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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-06-12
From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>
Wednesday, June 12, 2002
 'You're better off living next to Nemitsas than in downtown Nicosia'By George Psyllides
EMISSIONS from a Limassol foundry are 100 times lower than the levels set by the European Union, and it would be healthier to live next to it than in the centre of Nicosia, the House Environment Committee heard yesterday.
The Committee yesterday discussed the issue of the Nemitsas foundry, which residents of the neighbouring area want closed down, saying it causes pollution and health problems.
Labour Ministry Representative George Sideras told deputies it would be healthier to live next to the foundry that in the centre of Nicosia, as emissions from Nemitsas were 100 times lower than the accepted EU levels.
The owner of the foundry, Takis Nemitsas, said he had no objection to closing or moving his installations, arguing, however, that someone would have to foot the bill.
Nemitsas wondered why children were only having problems when they went to school and not while in their homes, which were closer to the foundry.
Nemitsas claimed that his father and dozens of workers who worked there had not suffered any ill-effects for decades.
Residents, however, disagreed, arguing the fact was the atmosphere in the area stank of fish and burnt rubber at all times.
Chiflikoudia Mukhtar Androulla Yanikkouri wondered why residents needed permission to breath and why they had to hang their washing out to dry only at specific times.
Yanikkouri added that residents had to wash their dishes just before eating.
Outspoken DIKO deputy Marios Matsakis said that in the end the residents would be forced to take over the foundry, adding that if they ever attempted to do so he would be in the front line with them.
Committee Chairman George Lillikas of AKEL said he noted Nemitsas' readiness to move the foundry if the government made such a decision, as long as a new location was found.
DISY deputy Nicos Tornaritis said it was now up to the government, since the owner appeared ready to move, close, or comply with any instructions from the authorities.
The committee decided to continue discussion of the matter next Tuesday or Tuesday week and has asked the local authorities, Nemitsas, and government departments involved to answer the committee's questions in writing, while residents have been asked to submit a memo outlining their positions.
The Health Ministry claims that an epidemiological study has shown that lead emissions from the foundry were well within acceptable levels, although the study was never made public.
Green deputy George Perdikis yesterday asked the ministry to submit all the findings of the study to the committee and asked why it was considered confidential.
But while pupils of the Eight Primary School are refusing to attend their lessons until the foundry shuts down, around 100 workers yesterday held a demonstration to show their support for the company.
The workers demanded that the authorities intervene to stop the "unjustified defamation and systematic harassment" of their employer.
The workers were backed by union representatives, who said the state should take all necessary measures if there was a problem from the foundry's operation.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
 Man seized 'with over half a kilo of cocaine in his stomach'A LEBANESE man suspected of carrying more than half a kilo of cocaine in his stomach was yesterday remanded in custody for eight days.
Yiousef Mehmet Ali Sikav, 45, was on his way to Beirut from Curacao in the Dutch Antilles via Amsterdam and Larnaca. He was arrested at Larnaca airport on Monday. An initial search by customs officers revealed nothing, but he was taken to Larnaca General Hospital, where x-rays revealed no less than 60 packages in his stomach.
Police said Sikav had excreted 12 of the packages, which tested positive for cocaine. Doctors said yesterday that should any of the containers -- each carrying 13 grams -- have opened, he would probably have died.
Yesterday, Judge Nicos Yiapannas heard police state the suspect had said he was carrying the containers for people from Latin America and that he was to have been paid $5,000 on arrival in Beirut.
Yiapannas agreed to the suspect being detained for eight days while police complete their investigations.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
 Worn cables to blame for power cutsBy George Psyllides
POWER cuts on Monday were caused by the sudden huge increase in the demand for electricity and worn cables, the electricity authority (EAC) said yesterday.
EAC Spokesman Tasos Roussos told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the high temperatures over the weekend had caused a huge surge in demand for power, mainly for air-conditioning systems.
On Monday, with temperatures reaching 43.8 degrees, the EAC registered a record high of 707MW in power supply, Roussos said.
The demand was 36 per cent up on the previous working day, Friday.
Yesterday, things looked better as the temperature dropped, with the supply at 1pm reaching 630MW compared to 682MW at the same time on Monday.
Roussos stressed that the power cuts had not been caused by the inability to supply power. Extensive power cuts had been experienced around two years ago because various problems had delayed the construction of sub-stations and the existing grid had been unable to support the demand.
