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

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

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


Wednesday, October 2, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] 'If there's no solution, talks will continue after we join the EU'
  • [02] Greens seize on 'antenna of death proof'
  • [03] Supreme Court rules CyTA must pay 20m fine
  • [04] New hardware shown at October 1 parade
  • [05] Two years in jail for writing dud cheques
  • [06] Cyprus Rally safe, says FIA
  • [07] Truck hits Eurocypria plane at Dublin

  • [01] 'If there's no solution, talks will continue after we join the EU'

    IF NO SOLUTION to the Cyprus problem is reached by December, the talks will continue after the island's accession to the EU, President Glafcos Clerides said yesterday.

    Clerides left last night for New York for meetings with UN Secretary- general Kofi Annan and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash scheduled for tomorrow and Friday.

    "It's not just the position of the Secretary-general but also the position of the EU that the talks can continue after accession," Clerides said before his departure from Larnaca Airport.

    The President said he could not predict what Annan might have in mind for the New York talks, or if the Secretary-general would submit any ideas in writing.

    Denktash said on Monday before leaving for Istanbul that Annan should not submit any proposals for a solution at this point because the two sides were not ready and Cyprus was not ready.

    Yesterday, before leaving Turkey for the US, the Turkish Cypriot leader said he hoped the Cyprus issue would be settled through an agreement in New York.

    Denktash said that there were two options on the Cyprus issue: whether to sign an agreement that does not recognise the Turkish Cypriots "which will be torn apart later", or to sign an agreement that "recognises the Turkish Cypriots and their sovereignty".

    When asked whether he was worried about pressure during the talks in New York, Denktash said that he was not worried since he has been subjected to pressure for the past 30 years.

    In Brussels yesterday Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides brushed aside reports that EU leaders meeting in Brussels later this month might stop short of giving Cyprus the green light for accession in order to avoid pre- empting the talks.

    "Cyprus will not be in a separate category. Cyprus will have exactly the same treatment as the other nine candidates (hoping to conclude accession talks in December)," Cassoulides told reporters after another round of entry negotiations in Brussels.

    He said he expected the European Commission's annual progress report on the candidate countries, due on October 9, to give Cyprus "the green light along with the other nine countries to conclude negotiations in December".

    The 15 EU leaders are expected to endorse the Commission's recommendation at the Brussels summit on October 24-25. "In Brussels, no country will get a blank cheque for what will happen in December... Each country may theoretically face a problem of not being able to join, for example because there is no agreement on agriculture," said Cassoulides.

    Diplomatic sources in Brussels have suggested EU leaders may use special wording for Cyprus at the October summit to avoid pre-empting peace efforts or playing into the hands of Turkish nationalists ahead of Ankara's general election on November 3.

    Cassoulides warned the EU against allowing Turkey, itself a candidate, to dictate the terms of Cyprus's accession. "If the EU wants to see a settlement in Cyprus, we all know that November is the best time for this. If the EU gives Turkey an ambiguous message over Cyprus's chances for accession, Turkey will see this as a possibility to stop Cyprus's accession, " he said. "Then there would never be a settlement because Turkey would lose its motivation for resolving the problem of Cyprus."

    Cassoulides said he did not expect any progress in the Cyprus talks before the Turkish election but reaffirmed Cyprus's strong support for Turkey's eventual membership of the EU. "We say Turkey should get every encouragement (from the EU) in order to feel that its own candidacy will get satisfaction if it does its own homework," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Greens seize on 'antenna of death proof'

    By Jean Christou

    AROUND a dozen British Bases policemen suffered nausea and dizziness between Monday night and yesterday morning after a test on a generator which will power the controversial new antenna at Akrotiri.

    The Green Party claimed the incident was proof that the proposed antenna, which sparked violent demonstrations this year, was an "instrument of death".

    British bases authorities denies yeaterday that the symptoms experienced by the policemen had anything to do with the antenna since it was never even switched on.

    According to reports from Limassol yesterday, the incident happened at around 9pm on Monday. Half an hour later Sigma TV cameras were on the scene followed some minutes later by DIKO deputy and anti-bases campaigner Marios Matsakis who ran around the site testing radiation levels with an electromagnetic counter while being pursued by British soldiers.

    Bases spokesman Tony Brumwell told the Cyprus Mail that they had arranged to power test one of the generators that supplies the existing antenna at around 9pm on Monday. "It's called a negative test," he said. "It doesn't actually put any power through the antenna. There was no danger and no intention at this stage to transmit anything on the antenna."

    But Brumwell said that as a standard precaution British soldiers who guard the antenna from inside the wooden fence were moved outside the fence where police officers stand guard in shifts.

    He said this was regarded as a safe area as far as the test was concerned.

    "Now it's transpired that a number of policemen late on that evening and some later today (Tuesday) described themselves as having strange symptoms such as nausea," he said. "No one left their post and no one reported to the doctor, but when questioned some said they had nausea and dizziness. What that's connected with we don't know, but one thing is clear, there is no risk of it being radiation-connected because the antenna was not switched on at any time. At no stage was anyone at risk."

    Brumwell said the people who showed symptoms would be questioned further, but added that one reason for their illness could have been the high humidity on Monday night. "It was particularly hot and humid that night," he said, adding that none of the people who said they had shown symptoms had refused to return to their post.

    "The point is the antenna was never switched on so it wasn't dangerous. No one left their post and no one reported in sick," he said. "They just said they felt nausea and dizziness."

    A statement from the Green Party said yesterday that it believed Monday night's episode proved how dangerous the installations were, and that it negated all reassurances made by British "and unfortunately by the Cyprus government".

