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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-10-05

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, October 5, 2002


  • [01] Limassol police fear more fighting between Arabs
  • [02] Cruising in the Med is worth 120m a year
  • [03] 'Dam Busters' Tornados arrive at Akrotiri
  • [04] Indian Premier on official visit
  • [05] Annan pledges 'hard work' on talks deal
  • [06] EIB chief to sign multi-million euro accords
  • [07] Savvides launches drive against breast cancer
  • [08] CY halves cost of tickets to Athens
  • [09] Denktash heart op will mean talks delay
  • [10] Dogs demo goes on despite poor turn-out
  • [11] New poll shows Omirou trailing Papadopoulos by nearly 12 points
  • [12] Police will make public results of phone-tapping probe

  • [01] Limassol police fear more fighting between Arabs

    By a Staff Reporter

    LIMASSOL police are stepping up their patrols along the seafront after a second incident of street-fighting between Iraqis and Palestinians who this time used petrol bombs to settle their differences.

    Three Palestinians were injured on Tuesday night after a crowd of 40 Iraqis attacked them with knives and broken bottles.

    The three men have since been discharged from hospital, and the police say they have not been able to make any arrests yet.

    On Thursday night, groups of Iraqis and Palestinians clashed again on Christodoulos Hadjipavlou Street in the town, but no injuries were reported.

    Police, without specifying who the perpetrators were, said two petrol bombs had been hurled at a group of men involved in the scuffle.

    The crowd dispersed when patrol cars arrived on the scene.

    Police said an off-duty officer passing nearby arrested a Syrian man whose residence permit had expired, but it was not clear if he had been involved in the trouble.

    Limassol Police Chief Theodoros Stylianou has ordered more patrols in the area as a first measure to enforce order.

    Police fear that the vendetta between the two groups looks set to continue as some Iraqis are reportedly blaming the Palestinians of informing on three Iraqi men who were living on the island illegally.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Cruising in the Med is worth 120m a year

    By Jean Christou

    AROUND 15 per cent of package holiday tourists who visited Cyprus in 2000 did so in order to take advantage of cruises in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Shipping Council said yesterday.

    At a news conference in Limassol aboard the cruise ship Atlante, Nicos Anastassaides, Vice-Chairman of the council's Passenger Ship Sub-committee, said that 270,000 tourists had chosen Cyprus in 2000 because of the opportunity to take a cruise in the region.

    This figure accounted for some 15 per cent of all package holiday tourism, he said.

    Anastassiades said that cruising contributed around 120 million to the economy and amounted to 26-28 per cent of operating revenue of the Cyprus Ports Authority.

    "We are certain that Cyprus will have an even greater role to play in the cruising sector and will develop even further as a bridging point for destinations in the Eastern Mediterranean," said John Constantinou, chairman of the Sub-committee.

    Several Cypriot companies operate cruises to Egypt and Lebanon from Limassol during the tourist season. Cruises to Israel were not operated this year because of the unstable situation in the Middle East.

    While Limassol is the main port for cruise departures, the government's plans to turn Larnaca port into the island's cruise centre are well under way. Larnaca's container traffic has dwindled to a trickle in the last decade and it was in danger of closing down completely.

    Although it has not yet been officially confirmed, reports suggest that there are seven consortia, comprising around 23 companies, interested in operating the port under a Design, Build, Finance and Operate (DBFO) contract.

    At the first bidders conference in Larnaca earlier this week, Communications and Works Minister Averoff Neophytou said the government's invitation to prospective bidders to make outline proposals had attracted numerous high quality firms specialising in the development and operation of ports.

    "The fact that Larnaca Port is adjacent to Larnaca's commercial centre and next to the marina is an additional challenge to the creativity of architects and engineers," Neophytou said. "Our view is that the proposed development should complement Larnaca's commercial centre, not compete with it."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] 'Dam Busters' Tornados arrive at Akrotiri

    By a Staff Reporter

    EIGHT Tornado fighter jets from the RAF's 617 'Dam Busters' Squadron are visiting Cyprus for the next two weeks, the British bases said yesterday.

