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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-11-09

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, November 9, 2002


  • [01] 30 days to solve the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Two and a half years for sex assault on girl of 10
  • [03] Father of 13 dies under plough
  • [04] Ravens on the brink of extinction
  • [05] Sea death
  • [06] Shares end the week down
  • [07] Sewage works uncover ancient tomb in Paphos
  • [08] Tour operators protest at cut in commission
  • [09] September arrivals down 6.9 per cent
  • [10] Cyprus and Greece to protest harassment of passenger planes by Turkish fighter jets
  • [11] Syria prepared to supply three million cubic metres of natural gas a day
  • [12] Constantine in Cyprus
  • [13] Police blame soccer hooligans for Machi arson
  • [14] London murder probe detectives in Cyprus
  • [15] General Hospital patients to start treatment at Oncology Centre on Monday

  • [01] 30 days to solve the Cyprus problem

    By Michele Kambas

    THE UNITED Nations is expected to put forward a Cyprus peace plan in the next few days that hopes to resolve in 30 days a conflict that has defied settlement for three decades.

    In the most comprehensive peace plan for more than 10 years, UN officials are to submit, probably by Monday, a blueprint they hope Greeks and Turks will accept before the European Union invites Cyprus to join at a December summit.

    The bulky 150-page document is expected to be submitted both to Nicosia and the UN headquarters in New York.

    After four weeks awaiting the outcome of Turkish elections, mediators are entering the final hurdle in resolving a conflict that has pitted NATO allies Turkey and Greece against each other for years.

    "This will be something that will be subject to negotiations between the two sides," a diplomatic source told Reuters.

    The plan, drawn up by a team under UN envoy Alvaro de Soto with help from the United States and Britain is the first plan since the ill-fated `Ghali Plan' of 1992, named after former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros- Ghali.

    Mediators are hoping for at least the outline of a peace agreement in place by the EU's December 12 Copenhagen summit.

    "It will not be easy to do within 30 days, but we are ready to give it a try," another source said.

    Peace talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash have hobbled along with no clear result since early January.

    Those talks are now effectively on hold as Denktash recovers from open heart surgery in New York, but the two leaders are expected to negotiate the new plan.

    The Greek Cypriots want a two-zone federation linked by a central government, while the Turkish Cypriots seek a confederation of two largely independent states.

    Details of the plan are sketchy, but sources say it will cover the four core issues of the Cyprus problem -- governance of a reunified state, territory trade-offs, property ownership and security issues.

    It is understood the UN proposals will endorse a system of two zones linked by a central government responsible for external and EU affairs. Some reports have suggested a rotation of power between Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    The Turkish Cypriots currently control 36 per cent of the island and almost 59 per cent of its coastline. Greek Cypriots would like the Turkish Cypriots to reduce both ratios.

    In a bid to meet Greek Cypriot demands for the maximum number of its 162, 000 refugees to return to Greek Cypriot administration, different scenarios are likely to be proposed with varying degrees of Turkish Cypriot property handovers.

    These trade-offs are likely to focus on the coastal town of Varosha, some parts of the fertile plain of Morphou in the northwest and some villages east of Nicosia.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Two and a half years for sex assault on girl of 10

    By George Psyllides

    A 24-YEAR-old Limassol man was yesterday sentenced to two and half years in jail for abducting and sexually assaulting a 10-year-old girl.

    The man, from the village of Trahoni, had abducted the girl from a swimming pool where he worked last August.

    He managed to convince the minor to follow him to his car and then took her to his home where he sexually assaulted her.

    The girl struggled and neighbours who heard her screams called the police, who arrested the man.

    During sentencing, the court stressed the severity of the crime "due to the consequences they would or could have on the minor victims".

    It said the defendant's behaviour had caused revulsion since an adult had used a minor child to "satisfy his sexual needs".

    But the court also said it had taken into consideration the man's confession, the fact that he was repentant as well as the absence of any physical violence.

    The court added that it had also considered the 24-year-old's psychological problems.

    On Wednesday, the Nicosia Assizes Court sentenced a 65-year-old man to two years in prison after he was found guilty of two charges of sex with a minor.

    The man had initially faced 11 charges, which were later reduced to seven while five were later dropped due to lack of evidence.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Father of 13 dies under plough

    By a Staff Reporter

    A MAN aged 67 from Sikopetra village was killed yesterday after he fell to the ground and was crushed by a ploughing machine he was using in his field.