"There is no production problem, which was the fear then," Roussos said.
"The issue then was clearly the huge delays; you can't have delays and insist on satisfying needs that the grid cannot handle," he added.
But this year the increase in demand overloaded the cables, Roussos said, and some of them, which were apparently worn, maybe due to some excavation work, had failed.
"Always, when we have such extreme weather conditions - winter or summer - if there are any weak points on the grid - a damaged cable for instance - they gradually wear out and it shows in these conditions," Roussos said.
"High loads overheat the cables, which are of course designed to handle a specific load and we don't allow them to exceed it; but when they approach their limits - though you are allowed to overload a cable for some time but then you have to bring load lower than capacity, a dangerous practice that we avoid - they 'bake' and if they are slightly damaged or the link is worn out it would show during this time," he added.
Roussos said Monday's cuts were a combination of overload and worn cables, adding, however, that the interruptions in the supply had been short and on average had lasted for two hours.
Roussos said the EAC repeatedly urged consumers to inform them when they install more loads, but no one ever bothered.
"If they did, we would have known from before the loads imposed on sub- stations in order to take measures in time," he said.
He added: "It would also be safer if the EAC inspected and approved electrical installations."
The law provides that plans for any new installation should be submitted to the EAC or they would be considered illegal.
"It is to the consumers' benefit and it is free," Roussos said.
But apparently people buy the air-conditioning systems and install them the cheap way, not the EAC way, he said.
Roussos said the main problem concerned private homes, while supermarkets and owners of apartment blocs did submit their plans to the EAC as expected.
The authority decides on the sub-stations' capacities based on a specific area's load.
The readings are measured once a month and when loads increase the authority makes the necessary arrangements to upgrade the transformers to handle more loads.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
 Hannay warns time is running outBy Jean Christou
TIME is running out for a solution to the Cyprus problem and much work still needs to be done, Britain's special representative Lord David Hannay said yesterday.
Hannay, who is on a short visit to the island, had a working breakfast with President Glafcos Clerides yesterday morning and issued a short written statement later in the afternoon prior to his departure for Turkey.
In his statement, he said that the core issues of the Cyprus problem needed to be addressed in a spirit of give and take, and added that Britain encouraged the two leaders to find a settlement that would enable Cyprus, reunited, to be invited in December to join the European Union.
"We are now at a pivotal phase in the face-to-face negotiations, which began on January 16. Some progress has been made; but much more remains to be done; and time is relatively short," Hannay said in his statement.
"A maximum effort is going to be needed in the next few weeks. All core issues will need to be addressed and gaps bridged in a spirit of give and take if agreement is to be reached."
During his visit, Hannay also met Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash. He said he had "full discussions with the two leaders" that were "useful and informative".
Speaking after Hannay's meeting with Clerides, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said both men had agreed there was now an urgent need to make progress.
"The President and Lord Hannay reviewed the course of the talks and they reiterated their belief that time was running out and that now, more than ever before, there was an urgent need to make progress towards a settlement, " Papapetrou said.
He said that during the course of conversation with Hannay, the President had reiterated that the Greek Cypriot side was doing everything possible to bring the talks to a successful conclusion.
"Any negative outcome of the talks or the non-satisfactory result so far cannot be blamed on the Greek Cypriot side in any way," Papapetrou said.
Papapetrou also said Hannay had briefed the President about his recent meetings in Ankara, and Britain's moves and efforts with regard to the talks.
"From now on, time constraints are becoming very limited and every meeting we have and every minute is crucial," he said.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
 Hasikos: Turkey reinforcing troops in the northDEFENCE Minister Socratis Hasikos said yesterday that Turkey had sent 5,500 soldiers to the north of the island over the past two weeks, bringing up its forces in the occupied areas to over 40,000.
Hasikos appealed to those states involved in the Cyprus talks to exert pressure on Turkey to withdraw its troops from the north.
"The government believes that this move is a deliberate attempt on the part of Ankara to create tension in Cyprus. Turkey no longer restricts itself to words, it has actually moved on to deeds," Hasikos said.
The government believes the dispatch of more troops to the north is the latest of a series of moves aimed at creating tension on the island. Three weeks ago, a Turkish research vessel was also dispatched to Cyprus and military jets have recently violated Greek air space.
