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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-06-07

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Friday, June 7, 2002


  • [01] CSE report sparks political infighting
  • [02] Man held by Turks after crossing north
  • [03] Activists urge deputies to act on dog cruelty
  • [04] Crisis in Ayia Napa
  • [05] England match live on TV? Fans must wait
  • [06] England v. Argentina on the Green Line
  • [07] De Soto to meet Annan in Rome this weekend
  • [08] Government tight-lipped on breach of constitution over guns
  • [09] Meningitis scare keeps children away from school
  • [10] Cyprus approves first business postgraduate course
  • [11] 'World's top economist' back to advise Cyprus

  • [01] CSE report sparks political infighting

    By George Psyllides

    THE REPORT on the Cyprus Stock Exchange fiasco, published by the House on Wednesday, has sparked a full-blown political spat, with the government yesterday unleashing a scathing attack against the House, accusing it of attempting to assign responsibilities on everyone else except the legislature.

    On Wednesday, the Chairmen of the House Watchdog and Finance Committees released the summary of the findings of an investigation into the 1999-2000 CSE fiasco which saw thousands of people lose their life's savings by investing in bubble shares.

    The summary apportioned considerable blame on the Cabinet and Finance Minister Takis Klerides who had, as the report said, remained "passive and indifferent" to the slaughter of many investors.

    The government's attack was spearheaded by its Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou who, at an extraordinary meeting with the media, charged that the House not only did not assume its responsibilities but through general and vague references tried to dump the blame anywhere else but the legislature.

    "Whoever wishes to become a critic has to know how to assume his responsibilities, not notionally but in practice," Papapetrou said.

    He said that the superficial and mass citation of responsible parties effectively undermined the validity and seriousness of the report, arguing that the House's attempt to appear as the protector of small investors "from the government's sharks is to say the least unfortunate".

    The spokesman wondered why deputies had been left out, adding that there were some among their ranks who had responsibility for the crimes assigned on others by the report.

    Clearly targeting DIKO Chairman Tasos Papadopoulos, who is the CSE's legal adviser, Papapetrou asked whether there were any deputies, who are lawyers and who potentially played some role in forming the legislation concerning the CSE or were legal advisers to listed companies, which proved to be bad investments.

    Papapetrou said it was Papadopoulos who suggested a legal provision to provide brokers with three-month temporary licences. Papadopoulos countered that the spokesman's comments were "unfounded, malicious and ill-natured" and were characterised by the government spokesman's "arrogance and belligerence".

    Speaking at a news conference, Papadopoulos wondered whether Papapetrou's appointment as spokesman gave him authority to embark on personal attacks against political opponents, aiming to damage their integrity. "I can't think of any other reason; without any discussion there is no other explanation," Papadopoulos said.

    Papadopoulos conceded he did table the proposal concerning brokers in September 1999, arguing that he was aiming to set apart brokers from company consultants, while at the same time banning companies from receiving money before their shares floated on the CSE.

    But, Papadopoulos said, "in light of the reactions from brokers, companies and others, the bill was approved with many changes". Then, on January 14, 2000, President Glafcos Clerides sent the law back to the House after "interventions from interested parties". Papadopoulos claimed: "If that law had been enforced in time then much of the tragedy would have been averted."

    Papadopoulos wondered why, out of the 20 or so lawyers who are deputies, Papapetrou chose to "hurt" him. Papapetrou replied that it was not him who involved lawyers in the matter but the House.

    "Based on this, I claimed that since they want to investigate the role of lawyers they should be more specific and not exclude deputies who are lawyers," Papapetrou said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Man held by Turks after crossing north

    By Jean Christou

    A 50-YEAR-old Greek Cypriot man was being held by Turkish troops yesterday after crossing into the occupied areas from the British bases near Achna.

    At 10.30am, George Papageorghiou, a refugee from the Turkish-occupied village of Peristeronopiyi, now living in a Larnaca district village, left his car near the Achna police station, in an area near the Dhekelia Base, locked the vehicle and walked to the Turkish post on the old Famagusta- Nicosia road.