    Reports said Stelios Antoniou was ploughing his field when he lost his balance and fell under the machine. State pathologist Sofoclis Sofocleous said the father of 13 died from heavy internal haemorrhaging.


    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Ravens on the brink of extinction

    By Alex Mita

    THE RAVEN'S task in nature is grim but necessary. It is the Earth's natural undertaker that starts the process of natural decomposition as it scavenges on dead animals.

    But the bird's sinister looks and eating habits have not helped its survival in Cyprus. Farmers have branded the birds as vermin and after decades of being hunted and poisoned, the raven is now on the brink of extinction on the island.

    According to Forestry Department expert Savvas Ezekiel there are now only 10 birds left on the island and there are fears that it might be too late to rescue the species from extinction.

    "I think there is no way back for the raven," he told the Cyprus Mail.

    "The only thing we can do is to start a conservation programme that could see the species re-introduced on the island, because the raven populations have suffered ruthless annihilation either by poisoning or hunting, just like the vulture.

    "It looks like it will be hard for the raven populations to recover from such huge losses."

    Ezekiel said that the only thing the Forestry Department could do now is to capture the remaining birds in the hope that they will hatch more eggs in captivity and slowly replenish the population.

    "In captivity, birds will probably be able to hatch more eggs because they will be in a safe environment and they will not be wasting so much energy finding food for example.

    "In this way we will be able to monitor the progress for the rehabilitation, " Ezekiel said.

    Ezekiel stressed that the raven's demise would start a destructive chain reaction for the environment that could have unpredictable consequences.

    "The raven is a link in the whole process that nature devised," he said.

    "When an animal dies, the raven is the catalyst for the decomposition process. Scavengers like the raven and the vulture are responsible for cleaning up after it has died. The raven is the first scavenger on the scene. It tears the carcass open with its sharp beak and eats, and after it has had its meal then the vulture finishes the job.

    "But the vulture cannot tear the carcass open because its beak is rounded. It will feed from where the raven has opened the hole. So if the raven is no more, then the vulture will not be able to feed and so it too could become extinct. Then who knows what would happen to other species that depend on the vulture for survival," he said.

    Ezekiel said it would take years for the bird to recover from the brink of extinction, but with the right approach and conservation programmes there could still be a chance that ravens would once again take their rightful place in the environment system.

    "I remember I used to see hundreds of ravens in Troodos when I was little," Ezekiel said.

    "Now these 10 birds are all we have left. I only hope that we can help the bird recover with systematic and scientific methods."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] Sea death

    By a Staff Reporter

    AN 86-year-old Norwegian resident of Cyprus died yesterday afternoon while swimming in the Governor's Beach area, near Limassol.

    Sterry Haviald is believed to have had lost consciousness while swimming.

    He was given first aid on the beach and then rushed to Limassol hospital, where doctors pronounced him dead on arrival.


    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Shares end the week down

    By a Staff Reporter

    SHARE prices closed the week on a sour note yesterday, following a week that began on a 20 per cent hike gained over five consecutive sessions.

    The all-share index fell back another 2.8 per cent to 102 points from a high earlier in the week of 111 points following three days of profit taking. Volume stood at 3.7 million.

    Blue chips were hammered to the tune of 4.5 per cent, leaving the FTSE/CySE at 397 points, led by pressure on banking stocks, which have been the market's barometer all week.

    "We had five great sessions that seemed to really boost confidence but it appears that the first bit of profit taking on Tuesday frightened off a lot of small investors who had been showing in interest in the market again," said one analyst. "The Cyprus market doesn't follow any particular trends. It has a mind of its own. When world markets are down, in Cyprus share prices are going up and vice versa."

    All sectors except construction ended in the red on Friday with losses ranging from 0.53 per cent in the tourism sector to 3.9 per cent in the banking sector.

    Bank of Cyprus headed the most active list buckling 5.0 percent under heavy selling pressure to close 0.08 down at 1.51. Laiki lost 0.05 to 1.26 and Hellenic 0.03 to close at 0.81.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Sewage works uncover ancient tomb in Paphos

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    WORKERS on Thursday discovered an ancient tomb during work on a sewage system in the centre of Paphos. The tomb is believed to date back to the late Classical Hellenistic period (336-30 BC).

    Archaeological officer Efstathios Raptou told the Cyprus Mail that human skeletons had been found along with a large number of clay vessels.

