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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-09-14

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

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

Saturday, September 14, 2002


  • [01] Government to respond to Denktash document next week
  • [02] Banning bird traps is 'like prohibition'
  • [03] Hasikos plays down report of helicopter emergency landing
  • [04] Health Minister threatens to sue Bishop over allegations
  • [05] Peanut factory faces eviction after Turkish Cypriot sells land
  • [06] Free testing for sexually transmitted diseases
  • [07] Act on juvenile offenders before they turn into hardened criminals
  • [08] Robbery suspect 'extremely critical', doctors say

  • [01] Government to respond to Denktash document next week

    By Jean Christou

    THE GREEK Cypriot side will give its opinion next week on a second document submitted at the direct talks by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported yesterday.

    Quoting unnamed sources, CNA said the Greek Cypriot side would outline its position on the document submitted by Denktash next Wednesday. The document is said to be an improved version of a paper handed in by the Turkish Cypriot leader in April.

    Denktash met yesterday with President Glafcos Clerides for a second meeting this week, after the two leaders returned from Paris where they held talks with UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan last Friday. They will meet Annan again in New York on October 3 and 4.

    The protracted Cyprus question and the UN-led efforts to solve it was also a topic of discussion in New York between Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou and his Turkish counterpart Sukru Sina Gurel, a known hardliner on Cyprus. CNA said both sides reiterated their long-standing positions on the issue at the meeting this week, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

    Papandreou said he and Gurel exchanged views on the situation as it is now. "I don't want to get into details because first of all this is something between the two leaders and of course the UN," he added.

    The two ministers agreed to establish direct communication between the Defence Ministries of Greece and Turkey and to sign a protocol concerning the establishment of a "Joint Standby Disaster Response Unity".

    Gurel said they also agreed to "go swiftly on with our confidence building measures and the dialogue of the political directors of the Foreign Ministries."

    Also in New York was Foreign Minster Yiannakis Cassoulides, who met briefly with US President George Bush at a reception.

    According to reports, Bush expressed his eagerness to see the Cyprus problem solved. He is said to have told Cassoulides: "We must solve the problem."

    Cassoulides also had separate meetings with his counterparts from Portugal, Luxemburg, Russia, the Netherlands and a number of Islamic countries, and had a few minutes with Annan. He was also due to meet separately with US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Tomas Weston, and later Papandreou.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Banning bird traps is 'like prohibition'

    By Alex Mita

    DISY deputy Antonis Karas yesterday slammed the government for imposing a ban on bird trapping, saying the move reminded him of the prohibition era in the United States.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Karas warned the clampdown on the trapping of ambelopoulia would be a tool of overwhelming profit for black market dealers.

    "Banning bird trapping reminds me of the prohibition in America. When the government there banned the sale of alcohol, people sold it in the black market and made millions from it," he said.

    "The same thing is happening now in Cyprus. If they hadn't made such a big deal out of bird trapping, the sport would eventually have died out, just like so many other traditional trades or hobbies. The younger generation is not so interested in waking up at 2.30am to go out in the middle of nowhere and set up nets to catch birds. They would much rather go to a nightclub. Now they are doing it just because it's illegal."

    However, Karas stressed he did not support the decision by Kokkinochoria area residents to hand in their election books in an effort to pressure the government into lifting the ban.

    "There are different ways to express your disapproval over an issue other than handing in your election booklet. If they want to defend their sport, they should find another way to do so," Karras said.

    "Handing in your book is equivalent to saying you are waiving your democratic right to vote. The government will then reply, 'if you are waiving your political rights why do you ask the government to help you?'

    "If we believe - and I strongly believe that trapping ambelopoulia with lime sticks is a traditional way of hunting that should not be banned -then we should fight for what we believe without, however, breaking the law."

    Karas said there was no evidence to support recent reports by BirdLife and the EU that mist netting and lime sticking of ambelopoulia had devastated their population.

    "There is no scientific evidence that bird trapping the traditional way has had an impact on the migratory bird population," he insisted.

    "If such evidence is brought before us, we will take it into consideration, we don't want the species to be eradicated. After all, tradition says the residents have been feeding on these birds for centuries."

    Karas also brushed aside comments by Greens deputy George Perdikis on the issue, saying the Greens should be happy that poachers were planting trees to catch more birds and therefore help the environment.

