontrolled course, crushing a rental car before smashing to a halt into a holiday complex.

    The trapped driver was cut out of the mangled wreckage by fire fighters and then rushed to Nicosia general hospital for treatment.

    The scene was cordoned off by police, who began looking into the circumstances of the incident.

    Famagusta Police Director Savvas Hailis told reporters police would first examine the vehicle's brakes to determine whether they had failed, causing the driver to lose control of his vehicle.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Activist warns AIDS carriers deliberately spreading virus

    By Soteris Charalambous

    ALLEGATIONS that AIDS carriers are having unprotected sex in a deliberate effort to spread the disease were met with dismay by Health Minister Frixos Savvides yesterday.

    The claims came from Stella Michaelidou, from the Support Centre for Aids Carriers (KIFA) based in Limassol, who is due to meet with the Health Ministry on Thursday to substantiate her claims.

    Savvides was angered by Michaelidou's decision to "go public with her allegations before a meeting had taken place" with the ministry and warned that he "expected Michaelidou to be able to prove these very serious allegations".

    A meeting, scheduled for earlier this month between the ministry and Michaelidou, had to be postponed when Savvides left Cyprus to attend the funeral of the late Queen Mother. Savvides confirmed that he had spoken to Michaelidou yesterday morning and that a government statement could be expected after Thursday's meeting.

    Michaelidou was not prepared to discuss the exact details of the evidence that she will bring to the meeting with the ministry but she believed that the government's figures of 385 AIDS sufferers was "too low". When asked why AIDS sufferers were deliberately spreading the disease, Michaelidou responded: "Because they are ignored by society."

    Michaelidou admits she was frustrated that several attempts to contact the Health Ministry had gone unanswered and had prompted her to go public and force a meeting. "My priority is to make people understand that they still need to take precautions," she added.

    Michaelidou acknowledged that the public admission that people were deliberately spreading AIDS could lead to those she was trying to help facing criminal prosecution. However, she vowed never to disclose the identities of those who were allegedly committing the acts. When asked about the negative impact her allegations might have on tourist numbers, and an economy reliant on tourism to sustain growth, Michaelidou responded: "I feel a great responsibility to act on the information I have and to see it acted upon, my priority is with preventing the further spread of AIDS."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Clerides delays Central Bank announcement

    By Jean Christou

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides yesterday delayed announcing his choice for a new Central Bank governor until tomorrow, despite having promised to reveal his decision yesterday.

    "I have taken a decision," Clerides told reporters yesterday morning outside his office. Quizzed on when he would announce it, he said: "Thursday." Reports said Clerides had already prepared the necessary papers but had left a blank for the name.

    Clerides' reticence has left the Central Bank rudderless since 2pm yesterday when former governor Afxentis Afxentiou said his goodbyes to his staff and to the media.

    He also said he was clueless as to who his replacement would be. "It would have been desirable to have left today with a successor in place," he told journalists, making it clear he had not sought an extension of his contract.

    Afxentiou, 70, was first appointed as Central Bank Governor in 1982 and has served four five-year terms since. He said yesterday that this made him the world's longest-serving Central Bank governor.

    He also said that during his time in office the Central Bank had achieved the internal and external stability of the Cyprus pound.

    Clerides has been tight-lipped for months on who would be replacing Afxentiou. Speculation is rife that Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou, also a former Finance Minister, will be appointed governor and be replaced by Communications and Works Minister Averoff Neophytou. However, reports say that Neophytou is not keen on changing ministries. Another name being touted for governor is that of Finance Minister Takis Klerides.

    Other names that have been mentioned include London School of Economics Professor Christopher Pissarides, Central Bank senior manager Charalambos Achniotis and Michalis Sarris, a director at the World Bank.

    Achniotis and Pissarides are members of the Central Bank monetary policy committee.

    Any new governor will have the responsibility of overseeing Cyprus' accession to the EU in terms of harmonising and liberalising the financial sector of the economy and seeing the island through preparations to enter the eurozone.

    Economist and analysts hope the new governor will be a technocrat rather than a politician, particularly in the run up to accession and in view of the fact that Cyprus is entering a pre-election period.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Bases 'blackmailing' local community over antenna plan

    By Melina Demetriou

    DIKO deputy Marios Matsakis yesterday accused the British Bases' authorities of trying to blackmail the Akrotiri community into agreeing to the construction of a controversial new antenna.

    Matsakis presented reporters at the House with a copy of the minutes of a meeting held earlier this year between the Chief Officer of the SBA David Bonner and the Akrotiri community council.

    Among other things, the copy says: "Mr Bonner has reiterated that the Bases' authorities preferred to appoint Akrotiri residents than people from other communities to SBA posts. He added, however, that this policy was no longer in place due to residents' opposition to plans to construct a mast in the Akrotiri Salt Lake.

