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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-05-03

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, May 3, 2002


  • [01] Clerides replies to Denktash paper as De Soto briefs Annan
  • [02] Cross-community agriculture trading proposed
  • [03] More and more choosing to holiday abroad
  • [04] Arson attacks in Nicosia and Paphos
  • [05] Sailor dies of haemorrhage
  • [06] Royal jelly warning
  • [07] 'Equal partnership is the key'
  • [08] Annan coming to Cyprus
  • [09] No surprise (but some dissent) as Christodoulou takes Central Bank helm
  • [10] Pavlos Savvides is new CSE chief
  • [11] Hadjidemetriou may stand for president against his own party candidate
  • [12] Selden granted citizenship, but who will he play for?
  • [13] CTO funds cleared
  • [14] Tourists charged after cigarette haul

  • [01] Clerides replies to Denktash paper as De Soto briefs Annan

    By Melina Demetriou

    PRESIDENT Clerides yesterday sent a lengthy reply to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash in response to a proposal the latter submitted at their talks on Monday, outlining his positions on a prospective solution.Talking to reporters after yesterday's Cabinet meeting the President said his reply -- more than 19 pages long -- would be given to Denktash later in the day.

    The UN Secretary-general's Special Adviser on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, has already taken delivery of the President's response.

    "Our paper is a reply to all the points raised by Denktash in his document, " Clerides said.He acknowledged that Denktash's proposal covered all aspects of the Cyprus question.

    Asked to say whether Denktash's paper is a step backwards in the ongoing peace effort, Clerides declined to comment on the document, citing the news blackout imposed by UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan on the content of the talks.

    He did not rule out the possibility of continuing the UN-led talks after the June target date if there was some development that would warrant this.He also said at this stage that there is nothing to suggest that the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides were closer to an agreement. "Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed," he added.Asked if the direct talks might drag on until December, Clerides replied: "I cannot predict this now. We shall look into this matter if there is some development which leads to the conclusion that we need more time in order to reach a comprehensive settlement."On Cyprus' prospective entry into the European Union, he said that the decision on which candidate countries will join the EU will be taken between October and November."The recommendation on this will be examined by EU leaders at their December summit," he said.Meanwhile, de Soto yesterday briefed Annan in New York on developments in the ongoing peace talks.He also met US State Department Cyprus Co-ordinator Thomas Weston to review the situation in the talks, taking into account Denktash's paper and the response of the Greek Cypriot side.As time marches on, the UN, assisted by the US and Britain, want to see the Security Council press on the two sides the need to accelerate the peace process.De Soto was meeting representatives of the five permanent members of the Security Council last night to brief them in informal consultations.

    Council members have expressed the wish to see de Soto be more specific in his assessment in apportioning responsibility for the lack of progress in the talks so far.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Cross-community agriculture trading proposed

    THE government is studying a proposal by the 'Brussels Group' that would allow Greek and Turkish Cypriot farmers to do business. The rapprochement group called on the government to give the green light for cross-community trading in animals, dairy and meat products.

    "There is no legal obstacle in the way of this arrangement," the Group said yesterday. It said that the proposed opening of the market in the field of agriculture would keep prices down, benefit the consumer, and boost the dairy industry which had suffered losses because of milk shortages.

    Commenting on the proposal, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou told his daily briefing yesterday that " the idea must be examined and discussed in great detail before making any decision".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] More and more choosing to holiday abroad

    By Alex Mita

    THE NUMBER of Cypriots travelling abroad for holidays is rising, despite the September 11 attacks and the recent crisis at the Cyprus Stock Exchange, according to the Permanent Secretary of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents, Thanos Katsourides.

    "The number of outgoing trips in 2001 when compared with 2000 has increased by 16.44 per cent," Katsourides told a news conference yesterday to promote the 'Travel 2002' exhibition in the State Fair grounds from May 10-12.

    A rise in outgoing trips is also expected this summer.

    "If we take into consideration figures that were taken in January, we can safely say that there will be an increase in the number of Cypriots flying abroad this summer. Cypriots love to travel," Katsourides said.

    There has been an increasing trend in people taking three-day package holidays to Greece, with a large number of tickets sold during the Green Monday and March 25 celebrations. Katsourides said that approximately 10, 000 people are expected to fly abroad this weekend for Easter.

    "The most popular destination for Cypriots is the Greek islands, followed by the Greek mainland and then Europe," he said. "But although some may have financial difficulties because of the recent crisis at the CSE, Cypriots love to travel and will find a way to take a trip somewhere."

    The Association is also hoping that the situation in the Middle East stabilises so regular cruises to Haifa can resume.