    Bases spokesman Tony Brumwell told the Cyprus Mail that the visit was not linked in any way to the proposed US-led attack on neighbouring Iraq.

    An official statement from the bases said the Tornados, based at Akrotiri, would be on a training mission on the island. The Tornado is usually used in a "ground attack role" but also has other roles "and the pilots must practise all of these", the bases announcement said.

    "This particular training camp is to practise air combat, and three Hawk aircraft (the type used by the Red Arrows) are also here helping out with the training as opposition," the announcement said.

    'Dam Busters' leader Wing Commander Dave Roberts said the training in Cyprus had been planned months ago and that it was a routine practice first announced last March. He told reporters at Akrotiri that the training was to mark the 60th anniversary next year of the famous World War II dam raids in May, 1943. 617 Squadron was formed specifically for the operation to breach three dams in the Ruhr Valley, the industrial heartland of Germany.

    Roberts said his squadron would be making good use of the clear skies around Akrotiri, flying some 20 sorties per day. He said the Hawk could easily outperform the Tornado so his pilots' skills would be well-tested.

    The Dam Busters Squadron is based at RAF Lossiemouth in Scotland.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Indian Premier on official visit

    By a Staff Reporter

    INDIAN Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee will pay a two-day official visit to Cyprus starting on Monday. The Indian Premier will hold talks with President Glafcos Clerides on a wide range of issues covering bilateral, regional and international issues.He will also meet House of Representatives President Demetris Christofias and Nicosia Mayor Michalakis Zampelas.

    The visit was originally scheduled to take place in September last year but was postponed in the wake of the September 11 terror strikes in the United States.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Annan pledges 'hard work' on talks deal

    By Alexia Saoulli

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday met UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan to discuss the Cyprus problem, ending the talks in New York before Denktash undergoes open-heart surgery on Monday.

    The meeting, at 10.30pm Cyprus time, was the second between the two leaders - earlier in the day they met UN special envoy Alvaro de Soto.

    According to reports on CyBC last night, de Soto tried to reconcile the situation following Denktash's rigid stance during Thursday's talks when he had reiterated his insistence on creating two separate states on the island, contrary to numerous UN resolutions calling for the establishment of a bicommunal, bizonal federation.

    According to Greek Cypriot correspondents in New York, on Thursday Annan tried to discuss two of the core issues -- territory and property -- but no substantial progress was made.

    Prior to yesterday's meeting and referring to the ongoing talks Annan said: "We are pursuing our efforts; we are going to work very hard in the search for a solution."

    But when asked to comment on the Turkish Cypriot leader's statement on Thursday, that if the EU accepted Cyprus the talks would terminate and the island would be divided for ever, Annan replied that they would "jump that hurdle when we get there". Annan said he was confident that the negotiations would continue once Denktash had dealt with his medical problem.

    According to the Cyprus News Agency, the talks are expected to resume 20 days after Denktash's surgery next week. CNA reported that the resumption of talks was agreed during yesterday's meeting between De Soto, Clerides and Denktash.

    Following yesterday's meeting with Kofi Annan, Clerides was due to fly back to Cyprus.

    Surgery for Denktash: page 4

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] EIB chief to sign multi-million euro accords

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE Chairman of the European Investment Bank (EIB), Philippe Maystadt, will visit Cyprus on October 10 and 11, it was announced yesterday.

    During his visit, Maystadt will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and will hold a series of meetings with Finance Minister Takis Klerides, with whom he will sign three credit agreements, totalling around 230 million euros.

    The three agreements provide for the first phase of the construction of the University of Cyprus campus, the Service Plans for the Air Traffic Control of the Civil Aviation Department, and a loan guarantee for the Electricity Authority of Cyprus.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Savvides launches drive against breast cancer

    By Alexia Saoulli

    FOURTEEN per cent of all new cancer patients are breast cancer sufferers, Health Minister Frixos Savvides said yesterday. With the aim of promoting the benefits of early diagnosis, the government plans to offer free mammograms to women between the ages of 50-69 as soon as December.

