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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-07-10

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, July 10, 2002


  • [01] UN urges Turkish side to be more constructive
  • [02] Confessions of the 'Faliraki Slapper'
  • [03] Cabinet to rule on EAC bid for telecoms licence
  • [04] Turk jailed for illegal entry
  • [05] Four die in separate accidents
  • [06] Ambassador accused of making false claims
  • [07] Brussels meeting on future of the bases
  • [08] House 'to set common age of consent at 17'
  • [09] Ministry staff shortage makes it hard to fight rip-off merchants
  • [10] Children test positive for Legionnaires' antibodies
  • [11] Old Nicosia to get ancient monument status
  • [12] Musician jailed for indecent assaults

  • [01] UN urges Turkish side to be more constructive

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE UNITED Nations Security Council said in New York yesterday that the Turkish Cypriot side has been "less constructive" than the Greek Cypriots in efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, and expressed its disappointment that progress has been slow and the June target date for an agreement had not been met.

    In a statement read out by the Security Council President, British Permanent Representative to the UN Sir Jeremy Greenstock, after the Council was briefed by the UN Secretary-general's Special Adviser on Cyprus Alvaro de Soto, the Security Council urged both sides to work with de Soto to enable him to establish the component parts of a comprehensive settlement which takes full consideration of Security Council resolutions and treaties.

    "The members of the Council expressed disappointment that, despite the Secretary-general's valuable personal involvement, including when he visited the island in May, progress remained disappointingly slow and the June target date for agreement had not been met", the statement said.

    It also said the Security Council "noted in this regard that the Turkish Cypriot side has been less constructive in its approach so far and had declined to support the goal of resolving the core issues by the end of June". It "also noted with regret that the call by the members of the Council on May 2 that the UN should play a fuller part in the talks has not yet received the requisite response".

    The Council statement added that "the members reiterated that call".

    It urged both sides to work with De Soto to enable him to achieve "a comprehensive settlement which takes full consideration of relevant Security Council resolutions and treaties".

    It "strongly underscored the need for the Turkish side in particular to move in this direction".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Confessions of the 'Faliraki Slapper'

    By Jean Christou

    A BRITISH girl whose father is a Greek Cypriot living in London has confessed on national TV that she had sex with 20 men in one night at a rowdy Rhodes holiday resort.

    In its second exposť on the goings-on in Faliraki, the British tabloid Daily Mail interviewed the 20-year old who also said she performed simulated lesbian sex on stage for thousands of tourists on the Greek island.

    Her antics have earned the middle-class shop girl turned stripper the title 'the Faliraki Slapper'.

    "This is the name by which Becky Assemakis is universally known in Faliraki, acquired after millions of viewers watched her boasting on the ITV series Club Reps earlier this year," the Daily Mail said.

    The programme's audience included her British mother and her stepfather at their six-bedrooom home in Kent. Her father, a Greek Cypriot engineering inspector, was mortified by the programme, the paper said.

    "Becky is actually proud of her notoriety and sees no reason to apologise for it," it said.

    According to the paper, Assemakis performs a fake erotic lesbian routine in one of the resort's clubs. It also said when she is not on stage Assemakis spends much of her time performing private lap dances in a seedy backroom of the club for 30 euros a go.

    She said she earns 300-400 euros a night allowing men to grope her breasts. "My breasts are just another part of my body. It's no big deal," she told the newspaper.

    Last week she told another British tabloid of a marathon sex session with 20 men in a dark alley. "I had a bet with my friend to see if I could have sex with 20 men in one night," she said. "It was wild."

    "There are three types of sex. There is a straightforward ****, then there is the sex you have with a guy you're seeing casually, and then there is making love with someone you are in love with and are going to marry."

    Assemakis said people think she is all mixed up about sex but that it's very clear to her. "At the moment I just want to sleep with men. If I want to and they want to, we do it. It's not harming anyone."

    Her mother Valerie told the newspaper that she is "devastated' by her daughter's behaviour and "just wants it all to stop". But Assemakis says she is not bothered. She has not spoken to her parents in over a year and despises their 9-5 lifestyle.

    "I hate all that. I'm a free spirit."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Cabinet to rule on EAC bid for telecoms licence

    By Jean Christou

    THE CABINET will decide today whether the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) will be allowed to compete when the telecommunications market is liberalised later this year.

    Last week's cabinet meeting on the issue ended acrimoniously when Commerce Minster Nicos Rolandis and Communications and Works Minister Averoff Neophytou clashed over whether the EAC should be allowed into the bidding war for new mobile providers.

