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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-09-15

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, September 15, 2002


  • [01] Government 'disappointed' by Gurel speech to the UN
  • [02] 'Give us the evidence', CID urges after police scam claims
  • [03] Bus company blasts law-breakers ahead of Car-free Day
  • [04] Maccabi ticket prices reduced

  • [01] Government 'disappointed' by Gurel speech to the UN

    By Soteris Charalambous

    GOVERNMENT Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday it was time for Turkey to compromise after it reiterated its hardline stance on Cyprus on Friday.

    Speaking to the UN General Assembly in New York, Turkish Foreign Minister Sukru Gurel said: “The decision of the EU council to start accession negotiations with the Greek Cypriot administration, despite the illegitimacy of its claim to represent the whole of the island, has made an agreed settlement even more elusive.”

    He reaffirmed Ankara's support for Turkish Cypriot proposals for a settlement which he said should be “on the basis of the equal status and sovereign equality of the two (Greek and Turkish Cypriot) partner states.” Gurel said a solution lay in a “partnership of equals” with no possibility of a return to the pre-1974 situation.

    Papapetrou said he was disappointed at the Turkish Foreign Minister's approach. “It's about time Turkey took the hand of reconciliation and compromise offered by President Clerides since the first day of the (settlement talks) negotiations,” he said.

    “It would be a real pity to miss the opportunity for a compromise and for fruitful co-operation between the two countries in the future.”

    Papapetrou added that he wasn't surprised by Gurel's statements, despite the recent call by EU Enlargement Commissioner Guenter Verheugen for Turkey to help solve the problem.

    “I was not surprised by the statements because Mr Gurel is not accustomed to different approaches, nonetheless it is still disappointing,” Papapetrou told the Sunday Mail.

    Speaking in New York, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides warned Turkey that its intransigence would have no bearing on Cyprus's accession to the European Union, and that Europe would not wait for Turkey to make up its mind about a solution.

    “The European Union cannot wait until Turkey decides when it is time to solve the Cyprus question. If the problem is not settled by December 12, Brussels will go ahead with our accession as planned,” Cassoulides said.

    In December the EU is expected to invite Cyprus and nine other countries to join the union. It has repeatedly expressed a preference for a reunified Cyprus, but has also said that a political settlement is not a precondition for accession.

    The Cyprus dispute is one of several stumbling blocks to Turkey's own aspirations to EU membership. Ankara hopes an EU summit in Copenhagen in December will set a date for the opening of its accession talks.

    The government says any future reunified state should have sovereignty powers vested in it by the internationally recognised Republic of Cyprus, while the Turkish Cypriots say a new Cyprus should be a loose federation of two sovereign states.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] 'Give us the evidence', CID urges after police scam claims

    By George Psyllides

    POLICE yesterday urged anyone with evidence of the involvement of high- ranking officers in car scams to give it to the CID for investigation.

    The appeal came in the wake of reports in Politis newspaper alleging that senior police officers were involved in the import of luxury vehicles in the form of spare parts and their subsequent assembly and sale without paying the necessary taxes.

    The daily reported that according to evidence held by the customs department, a senior officer is allegedly mediating in the trade of such vehicles, some of which have ended up in the hands of his colleagues and relatives.

    Customs have suspected foul play for some time, but their suspicions were only confirmed recently by the way a similar case was handled, which led to the conclusion that someone was trying to cover it up, Politis said.

    The case concerned the alleged illegal import to Limassol of five luxury Mercedes cars. It was effectively closed when the investigation “touched” a senior police officer, the paper said.

    The excuse given for closing the case was that British Bases authorities at Akrotiri had not co-operated with police.

    Fresh evidence about the alleged involvement of police officers in the scam was given to Customs last Monday, prompting authorities to instruct the department's officers to be cautious in their moves not to alert the suspects and to safeguard the element of surprise, Politis said.

    An anonymous Finance Ministry source was quoted in the daily as revealing that a couple of days ago, Customs officials caught several individuals who were assembling a car from parts that had been imported as spares.

    No arrests have been made yet in connection with the case.

    The same anonymous ministry source claimed that Customs had in the past met with unwillingness from some police departments to look into similar cases.

    In light of the developments, Customs Department Director Zeta Emilianidou met Attorney-general Alecos Markides at his office on Friday morning.

    Responding to the reports, police yesterday said that from the moment the case became known, the chief of police gave written instructions to HQ CID to contact Emilianidou and request the evidence held by customs, including any concerning the possible involvement of members of the police, in order to resolve the case.

    In a written statement, police said the CID was carrying out its own investigation into the case and urged Politis or anyone else with proof of the alleged involvement of senior officers to hand it over to the CID for further investigation.

    Meanwhile, customs have seized three more luxury cars - one in Larnaca and the others in Nicosia - in connection with the case.

    One of the cars was being assembled while the other two were already on the road, raising suspicion on how the vehicles had been registered with the transport department.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Bus company blasts law-breakers ahead of Car-free Day

    NICOSIA will be among 1,309 cities around Europe participating in 'World Car-free Day' next Saturday.

    The aim of the day is to prevent pollution caused by cars, persuade motorists to use the bus, bicycles or walk, and to give city centres back to the people.

    World Car-free Day was started in 1999 by French Environment Minister Dominique Voynet.

    In Nicosia, which will be observing the day for the third year running, Archbishop Makarios Avenue and the surrounding roads will be closed to cars.

    The Nicosia bus company said that on the day it will carry passengers who want to get to the city centre free of charge.

    “Our dependence on private vehicles has reached levels that create huge problems,” the bus company said in a statement. “From a tool used for movement it has become an oppressor.”

    The average speed of traffic in Nicosia, with a population of 150, 000, is lower than that of big European cities with millions of inhabitants, the company said.

    “It is time to stop talking and start applying practical measures. Public transport exists; it needs improvement that won't be achieved only by investing money, but by enforcing administrative measures and laws.”

    The company said that while authorities criticise illegal parking, nothing is done to prevent it, and it cited the House of Representatives as the most blatant example of non-enforcement of traffic laws.

    “The unacceptable phenomenon of not being able to pass outside the House because of double parking is indicative of our mentality,” the company said. It “operates 100 buses carrying 10,000 passengers daily.

    “The conditions in which the buses operate could not be worse. To cover just a few kilometres in rush hour they need almost an hour,” it said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Maccabi ticket prices reduced

    PRICES for Maccabi Haifa's Champions League games at Nicosia's GSP stadium will be announced officially tomorrow.

    The highly anticipated games involving Manchester United, Olympiakos and Bayer Leverkusen were set to be priced at £20, but a rethink amid fears they were over-priced has resulted in prices starting at £14, for tickets in the North of the stand, with top-price tickets at £17 and a package deal for all three games offered at £45.

    “The cheapest tickets will be located next to the visiting supporters,” a source at the stadium said.

    The ties involving former European Champions United and Greek Champions Olympiakos have attracted the most demand with club officials expecting the 22,000-seat stadium to be filled to capacity. Stadium officials initially estimated that 5,000 tickets would be made available to local fans, although that figure is set to increase given difficulty by Maccabi Haifa in providing enough transportation to and from Cyprus on the day of the matches.

    Haifa officials pleaded with UEFA, European football's governing body, to allow the tie with Manchester United to be played in Israel but had their request denied. UEFA ruled in March that all home games involving Israel's national team and clubs involved in European competitions had to be played outside Israel.

    Olympiakos visit on September 24, followed by last year's beaten finalists Bayer Leverkusen on October 1. Manchester United's tie will be on October 29.

    Information on ticket availability and kick-off times is available by email on or by phone on 22-874070.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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