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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-10-12

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

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


Saturday, October 12, 2002

CONTENTS

  • [01] Cabinet meets on EU report
  • [02] US Embassy issues warning
  • [03] Waste is our 'most worrying issue'
  • [04] Police on alert for 'Crystal Ice'
  • [05] Bi-communal festival in Paphos
  • [06] Clerides donates rare champagne to Radiomarathon
  • [07] Kaimakli up in arms over second sewerage plant
  • [08] Bourse gains ground
  • [09] EIB signs off _220m for Cyprus projects
  • [10] Heating oil price to drop

  • [01] Cabinet meets on EU report

    By Jean Christou

    THE CABINET held an extraordinary session yesterday to discuss the European Commission's latest report on Cyprus, which recommends the island accede to the bloc in 2004.

    The report said that Cyprus had achieved a good degree of alignment with the EU's acquis communautaire in most areas but further efforts are needed in the area of telecommunications, transport, environment, migration, money laundering, energy and copyright.

    The cabinet met yesterday to discuss the outstanding issues that need to be speeded up before the EU's Copenhagen summit in December when Cyprus is expected to close its accession negotiations.

    "We have assessed what needs to be done before the Copenhagen summit," Papapetrou said without elaborating.

    The spokesman said that Cyprus' Chief EU negotiator George Vassiliou would meet separately with officials from all ministries involved to speed up the remaining harmonisation.

    The Commission's report issued on Wednesday said it believed it was possible for Cyprus to complete the job within the envisaged time frame. Cyprus has already passed 700 pieces of EU legislation since 1998.

    Issues that are still of concern to the EU include the need for stricter implementation of money laundering legislation, which is already all in place, a bigger clampdown on copyright crime as regards video and CDs, the creation of an air accident investigation body and the immediate liberalisation of the telecommunications market.

    Cyprus must also reform its migration policies with emphasis on non-EU countries that are allowed visa-free entry to Cyprus. The government must also upgrade its equipment for border surveillance to stop illegal immigrants gaining a back door into Europe.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] US Embassy issues warning

    THE U.S. embassy in Nicosia yesterday issued the latest worldwide caution for American citizens, which will remain valid until April 8, 2003.

    The last caution was issued on September 9 this year but in light of the recent audio tape attributed to Osama bin Laden and other reports of threats to US citizens, the caution has been updated "to alert Americans to the need to remain vigilant and to remind them of the continuing threat of terrorist actions that may target civilians."

    The statement said that the US government continues to receive credible indications that extremist groups and individuals are planning additional terrorist actions against US interests, and may include suicide operations at places of worship or at schools or other places Americans are known to congregate such as clubs or restaurants.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Waste is our 'most worrying issue'

    THE GOVERNMENT is planning to create two new landfills, one in Paphos and one in Larnaca, Interior Minister Andreas Panayiotou said this week.

    Speaking at a seminar for waste management organised by the British Council as part of its EU series, the Minister said that landfills at Kotshiatis and Vati would be upgraded, while others would be closed.

    The seminar comes a day after the EU Commission issued its progress report on the candidate countries, and cited waste management as "the most worrying issue in Cyprus" in terms of harmonisation. The report said that a four-year program regarding closure or upgrading has been prepared.

    Expanding on the programme, Panayiotou said the first stage involved the creation of the two new landfills, which would be operated in line with EU directives. In addition, transit waste disposal sites would be built at designated sites across the countryside. Panayiotou said that waste management was one of the most significant issues that Cyprus was facing within the harmonisation framework.

    The environmental chapter is one of the few pending as Cyprus looks to harmonize with EU criteria. Other issues include migration, transport and energy.

    "At the same time, a comprehensive program will be implemented gradually reducing the overall volume of waste for land filling through recycling, composting and incineration for producing energy," the Minister said.

    The program would be costly, but was necessary if Cyprus were to fall in line with the EU acquis communitaire, he stressed.

    Panayiotou added that a bill entitled "Management of high-risk and solid- state wastes" has been drafted and is expected to be tabled in parliament later this month.

    Waste management was one of the top items on the agenda at a Cabinet meeting yesterday to assess the EU's report on Cyprus' accession progress.

    A recent study carried out by a private-sector development consultants company concluded that, if unchanged, waste disposal practices on the island entailed unforeseeable environmental pollution and real risks to public hygiene.

    On several occasions the media has highlighted the dumping of unprocessed waste in landfills, most worryingly animal parts that fester and can spread diseases.

    According to the study, Cyprus seriously lagged behind in waste management. For example, there is no mechanism for collecting, separating and final processing of domestic and other non-industrial waste.