    "Mr Bonner has promised that this decision would be reviewed if residents demonstrated a spirit of co-operation."

    The transcript continues: "Mr Bonner said that the mast issue has come between the authorities and the community and could influence decision- making procedures concerning various matters."

    Matsakis accused the Bases of making threats against the community to force it to approve the construction plans.

    Christakis Evelthondos, member of the Akrotiri Anti-antenna Committee, shared Matsakis' concerns. He stressed the need to protect the salt lake, which he said would soon be declared an environmentally protected area.

    Asked to comment on the accusations, Bonner yesterday admitted that the mast issue had damaged relations between the authorities and the community, but denied that this had anything to do with the way the Bases handled residents' problems in general.

    "The community council has failed to attend several planned meetings because of the antenna dispute," Bonner told the Cyprus Mail.

    Referring to the contents of the minutes, the Chief Officer said that he "must have been quoted out of context."

    Bonner noted that the construction of the antenna was planed to start in June.

    Violent demonstrations took place last summer in protest at plans to erect the mast.

    The Akrotiri community and environmentalists fear that the antenna's emissions will give residents cancer, but the Bases' authorities cite environmental studies according to which the mast does not pose a threat to residents' health.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Fasting on fast food

    By Alexia Saoulli

    WITH Easter Sunday just days away, Cypriots around the island will soon be able to indulge in meat and dairy products after 40 days of fasting.

    But, if various fast-food outlets around Nicosia are anything to go by, the religious have hardly been suffering. Particularly if they have only been fasting during Holy Week.

    For several years now, several fast-food diners have catered to the needs of people fasting, offering them a tasty alternative to your average pulses and carbohydrates.

    "We actually designed a special nistisimo (fasting) menu this year," said George Ouzounis at the popular sandwich bar, Everest.

    The menu offers a choice of six different meals, from a veggie burger and seafood baguette to spinach pies and village salads.

    "This menu has been in operation since Green Monday," he said, "and has been extremely successful. In fact I'd say that seven out of 10 customers request something from this menu, particularly during Holy Week".

    Another fast-food joint that caters to people fasting is Goody's. Although it does not have a special flyer promoting its nistisima meals, the well- known Greek fast-food outlet has added seven different variations to its usual menu to meet the needs of customers opting to fast during Lent.

    "Goody's first introduced a special Lenten menu four years ago in Greece," said the Eleftheria Square outlet manager, Yiannos Kyriakou. "The idea took off straight away and so we have been implementing the plan annually," he said, adding that nistisima meals were in very high demand, particularly this week, with at least seven in 10 diners choosing one of the various suitable types of meals.

    "This year we are offering a seafood salad, seafood sandwich, pasta with tomato sauce, seafood pasta, 11 different salads at the salad bar, 'Fanatic chips' minus the usual bacon and parmesan cheese that accompanies them and regular chips," said Kyriakou.

    Every year, Goody's adds a little something different to the nistisimo menu, he said.

    "For instance, I didn't think the Fanatic spicy chips without the bacon and cheese would be such a roaring success, but they are," he admitted. "In fact some of the new meals we've added on during this period will not be discontinued straight away, because customers tend to ask for the more popular dishes, such as the seafood sandwich and pasta in tomato sauce, even after Lent is over."

    McDonald's also follows an annual policy of introducing nistisima.

    Manageress Charoulla Papadopoulou said this was designed to offer the public a tasty, fast alteration to the usual food consumed during this 40- day period.

    "The customers are kept happy," she said, "and at least 70 per cent of them come in looking for something that does not break their fast".

    This year the international fast-food producer has breaded shrimps, shrimp salad, country potatoes, spring rolls, veggie burgers and chips for all those individuals struggling with their fast. Of all the above, said Papadopoulou, only veggie burgers and chips are kept on the menu all year round, the rest are promotional, seasonal products.

    Avraamis Kontou, owner of Sam's Food, told the Cyprus Mail that all six of his outlets throughout the island noticed an increase in demand for nistisima from Green Monday until Easter Sunday.

    "Although we don't change our menu in any way," he said, "more people ask for falafel, fried aubergines, courgettes and cauliflower in a pitta and spinach pies.

    "In fact, at the moment we are getting through at least 500 falafel a day, instead of the average 300. As for aubergines and courgettes, we need 12 kilos every two days, because sales are up 60 per cent".

    Kontou said he was particularly impressed that younger generations were more prone to asking for nistisima than people over 30.

    "It's the young ones that generally ask for our nistisima. After Easter of course, eating patterns go back to normal, with people asking for chicken and beef donner kebabs."

    But not all fast food places have noticed much of a difference in demand for meat and dairy free products, if at all.

    Pizza Inn manager Rolandis Lefkides for example said that although some people did eat salads, pasta, veggie burgers, fish fingers and spring rolls that were nistisima, he had not noticed a great deal of difference over the past 40 days.