    Sources told the Cyprus Mail that Papageorghiou, who is married with three children, was a former member of the Cyprus police force, but had been discharged after suffering psychological problems. His medical papers have been handed over to the UN to help negotiate his release.

    A British bases spokesman confirmed that Papageorghiou had been arrested after crossing to the north through the corridor road that divides the bases from the Turkish-controlled areas. There is no UN-controlled buffer zone between the bases territory and the north.

    The area where Papageorghiou crossed was only 100 metres from the spot where Turkish soldiers shot and killed retired fireman Petros Kakoullis in October 1996.

    UNFICYP spokesman Brian Kelly said that they were working on securing Papageorghiou's release.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Activists urge deputies to act on dog cruelty

    By George Psyllides

    THE SOCIETY for the prevention of cruelty to animals (CSPCA) yesterday accused local authorities of putting down stray dogs by poisoning or shooting them.

    The CSPCA yesterday staged a small demonstration outside the House of Representatives protesting against proposed dog legislation they said contained unacceptable provisions.

    CSPCA Chairwoman Toulla Poyadji said: "We found that the bill contained many unacceptable points; dog permits, for example, which reach up to 150 per year for some breeds that are cross-bred."

    "There is also another provision we disagree on, which authorises local authority workers to put strays down," she added.

    Poyadji said that was unacceptable because the methods used were criminal.

    "If a dog needs to be put down, only vets can do it without the dog suffering," she said.

    She claimed the customary method was either to poison the animals or shoot them.

    Poyadji explained that poison was usually used on bait when dogs were difficult to catch.

    She added that dogs that were shot often did not die at once and were left to bleed to death.

    Poyadji said the CSPCA had made many suggestions, but they had been ignored.

    The bill had been scheduled for discussion yesterday, but was eventually postponed for two weeks to give the chance to deputies, who were apparently unaware of its provisions, to study it.

    "If the bill had been approved as is then we, the few who are here today, would have spent the night here as a first reaction," Poyadji said.

    "We are happy and sad that some deputies were not even informed about the bill, but after we briefed them they asked to discuss the bill later so that they had time to study it," she added.

    Poyadji said the CSPCE would be at the House's disposal to explain anything they wanted in order to draft a law that would put an end to the "uncontrollable possession, breeding and abandonment" of dogs.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Crisis in Ayia Napa

    By Jean Christou

    MORE than two months into the official summer season, several hotels in the Ayia Napa area have not yet re-opened for business, a representative of the Hoteliers Association PASYXE said yesterday.

    "Some of the hotels are still closed and some opened only last Sunday, while some others will open in the next two weeks," said Lakis Avraamides, PASYXE's marketing representative for Ayia Napa.

    "Usually they are all open at this time. They should all be open at this time."

    Avraamides put the situation down to the general nosedive in tourism, which began with the September 11 terrorist attack in the US. He said bookings for Ayia Napa were down 30 per cent over the same period last year and that British tour operators were selling seats to Cyprus at huge losses.

    "I know someone who came here for 69 with an air ticket and accommodation for a full week," he said.

    "The tour operators have the flights and seats so anything they get above zero pounds is less damage," he said.

    Avraamides said that tour operators were already talking about cutting back on loss-making seats for next year, since some contracting for 2003 had already begun.

    "Overall bookings for summer are very, very slow," he said. "We are very behind compared to last year and no one can say that this area is doing better or worse."

    Avraamides said he had already issued questionnaires to hotels in Ayia Napa to establish a clear picture of the occupancy situation.

    During a recent conference on tourism in Ayia Napa, a British expert said the resort had already dropped in popularity before September 11 and had suffered from its new image of being a clubbing paradise.

    According to Cyprus Tourism Organisation figures, some 16 per of all tourists to the island last year holidayed in Ayia Napa, compared to 33 per cent who chose Paphos and 19 per cent who chose Limassol.

