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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-06-09

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, June 9, 2002


  • [01] 'Only one Cyprus will be allowed into the EU'
  • [02] Limassol focuses on upgrading its tourism product
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot footballers 'banned from visiting Pyla'
  • [04] Pupil vandalism on the rise, say teachers
  • [05] Special taxis to be equipped for wheelchairs
  • [06] Stranded sailors stage Limassol port protest
  • [07] With the heatwave come the fires
  • [08] The invisible eclipse
  • [09] Explosive orange was a pith-take

  • [01] 'Only one Cyprus will be allowed into the EU'

    By Soteris Charalambous

    THE FOREIGN Affairs Committee of the European Parliament yesterday stated that only one single sovereign Cypriot state will be allowed to join the European Union (EU) and that it believed the prospect of EU membership could help resolve the long-standing Cyprus problem.

    The Committee encouraged Turkey to "actively" support the ongoing direct talks that began earlier this year between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash aimed at achieving a permanent settlement. It also called on Denktash "not to hinder the work of EU representatives".

    The European Parliament progress report examining the state of enlargement negotiations with candidate countries said that the Foreign Affairs Committee reaffirmed in a draft resolution that "only a single sovereign Cypriot state will be permitted to join the EU".

    The report accepts that the Cyprus that joins, in line with UN resolutions, may be a bizonal and bicommunal state, and adds that exceptions to existing EU laws can be accommodated. But it also emphasises that "there can be no derogation from the principles on which the EU is formed"

    The island's chief EU negotiator, George Vassiliou, told Financial Times Deutschland yesterday that Cyprus would probably finish negotiations to join the EU while it was still divided. He added that if Turkish Cypriots were also to be officially welcomed by the Commission, as planned for the end of the year, a breakthrough in negotiations was needed by August at the latest.

    The EU could admit Cyprus without a successful outcome in talks between the two sides, but Turkey opposes this, and has threatened to annexe the north of the island if it happens. Greece has threatened to block the entire enlargement process if it goes ahead without Cyprus.

    "After October the Turkish government will have to decide whether it wants to maintain this difficult situation or whether it wants to improve relations with the EU and Cyprus," said Vassiliou. "The time-frame for taking on a united Cyprus remains until summer."

    Euro-MPs said the macro-economic climate of Cyprus continues to improve and its budget deficit has been cut, adding that 27 chapters in the accession negotiations have been provisionally closed. But they also noted: "Progress still remains to be made on transposition and implementation, as well as on the adoption of a number of laws which are still outstanding."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Limassol focuses on upgrading its tourism product

    LIMASSOL'S tourism industry needs to be improved according to a study commissioned by the town's Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    It carried out the study to pinpoint weaknesses, shortages and drawbacks in the town's tourism industry and make suggestions on how to rectify them. The findings were presented to Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis at a meeting on Friday.

    "I believe the study is the basis for future planning," Rolandis said after the meeting.

    "Cyprus is considered a luxury Mediterranean destination, a reality we must promote. That's why we must improve a number of areas, particularly as far as specialised works are concerned. Although we have implemented several of our tourism development plans over the past four years, this study has highlighted the fact that Limassol needs further improvement."

    Rolandis said he would be setting up a special meeting with the Chamber to discuss and prioritise what works had to be carried out first. "By putting things into order of importance we will be more practical and effective," he said.

    Projects that had already been carried out to develop and improve Limassol over the past few years included building theme parks, a marina and golf courses, said Rolandis. "Limassol has a much improved image now compared to the past," he said.

    Referring to the island's depressed tourism industry, the minister said this was not just a local phenomenon, but a global one.

    "The entire Mediterranean region is suffering, with the exception of Croatia, Bulgaria and Turkey which are considered to be cheap holiday destinations."

    This was why we had to maintain competitive package holiday prices, he said, so the cost difference between Cyprus and other tourism hot spots was kept to a minimum.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Turkish Cypriot footballers 'banned from visiting Pyla'

    By Soteris Charalambous

    A BAN on Turkish Cypriot footballers visiting the bi-communal village of Pyla has been imposed by the occupation regime in order to stop high profile players moving to the free areas, according to reports in the Turkish Cypriot press yesterday.

    One well-known Turkish Cypriot footballer was reported as being prevented from travelling from Pergamos to Pyla and being told it was illegal for Turkish Cypriot footballers to visit the mixed village on the buffer zone.

    The player said he was not planning to cross into the free areas, but to no avail. He was only allowed to go to Pyla after prominent individuals in Nicosia intervened on his behalf.

    The restrictions on the movement of footballers in the occupied areas were imposed shortly after Turkish Cypriot brothers Sabri and Mousafer Selden left their club, Binatli of Morphou, and moved to the free areas. After being granted citizenship both players signed professional contracts with AEK football club in Larnaca.

    Following the brothers' controversial departure friends and family members were arrested after visiting in them in the free areas.

    Meanwhile, Oroklini police have confirmed that two more Turkish Cypriot families have joined the steady flow of people who leave the occupied areas via Pyla into the Republic. Damis Danitolou, 32, and his wife Esi, 21, crossed over on Friday, as did Housamer Kara, 26, his wife Esi, 24, their five-year-old twin boys Melih and Mer, and Kara's mother-in-law Sefkoun Salih, 53. Both families told police officers they wanted to settle in the free areas to have a better future for their families.

    Cyprus police stopped both families because they were driving cars bearing number plates from the occupied areas, and found that neither driver held a valid licence, road tax, or insurance. They were taken to a motel in Larnaca where they will stay until they can be found permanent accommodation and employment.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Pupil vandalism on the rise, say teachers

    By Alexia Saoulli

    PUPILS who have been given bad grades in their school reports are increasingly hitting back by vandalising their teachers' property, according to Takis Gavrielides, President of the Secondary School Education Teachers' Union (OELMEK).

