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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-10-29

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, October 29, 2002


  • [01] Heavy speculation on Annan plan
  • [02] Football fan critical after night of hooligan violence
  • [03] Koutsou throws down the gauntlet
  • [04] Stars left behind as Fergie hands Maccabi a fighting chance
  • [05] Don't bury our heritage under a new town hall

  • [01] Heavy speculation on Annan plan

    PAPERS yesterday speculated heavily on the UN's expected settlement proposal on Cyprus, with UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan widely expected to submit a proposal next month, following Sunday's elections in Turkey.

    Phileleftheros cited sources saying the UN had already come up with a draft plan on the territorial aspect. According to the UN plan, 27 to 28 per cent of the island would come under Turkish Cypriot control, although this figure could be further reduced provided the Turkish Cypriots secured more gains in the new constitution. According to the daily, the maps drafted by the UN envisage that the line dividing the two administrative areas will run through the northern mountaintops of Morphou. In addition, say the same sources, Famagusta will come under Greek Cypriot control, although its port will remain under Turkish Cypriot administration. The UN's aim is for the arrangements to involve as little population transfers as possible, although President Clerides has reportedly submitted a proposal providing for the return of some 10,000 Greek Cypriot refugees to their homes. For his part, ailing Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has tied the territorial aspect to sovereignty.

    Simerini focused on the EU aspect, noting that the European Council last week confirmed a political solution was not a prerequisite for the island's accession. However, it pointed out, the European Council also pledged in November to examine legal matters allowing the provision of financial aid to the northern breakaway regime. The paper cited legal experts wondering whether this was a veiled intention to lift the embargo on the north. Meanwhile President Clerides said over the weekend that, due to Denktash's illness, the negotiations between two sides would turn from face-to-face to proximity talks. For his part, British envoy to Cyprus Lord Hannay noted that a chasm still separated the two sides on most issues, but added he hoped enough progress would be made in time for the EU's Copenhagen summit.

    Alithia predicted that crucial decisions on Cyprus would be taken over the next few weeks. Despite Rauf Denktash's illness, both British and US officials have said there is enough time for the two sides to reach a settlement before the December 14 EU summit in Copenhagen. Thomas Weston, the US State Department's co-ordinator on Cyprus, said that important decisions needed to be taken in the next few weeks, in light of the upcoming elections in Turkey and the crucial Copenhagen summit. Other sources said Denktash's illness would not postpone developments. The paper quoted President Clerides as saying a solution could not depend on the absence of one of the leaders due to health reasons.

    Lastly, the lead story in To Tharros quoted Greek Speaker of the House Apostolos Kaklamanis voicing concerns over Annan's motives. Kaklamanis' reservations focused on the fact that, in his view, the recent flurry of activity on Cyprus resulted from US and British initiatives. He pointed out that the period November 3 to December 13 would be the most crucial time for Cyprus since independence in 1960. The Greek House Speaker said he could not understand the UN's drive for a settlement, given that the two sides on Cyprus still have enormous disagreements.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Football fan critical after night of hooligan violence

    By George Psyllides

    AN 18-YEAR-old football Nicosia fan was yesterday in serious condition after suffering heavy head injuries during clashes outside a Limassol stadium on Saturday night.

    It was the latest incident in a protracted vendetta between Nicosia and Limassol football fans, who clash almost every time their teams meet.

    But Saturday's scuffles were different, as the two teams playing at the Tsirion stadium were both from Limassol - AEL and Apollonas.

    APOEL Nicosia supporters, however, were returning in buses from Paphos, where their team had played AEP.

    According to police, at around 7.15pm, and while the AEL-Apollonas match was in full swing, five buses carrying APOEL supporters were ambushed outside the stadium just off the motorway by around 80 Limassol fans who hurled stones and other objects.

    Police said the fifth bus was hit first with fireworks, then by a barrage of stones, which forced the other buses to stop.

    APOEL fans spilled onto the motorway and returned fire, forcing police to intervene with teargas to disperse them.

    The Nicosia fans subsequently boarded their buses and returned home.

    National Guardsman Geadis Geadi, however, had to be rushed to Limassol hospital after sustaining a serious injury to the head in the barrage of stones.

    Due to his condition, he was transferred to Nicosia, where he underwent emergency surgery.

    Doctors say his condition is very serious.

    Five months ago, a 25-year-old APOEL supporter was seriously injured outside the Tsirion stadium during clashes with AEL fans.

    The man, who was hit by a stone on the head, spent several days fighting for his life in hospital.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Koutsou throws down the gauntlet

    THE New Horizons National Congress has unanimously decided to contest February's presidential elections with party chief Nicos Koutsou as candidate.

    Speaking after the vote on Sunday, Koutsou said: "We are sending the message that we want the citizen's positive vote in the struggle we are undertaking.

    "The citizens who want a new dimension in politics, and for ethics to return to public life should support us," Koutsou said.