    Speaking at a Cyprus Breast Cancer Forum marking the beginning of a 'Take Your Measures' campaign promoted by the Cyprus Breast Cancer Movement (Europa Donna Cyprus), Savvides said the government would continue its efforts to combat the growing number of women with breast cancer.

    "It is the most prevalent form of cancer in Cyprus. And unfortunately most incidences are detected at an advanced stage, when the chance of complete and successful treatment is limited drastically," he said. But although breast cancer cannot be prevented there are ways of diagnosing the disease in its initial stages, so subsequent treatment is both more effective and less painful, Savvides added.

    Based on international evidence on success rates because of early diagnosis, the Ministry of Health already offers education on self-examination and clinical breast examinations, as well as free smear tests for all women aged 25-65, he said.

    As part of the early diagnosis programme, by December free mammograms will also be offered to Cypriot women between the ages of 50-69, he said. A list of names has been drawn up using population records, which the Ministry will use to send women notice of their examination.

    A special committee has also been set up that adheres to European Union directives for early breast cancer diagnosis. The government-led early diagnosis programme follows EU standards to the letter, Savvides added. The government has been given 100,000 in credit facilities by the EU, with which it has ordered a new mammogram unit to be delivered by next month.

    But Europe believes the government needs to take more measures to fight with the disease, despite the Minister's political will and personal commitment to the issue, according to Stella Kyriakidou, the President of Europa Donna Cyprus.

    "We demand that chest surgery carried out by specialist surgeons, that if women want it they should have the right to have plastic surgery, and that a control programme be implemented with trained radiologists and x-ray specialists," she said.

    Within the EU a woman dies every 10 minutes from breast cancer, she said. Because of this, Kyriakidou said a breast cancer database must be created in order to determine just how big the problem was in Cyprus. Although there are 300 new cases a year, the island does not have the important statistics that exist in the EU, she said.

    The breast cancer awareness campaign, which will begin next Thursday and run until October 18, will include a series of lectures and discussions, as well as the handing out of two Europa Donna Cyprus pamphlets on beast cancer and a booklet containing 'Take Your Measures' advice.

    On October 11, German chest surgeon Dr Werner Audretsch will arrive in Cyprus to give two lectures, one for the general public and one for doctors. Next Friday and Saturday information on breast cancer will be distributed outside all Woolworth stores on the island.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] CY halves cost of tickets to Athens

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS Airways (CY) yesterday announced that it was slashing fares to Athens starting from 69 return plus taxes -- around half of the current fare.

    The airline's spokesman, Tassos Angelis, said that the cut-price fare would apply to the 7am and 7pm daily flights. He also said that the 9.30am and 4pm fares would be cut to 79 plus taxes. Pensioner fares will cost 70 across the board. The national carrier operates five flights to Athens daily, and the current fare is 139 plus taxes.

    However, like the price cuts recently announced for flights to London, the special fares will only apply to seats left available after higher-fare seats are sold. Higher-fare tickets carry fewer restrictions and are more flexible.

    The new fares will have to be paid for when the booking is made and require a three-day stopover in the Greek capital, Angelis said. The new fares will be available from October 14 until the end of March next year and will not be withdrawn during the peak Christmas period, he said.

    "When a flight is very popular and there is a lot of demand it only releases a few seats. When there are a lot of empty seats, in order to encourage people to travel, the system will release more seats," Angelis said. "During the peak period when there is demand for higher fares it's only natural that there will be fewer lower fare seats."

    The airline will next week announce cuts to another 20 destinations, including Salonica and other European cities. Angelis said again the fares would be in the region of half the current price.

    He said there had been a lot of demand for the special London fare of 150 plus taxes, which came into effect on October 1.

    "Not everyone who wants one of these seats can get them. You might call today and not get one but in a few days you might. If there is no demand for a particular flight the system could release seats later," Angelis said.