    The study estimated that a total of 2,800 tonnes of solid-state high-risk waste was produced last year.

    Veterinary services came under scrutiny this week, as nearby residents complained about foul smells from the landfill at Vati in the Limassol district. Whole animal parts, bones and flesh--all unprocessed--were seen discarded among the other waste. While authorities condemned such practices, they were unaware who the guilty parties were.

    At a news conference earlier this week, the Green Party said the Vati landfill was polluting the soil and underground water ending up in the Polemedhia dam. Local farmers are protesting the poor quality of water available for irrigation and for personal use.

    The Greens called for tighter checks on the premises of the various landfills to ensure no one bypassed procedure.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Police on alert for 'Crystal Ice'

    By Alex Mita

    THE DRUG Squad is on high alert after a highly-addictive drug was discovered on the island.

    Police said a 41-year-old man from Limassol was arrested after he attempted to sell 100 grams of 'Crystal Ice' worth 3,500 to an undercover Drug Squad officer.

    The man has allegedly admitted he had acquired the drugs from a dealer who is thought to have somehow managed to smuggle over 200 grams of the drug from the Philippines.

    Crystal ice is a highly addictive form of crystallised methamphetamine.

    However, a source told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the Drug Squad believed the smuggling of the drug was a one-off case and that they did not expect more of the drug to be smuggled into Cyprus.

    A US Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman told the Cyprus Mail yesterday crystal ice is not a substance one would find in this part of the world.

    "It is a new thing in Cyprus and its rare to find it here," he said.

    "You usually find at the West Coast of the United States as well as the Philippines and Hawaii.

    "It's not a new drug, it is a crystallised form of methamphetamine. We have a very bad problem with metamphetamines in the US but not in this in this particular form."

    The spokesman said metamphetamine is a Category II controlled substance in the US and 'ice' is much stronger version of it that could prove lethal.

    "It's usually smoked, you put it on a piece of foil or on a spoon and you heat it, and then you inhale the fumes. It looks a little bit like rock salt," he said.

    According to a Central California Drug Threat Assessment, metamphetamine is an odourless, bitter tasting, crystalline powder that dissolves easily in water.

    It is a man-made, addictive stimulant-hallucinogenic compound, which associates the properties of cocaine withy those of LSD.

    Metamphetamine excites specific brain systems and has a high potential for abuse and dependence.

    The drug releases high amounts of dopamine, a neurotransmitter which stimulates the brain and enhances mood and body movement.

    It can cause arrhythmia and ventricular fibrillation similar to symptoms experienced during a heart attack, and can also result in weight loss, an increased risk of blood clots, stroke and hypothermia.

    According to the report, methamphetamine addicts suffering the effects of prolonged or chronic abuse often display paranoia, memory loss, aggression, mood disturbances, and a tendency toward violence.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Bi-communal festival in Paphos

    A BI-COMMUNAL friendship festival will be held tomorrow in the village of Yeroskipou, Paphos, dedicated to the memory of a Turkish-Cypriot man who came from the coastal town.

    The bi-communal contact group, which organises the annual get-together, this year decided to commemorate Jemil Kioufi, who passed away a few months ago. Kioufi hailed from the village of Yeroskipou and was displaced along with other Turkish Cypriots during the 1974 invasion.

    Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots from Paphos, Yeroskipou and several Paphos district villages are participating in the event, which will feature traditional singing and dancing shows and competitions.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Clerides donates rare champagne to Radiomarathon

    A BOTTLE of Esprit du Siecle champagne from the 250-year old French company Moet & Chandon was presented to President Glafcos Clerides yesterday.

    Worth 12,000, the bottle was donated by the manager of importers Francoudi and Stephanou to be auctioned off at this year's annual Radiomarathon drive for children with special needs. Clerides said he would deliver the champagne to the organising committee of the Radiomaraton.

    The world famous champagne makers bottled only 323 magnums of Esprit du Siecle, which translates to 'spirit of the century'. The champagne, said to be the rarest every produced, is a blending of vintages that has never been attempted and combines those from the years 1900, 1914, 1921, 1934, 1943, 1952, 1962, 1976, 1983, 1985 and 1995.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Kaimakli up in arms over second sewerage plant

    By Elias Hazou

    RESIDENTS OF Nicosia's Kaimakli suburb are up in arms after it emerged that a second sewage plant is to be built in the area, while the municipality is pledging no action will be taken without their agreement.

    Grass roots organisations of the wider Kaimakli area have said they will do everything possible to stop the plant being built. Kaimakli is near the buffer zone, and residents already complain of unpleasant odours coming from the first plant during the summer months.