    Neophytou says the EAC should not participate because it is a semi- government organisation. He said this would not constitute a liberalising of the market but further nationalisation of the sector, since one semi- government organisation (CyTA) already holds the monopoly on telecommunications.

    Rolandis says that the EAC should be allowed to bid because it has the necessary infrastructure to do so. He said it would be unfair for the EAC to have to face the liberalisation of its own sector without having the opportunity to diversify and expand into other areas to offset competition in the electricity sector.

    Yesterday the two ministers continued their spat at the House Commerce Committee where the issue was being discussed. Rolandis said that the EAC had been granted a licence by parliament 14 months ago allowing it to expand into other areas. "They have a written licence based on legislation, " he said.

    Neophytou said the issue was not a simple one and that it involved all sorts of complications related to the EU chapter on competition. "One of the most important parameters is how far a semi-government organisation can contribute to the restriction of competition," he said, adding that if the EAC was allowed to compete there was nothing that would prevent CyTA from applying for a second licence.

    Committee chairman Lefteris Christoforou said they did not want to become embroiled in the row. He said the main aim of deputies was obtain high- quality service and lower prices for the consumer.

    Those said to have submitted responses to a public consultation paper issued by the government in April include Vodafone, Telestet and Greece's CosmOTE, which are interested in GSM licences. The list also includes other companies from the US, France, Germany, the UK, Scandinavia and Russia. The government expects to announce what it will require in tender applications and how many licences it will issue by October.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Turk jailed for illegal entry

    By a Staff Reporter

    A LARNACA court yesterday sentenced a Turkish national to two months' imprisonment and remanded another in custody for three days pending an investigation into his illegal entry into the Republic.

    Sayit Atsia, 40, an ironmonger was arrested in Oroklini on Monday. Police determined that he had entered the Republic via Kyrenia harbour sometime between June 1 and 30 and had crossed over from the occupied areas looking for work. Atsia, who was born in Turkey, was sentenced to two months in jail.

    Meanwhile Kioumali Koulousou Delidemir, 20, has been remanded in custody after he crossed the buffer zone at Troulli unnoticed, along with anotheryouth.

    The two were spotted behaving suspiciously in Ayios Mamas Square and arrested by Athienou police.

    Police say Delidemir admitted he was a Turkish national born in Famagusta and was trying to get to England. A request that he be held in custody for three days to investigate his illegal entry from the occupied areas was granted. His friend turned out to be a Turkish Cypriot and was released.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Four die in separate accidents

    By a Staff Reporter

    FOUR people -- two soldiers and two women -- died in separate incidents around the island yesterday.

    Greek soldier Georgios Papalexopoulos, 19, died in mysterious circumstances. His unit said that Papalexopoulos had not been feeling well during morning exercises. He was treated at his unit, and then rushed to the Nicosia general hospital at 11.30. He died at 2pm.

    Another soldier, National Guard Sergeant Marios Christoforou, 23, was killed when his car hit the barrier on the Limassol-Paphos highway at around 6am. Police are investigating the cause of the accident.

    Meanwhile two women drowned in Paphos in two separate accidents. The fist took place at around 7.45am, when 25-year-old Juliana Sakirova, while cleaning the area around a hotel swimming pool, apparently lost her balance and fell into the 2.95 metre-deep water. She was pulled out by tourists and taken to the Paphos general hospital where doctors pronounced her dead on arrival.

    At around 8.30am, a 22-year-old woman drowned while she was swimming at a beach close to the Venus Hotel on the Tombs of the Kings road. She was pronounced dead by a doctor who was called to the scene by the people who found her.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Ambassador accused of making false claims

    By Soteris Charalambous

    WHAT BEGAN as an internal investigation by auditors over payments made to a housemaid at the Cyprus embassy in Moscow has become a fraud inquiry by the Foreign Ministry, led by Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides and Director-general Christodoulos Pashardis.

    The investigation centres on the ambassador to Moscow, Charalambos Ioannides, who allegedly made payments to a fictitious 'second' housemaid to mask false claims for expenses at the embassy. Auditor-general Chrystalla Yiorkadji confirmed that the investigation was taking place into alleged payments to a housemaid and that the sum involved was $900.

    "The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is investigating the accusations. It has been agreed that a report be submitted to the Auditor-general's office once the investigation has been completed, and that if help is needed during the investigation it will be provided. Should the findings of the investigation require it, the Auditor-general's office will intervene," Yiorkadji said.

    According to a report in Politis, the alleged financial irregularities took place between October and December 2001 when expense receipts were submitted to the accounts department at the Foreign Ministry claiming salary payments for a second housemaid. The ministry sent a letter to the embassy in Moscow asking for more details about the new employee and advising that a second housemaid was not required.