    Ayia Napa was most popular with the Swiss, over 50 per cent of whom holidayed there. Over 45 per cent of Irish tourists and 48 per cent from Nordic countries also stayed in Ayia Napa, compared to only around ten per cent of all British tourists coming to Cyprus, five per cent of the French and two per cent from Greece.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] England match live on TV? Fans must wait

    By George Psyllides

    ENGLAND supporters in Cyprus have to wait for the results of today's Group F matches to find out if they are going to watch their team live on CyBC against Nigeria on Wednesday.

    The problem is that both the group's matches next Wednesday are scheduled for 9.30am and only one can be shown live by the Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation.

    Early schedules apparently have the Sweden v Argentina game listed for live showing, which has alarmed England supporters on the island who want to watch Beckham and his boys.

    According to CyBC's sports department yesterday, the schedule was preliminary and the decision on which of the two Wednesday games will be shown live depends on which is the most important.

    "We don't know yet; it depends on which match would be the most decisive concerning qualification," CyBC sportscaster Achilleas Georgiades told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    Georgiades said, however, that there would be interruptions of the live coverage to broadcast any important developments from the other match.

    And the game not shown live will be shown in its entirety after the end of the live match, Georgiades said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] England v. Argentina on the Green Line

    By Jean Christou

    ALMOST equal numbers of British and Argentinian UN peacekeepers in Cyprus will 'face off' today at various points along the 180km-long buffer zone as their national teams play their key World Cup game in Japan.

    UNFICYP spokesman Brian Kelly said it was likely that the England and Argentina fans would be watching today's match at different locations rather than in one place.

    The force has 416 British peacekeepers, who are mainly located on Nicosia's Green Line, and some 380 Argentinians, most of whom are posted at remote Skouriotissa, on the island's north western coast.

    There is also a mixed special force at UNFICYP headquarters inside the United Nations Protected Area (UNPA) at Nicosia Airport, of which around half are British and a third Argentinian.

    "Human nature being what it is, it's quite possible the Argentinians will gather in one area and the Brits in another," Kelly said, adding, however, there would probably be areas where there would be mixed groups, though he could not predict how many would be where.

    "There are many different recreational outlets and people will be watching in different locations," he said.

    Kelly said this would be the second time during the current World Cup that two countries represented in UNFICYP have competed., referring to Tuesday's match between Korea and Poland. UNFICYP's chief of Mission Zbigniew Wlosowicz is Polish and Force Commander Lieutenant General Jin Ha Hwang who is Korean. Korea won the match 2-0.

    "In general, the atmosphere here is very good," Kelly said. "Everyone's looking forward to tomorrow's match. Usually any time that anyone sounds off it's at their own team or at the referee. It's never at the opposition."

    Kelly said both Britons and Argentinians had also played rugby side by side in Cyprus, despite their long and not always friendly history.

    During the 1998 World Cup, England again met Argentina, and peacekeepers from both sides watched the match side by side at the UNPA. Argentina won that match in a penalty shootout at the end of a game in which David Beckham was sent off for kicking out at one of the Argentinian players.

    Kelly also assured that the Green Line would not be neglected during the big match. "The Green Line will be looked after very very well I'm sure," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] De Soto to meet Annan in Rome this weekend

    By Gokhan Tezgor

    UNITED Nations special envoy Alvaro de Soto will meet UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan in Rome this weekend as peace talks on the island stumble over the issue of security, sources said yesterday.

    President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash started a fresh round of UN-backed face-to-face talks in January. The talks have been given added urgency by the fact Cyprus is close to finalising EU membership.

    One of Denktash's top advisers said yesterday that talks in the past two weeks had focused on security, a core issue along with territory and the status of the two sides in an eventual settlement.

    "It appeared that the security issue was the easiest topic that the two sides could agree on, but since the Greek Cypriot side is insisting on a solution based on the existing republic instead of a new partnership, an agreement on this point is not possible," said Mumtaz Soysal, an adviser to Denktash.

    The Greek Cypriot side also says chances for an early agreement on security are receding.

    "A deal on security looked close, but then Denktash asked for more clarifications, he took back what he had earlier said on the composition of a multi-national force," said one source close to the negotiations, who requested anonymity.