    "Maybe it's because we are a pizza parlour and so people that are fasting don't come here because they associate pizza with cheese, even though we do have cheese that is nistisimo (soya based cheese). However most people do not think to ask for it."

    Employees at Nicosia's Tasty sandwich takeaway said they had not noticed a huge surge in demand for nistisima sandwiches either.

    "We do for example serve seafood sandwiches, veggie burgers, spring rolls, rice with vegetables, tahini and chips in a pitta, and olive pies, but we always have. If we used to make two for every 10 customers before Lent, we now make four. But, I expect that as we near Sunday, more people will be abstaining from meat as is the custom here during Holy Week."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Priest charged and release over gun offence

    A 38-YEAR-old priest has been charged and released in connection with carrying a firearm and illegal entry into the office of a Nicosia paediatrician, police said yesterday.

    The incident happened on Monday morning when paediatrician Chrystalla Nicolaou went to her office on Grivas Dhigenis Avenue and was confronted by a hooded man sitting on a couch in the waiting room and wielding an army issue G3 rifle.

    The woman recovered from her initial shock and ran for the door calling for help.

    The man - who did not point the gun at her at any time - suddenly took his G3 and left.

    On his way out, however, he was seen by people on the street, still armed and hooded.

    Police later arrested the priest, a father of seven, who is understood to be the doctor's relative.

    The suspect has allegedly admitted that he was the culprit and was said to be very upset by the incident, but refused to say why he did it.

    Police yesterday said the priest had been charged with carrying a firearm, illegal entry, and carrying a firearm with intent to instil fear.

    Priests are exempted from national service, but reports said the suspect had volunteered to become a reservist and had received special dispensation from the Church and the Defence Ministry.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Ministry clears trips to Greece, but too many children have pulled out

    THE HEALTH and Education Ministries yesterday gave the all-clear for the resumption of school trips to Greece, but the trips will not be going ahead because so many parents have removed their children from the programme, Health Minster Frixos Savvides said.

    The trips were postponed last week following an outbreak of the Coxsackie virus, which affected scores of people and resulted in three adult deaths due to heart complications connected to the virus.

    Coxsackie, which is also known as hand, foot and mouth disease, is a viral infection caused by a strain of the Coxsackie virus. It causes a blister- like rash that, as the name implies, involves the hands, feet and mouth. In rare cases it can lead to myocarditis, inflammation of the heart, which can be fatal.

    The virus is spread by direct contact with nose and throat discharges, blisters and faeces of infected people. Symptoms include fever, poor appetite, runny nose and sore throat.

    Schools throughout Greece were closed as a precaution because children are more highly susceptible to the virus, but were reopened at the end of last week.

    Following a meeting between the parents and both Ministers yesterday to review the situation, Savvides said that there were no longer any medical grounds to postpone the trips. However, the chairman of the parents association told the Ministry the number of cancellations from concerned parents had rendered the trips unviable on a practical level. "This factor disturbed the whole package in terms of compensation so it was decided to put off all of the trips until June," Savvides said. Easter trips for over 800 secondary school pupils have been affected.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] CY takes delivery of new Airbus

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) yesterday took delivery of the first of two Airbus A319 aircraft at a special ceremony in Hamburg.

    The 126-seater plane is to be used for short-haul CY destinations in Greece and the Middle East. The second A319 will be delivered in June from Airbus headquarters in Toulouse in France.

    As part of its long-term strategy to combat the competition resulting from air transport liberalisation next year, CY will also take delivery of two leased 219-seater Airbus A330s, which the company plans to use for longer haul flights to London and western Europe.

    CY chairman Haris Loizides told journalists in Hamburg that it was of great importance to note that CY had managed to renew its fleet without any government loan guarantees.

    He said the company's plan for the $70 million loan from a Tokyo bank had been studied by the European Credit Agency, which concluded that CY did not need any state guarantee.

    "We've succeeded in upgrading our fleet to deal with the intense competition since 120 airlines fly into Cyprus," Loizides said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] APOEL fan expected to make full recovery

    By Soteris Charalambous

    A SPOKESMAN at Nicosia General Hospital confirmed yesterday that APOEL supporter Akis Sophocleous was "improving" after he was attacked at the Tsirion stadium in Limassol on Saturday before the Championship deciding match between AEL and APOEL.

    The spokesman confirmed that Sophocleous was now "fully conscious and expected to make a full recovery" but anticipated the patient would stay under hospital supervision "for at least two weeks".

    Limassol police have remanded in custody an 18-year old man in connection with a public disorder offence outside the stadium but would not comment if he would be charged with the attack on Sophocleous. A police spokesman did, however, confirm that the CID was carrying out investigations into the violence.

    Doctors have not allowed police to interview Sophocleous but have allowed visits from representatives of APOEL.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2023 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    cmnews2html v1.00 run on Wednesday, 1 May 2002 - 13:02:43 UTC