    A letter of explanation sent by Ioannides reportedly failed to persuade ministry officers who demanded that a list be sent to the Foreign Ministry of all those working at the embassy to verify the names and exact number of employees. According to the paper the requested details never arrived, and an internal investigation, headed by Director-general Pashardis, was launched.

    Pashardis was not available yesterday to confirm the details of the investigation.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Brussels meeting on future of the bases

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS' Chief European Union Negotiator George Vassiliou left yesterday for Brussels to take part in a three-day conference on the status of the British Bases after the island's accession.

    Britain, a guarantor power of Cyprus' Independence, maintains two bases in Cyprus under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment, at Episkopi and Dhekelia, covering a total area of 99 square miles.

    The Brussels meeting is being held to discuss how the bases can continue to exist inside a member state and the question of whether they should pull out is not on the agenda, bases spokesman Tony Brumwell told the Cyprus Mail.

    "I don't think that question is even on the agenda," he said "It's more of a case of making sure that the Republic of Cyprus doesn't lose out in any terms from the bases existing on the same land mass once they accede to the EU and if there is a solution to the Cyprus problem," he said.

    Brumwell said the meeting had been planned for some time. "It's just a natural extension of the tripartite talks and the bases are being represented along with the EU desk from London," he said. "It's a way for government to keep people, and the EU Commission, aware and appraised of the talks process and any impact it would have in the event of a settlement and the relationship with the bases."

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash also commented on the meeting yesterday. Commenting on reports in the Greek Cypriot press, Denktash said: "They would have no right to change the guarantorship system." Turkey along with Greece is a guarantor of the island's independence.

    "The British told us that routine affairs are being discussed," he said. "However if something different appears naturally they will receive a reaction."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] House 'to set common age of consent at 17'

    By Jean Christou

    THE HOUSE Legal Affairs Committee has reached a compromise on the age of consent for heterosexuals and homosexuals, which is expected to be put before the plenum tomorrow.

    The compromise is to get around demands by Europe to equalise all legislation relating to heterosexuality and homosexuality, which had left the government faced with the possibility of reducing the age of consent for gays from 18 to 16.

    However it has now been decided to set the legal age for all categories at 17, which reduces the age of consent for homosexuals but also raises the age of consent for heterosexuals from 16 to 17.

    The amendments to the law that will go before parliament tomorrow also outlaw male prostitution and increase the penalty for certain sexual offences from two to three years. There will be no provision for gay marriages, one of the issues which the gay community has been pushing for.

    The changes are to ensure that that homosexuals receive equal treatment under the law .

    Several Euro MPs warned late last year that they would vote against the island's accession unless changes were made. Each member country is allowed to set its own age of consent, as long as equality exists for all citizens, homosexual or heterosexual.

    In 1993 gay architect Alecos Modinos won a battle at the European Court of Human Rights to force Cyprus to decriminalise homosexuality. This happened in 1998, but it took another two years to have deliberately offensive terms describing homosexual relations as 'unnatural licentiousness' removed from the new legislation -- and again only under threat from Europe.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] Ministry staff shortage makes it hard to fight rip-off merchants

    By Alexia Saoulli

    DURING the summer months, the Commerce Ministry receives dozens of complaints from Limassol residents reporting extortionate prices on goods, particularly in tourist areas, it was reported yesterday. But because of insufficient staffing the Ministry's consumer service is incapable of dealing with each individual case effectively.

    Tourists, rather than locals, are considered to be the vulnerable victims in the whole affair since they are more likely to accept being ripped off and do not know where to complain.

    This tendency to overcharge tourists was highlighted by a Limassol radio station, Politis said.

    According to the radio show, a hotel charged a Finnish tourist £4.50 for a local call that lasted half a minute. The same tourist, who has visited the island every summer since 1988 with his wife, reportedly told a friend that a mini-market in Yermasoyia's tourist strip had charged him £1.50 for a small bottle of water and £2.50 for a small tube of toothpaste.

    But unless an official complaint is corroborated by evidence, there is nothing the Ministry can do, George Mytides, Director of Competition and Consumer Protection at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, told the Cyprus Mail.

    Even though prices have been liberalised in accordance with European Union regulations, said Mytides, shopkeepers are still obligated to clearly display each product's price on the package or shelf. If this is not done, or if shopkeepers charge more than what the price tag stipulates, it is a criminal offence, he said.

    Unfortunately, he added, tourists rarely complained and were an easy target for greedy shopkeepers. Locals on the other hand knew to forward their complaints to their district consumer and protection service.

