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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-05-12

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

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


Sunday, May 12, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] EU decision tomorrow on the 'Nativity 13'
  • [02] 'Serious' Archbishop flown to Athens
  • [03] Is this the saviour of Cyprus tourism?
  • [04] It's all water inside the bridge
  • [05] Russian woman held in extradition case
  • [06] Russian woman held in extradition case

  • [01] EU decision tomorrow on the 'Nativity 13'

    By George Psyllides

    FOREIGN Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides yesterday said he had been given assurances by the European Union that the final destinations of the 13 Palestinian militants who arrived on the island on Friday would be decided tomorrow.

    Asked to comment on their stay being extended, Cassoulides said he had “received assurances from the Spanish Foreign Minister, and (current) Chairman of the EU Council of Ministers, that the EU would decide on Monday on the final destinations of the 13 men”.

    “I trust the Spanish Presidency and the arrangements and agreements between the EU, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority, and I believe that all sides will uphold what they have agreed to,” Cassoulides said.

    The 13 Palestinians, considered terrorists by Israel, were flown to Cyprus from Tel Aviv after a deal was struck to end a 38-day stand-off at the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.

    Cassoulides was echoed by EU envoy for the Middle East Miguel Angel Moratinos, who yesterday visited the 12 men who are staying in a Larnaca hotel. The 13th man is in Larnaca hospital being treated for a gunshot wound, and is said to be in good condition.

    A Palestinian diplomat the man was shot before the siege began and sought refuge in the church where he stayed for 38 days with a bullet in his leg. His brother, a pharmacist who was also trapped inside the church, managed to keep infection at bay.

    Moratinos said the final destinations of the 13 would be discussed tomorrow, and added that extending their stay on the island was not yet on the agenda.

    “If we find enough EU countries to take these people there would be no question of them remaining in Cyprus; but if we have some problems we'll have to come back and see,” he said.

    Moratinos said the men wanted to go to a third country voluntarily, although none has expressed any particular preferences: “In principle all 15 countries are welcome to them; they respect the EU position and they would be satisfied to go anywhere (in the EU).”

    He stressed that the Palestinians would be going to Europe as free men, but avoided naming any countries willing to take them in.

    Spain, Greece, and Italy have reportedly offered to take some of them, although other states have also been mooted in the past two days.

    Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis has been the only leader to date to say his country will accept some.

    “Transferring them to Cyprus was decided at the last minute,” Moratinos said. “We are working hard in order not to put any more burden on the generous hospitality of the Cypriot government that has taken this very constructive approach.

    “Cyprus has already contributed, as the responsibility of a country that feels to be part of the EU in the future,” Moratinos said. This had gained Cyprus the respect of the EU, he added.

    The Ambassador of the Palestinian Authority, Samir Abu Ghazaleh, said Moratinos had briefed the men about the arrangements, and they in turn thanked Cyprus and the EU for their contribution in solving the problem.

    Ghazaleh said the men were very concerned about the security arrangements, but would not elaborate when pressed by reporters. “I'm sure you understand what I mean,” he said.

    Ghazaleh said the current arrangement was temporary and that the men would return to their country.

    “The question now is purely humanitarian; our brothers are being uprooted from their homeland and that's why we're reaffirming it is going to be a temporary stage,” he said.

    The 12 men staying at the 3-star Flamingo Hotel are enjoying the relative luxury and freedom after 38 days of living in squalid conditions in the Church of the Nativity.

    They are staying on one floor of the seafront hotel, sealed off from the other guests and confined to the floor except at meal times, which they take alone in the mezzanine.

    The hotel's manager, Antonis Josephides, said that the men could not make or take phone calls from their rooms, though Ghazaleh confirmed that they had contacted their families using the mobile phones of Palestinian diplomats.

    “They contacted their families; they are not detainees,” he said.

    Palestinian diplomats yesterday brought shoes and clothing to the men, who are in six double rooms.

    Josephides said that the government, which is footing the bill, has booked the floor until Monday and has instructed the hotel to supply the men with anything they want.

    He added that the men have not asked for anything apart from what the hotel supplies for their daily necessities.

    “The only thing they asked for was to avoid serving them pork,” Josephides said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] 'Serious' Archbishop flown to Athens

    ARCHBISHOP Chrysostomos was transferred by air ambulance yesterday to the Evangelismos Hospital in Athens, after complications to his health put down to side effects resulting from his medical treatment.

    Health Minister Frixos Savvides called his condition “serious but not critical”, but Andreas Zambartas, the Archbishop's personal doctor, yesterday spoke of “saving the Archbishop's liver”.

    The decision to transfer him to Greece was reinforced by two UK specialists, doctors Neil Kitcher and Richard Greenwood, who came to Cyprus to examine the Archbishop at the Health Minister's request.