    The difficulty hinged on the mandate of the force, and whether it was to have an observer status, which was what the Turkish Cypriots wanted, or a more substantive role favoured by the Greek Cypriots, the source added.

    Annan, who is due to arrive in Rome this weekend to attend a food summit, visited Cyprus last month and urged both sides to make real progress in the talks by the end of June.

    An official source said De Soto had met Turkish Foreign Minister Ismail Cem last week during Cem's visit to the island.

    Britain's special envoy for Cyprus David Hannay met Cem in Ankara yesterday, while the United States ambassador to the UN also met Cem on Wednesday and discussed the Cyprus problem.

    The admission of Cyprus to the EU without a solution could spark a crisis with Turkey, which is also an EU hopeful and which keeps more than 30,000 troops on the island.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Government tight-lipped on breach of constitution over guns

    By Jean Christou

    THE government yesterday remained tight-lipped on the issue of deputies who obtained handguns for their own private use by being appointed special constables, despite the unconstitutionality of the act.

    Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said he had no comment to make until President Glafcos Clerides made his position on the issue clear.

    "Until the President announces what he has to say on the issue, I have no comment to make," Papapetrou said. "He said before leaving for Denmark that he would comment as soon as he was ready."

    Clerides returned to the island early in the week, but hasn't publicly commented on the issue yet.

    A Nicosia lawyer told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday that that there was not only an issue of illegality attached to the state of affairs but that the constitution had also been violated.

    It emerged last week during that several deputies had taken the easy route to carrying a gun by being appointed special constables by police chief Andreas Angelides, instead of applying through official channels at the Justice Ministry.

    However, lawyer Costas Velaris pointed out that under the constitution being a member of the security forces was incompatible with being a deputy in the House of Representatives.

    He said that just deputies who were appointed ministers automatically vacated their seats in parliament, so too should deputies who had obtained their guns by being appointed special constables. He added House President and AKEL leader Demetris Christofias should act to replace them.

    People are allowed to carry guns either by obtaining a licence from the Justice Ministry or by becoming a special constable. Several deputies have obtained licences from the Ministry, including Christofias.

    Others, including DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades and party deputy Christos Pourgourides, were made special constables, as was AKEL spokesman Nicos Katsourides.

    Article 71 of the Constitution clearly provides that the seat of a deputy "shall become vacant" upon his becoming the holder of an office mentioned in article 70.

    Article 70 says the office of a deputy shall be incompatible with that of a member of the security forces of the Republic, and police law chapter 285 defines the security forces to include special constables.

    Anastassiades has said the leaking of the list of special constables was a flagrant action "by some unfortunately silly and populist state instruments to pillory specific DISY members".

    Despite repeated attempts, the Cyprus Mail has been unable to contact Attorney-general Alecos Markides for his views on the constitutional issues involved.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] Meningitis scare keeps children away from school

    By Soteris Charalambous

    HEALTH Minister Frixos Savvides yesterday sought to play down fears after a second case of meningitis was discovered within four days at the Karmiotissa Primary School in Limassol on Wednesday.

    "It would be wrong to describe two cases as an outbreak." Said Savvides. A spokesman from Limassol General Hospital confirmed that both students were not in any danger and after treatment had been sent home to recover. Doctors revealed that in both cases the disease was the less harmful viral form of Meningitis as opposed to the potentially fatal bacterial form of the disease.

    Savvides said: "The school will not be closed on medical grounds as all the necessary precautions have been taken."

    However, worried parents on Wednesday held a meeting with teachers at which it was decided to keep students away from the primary school for two days until the school had been disinfected. The Health Minister made assurances that the school was safe and that information leaflets would be distributed around the school in order to raise awareness about the disease and to ease concerns.

    He also claimed that the number of cases actually reported for this time of year was lower than normally expected.

    Despite the minister's assurances that the school would remain open, no officials were available at the school yesterday morning to confirm if the school would be operating on Friday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Cyprus approves first business postgraduate course

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS has won its first accredited postgraduate degree in Business Administration, following the approval of the Education Ministry, the Cyprus International Institute of Management announced yesterday.