    The latest find comes after road works in Yeroskipou two weeks ago uncovered an ancient gold casket the size of a thumb, dating back to 400 AD. Further excavations on the site revealed a carved marble tomb containing the remains of holy garments where the casket was found.

    Archaeologists continued their examinations throughout the week on the site, discovered during construction on the new Yeroskipou by-pass road. At a 15 to 20-metre distance from the tomb, a mosaic floor was discovered along with ancient walls, stones and clay vessels. The technique and material used link the mosaic to the same period as those found in Kato Paphos. Archaeologists also discovered a semi-circular structure in the surrounding area.

    "The mosaic may also be dated back to the early Christian period between the 4th and 5th centuries AD, but it is too early to say anything for sure. There are suggestions that remains of a church have been found but these are all hypothesis so far," stressed Raptou.

    Work on the by-pass will be delayed for another week while the archaeology team dig further around the ancient tomb.

    Meanwhile, head of the Archaeology Department, Sofoklis Hadjisavvas, yesterday met with members of the House Finance Committee to discuss the construction of a new Cyprus Museum, estimated to cost around 30 to 40 million. The new museum will be erected on the site of the old Nicosia General Hospital once it has been transferred to its new site. Work on the project is expected to start between 2004 and 2005.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [08] Tour operators protest at cut in commission

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    TOUR operators informed the public yesterday they would be taking action against airlines that have announced a cut in their commissions by not selling those airlines' tickets for a day. As a result of the airlines' decision, tour operators claim their income will be reduced by 22 per cent.

    Tour operators were angered by the decision of a number of airlines to cut their commissions from nine to seven per cent, starting January 1, 2003, which, in effect, translates to a 22 per cent reduction of their income.

    Thee Chairman of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA), Adamos Varnava, gave cheap air tickets to Athens as an example of the situation. "If you take into consideration that tickets to Athens are now available for 70. That brings the operator's commission down to just 5 for a low- fare ticket."

    "ACTA have decided to take certain measures in protest at the airlines' actions," he continued. Varnava listed the measures to include: refusal to sell tickets on November 28 of airlines that have announced commission cuts, a one-hour strike by tour operators on the same day between 12 and 1pm, and a request from the relevant authorities for aid to help tour operators and avoid lay-offs.

    Among the airlines to be targeted are Cyprus Airways, British Airways, KLM, Air France, Lufthansa, Alitalia and Syrian-Arab Airlines. But Varnava warned that more were likely to follow by the end of the year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [09] September arrivals down 6.9 per cent

    By a Staff Reporter

    TOURIST arrivals were down 6.9 per cent in September, government statistics released yesterday said.

    According to the figures, arrivals were down to 306,731, compared to 329, 000 in the same month last year.

    The period January to September has shown an overall drop in tourist arrivals of 13 per cent, with 1.9 million arrivals in the first three quarters compared to 2.2 million in the same period last year.

    September has shown the lowest monthly drop so far this year. August was down 19 per cent and other months average out at between 12 and 14 per cent.

    Officials were expecting September to show less of a decline because tourism plunged around 14 per cent in September 2001 following the terrorist attacks in the US.

    Until then, Cyprus had been exceeding all that year's expectations as far as tourist arrival were concerned and was heading towards a 10 per cent rise, or close to 3.0 million tourists. Tourism officials predict an overall drop for 2002 of between 10 and 12 per cent.

    Tourism is the most rapidly expanding sector of the Cyprus economy and accounts for over 20 per cent of GDP.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [10] Cyprus and Greece to protest harassment of passenger planes by Turkish fighter jets

    By George Psyllides

    THE Government said yesterday it would be filing official complaints against Turkey following an incident where two Turkish jets buzzed a Cyprus Airways (CY) flight just outside the Nicosia flight information region (FIR).

    Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou described the action as "unacceptable", stressing that both Greece and Cyprus would be filing complaints.

    An Olympic Airways flight from Larnaca to Athens had also been harassed by a pair of Turkish jets just 10 minutes before CY flight 323.

    The CY Airbus 320 with 56 passengers aboard was flying at 33,000 feet, 35 nautical miles west of Rhodes, when the incident took place at 10.34am.

    "It is something for which complaints will also be filed by the Greek side because it happened inside the Athens FIR, and from the government because a Cypriot aircraft was harassed," Papapetrou said.

    He added: "It is an unacceptable action but I don't want to give it a bigger dimension."