    And with Helios Airlines now flying direct to Dublin, Katsourides said he hopes that Ireland will become a popular new destination for Cypriots as well.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Arson attacks in Nicosia and Paphos

    TWO CARS were set on fire early yesterday in arson attacks in Nicosia and Paphos.

    In the first incident a Mazda 323 was found burning outside a house on Megas Alexandros Street in Kaimakli. Police believe the inside of the car had been doused with flammable liquid and set alight. It is not known why the attack took place.

    The second incident was on Vassilis Michaelides Street in Paphos at around 2am. A Toyota RAV4 worth 20,000 was parked outside its owner's house and was completely gutted by fire.

    Police said it had been parked next to another car, which suffered minor damage. They said they suspect the fire was started deliberately.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Sailor dies of haemorrhage

    FILIPINO sailor Vincente Seguella, who was found unconscious last month in his

    cabin on board a vessel in Larnaca, died in hospital yesterday.

    Seguella was taken to Nicosia General Hospital and placed in the intensive

    Care unit in critical condition after suffering a rare form of brain haemorrhage.

    A supervisor of the hospital's Neurology Department told the Cyprus Mail that

    Seguella had been placed on a ventilator but had not regained consciousness,

    nor had he shown any signs of improvement.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Royal jelly warning

    THE HEALTH Ministry warned yesterday that a banned antibiotic has been detected in a certain brand of royal jelly.

    The information had been transmitted by the European Union food information exchange system, a ministry statement said.

    The ministry advised consumers to avoid using the product until all necessary examinations were completed.

    The product category is royal jelly and capsules of lyophilised royal jelly of the brands Gelle Royale Pure Vrac, Gelle Royale Lyophilisee, and Royal Jelly Top 800-Kaps.

    The warning includes the following lots: LOT 22074, L205609A, and L1083520001.

    Suppliers of the product are Lustrel Laboratories (France), Banner Pharmacaps (Netherlands), and Sheber (Germany).

    The company, which markets the product is Ortis (Belgium), the ministry said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] 'Equal partnership is the key'

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday dismissed a new Greek Cypriot proposal to reunite Cyprus, insisting any settlement must involve an equal partnership between both communities.

    He told Reuters he had received a proposal from President Glafcos Clerides to draw up a new constitution, but said the internationally recognised republic in the south must first acknowledge his administration as an equal partner.

    "It (Cyprus) is a joint venture... between two equal peoples, and to deny this and to say that we can settle a 39-year-old political problem by writing a new constitution is very, very odd," Denktash said.

    Denktash and Clerides, meeting several times a week, have agreed on a June deadline for a settlement.

    "We have started negotiations...without any preconditions and (are) free to discuss everything in order to come to a new partnership," Denktash said.

    Turkish Cypriots see a settlement on Cyprus in the form of a confederation: a partnership of two equal states. Greek Cypriots want reunification under a loose federal system of two regions.

    Denktash said this week he had given Clerides a list of suggestions to speed up the UN-mediated talks.

    "Our proposals were aimed at establishing a joint partnership between two equals," Denktash said.

    "We hope international public opinion... will realise that the sole impediment to a settlement is the fact that Greek Cypriots are hiding behind a title which is not legally and morally theirs."

    "Clerides has read this document (from Denktash) and has answered each point raised. It contains elements which are contrary to UN resolutions and to the European Union acquis," a Clerides aide told Reuters.

    Brussels has said it will admit Cyprus with or without a settlement in the EU's next wave of enlargement.

    "We have looked into Mr Clerides' paper," Denktash said. "He is protecting the original stand of the Greek Cypriot administration from 1963 when they destroyed the partnership republic."

    The 78-year-old Turkish Cypriot leader said he would not accept a deal that placed centralised authority in the hands of a Greek Cypriot administration.

    "We want a settlement. We shall strive for a settlement, but not by accepting the Greek Cypriots' illegal authority as the legitimate government of all.

    "We want something substantial, we want something real which will make Cyprus a permanently peaceful island," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Annan coming to Cyprus

    By Irwin Arieff

    U.N. SECRETARY-General Kofi Annan will travel to Cyprus to give a boost to flagging UN-sponsored talks aimed at reaching agreement by June on a plan for reuniting the divided Mediterranean island, a spokesman said yesterday.

    Clerides and Denktash have been negotiating face to face since January 16 but without tangible results to date.

    Annan "hopes to see decisive progress in the talks between the two leaders in the coming period. He plans to call on them separately and to meet them jointly," the spokesman said, adding that the dates of the visit would be announced shortly.

    The negotiations have taken on urgency as Cyprus is a candidate for European Union accession and the EU has said it would accept a new wave of members in December.

    Following a briefing on the talks by Annan's special envoy on Cyprus, Alvaro de Soto, the Security Council's 15 member nations welcomed Annan's decision to travel there.