    "We are trying to fill as many seats as possible. To leave with empty seats is not good. It's better to get 69 for the seat instead of nothing. This is the idea."

    CY has restructured its entire fares policy and will no longer offer the special family and spouse packages of previous years during the winter months.

    In August British Airways cut its prices to Cyprus as part of a wider campaign to lure more passengers to fly BA in Europe, which the airline lost to low-cost carriers such as EasyJet and Ryanair. The offers are also designed to make passengers book earlier. These flights are not changeable, are non-refundable and also have conditions with regard to minimum stays.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] Denktash heart op will mean talks delay

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash will undergo heart surgery in a US clinic on Monday after he concludes talks at the United Nations, the Cyprus News Agency (CNA) reported from New York yesterday.

    Quoting Turkish Cypriot sources, CNA said that Denktash, who is in New York for talks with President Glafcos Clerides and UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan, would spend eight weeks recuperating.

    The development effectively puts an end to any hopes of concluding talks on the Cyprus issue before December.

    According to news agency reports, Denktash, 78, will have the valve of his aorta replaced during the operation at the Columbia Presbyterian Health Centre in New York. His Turkish doctor, Mehmet Oz, said he decided to operate after conducting a heart scan on Wednesday.

    All meetings Denktash has scheduled with international envoys for Cyprus had to be cancelled after he underwent the angiogram on Wednesday, and was ordered to rest for the remainder of the day. But he was well enough to conclude meetings with Annan and Clerides.

    Asked by reporters on Thursday about the state of Denktash's health, UN envoy for Cyprus Alvaro de Soto said: "He seemed in fine health to me."

    In February this year Denktash announced that he might have to undergo heart surgery within the year. He said at the time that his diagnosis had coincided with his decision to ask Clerides to resume face-to-face talks.

    He said doctors had found a blockage of his aorta and wanted to correct a heart valve problem. He said he felt fine, but that he had had some problems in previous months. He said he was told by doctors in Turkey that it would be better for him to undergo surgery sooner rather than later.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader has a history of heart trouble, and doctors have told him he needs to lose up to 15 kilos. He had a heart attack in 1996 and underwent surgery a year later. He was also later diagnosed with diabetes and was put on a strict diet.

    Opposition newspaper Afrika accused Denktash on Thursday of using his heart problems as "the last trump card to gain some time".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Dogs demo goes on despite poor turn-out

    By Alexia Saoulli

    DESPITE public outrage over recent reports of dog beatings and poisonings, just over a dozen animal lovers yesterday turned up to support a Cyprus Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) demonstration demanding respect for European Conventions for the protection of animals as a basic prerequisite for Cyprus' EU accession.

    The protest took place at 4pm outside the offices of the Delegation of the European Commission in Cyprus, on Agapinoros Street in Nicosia. After a reading of memoranda that were handed in to the Head of the Delegation of the European Commission, the demonstrators marched to President Glafcos Clerides' residence.

    But an eyewitness told the Cyprus Mail the turnout was poor, with 15 people at most turning up with their dogs.

    "There were only six or seven dogs and maybe 12 or 15 people," he said.

    But CSPCA President Toulla Poyiadji yesterday planned to remain outside the European Commission building on a 24-hour hunger strike she began at 9am yesterday. During the night she also lit candles as a tribute to animals worldwide that had fallen victim to man's cruelty and indifference. Poyiadji has called on the government to enforce a law punishing people who abuse animals.

    Just over six weeks ago an eight-month-old puppy was reportedly bludgeoned to death by three National Guardsmen at an army camp near Athalassa Park in Nicosia, and the only eyewitness was an unsuspecting passer-by. Although there was an investigation, the soldiers in question were never punished for their actions.

    In a parallel with yesterday's organised demonstration, the Federation of Environmental and Ecological Organisations of Cyprus yesterday demanded that the Agriculture Ministry draw up detailed plans to form a team of trained full-time animal inspectors operating to European standards.