    They are particularly incensed with the fact that apparently they were left in the dark about the Sewage Board's plans and only found out by accident.

    The owner of the plot of land in Kaimakli had applied for a town-planning permit back in 1995. After a seven year wait, Andreas Kithreotis was granted the permit on June 14 this year. He next proceeded to apply for a construction permit, as was standard procedure.

    Although going by the book, Kithreotis was then informed by authorities that his plot of land had been requisitioned for the construction of a sewage plant. In fact, it turned out that the land was requisitioned on June 13 - a day before Kithreotis was granted the town-planning permit. The appropriation was also listed in the government gazette.

    A bewildered Kithreotis then told other Kaimakli residents about the second sewage plant intended for his land.

    The affair highlighted the peculiarities in town planning laws, where government departments or municipalities can in certain cases appropriate plots of land for specific purposes without being obliged to inform the owners.

    For his part, Nicosia mayor Michalakis Zambelas has said that no action will be taken unless the residents of Kaimakli and neighbouring suburb Aglandjia consented. He also assured residents that the second sewage plant would have the least possible nuisance, as the pumping facilities would be built eight meters below ground surface.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Bourse gains ground

    SHARE PRICES yesterday regained Thursday's huge losses and the market ended the week with a 1.4 per cent increase with banks leading the way. On Thursday the all-share index fell to a new low of 79 points but was back over the 80-point barrier yesterday to close at 80.4 points.

    The FTSE/CySE rose 2.3 per cent to 305.6 points and accounted for half the day's trading volume, which stood at 920,000. Bank of Cyprus regained the three cents it shed on Thursday to close back up at 1.09. Laiki added four cents to 1.03 and Hellenic one cent to 0.67. Around 50 stocks recorded gains compared to 22 decliners and 76 that closed unchanged.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] EIB signs off _220m for Cyprus projects

    By Jean Christou

    THREE LONG-term loan agreements totalling 220 million euros (125.7 million) for an air traffic services project, a new university campus and for the Electricity Authority's (EAC) new plant at Vassiliko, were signed yesterday between Cyprus and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

    The agreements were signed in Nicosia between EIB chairman Philippe Maystadt, Finance Minister Takis Klerides and EAC chairman George Georgiades.

    ''The agreements are a recognition that you are already part of the European family,'' Maystadt told a joint press conference after the signing.

    Klerides said that three more EIB-related projects were also under study relating to the construction of new school buildings, government information technology systems and the greater Nicosia sewerage project.

    The first of the three current finance contracts provides 55 million euros for the construction of a new air traffic control centre and the purchase of equipment, the total cost of which will be 73.8 million euros. The EIB will loan 55 million euros and the government will pay the rest.

    For the University of Cyprus campus, the EIB is extending a 65 million euro loan, the total cost of the first phase of which will be 145 million euros.

    The third contract is a guarantee and indemnity agreement amounting to 100 million euros for the expansion of the transmission and distribution system of the Electricity Authority, Klerides said.

    He added that the agreements were for long-term loans of 15 to 20 years with a grace period of four to six years.

    Klerides also said that other projects are under examination for submission to the EIB for financing. Since January 2001 there are no restrictions in terms of amounts of EIB lending to Cyprus.

    ''Our mission is to support the policy objectives of the EU and this is really the true significance of the EIB's work, Cyprus will soon be an EU member,'' Maystadt said. "These are symbolic of all the opportunities the EIB has to intervene in support of projects to modernise Cyprus and help the country's successful integration to the Union.''

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Heating oil price to drop

    HEATING OIL prices are set to drop and farmers will be able to buy coloured diesel tax free, the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announced this week.

    Commerce and Industry Minister Nicos Rolandis said the ministries of Commerce and Finance agreed that there should be some form of reduction in heating oil prices.

    The issue of pricing and a reduction in consumer tax on heating oil is expected to be decided by the Council of Ministers next Wednesday.

    According to an EU directive, the government may impose a tax of one per cent on this type of oil

    However there are not enough storage tanks that can be used to store heating oil separately from other diesel products and a suggestion has been made for the introduction of a system in which consumers would receive a refund at the end of the period.

    Farmers on the other hand will be able to buy coloured diesel that is subsidised by the government at any petrol station after an agreement between Rolandis and petrol station owners would see coloured diesel stored in tanks that up to now were used to store kerosene, while other arrangements are being discussed to find out where kerosene is going to be stored.

    Under the new rates farmers will be able to buy their diesel at a little over half its selling price and will be allowed to claim the VAT.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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