    Sufficient spot checks to ensure that shopkeepers adhered to this law could not be carried out either, he said.

    "Due to a severe shortage of staff in the area it is impossible to cover all the thousands of shops in Limassol town centre and district," Mytides said. The service's staff quota is three employees, but this is reduced to two employees in the summer months because of holiday leave.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Children test positive for Legionnaires' antibodies

    By Alexia Saoulli

    TWO BOARDERS at the Nea Eleousa home for mentally handicapped children have tested positive for Legionella pneumophila bacteria antibodies, a Greek paper reported yesterday. The bacterium causes the infection more commonly known as Legionnaires' disease.

    According to the Head of Medical Services, Constantinos Mallis, one of the two boarders is suffering from a mild case of pneumonia, while the other handicapped child has shown no such symptoms yet.

    Mallis said the in-patient suffering from pneumonia would undergo tests next week to determine to what extent or not the antibodies are related to Legionnaire's disease, Politis reported.

    He confirmed that the two water tanks that had been responsible for the bacterium at Nea Eleousa in the first place had been removed. There was therefore no reason to quarantine the shelter, he said.

    According to the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), although outbreaks of Legionnaires' disease receive significant media attention, it usually occurs as an isolated case is and is not transmitted from person to person, nor does it occur from drinking contaminated water.

    The CDC said outbreaks of legionellosis have occurred after people have breathed in bacteria-contaminated mists from a water source such as air conditioning cooling towers, whirlpool spas and showers.

    Patients with Legionnaires' disease usually have fever, chills, and a cough. Some patients also have muscle aches, headache, tiredness, loss of appetite, and, occasionally, diarrhoea. The time between the patient's exposure to the bacterium and the onset of illness for Legionnaires' disease is 2 to 10 days.

    To limit the growth and spread of legionella organisms, the CDC suggests improving the design and maintenance of cooling towers and plumbing systems. When outbreaks do occur, it said, the source of disease transmission should be identified so that the infected source can be decontaminated.

    Between five and 30 per cent of people who contract Legionnaires' disease die from it.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [11] Old Nicosia to get ancient monument status

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    OLD NICOSIA inside the city walls is to be declared an ancient monument to protect the rich cultural heritage buried under its surface, the Head of the Antiquities Department said yesterday.

    Sophoclis Hadjisavvas told the Cyprus Mail that designating old Nicosia an ancient monument was long overdue, given that Larnaca, built on the ancient site of Kition, and Paphos had already been granted this status some time ago. The step is being taken to monitor town development in line with the protection and preservation of ancient remains, he said.

    Hadjisavvas said the move was significant for the Antiquities Department in its efforts to preserve cultural heritage, as building authorities (Nicosia municipality and the Town Planning Department) would have to send any application for a building permit to the department for comment.

    This gave the Antiquities Department the opportunity to investigate a location before developers advanced too far in construction.

    It was in the builders' interests to have an idea of what to expect, Hadjisavvas said. "By having such control," he said, "the department no longer has to find out by chance that development is taking place, thereby ruining, in some cases, any chance of recovery of ancient remains."

    The Antiquities Department believes this process will not hinder the development of the city, as many artifacts found are movable.

    Regarding the recent excavations on the site earmarked for the new town hall, Hadjisavvas confirmed that development had stopped since the findings revealed the possible remains of a palace thought to have been built by the Lusignans almost 800 years ago -- the first to be built in Nicosia.

    He said his department was working closely with the municipality to find a way to build the new town hall in conjunction with preserving the ancient remains.

    Nicosia Mayor Michalakis Zampelas said the municipality had no problem co- operating with the Antiquities Department but would take a decision on Hadjisavvas' proposal after meeting with him today to hear it in detail.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [12] Musician jailed for indecent assaults

    By a Staff Reporter

    A LARNACA court yesterday sentenced a 66-year-old music teacher to four years and three months' imprisonment for indecent assault.

    George Serdaris was found guilty last week on eight counts of indecent assault against underage female students at his Larnaca Odeon between 1992 and 1995, but he was only sentenced yesterday.

    The court only adjourned for six hours before returning an eight-page conviction decision based on the closed court case's findings. Serdaris' lawyer, Giorgos Georgiou, argued that his client's sentence should be reduced.

    During the course of the trial, which lasted nine days, four women testified against the accused, in addition to police testimony.

    The defence called six witnesses, including former female students of the musician, two of whom lived abroad.

    The case first came to light in August last year when a 70-year-old pensioner committed suicide, leaving behind an explicit note.

    Composer Doros Georgiades was also arrested in connection with the same case last year and sentenced to two and a half years in jail.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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