"The government has made all the necessary moves towards those countries which are making an effort to solve the Cyprus question, and hopes that they are in a position to exert pressure on Turkey to withdraw its troops," Hasikos said.
He said the government was monitoring the situation and did not underestimate Turkish actions.
"Turkey is attempting to wage a war of nerves against us and the EU, aiming at averting Cyprus' accession," he added.
He added Nicosia was keeping Athens informed about the latest developments and Turkey's attempts to create tension.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
 British to move wildlife away from antennaBy Alex Mita
THE British bases are set to resume works for the installation of a new antenna at Akrotiri Salt Lake this summer, while seeking to ensure that the environmental impact of the project will be kept within acceptable levels by moving wildlife communities to less affected areas.
Administrative Secretary Gavin Barlow told a news conference yesterday that the main environmental impacts of the Pluto antenna had now been identified with much greater clarity than before, thus enabling the SBA authorities to develop a comprehensive strategy that would ensure they are avoided or reduced to the absolute minimum.
Work on the antenna had been rescheduled after an independent panel, made up of experts from Malta, Canada, Portugal Norway and South Africa, found a number of deficiencies in an original impact assessment carried out in 1997.
"During the course of their study, the panel found that there were a number of deficiencies in the original impact assessment, when compared to today's much more demanding standards," Barlow said.
The Akrotiri Salt Lake was designated to be included in the list of Wetlands of National Importance, falling under the Convention on Wetlands, signed in Ramsar, Iran, in 1971. The convention is an intergovernmental treaty, which provides the framework for national action and international co-operation for the conservation and wise use of wetlands and their resources.
The site is home to a significant number of rare species, including 13 endemic and rare plant species as well as 32 bird species specially protected under the European Birds Directive. The site also supports a number of water birds, including 6,000 flamingos.
Barlow said that implementation of the panel's recommendations, particularly for the future management of the Ramsar area, would ensure that there were positive environmental gains as the antenna project progressed.
"The SBA are maintaining close contact with the panel and will take account of any observations they have on our plans for implementation of their recommendations," he added.
Barlow admitted that the antenna had an effect on the flora and fauna of the area and stated that the Ministry of Defence had redesigned elements of the construction and sought to reduce the area that would be affected to a minimum.
The SBA are planning to move the most important plant communities to another location as well as relocating mammals, reptiles and amphibians that live in the area.
"The most important parts of the plant communities to be affected will be removed from the site before construction begins and will be transported by specialist contractors to nearby areas of degraded habitat prepared for restoration," Barlow said.
"Mammals, reptiles and amphibians, including several species protected by the Berne Convention will be carefully relocated from the construction area in parallel with the relocation of plants."
Barlow said the SBA would work with the government to improve the condition of the wetland habitats both within the MOD sites and in the Ramsar designated area.
However, work on the antennas is sure to bring on the wrath of DIKO deputy, Marios Matsakis, whose arrest during a protest last year sparked rioting in the bases. Matsakis has pledged to lead more protest if work on the antenna resumes.
The British expect work on the antenna to be completed in two years.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
 England fans must waitBy Soteris Charalambous
DESPITE a stunning victory over Argentina, England fans in Cyprus will not be able to watch the crucial final group game against Nigeria live on CyBC today, as the national broadcaster has chosen to focus instead on the simultaneous Sweden-Argentina clash.
To avoid any chance of teams playing for a tactical draw, World Cup organisers have scheduled final group games to be played at the same time. However, the problem for broadcasters worldwide is choosing which of the two games to show live. CyBC, who have exclusive live broadcast rights for the World Cup in Cyprus, have chosen to show Sweden v Argentina on Wednesday at 9.30am instead of England's match against Nigeria, which is being played at the same time.
Doros Nicolaou, from the CyBC Sports Department, confirmed that no change in scheduling was planned to accommodate the England game. He explained: "The scheduling was decided over one month ago and it is very difficult to change that now." Nicolaou admitted that he expected England fans in Cyprus to be disappointed, but explained, "there was no specific reason why the Argentina match was chosen."