    Koutsou is the third candidate running for president after DIKO leader Tasos Papadopoulos and KISOS chief Yiannakis Omirou.

    Koutsou said he did not view the other candidates as opponents but as co- candidates in a "battle of political arguments", which would take place at the same time as the island's fight to survive and join the European Union.

    Koutsou said the essence of his party's presence in the elections was to put corruption in check and restore ethics to political life.

    Concerning the Cyprus problem, Koutsou said Turkey was obliged to withdraw its occupying forces and its settlers.

    "The issues of internal administration and authority is the responsibility of Greek and Turkish Cypriots," Koutsou said.

    Koutsou said the New Horizons would never accept the settlement of mainland Turks and the occupation but wanted the Turkish Cypriots together in a unified state, recognising the differences in language, religion and tradition.

    "We support a society with common administrative principles and would neither accept the minority to impose itself on the majority nor the majority to oppress the minority," Koutsou said.

    He added: "Blackmail, pressure, and dilemmas do not work for us; we know what role we can play and the importance of our presence and we shall never behave arrogantly."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Stars left behind as Fergie hands Maccabi a fighting chance

    By Soteris Charalambous

    PREDICTABLY, Sir Alex Ferguson has taken the opportunity to rest most of his key players for tonight's Champion's League clash with Maccabi Haifa in Nicosia, a move bound to upset Bayer Leverkusen and Olympiakos, who both have ambitions to progress into the second phase.

    Aside from long-term injury victims Roy Keane and Wes Brown, Ferguson also chose to leave behind David Beckham, Ryan Giggs, Juan Sebastian Veron, Fabien Barthez and Lauren Blanc, while Ruud van Nistelrooy isn't risked and Nicky Butt undergoes surgery on his ankle.

    Asked at a news conference yesterday if he knew what his line up would be, Ferguson said he did, but refused to disclose it. But with the talent left behind, many will be saying 'who cares?' and United's huge following here in Cyprus will no doubt be disappointed. An Israeli journalist also ventured that Haifa fans, too, would be disappointed by the lack of familiar faces. But most disappointed will be fans of Leverkusen and Olympiakos, who realise Haifa have been presented an excellent opportunity to cause an upset tonight and throw qualification wide open.

    Ferguson said, "We're conscious of the fact that this is an important game for Maccabi Haifa, Olympiakos and Leverkusen, and we put out a team that will certainly try and win." But few would expect United's fans to shed too many tears if their team's conquerors of last year, Bayer Leverkusen, failed to progress as a result of the manager's decision.

    It wasn't the biggest of shocks to the assembled British journalists at the news conference held at Nicosia's Hilton, who have seen the canny Scot regularly rest his star players when the opportunity arises, while giving his emerging youth talent the chance to taste first team football and gain valuable European experience. Ferguson will also use the game to ease Rio Ferdinand, his 30 million record summer signing, back into first team action after his operation.

    Spanish goalkeeper Ricardo Lopez is likely to be given his debut and at least one of the youngsters can expect to start and try to show their potential.

    "You'll have to trust us that we're doing the right thing for our club," added Ferguson.

    Perhaps with the memory of two draws in their last two premiership games still fresh in his mind, and needing to come from behind with late equalisers in both it was clear that Ferguson's focus had switched firmly to trying to regain ground on Premiership leaders Liverpool, who have already opened up an eight-point gap.

    Further pressed about the ramifications of playing a weakened side against a team who have already beaten Olympiakos and took the lead at Old Trafford, Ferguson responded, "Well, I'm sure the Maccabi fans will be happy if they win, won't they?" Leverkusen and Olympiakos have been duly warned.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Don't bury our heritage under a new town hall

    By Elias Hazou

    A PRESSURE group and the Nicosia municipality are locked in a standoff over the construction of the new city hall, at a site where archaeologists have discovered what they describe a major find.

    Made up of archaeologists, members of the Cyprus University's Archaeology Department and private sponsors, the pressure group insists that plans to build the new city hall on the 'Old Munipality' site in the old city be postponed or cancelled altogether. The group proposes that the site be turned into an archaeological park.

    They say the ground beneath the city hall contains rare antiquities that could shed light on the capital's history and should therefore be seen as part of the national heritage. The findings so far mainly range from the Byzantine to the Ottoman periods and are centred on what is believed to be a crusader palace, but items dating to the later Bronze Age have also been found; upbeat archaeologists say this suggests the findings might go even further past that.

    As things stand, the Antiquities Department and the municipality have reached a compromise that excavations will continue till December, and that the issue will be re-discussed at the beginning of next year.

    For its part, the Antiquities Department does not agree to the construction of an underground parking lot at the location, but has acquiesced to the incorporation of the new city hall within the archaeological site.

    However, the pressure group argues that the building of a new city hall without adequate parking will trigger off a chain of developments, such as increased traffic, pollution and road works. They say that mayhem will reign in the area during working hours, after which the area will be abandoned.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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