    At a news conference in Nicosia, CIIM chief Theodoros Panayiotou said the decision was not only important for the hundreds of students that had studied and continued to study at the CIIM, but also for the thousands of Cypriot students that continued to study abroad to pursue post-graduate studies because Cyprus did not, until now, have postgraduate programmes accredited by the government.

    Graduates of unaccredited educational institutions have problems attaining promotion to key management positions, especially in banks, semi-state organizations, and the public sector, Panayiotou said.

    "For the first time in its educational history, Cyprus has two accredited world-class postgraduate programmes: the MBA, which has just received accreditation, and the MPSM, that was accredited in 2000 and was granted recognition of equivalence to a postgraduate degree in 2001," Panayiotou said.

    "Now, hundreds of Cypriots who have had no choice but to travel abroad to acquire accredited post-graduate degrees, often from second and third-rate universities, can study in Cyprus and receive an accredited postgraduate diploma from a world-class centre of excellence like CIIM."

    He said not only would they save thousands of pounds on tuition fees and living expenses, but they would also be able to stay at home to study.

    "It is estimated that Cyprus will save at least several million euros in foreign exchange. Furthermore, as much foreign exchange or more be coming to Cyprus as a result of the increasing number of foreign students who will now come to Cyprus to pursue postgraduate studies, at least in the fields of Business Administration and Public Sector Management," Panayiotou said

    CIIM is the only educational institution in Cyprus that offers accredited post-graduate degrees outside the University of Cyprus.

    Panayiotou also praised recent efforts by the Cyprus Development Bank to promote the establishment of an international research university in Cyprus with the support of distinguished international academics, including Nobel Laureates.

    "Such efforts should be strongly supported by the community and the government if we really want Cyprus to become a knowledge-based society and an educational centre for the region and beyond," he said.

    "Hopefully this visionary effort will not find itself between the rock of cynicism and the hard place of bureaucracy that CIIM met in its efforts to obtain accreditation, a 10-year odyssey which finally found a happy ending, " he added.

    The Deelopment Bank is today expected to publicise details of its efforts to establish a Research University in Cyprus. A group of distinguished academics will gather in Nicosia next week for a brainstorming session. They include Nobel Laureates Paul Crutzen and Harold Varmus, along with renowned economist Professor Jeffery Sachs, who is visiting Cyprus to deliver a landmark lecture.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [11] 'World's top economist' back to advise Cyprus

    HARVARD Professor and Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-general, Jeffrey Sachs, will deliver a landmark lecture on June 13 on 'Globalisation and World Peace: Clash of Civilizations or Global Prosperity? Is there a Role for Cyprus?' at the Cyprus International Conference Centre in Nicosia.

    Sachs is returning to Cyprus exactly one year after he promised President Glafcos Clerides that he would present concrete steps to increase Cyprus' competitiveness and turn the island into a knowledge-based economy and society.

    The Cyprus International Institute of Management (CIIM) is organising the lecture as part of its 2002 Distinguished Lecture Series. In his talk, Sachs will examine how globalisation has changed as a result of the events of September 11; whether the world is moving toward a clash of civilizations, or whether it is possible to build bridges across diverging cultures to establish the foundations of world peace and global prosperity. Sachs will describe a simple strategy - a new Marshal Plan - for making the world safer and, at the same time, more prosperous and will argue that Cyprus has an important role to play, despite - or because of - its small size and unique location in a troubled neighbourhood.

    Sachs has recently been appointed Special Advisor to UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan and charged with the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals by 2015 that has been dubbed a new Marshal Plan. Sachs, who was described by Time Magazine as the "best known" and by the New York Times as the "most important economist" in the world is also assuming, as of July 1, the Directorship of one of the largest conglomerations of research institutes and laboratories in the world, the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

    Sachs's talk in Cyprus is expected to attract international attention because it is one of his first public talks after his appointment as Annan's Special Advisor and as Director of Columbia's Earth Institute. He is also expected to announce a pioneering initiative, which is Cyprus-based yet of global significance, that will make a real difference to the region and beyond.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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