    But Perdikis yesterday blasted Karas' comments and accused the deputy of populism.

    "Should we say that catching birds has also helped the fishing industry because poachers now set up nets in the sky and catch birds instead of fish?" he mused.

    "I am sorry to say that Mr. Karas, as well as many other deputies in Famagusta, interfere with the efforts of the Game Service by trying to cancel fines and to reduce sentences.

    "This is an abuse of power, and they are doing this because they want to secure votes. This is pure populism," Perdikis said.

    "What they are doing here is illegal, barbaric and inhumane and is fuelled by greed," he said.

    "This farce that has been going on for years with us having a law that everyone breaks, led by politicians who gluttonously compete on who will eat more ambelopoulia, has to stop. It is a perverse and dirty way to hunt."

    Perdikis said he wasn't surprised to hear that Kokkinochoria residents were handing in their election books.

    "The locals' reaction is understandable. They are people who have made a business out of trapping the birds that now sell at 18 per dozen," he said.

    "We are talking about a lot of money. This is a group of people who see their business being closed down, and it is natural for them to react in this way.

    "But if some people believe that the highest right to vote and to be voted on is determined and restricted by ambelopoulia and money and profit, then this is their right."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Hasikos plays down report of helicopter emergency landing

    By Jean Christou

    THE DEFENCE Ministry yesterday played down reports of an emergency landing by a National Guard Russian-made MI-35 helicopter at Paphos Airport.

    According to reports, the helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at around 8am yesterday at Paphos airport, around at hour into a training flight. The emergency services at the airport were on full alert and waiting by the runway after being called out by the control tower, reports from Paphos said.

    The helicopter pilot reportedly asked permission from Paphos control tower to make a priority landing, which it did at around 8.30am without incident. It had left the nearby Paphos airbase with another MI-35 at around 7am on a training flight and was heading over the Akamas peninsula.

    But Defence Minister Socratis Hasikos yesterday denied the helicopter had made an emergency landing or that there had been any malfunction. In a written statement, he said the helicopter's signals board had indicated that something was wrong and the pilot was merely following standard procedure by asking Paphos for permission for a priority landing. The presence of the emergency services was also standard procedure, the Minister said.

    The announcement said the helicopter had been checked, and it was found that the malfunction was in the signals board and not in the aircraft.

    "The warning the pilot got did not require immediate or emergency landing," the Minister said." However, the control tower operator, who is not a helicopter pilot, according to standard required procedure, alerted rescue teams regardless of the significance of the malfunction, which after all he was not in a position to evaluate. That is what happened in this case, giving the impression that something serious had happened."

    The Minister said he regretted the fuss that had resulted, which he described as "needless and exaggerated".

    "Warnings about malfunctions, or actual malfunctions are not a rare occurrence when it comes to aircraft that are in use," he said.

    National Guard Commander Evangelos Florakis was killed along with four other army officers in July, when the Bell 206L-3 helicopter they were travelling in plunged to the ground, killing all on board.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Health Minister threatens to sue Bishop over allegations

    By Elias Hazou

    BICKERING between Church factions over the issue of the succession to the frail Archbishop reached a new head yesterday, with the Minister of Health caught in the fray and threatening legal action against the Bishop of Kyrenia.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos is currently being treated at a private clinic in Athens, after being transferred there from a public hospital in the Greek capital. For months, controversy has raged over the real status of Chrysostomos' health, as prominent Church figures back in Cyprus providing different interpretations. This has fuelled speculation that a power struggle for the succession is in progress among Church leaders, even while the Archbishop is still alive.

    Bishop Pavlos of Kyrenia, seen as a possible contender in the succession and a major powerbroker, yesterday suggested that hidden vested interests were at play in keeping the Archbishop abroad. He also questioned the authority of a medical council convened to evaluate whether the Archbishop's health allowed him to continue his duties. According to Pavlos, the council was convened after instructions from Health Minister Frixos Savvides. He also claimed the council did not immediately report its findings to the church hierarchy, as it should have done.

    The Bishop of Kyrenia said Savvides seemed "all too eager to get involved with Church business." To his mind, he went on, this raised questions as to Savvides' motives.

    "I feel there are shadow synagogues and shadow conventions at work, trying to expedite the carrying out of elections for the succession," he added.