    "The British antennae are the antennae of death," the statement said. "We urge the Cyprus government after this incident to request immediate termination of works regarding the installation of the antenna until a medical evaluation has been completed. Our government is obliged to secure the safety of its citizens."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Supreme Court rules CyTA must pay 20m fine

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    C.Y.T.A.'s application for the suspension of the 20 million fine set by the Competition Commission for abuse of its position in the telecommunications market has been rejected by the Supreme Court.

    The semi-governmental authority had requested a postponement of the fine until the conclusion of their court case for annulment of the penalty. The Competition Commission imposed the fine on August 27 after finding CyTA had abused its dominant position by setting unfair prices in violation of competition rules.

    Judge Demetrakis Hadjihambis rejected the application on a number of grounds.

    He ruled that claiming CyTA prices were unfair came under the commission's jurisdiction. It did not interfere with the legality of the administrative act of setting prices, but on the contrary, limited its investigation to studying whether the authority abused its dominant position based on the fact that its prices were unfair.

    He said the commission did not breach any rules by failing to specify which services were unfairly priced.

    The judge also agreed with the Competition Commission's position that the object of the investigation was not on the legality of the administrative process in price setting nor on price approval by parliament, but on whether CyTA abused its monopoly position to make excessive profits through unfair pricing.

    On the authority's accusation that the commission failed to examine all the relevant information before concluding that CyTA prices were unfair by restricting its examination to profits made, the judge ruled that all the evidence had to be brought before the court for a full evaluation.

    Hadjihambis also dismissed the claim that the Competition Commission, in calculating the penalty imposed, took into account income which should not have been considered for calculating gross income.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] New hardware shown at October 1 parade

    THE NATIONAL Guard yesterday displayed one of its latest weapons systems during the October 1 military parade to mark 42 years since independence from Britain.

    Cyprus has acquired the M107 175-millimetre self-propelled howitzer, which was shown for the first time yesterday.

    President Glafcos Clerides, flanked by Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos and National Guard commander Lieutenant General Athanasios Nikolodemos, took the salute at the Nicosia parade, which was also attended by Greek Deputy National Defence Minister Lazaros Lotides.

    Church leaders, political party leaders, ministers, deputies, mayors, ambassadors and National Guard officials watched the parade pass along Iosif Hadjiosif Avenue in Strovolos, while cheering crowds lined the streets.Motorised and infantry divisions of the National Guard, Police, the Fire Brigade and the Civil Defence also took part as army and police helicopters flew overhead.PC-9 aircraft and Gazelle helicopters armed with missiles and two UH/1H 'Huey' helicopters for rescue operations also took part, but Clerides decided that the controversial new Russian-made MIL-Mi35 attack helicopters should not be displayed. The helicopters, which arrived on the island under a shroud of secrecy last year, were first shown in public at the funeral of Evangelos Florakis, the late National Guard Commander who was killed in a helicopter crash in July.

    Defence Minister Hasikos backed the President's decision, saying it had been taken in view of this week's meetings in New York between Clerides, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan to discuss the Cyprus problem.

    Asked by journalists if any pressure had been applied on the government not to show the helicopters, Clerides said: "They are here and we will see them when necessary.""I said they should not fly today because we all know we do not want a display of power," he said. "We all know there are many more weaponry systems which are not paraded for obvious reasons."

    "The helicopters are on the island and are ready to be used," Hasikos said. "Our interest concentrates on their readiness rather than on displaying them. This weaponry system has been on the island for a year and we consider it a success that the government and the House managed to equip the National Guard with these weapons systems."General Nikolodemos described the parade "brilliant", and said that it boosted morale.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Two years in jail for writing dud cheques

    THE HOUSE is set to pass a new bill next week that would allow courts to hand down two-year sentences to people issuing cheques that are not honoured.

    According to the daily Phileleftheros, the problem has troubled banks for years, but with the new legislation they would be allowed to publish a list of people who would not be issued new cheque books because they were found to have issued cheques that bounced.

    The new bill would make investigations and charging easier because banks would be obliged to place a special stamp on a bounced cheque which will be considered as evidence that it had not been cashed.

    The banks would be obliged to allow a period of eight days for the issuer to come up with the amount written on the cheque before they press charges.

    Under the new legislation, the guilty party could face up to two years in jail, a fine of 1,500, or both.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Cyprus Rally safe, says FIA

    RUMOURS that Cyprus would be scrapped from the FIA World Rally Championship calendar to make way for the Anatolian Rally of Turkey were quashed yesterday after the FIA announced that the Safari Rally would be scrapped instead.

    Speaking from France, Takis Kyriakides, Clerk of the Course for the Cyprus Rally, said he was absolutely delighted with the decision.

    "It has been a tough two months for us, but now we can put it all aside and concentrate on organising the event for next year," he said.

    "The Cyprus government have proved that they are staunch supporters of this very important international sporting event, and on behalf of the Organising Committee, I thank them."

    The FIA General Assembly is expected to meet today in order to ratify the calendar.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Truck hits Eurocypria plane at Dublin

    HUNDREDS of Irish holiday-makers were left stranded for a day after a driver crashed a service truck into a Eurocypria Airbus at Dublin Airport, reports from Ireland said yesterday.

    The reports said that an investigation had begun after the driver dented the side of the Airbus when he was unloading waste at Dublin airport on Saturday night. More than 300 passengers on Eurocypria flight ECA 829 bound for Larnaca were forced to spend the night at a hotel. The flight eventually took off on Sunday, 26 hours late.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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