    "They hope this will enable decisive progress to be made in the face-to- face negotiations in the period before the June target date for agreement which the council once again endorses," they said in a statement read by Ambassador Kishore Mahbubani of Singapore, this month's council president.

    The statement urged both sides, but "particularly the Turkish side," to cooperate fully with de Soto's efforts to reach agreement.

    Denktash told Reuters yesterday he had received a proposal from Clerides to draw up a new constitution, but said the internationally recognised republic in the south must first acknowledge his administration as an equal partner.

    "We want a settlement. We shall strive for a settlement, but not by accepting the Greek Cypriots' illegal authority as the legitimate government of all," he said in an interview aboard a Turkish frigate taking part in joint military exercises between the Turkish navy and Turkish Cypriot authorities.

    "We want something substantial, we want something real which will make Cyprus a permanently peaceful island," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] No surprise (but some dissent) as Christodoulou takes Central Bank helm

    By George Psyllides

    AS EXPECTED, President Glafcos Clerides yesterday appointed Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou as the new Governor of the Central Bank. He replaces Afxentis Afxentiou who has held the post for the past 20 years.

    Clerides said he arrived at his decision after taking into consideration Christodoulou's knowledge of the island's financial matters and his honesty.

    But the appointment was not universally welcomed, with both the United Democrats and KISOS raising dissenting voices.

    Before assuming the Ministry of Interior three years ago, Christodoulou had served as Finance Minister for four-and-half-years.

    The announcement was made by the president after the cabinet meeting yesterday morning. Clerides said that Christodoulou's term as Central bank Governor would be for five years, in accordance with the legislation.

    Asked why he had appointed Christodoulou, a politician, instead of a technocrat, Clerides said: "I studied the matter very carefully, considering the outgoing governor's advice; the most important factors which led me to appoint the Interior Minister were his knowledge of the island's financial issue and his honesty."

    Clerides said that the name of the new interior minister will be announced next Thursday, until which time the minister's duties will be taken on by Justice Minister Nicos Koshis.

    Christodoulou thanked Clerides for entrusting him with such an important position and promised not to disappoint him.

    "I thank the President for the honour in appointing me to the very important post of Central Bank Governor," Christodoulou said. "I will make sure I do not disappoint him."

    The first reaction to the appointment came from the United Democrats.

    In a written statement, the party, a junior government coalition partner, said the handling of the matter "should have been different".

    "It should have been handled with technocratic criteria, especially in light of Cyprus' accession into the European Union and its prospects of participating in Europe's common currency," the statement said.

    Social democrats KISOS said the appointment "showed that the government is unaware of, or wants to ignore, the signs of the times".

    KISOS said that the person chosen for Central Bank governor should possess the academic and professional background that would help him respond to needs as they change in the light of EU accession.

    "We are on the threshold of accession and while we know our economy in general, specifically our monetary system, face a series of new challenges, the government insists on thinking that old mentalities and lack of knowledge can satisfy," KISOS said.

    "The government insists in sidelining accomplished new generation scientists and technocrats," it added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Pavlos Savvides is new CSE chief

    THE NEW chairman of the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) yesterday pledged to protect investors and work hard for the development and welfare of the CSE.

    Chartered accountant Pavlos Savvides, 53, was yesterday appointed CSE Chairman to replace Paris Lenas, who resigned recently citing personal and professional reasons.

    Savvides is the brother of Health Minister Frixos Savvides and served as minister of communications under George Vassiliou in 1990.

    In a written statement after his appointment, Savvides said he was assuming the post at a time when investors had no trust in the CSE.

    "My first objective is the protection of investors and achieving a transparent market with development and welfare prospects," Savvides said. "Hard work is needed to achieve all this. but I am ready."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [11] Hadjidemetriou may stand for president against his own party candidate

    By Melina Demetriou

    VETERAN socialist Takis Hadjidemetriou is considering standing for President in February's elections, even as his party KISOS looks set to back a different candidate.

    Although it only garnered 6.5 per cent of the vote in last year's parliamentary elections KISOS is expected to play a pivotal role in next year's presidential poll.

    An emerging coalition between left wing AKEL and centrist DIKO is expected to back

    DIKO chairman Tassos Papadopoulos for President and wants KISOS on its side.

    But ruling DISY is also trying to form an alliance with the social- democratic party so it does not get squeezed out of the running.

    Some AKEL circles want Hadjidemetriou as the coalition's candidate but the party leadership, which will have the last word, is said to favour Papadopoulos who has been proposed by DIKO. Many AKEL members are threatening to cast blank votes if Papadopoulos is the opposition candidate.