    At the start of the final exam period last week, he said, a Lyceum teacher found her car, which had been parked on the school's premises, doused in petrol. Damage estimated at 500 was caused and the incident was reported to the police, Gavrielides said. No suspect has yet been found.

    The teacher reported the attack to OELMEK, and it in turn intends to raise the matter with the Education Ministry. Gavrielides said the union also plans to examine the wider issue of teachers' safety in light of the growing problem of pupil vandalism.

    "Every year incidents like these occur," said Gavrielides. Pupils displeased with their marks on the final reports "take matters into their own hands and decide to take revenge".

    He said this is unacceptable, and added that the government must come up with stricter measures aimed at protecting both schools and the teachers who work in them.

    In one example of vandalism in Nicosia, English School leavers in 1996 built a wall in the school's front entrance and scrawled obscenities about some of the teachers across it.

    Instances of gymnasium pupils causing problems at primary schools have also been reported.

    Haris Charalambous of the Primary School Teachers' Union (POED), was quoted by Philelftheros yesterday as saying that as soon as some gymnasium pupils finish their exams they head down to their former primary schools and pester the teachers and pupils.

    Although some merely want to pay their old school a visit, others are guilty of being severely troublesome, Charalambous said.

    On the whole teachers can handle the episodes themselves and remove troublemakers from the premises, he said, but there have also been incidents to which the police have had to be called in.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Special taxis to be equipped for wheelchairs

    THE Licensing Authority has decided to authorise 11 special needs taxi licences for wheelchair users across the island, according to reports yesterday.

    The new taxis will be equipped in such a way that people in wheelchairs can approach the vehicle's door and be lifted into it by a special mechanism without having to get out of the wheelchair.

    The Transport Department has designed prototypes for special doors through which wheelchairs can be lifted into the taxi and secured firmly into position. The Licensing Authority has also stipulated that each taxi must possess at least one regular passenger seat.

    Eleven licences will be allocated to special needs taxis throughout the island: two in the Nicosia district, two in the Limassol district, two in the Larnaca district, two in the Famagusta district, two in the Paphos district and one for the Polis Chrysochous village just outside Paphos.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Stranded sailors stage Limassol port protest

    SCORES OF crewmen have been stranded in squalid conditions aboard a ship at Limassol port for nearly 10 months, it was reported yesterday.

    The Ukrainian-flagged Primexpress cargo vessel has been berthed at Limassol since last September because of a financial dispute, and has not been given permission to set sail until it has been resolved. As a result 80 Ukrainian crew members have been forced to remain on board in increasingly bad conditions as they wait for their overdue wages to be paid.

    On Friday, fed up with the situation, several sailors disembarked and staged a protest within the harbour's premises.

    They pleaded with authorities to have their wages paid so that they could return home to their families, Politis newspaper reported.

    "We are suffering, and all we ask is for someone to help us so we can be relieved from this inhumane state of affairs," one female crew member said.

    The problem first came to light several months ago when it became known that the Primexpress crew members were suffering food and water shortages, as well as health problems. At the time, Communication and Works Minister Averoff Neophytou undertook to supply them with food and medical attention.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] With the heatwave come the fires

    By Soteris Charalambous

    THE CURRENT heatwave, with temperatures rising to 39 degrees inland, has also brought the start of the brush-fire season, with fire-fighting crews called out to more than 25 separate incidents across the island yesterday.

    A spokesman for the Nicosia Fire Brigade said yesterday the worst of the fires, in the Khirokitia area, began at 3pm and was expected to rage into the night as fire-fighters were unable to bring it under control because of high winds.

    He said that a square kilometre of land had already been destroyed in the blaze, but that no injuries had been reported.

    In another major incident a man was arrested for starting a fire near his house, which then spread out of control and put other homes at risk near the Paphos district village of Pyrgos.

    The fire was started at around 8.30am by sparks as the man was working in an open area near his house. It spread quickly, helped by strong winds and tinder-dry land.

    Four fire engines and two Russian helicopters were needed, as well as forestry department and civil defence officials and other residents, to bring the blaze under control.

    Half a square kilometre of cultivated land, shrub land and a green house were destroyed before the fire was extinguished.

    The Fire Brigade spokesman said that a restaurant had been slightly damaged in an incident in the Limassol area, but he described the other fires as "less serious" and confirmed that "no serious casualties" had been reported at any of the fires.

    The Fire Department has appealed to the public to be particularly careful when lighting fires during the summer months.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] The invisible eclipse

    ALTHOUGH there will be a solar eclipse tomorrow, Cypriots will not be able to see it -- because it will be at night, the Nicosia Fakas Astronomy Institute said yesterday.

    This will be an 'annular eclipse', during which the Moon passes directly in front of the Sun but is unable to completely cover it because the Moon's disk appears smaller than the Sun. It can only be seen from a very narrow track called the path of annularity.

    The eclipse will start at 10.52pm local time and last for nearly six hours, ending on Tuesday at 4.37am local time. But because the sun will be on the other side of the globe at the time, it will not be visible from Cyprus.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] Explosive orange was a pith-take

    A PRACTICAL joker caused havoc at a Larnaca hotel yesterday morning when a 'suspicious' looking object was spotted in a skip by staff members.

    The police were called and the area was sealed off, while explosives experts examined the skip and the suspect device.

    What they found was not a bomb, but an orange bound tightly in sticky tape.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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