Asked if it would not be possible to show the match live on CyBC2, or if it would be possible to 'sell' the England game to another Cypriot broadcaster, Nicolaou said, "neither proposition was an option." But he added: "During the live screening of the Sweden v Argentina match, CyBC will show significant moments of the England-Nigeria game as they happen." Nicolaou also confirmed that the England match would be shown in full at 4.30pm today.
England fans desperate to see the match unfolding live have the option of finding a pub, bar or hotel with a satellite dish or tuning into BFBS 2 (on 91.7FM in Nicosia, 85.3FM in Larnaca and 81.9FM in Limassol). Undoubtedly anywhere with a satellite feed that picks up the ITV or BBC broadcast is likely to be flooded with England fans cheering the team on, even though the kick-off is at the unusually early hour.
It's been an exciting and surprising World Cup so far, with World and European Champions France falling at the first round without scoring a single goal and former World Champions Argentina, Italy and Germany having to battle to avoid early elimination.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
 Contracts signed for new municipality car parkBy Stefanos Evripidou
CONTRACTS have been between Nicosia Municipality and companies Lois Builders and Unicars for the construction of an underground car park in the basement of the new municipality in old Nicosia.
Private developers are set to front the costs of the car park under a build- operate-transfer (BOT) scheme, Nicosia Mayor Michalakis Zampelas said yesterday. The public-private initiative, whereby private contractors invest money into the project and assume responsibility for its day-to-day running and maintenance, will extend for 25 years from the date of completion.
Zampelas estimated the cost of the new town hall to reach £5 million. The government will provide £3.7 million for construction and £200,000 as compensation for expropriated land. Included in the total cost is the estimated £1 million value of the land.
The two projects will be completed in three years' time, said Zampelas. "The site, located where the old municipality once stood, is of symbolic importance not only to the rejuvenation of areas near the Green Line but also because it presents a dynamic contribution to attempts to strengthen the divided city centre, regardless of its current separation and the general climate," he added.
The decision to build the new town hall was made in an attempt to bring the various departments of the municipality, which are currently spread out through the city, together under one roof. The location chosen in the old town was not just symbolic, but practical, given the easy access from outside the city walls and the primary need to revive areas near the Green Line.
The allocated land was previously used as an open market every Saturday, which has since been moved to the road cornering the indoor municipal market. According to yesterday's Politis, market sellers have reported losses of up to 50 per cent since the move was made. Asked to comment on the problems faced by fruit and vegetable sellers, the Mayor replied; "There are no real problems for the market place, merely teething problems. Moving the market out of that area is not an option because it means Nicosia centre will dive further."
He warned the municipality would take action against the merchants who were inappropriately disrupting the market by bringing lorries to and from the area throughout the day. "The market is for the producers, not the merchants, and we will ask them to leave if we have to," said Zampelas, adding, "We have given two alternative spaces for customers to park so there is no way the market will be moving for that."
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002
 Captain jailed for assault on British pensionerBy Soteris Charalambous
KYRIACOS Loucas, captain of the pleasure boat Shirley Valentine, was yesterday sentenced to 40 days in prison after being found guilty of assault on 72-year old pensioner Bob Easton.
A source close to Easton said the pensioner was pleased with the verdict, and felt vindicated by the judgement passed by the Paralimni court, but now wanted to put the whole affair behind him and get on with the rest of his life.
In his testimony, Easton said that his wife Jean, 55, had egged Loucas on during the assault, saying: "Go on Kyriacos kill him, finish him off."
The attack occurred on December 28 last year, when Loucas, Easton and his wife returned to the Eastons' house after sharing a meal together at a restaurant. Easton discovered his wife with Loucas, laughing in the kitchen where they had gone to feed Loucas' dog, Keo. Easton asked Loucas to leave after seeing the pair together, believing they were having an affair.
According to the source, the three had been friends for a number of years. He said Bob Easton had helped Loucas in his pleasure boat business and that Loucas would often bring his dog to the their house while he was at sea and would return to collect him at the end of the day.
In their statements Loucas and Jean Easton, who testified on behalf of the defence, claimed the injuries Easton sustained came when he fell over after having drunk three bottles of brandy. However, the judge dismissed their testimony as "untrue". In his statement to court, Easton said he had no recollection of the events that occurred after he was struck, but found himself in bed the next day wearing underclothes that he didn't usually wear.
Easton has since divorced his wife but was not available to comment on the outcome of the case. His ex-wife refused to comment.
Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002