    "Six years after the introduction of the 1994 Animal Welfare Act, the government has not even passed the dog law," the Federation said. "While Europe and EU candidate countries move forward in raising animal welfare standards, Cyprus stands still and is fast falling behind."

    Even reports of animal cruelty and abuse had not spured authorities to take effective action by providing an animal inspector service, it said, pointing out that the island's signing of international animal welfare agreements was a "bitter joke".

    On the demanded for respect for European Conventions on the protection of animals as a prerequisite for Cyprus' EU accession, the Federation said this would "be no less than a miracle, given that there is no full-time trained animal inspector service".

    It urged the Agriculture Ministry to keep its animal welfare promises and to move Cyprus and its acceptance of cruel treatment of animals "out of an era more befitting the Middle Ages".

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [11] New poll shows Omirou trailing Papadopoulos by nearly 12 points

    By George Psyllides

    D.I.K.O. leader Tassos Papadopoulos is the favourite to become the next president, according to the results of a new poll.

    The survey, which was carried out on behalf of state television station CyBC, showed Papadopoulos in the lead with 43.8 per cent of the vote and his main rival, KISOS Chairman Yiannakis Omirou, trailing by 11.9 points at 31.9 per cent.

    The sample of 1,200 people over the age of 18 also said Papadopoulos was the most suitable politician to become president (21.1 per cent), with AKEL Chairman Demetris Christofias in second place with 17.6 per cent.

    Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides and Attorney-general Alecos Markides, who have not yet decided whether they will be candidates for the presidency, chalked up 12.4 and 10.3 per cent respectively while Omirou received just 9.8 per cent in the suitability stakes.

    Asked who they thought would win the election, irrespective of who they themselves vote for, 46 per cent said Papadopoulos, while Omirou managed 16 per cent. Cassoulides and Markides garnered eight and six per cent respectively.

    Being trustworthy and close to the people ranked top of the list of characteristics people believe the ideal president should have, with 54 and 44 per cent respectively.

    The next eight ideal characteristics according to preference were: leadership (41 per cent); experience (37 per cent); truthfulness (32 per cent); having good relations with the USA and EU (23 per cent); dynamism (23 per cent); having modern ideas (21 per cent); education (15 per cent); and youthfulness (eight per cent).

    Sixty-seven per cent said they would vote based on the individual and 30 per cent said they followed the party line.

    The survey showed that 55 per cent of the people were interested in the presidential elections, although a large number - 40 per cent - expressed little or no interest.

    The current government was popular among 39 per cent of the sample, while opinions on the popularity of the opposition were split equally at 47 per cent.

    Concerning President Glafcos Clerides, 52 per cent said they were satisfied with his work while 46 per cent were not. Seventy-three per cent were satisfied by the way he handled European Union accession and 59 per cent by his handling of the Cyprus problem.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [12] Police will make public results of phone-tapping probe

    By a Staff Reporter

    POLICE yesterday denied press reports claiming that special mobile phone surveillance equipment had been found in a special room at the HQ in Nicosia.

    Politis yesterday reported that investigators looking into allegations that a group of officers accountable only to the police leadership had been using state of the art equipment to monitor mobile phone communications, including those of former Justice Minister Nicos Koshis, had found the equipment.

    The newspaper said the equipment was found dismantled and that tapes containing recordings of the intercepted communications had been removed.

    Police yesterday issued a written statement denying the reports.

    "As part of the investigation the particular room had been searched but such equipment, dismantled or not, was not found," the statement said.

    "To avoid wrong impressions, it is reported that two computers, used for sending and receiving coded messages to and from foreign countries, have been found," police said.

    They said that the investigation was continuing with the help of experts from the private sector and that any outcome would be made public.

    Politis reported that the investigators would also be searching the homes of senior police officers in an effort to uncover clues proving that the conversations of politicians, journalists, deputies and others were indeed being monitored.

    The equipment was bought from Israeli companies Nice and Comverse using funds earmarked for the "maintenance of current telecommunications equipment," the daily said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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