    “We completely agree with the decision to transfer the Archbishop for further intensive care to Athens today, and neuro-rehabilitation will be considered at a later stage,” the two said in a statement.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos was injured two weeks ago at the Archbishopric in Nicosia when he fell down some steps and injured his spine and skull.

    The Archbishop's ambulance was escorted to Larnaca Airport by police, accompanied by Zambartas and an anaesthetist. His plane took off for Greece at 3pm.

    Reports say he will stay in hospital in the Greek capital until he is well enough to be transferred to Britain for further treatment.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Is this the saviour of Cyprus tourism?

    By Jean Christou

    A MAN dubbed Britain's 'King of Spin' is offering to put Cyprus back on the UK tourism map completely free of charge.

    “We are offering our services to government and tourism officials to help in changing the way people view Paphos in particular and Cyprus in general, ” Kizzi Nkwocha told the Sunday Mail. “It's amazing the way people's perceptions abroad have changed especially with the growth in popularity of Ayia Napa. Most people now assume Cyprus is synonymous with Ayia Napa. It's okay for an 18-year-old but that's not really what places like Paphos have to offer.”

    Nkwocha, 34, a former journalist turned PR-guru, has been described by The Daily Telegraph as a PR “supremo” and by The Sun as “the King of Spin”. His agency says it has represented clients as diverse as the King of Uganda to mistresses of former President Bill Clinton, the campaign group Jubilee 2, 000, and most of the housemates from the UK 'reality' TV shows Big Brother and Castaway.

    He has also acted as media adviser to a host of TV and sports personalities including Pakistan cricket Captain Wasim Akram and boxer Chris Eubank and was recently voted by The Voice newspaper as one of the top 100 most influential people in the UK.

    Nkwocha, a frequent visitor to Cyprus who married in Paphos last year, has vowed to invest his expertise and resources in reintroducing Cyprus to the world. “This is something of a personal crusade for me as I have been in love with Cyprus ever since my first visit some ten years ago,” he said.

    “It's a shame that the way it is thought of abroad has had such a devastating impact on tourism and businesses dependent on foreign investment.”

    He told the Sunday Mail that his mission is to encourage Britons to come back and have another look.

    “Cyprus has become the sick man of the Mediterranean and people are staying away for the wrong reasons,” he said. “We want to tell people that Cyprus is much more than Ayia Napa. We want to tell people that Cyprus has one of the friendliest populations in the world. Here in Cyprus not only do they hold on to traditions and roots but they also embrace visitors as well. We want to tell people about the opera. There's this huge opera thing in Paphos that nobody's heard of.”

    He said that through his contacts with British newspapers and magazines his firm can make a difference and “hopefully give Cyprus a second chance”.

    He said his new Paphos-based office is in the process of making his firm known throughout Cyprus and will be approaching government and tourism officials.

    “We are sending letters out now explaining who we are and that we are not charging for anything at all,” he said.

    Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis said he was not aware of Nkwocha or his campaign but that the government was open to any ideas that would benefit the tourism industry. “If there is anything of substance we will look into it,” he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] It's all water inside the bridge

    By Alex Mita

    WATER trapped in the flyover bridge close to Aphrodite's Rock outside Paphos has caused erosion to the tarmac, according to experts of the Ministry of Communications and Works.

    In order to remedy the problem, the whole bridge now needs to be resurfaced.

    Experts are also debating whether the insulation between the tarmac and the bridge under-layer should be replaced.

    Communications Minister Averoff Neophytou told the Sunday Mail the erosion is not a big problem, and he brushed aside fears of structural damage to the bridge.

    "There is absolutely no fear of structural damage," Neophytou said. "All that is needed is resurfacing."

    He gave the assurance that the resurfacing would not cause traffic chaos. "We'll fix it in two days," Neophytou said.

    Work on the bridge is not scheduled to start until the autumn, however, in order to prevent traffic congestion during the height of the tourist season.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Russian woman held in extradition case

    A RUSSIAN woman wanted in her country in connection with fraud and tax evasion was remanded in custody for 10 days yesterday.

    Alexandra Atapina, 52, was arrested on Friday at Larnaca Airport as she was getting ready to leave for Kiev in the Ukraine.

    Atapina allegedly embezzled a total of $10,300,000 in Russia.

    Yesterday she appeared before the Larnaca District Court. District Judge Stalo Kizi adjourned the hearing until the Justice Ministry authorised her extradition. Atapina will remain in custody until May 20.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Russian woman held in extradition case

    A RUSSIAN woman wanted in her country in connection with fraud and tax evasion was remanded in custody for 10 days yesterday.

    Alexandra Atapina, 52, was arrested on Friday at Larnaca Airport as she was getting ready to leave for Kiev in the Ukraine.

    Atapina allegedly embezzled a total of $10,300,000 in Russia.

    Yesterday she appeared before the Larnaca District Court. District Judge Stalo Kizi adjourned the hearing until the Justice Ministry authorised her extradition. Atapina will remain in custody until May 20.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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