    The Health Minister's response was to demand an apology, although Savvides also fired back, remarking "I can think of a dozen reasons why the Bishop Pavlos would want a decision to go one way or the other; but I shall not say what these reasons are in public. Anyone can figure it out."

    Savvides added that, if he were to undertake responsibility for the Archbishop's treatment, he would not allow relatives or even the Holy Synod to interfere. He also described the Archbishop's transfer to the 'Igeia' private clinic in Athens as a "kidnapping" engineered by Church leaders. "It is a shame the Archbishop is being treated in this way. It is a shame that his treatment now costs thousands of pounds a day and that no one really knows how good the quality of treatment at the clinic is."

    Later in the day, Savvides issued a written statement saying he was considering filing suit against Bishop Pavlos if an apology was not forthcoming.

    Meanwhile Bishop Chrysostomos of Paphos dismissed Bishop Pavlos' allegations as pure fiction. "If my brother's imagination is running wild, then that of course is his right," he remarked. Bishop Chrysostomos also rushed to Savvides' defence, stressing that the medical council had been convened at the Holy Synod's request.

    "Enough with this humiliation of the Archbishop. We need to behave responsibly and not with amateurism," he remarked. Asked by reporters whether he would consider standing as candidate to succeed the Archbishop, he said "I would prefer it if the Archbishop was well and able to perform his duties; but if not, I would be the first to protest against having a Church leader who could not cope."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Peanut factory faces eviction after Turkish Cypriot sells land

    A LARNACA businessman has been given until the end of the month to evacuate his premises after a Greek Cypriot purchased the adjoining plot of land from the original Turkish Cypriot proprietor.

    The businessman, a refugee from Famagusta, has for over two decades operated his factory producing 'Pronto' nuts. He built his business from scratch after being forced out of his native town in 1974. He has been paying a token rent of 74 a year for use of the premises.

    But recently the Turkish Cypriot owner of the land sold it to a Greek Cypriot company, and the businessman has duly been asked to set up shop elsewhere.

    The businessman is protesting but authorities insist everything was done by the book. According to the governmental department charged with management of Turkish Cypriot property, sale of land cannot be prohibited simply because the owner is Turkish Cypriot.

    The businessman has been given a September 30 deadline to comply, but insists he will not walk out unless the government finds him an alternative site to transfer his factory. He has the backing of the government department, which says it will help look for alternative premises and, if necessary, appeal to delay enforcement of a court ruling in the event the new proprietor of the land requests eviction. A spokesperson for the department said they would never ask the businessman to leave.

    For its part, the Greek Cypriot company that purchased the land argues that the law is on its side. The owner, a Larnaca lawyer also originally from Famagusta, says ample notification time was given to the businessman.

    After being consulted, the Attorney-general's office has deemed that the transaction between the Turkish Cypriot owner and the Greek Cypriot company was perfectly legal.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Free testing for sexually transmitted diseases

    By Soteris Charalambous

    THE PANCYPRIAN Dermatological Association announced yesterday that it had arranged for free clinical testing for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) at clinics across the country on September 16 and 17.

    "Both private and state dermatological practitioners will make their services available for free to the public on September 16 and 17 all over Cyprus," said Constantinos Demetriou, head of the association. "Those interested will have to pre-book for the examinations," added Demetriou, who went on to explain that should treatment be required, this would have to be booked separately and paid for.

    "It is a social offer, designed to help people overcome what is viewed as a taboo subject, and help to bridge the gap in education that exists among the majority of people, but especially among women and young girls," said Demetriou.

    He went on to claim that research in the US had shown that, "25 per cent of people have herpes, throughout the population." He went on to suggest that a similar problem existed all over Europe and that although no figures were available in Cyprus, a problem on a similar scale is likely to exist. One of the reasons why the figures are so high, claims Demetriou, is because people do not talk about STDs, and some may not even realise they have it. "The symptoms (of genital herpes) are that once in a while they will have blisters around the genitals, which prevents sexual contact because of the pain, and can lead to burning and itching sensations," explained Demetriou.

    According to the US Department of Health, genital herpes is caused by both varieties of the herpes simplex virus (HSV 1 and HSV2) and is mainly passed on by having sex with someone who is having an 'outbreak' of visible sores around the mouth or genital area, although a person can have an outbreak with no visible signs at all.