    KISOS, which is not that keen on backing the DIKO chairman, will soon decide whether to join the opposition alliance or announce its own candidate and invite DISY to back him. The ruling party has already offered to support a social democrat like KISOS leader Yiannakis Omirou who is, according to sources, considering the proposal.

    Hadjidemetriou, a former deputy and founding member of KISOS, has often criticised the new line of his party which he says is no different to that of neo-liberal parties.

    The 69-year-old politician told the Cyprus Mail that he did not rule out the idea of running as an independent candidate, adding that he already had a group of supporters.

    "I would gladly represent the opposition coalition in the elections, but I think AKEL and KISOS have stopped discussing my name therefore I will make my own decisions when the time comes," he said.

    Hadjidemetriou called his supporters " middle ground people, socialists and communists".

    "KISOS can no longer represent the centre left as many of its senior members have abandoned the traditional socialist line of KISOS and the party has lost its appeal," he said.

    Hadjidemetriou also insisted that Papadopoulos was not the right presidential candidate for the opposition.

    "International Court of Human Rights' Chief prosecutor Carla del Ponte has issued a report which was published in Kypros Simera weekly earlier this month, associating Cyprus with the (former Serb President Slobodan) Milosevic money-laundering case. She referred to Papadopoulos' law office as one of the companies involved," he said.

    Hadjidemetriou predicted that if the opposition coalition decided to back Papadopoulos it would lose the elections if DISY supported a middle ground politician.

    The Cyprus Mail has learned that Cypriot associations in the US have made clear to AKEL that they would not support its election campaign if Papadopoulos stood as candidate because he was unpopular in the western world.

    Cypriot communities abroad traditionally back AKEL, with many expats flying home to vote for the left wing party in national elections.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [12] Selden granted citizenship, but who will he play for?

    By Soteris Charalambous

    THE Council of Ministers yesterday granted Cypriot citizenship to Sabri Selden, the Turkish Cypriot football player who left Morphou-based club Binalti in the occupied areas to play for a Greek Cypriot club. President Glafcos Clerides said after the cabinet meeting that since Selden, 21, was born in Cyprus of a Turkish Cypriot father, he was entitled to Cypriot citizenship "and only if the mother was a settler in the strict sense of the word would we have denied him Cypriot nationality". The cabinet had discussed the issue of the parents' marriage in Turkey in 1975 and decided that it did not warrant a reason not to grant citizenship. Clerides also stressed there was no political message behind the decision.

    Although the player's citizenship has now been clarified, the identity of the club he will play for next season remains uncertain. Selden originally trained with Anorthosis. However, the Larnaca-based club immediately withdrew their interest when questions were raised about his eligibility to Cypriot citizenship.

    Selden then played in a friendly match for AEK against Omonia Aradippou where he impressed, scoring two goals from midfield, and was immediately signed by AEK President Stavros Xenis.

    After the news of the player being linked to AEK a statement was released by Xenis saying he and the rest of the board had resigned and that the player had signed a personal contract with him, not with the club. The statement also said the issue of Selden's citizenship needed to be resolved before he could play football in the Republic.

    Since being granted citizenship a number of clubs have expressed interest in signing the player. According to Xenis these include newly crowned champions Apoel, Omonia, AEL and Olympiakos. Xenis also said that Greek club Iraklis Thessaloniki had been in contact with him. When asked about the possibility of the Selden playing for AEK, Xenis said: "It is dependent on if I am re-elected President and what my association with the club is after the elections" (on May 22).

    AEK officials held a meeting with Xenis yesterday but were not available for comment.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [13] CTO funds cleared

    THE CABINET yesterday approved an additional budget of 410,000 for the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) to advertise the island abroad.

    Finance Minister Takis Klerides said the funds had been requested by Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis last week and after clearing the misleading tourism figures that had been submitted to the cabinet it was decided to grant the cash.

    The misleading figures had prompted the cabinet to postpone the aid package for the industry since they indicated optimistic bookings.

    The whistle was blown by the hoteliers association and the following day the CTO revealed data showing a much worse picture of the situation initially submitted to the cabinet.

    Yesterday, Klerides said that the cabinet felt the need to approve the fund to avoid any further delay in the matter.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [14] Tourists charged after cigarette haul

    FOUR British tourists were yesterday charged with duty and excise evasion after allegedly buying 625 cartons of cigarettes from a Turkish Cypriot man at the mixed village of Pyla near Larnaca.

    The four men, all from Newcastle, were arrested on Monday night at their flat in Ayia Napa.

    They were charged with possessing 625 cartons of cigarettes worth 2,500, having failed to pay duties worth around 10,000.

    The men will answer to the charges next Thursday at 10am.

    They were released on a 2,500 bail each and their travel documents were surrendered to the customs department.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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