    Part of the reason for the widespread nature of the problem is that there is no cure for the disease, with treatments available only for the symptoms. Other research in the US claims that more women than men suffer with the disease and that an estimated one million new cases occur each year, with up to 50 per cent not realising they have the problem or dismiss it as an annoying itch because it hasn't developed into an 'outbreak'.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Act on juvenile offenders before they turn into hardened criminals

    By Jean Christou

    A LEADING criminologist warned yesterday that unless the treatment of juvenile offenders was overhauled, armed bank robberies would increase.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail, Dr Andreas Kapardis of the University of Cyprus said that although armed robberies were on the increase, they were still low by international standards

    But he warned that the authorities needed to stem the tide now or face a further increase. Neither was increasing security at banks a solution, he said, as that would just push the robbers towards softer targets.

    Kapardis, a former governor of the Nicosia central prison, was commenting on two armed robberies in Limassol on Thursday.

    "The authorities need to improve the system of criminal justice," he said, adding that tackling the growing drugs problem would also help.

    "We can do this given the political will, but it doesn't exist," he said.

    Kapardis said he had studied recent robberies and the profiles of the suspects involved.

    "There are a number of correlating factors that contribute," he said. "Number one is the failure of the juvenile justice system to do anything effective about juveniles as they come up through the system. Secondly, there has been an increase in the incidence of hard drugs, which also acts as a catalyst for armed robberies."

    Kapardis also blamed the presence on the island of some non-Cypriots, "who are criminally inclined".

    "Fourth is the fact that our banks are relatively easy targets for robbers, and the final one is that the mass media contributes towards publicising the successes of bank robberies by providing details of the amounts of money taken. In this way, they show that it is a highly lucrative activity with a low risk of apprehension."

    Commenting on the perpetrators, he said that in most cases the suspects were people who already had a criminal record and that the robberies had nothing to do with being unemployed. He said their track records were predictable.

    "These are people who are for the most part already confirmed offenders and have simply graduated to armed robbery. The great majority start at juvenile level."

    Sociologist Nicos Peristianis said part of the problem lay in the fact that young Cypriot males in particular were coming under increasing pressure in a society marked by competitiveness and consumerism.

    "There is a pressure on people to seek wealth by any means, and if they can't do it on their own, they are being pushed to find alternative means, even if those are not legal," he said.

    Young males without third-level education had the strongest need to prove themselves in society, Peristianis said, which predisposed them to seek any means they could use.

    "You don't find established people with families and jobs to have this need, " he said, because they could prove themselves at home or on the job.

    "These young males come out of the world of education, usually high school and end up in manual employment, which disillusions them."

    He said that in some cases people went astray because of drugs, but that in his opinion the primary reason was the need to prove themselves.

    "Cypriot society is paying a lot of attention to economic development. It invests a lot in all kinds of economics and infrastructure and in getting more tourists and so on. But there is very little attention paid to the implications of development overall," he said.

    "Some people get left in the margins and that is what these people are about. They are people who by default are left in the margins and see others passing in front of them. There is so much emphasis on success and consumption, and they feel they are not riding along, so there are all kinds of pressure on them to use devious means to get what they want."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Robbery suspect 'extremely critical', doctors say

    THE BANK robbery suspect shot by police when he turned his gun on them on Thursday is in an extremely critical condition, his doctors said yesterday.

    Tryphonas Tryphonos, aged 30, was shot when Limassol police intercepted the car he used to make his getaway after holding up a branch of the Bank of Cyprus. Police say they shot Tryphonos in self-defence when he turned his G3 automatic on them and twice tried to open fire, but the weapon jammed. Tryphonos was shot several times in the chest and abdomen.

    Stavros Stavrou, the head of a five-member team who operated on Tryphonos, said yesterday they had only managed to remove one of probably five bullets from his body and added that the team was debating whether he should undergo further surgery.

    Stavrou said the bullets had damaged vital organs such as a lung and the diaphragm.

    In a search at the 30-year-old's home in Limassol, police discovered another stolen army G3-A3 rifle as well as jewellery. Police said the jewellery as well as two chequebooks were stolen from the home of George Hadjigeorgiou in 1998.

    Police said a car that was parked outside his residence had also been stolen this year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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