    CY spokesman Tasos Angelis said on Thursday that the airliner's pilot had been warned by the control tower at Athens airport that two aircraft, "believed to be military and Turkish", had flown near an Olympic Airways plane travelling from Larnaca to Athens earlier in the day.

    The combat jets got close enough for the plane's Traffic Collision Avoidance System (TCAS) to sound twice to warn the pilot to change altitude, he said.

    "This has happened in the past, but this time it was quite close," Angelis said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [11] Syria prepared to supply three million cubic metres of natural gas a day

    By Jean Christou

    SYRIA said yesterday it was ready to supply Cyprus with three million cubic metres of natural gas per day through an underwater pipeline, Commerce Industry and Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis said.

    "The quantity of three million cubic metres per day would cover Cyprus' needs to the full," Rolandis told reporters after a meeting in Nicosia with his Syrian counterpart, Ibrahim Haddad.

    All of the possibilities would be submitted to the Cyprus cabinet within weeks, Rolandis said. He added that discussions had also focused on the exploitation of oil reserves in the eastern Mediterranean and the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone between the two countries.

    "We take the matter of supplying Cyprus with natural gas very seriously and we are now ready to offer Cyprus the quantity of three million cubic metres of natural gas per day," Haddad said.

    The government has long been considering ways to supply the island with natural gas, either by underwater pipeline or by bringing it to the island in special tankers. Either of the options would cost an estimated $100 to $250 million, with extensive storage facilities required.

    Discussions have been going on for months involving Egypt and Syria, who are also involved in a pipeline project with Jordan and Lebanon. Cyprus' final decision to build a gas pipeline to bring gas from Syria could depend on whether a much larger $1 billion grid linking Syria to gas producer Egypt will be completed

    Last year, four Middle Eastern countries reached agreement on the construction of a $1 billion pipeline, which would start in Egypt and pass through Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

    Cyprus now relies exclusively on heavy fuel oil to fire its electricity grids. The island, a candidate for European Union membership in the next phase of enlargement, must switch to cleaner forms of energy and has set itself a target of 2006 to wean itself off oil at power stations.

    Extensive storage facilities would need to be constructed in any case for the island to boost its fuel supplies from less than 30 days to the EU minimum of 90. It has a 2008 deadline from Brussels to meet that target.

    The government would want to farm the gas venture out to the private sector under a BOT (build-operate-transfer) agreement where the investor would operate the facility before returning it to authorities after an agreed period of time.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [12] Constantine in Cyprus

    By a Staff Reporter

    CONSTANTINE, the exiled King of Greece and President of the International Sailing Federation, arrived in Cyprus yesterday to head a conference discussing preparations for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.

    In a news conference shortly after his arrival at Larnaca airport, Constantine said the 600-member conference would discuss technical and practical matters.

    The exiled king expressed his anticipation for a viable solution to the Cyprus problem by December.


    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [13] Police blame soccer hooligans for Machi arson

    By Soteris Charalambous

    ARSONISTS set fire and vandalised the offices of Machi newspaper in the Engomi area of Nicosia at around 1.30am yesterday morning in an attack condemned by Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou.

    The Fire Service was able to prevent the blaze from entering the building and brought it under control before serious damage was caused. A number of windows were also smashed in the attack.

    A note left at the scene saying "If you make mistakes you have to pay" has convinced police that the perpetrators were "youngsters" and probably "football hooligans", although they refused to speculate as to which club they may be attached to.

    A police spokesman said, "the damage was minor and thankfully nobody was injured as a result of the attack," adding that investigations were ongoing.

    Papapetrou said, "The Government condemns any act of violence as unacceptable and reprehensible, but this is doubly so against a member of the media as it is also an attack on the freedom of speech."

    Employees at the newspaper returned to work as normal yesterday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [14] London murder probe detectives in Cyprus

    By Alex Mita

    SCOTLAND Yard detectives arrived in Cyprus yesterday on a search for new evidence into the murder of a Greek Cypriot teenage girl who was sexually assaulted and strangled in London 20 years ago.

    Yiannoulla Yianni was 17 when she was assaulted and killed at her home in Hampstead, north London, on August 13, 1982.

    On that day, Yiannoulla had left her father George and brother Ricky at the family's shoe shop in Hampstead and returned the short distance to their home on her own where she began setting the table for dinner at around 1.30pm.

    An hour and half later her parents found she had been sexually assaulted and strangled.

    Detective Inspector Jeff Baker told ANT1 television last night that unsolved murder cases are never closed and that new advances in forensic science have enabled police to obtain fresh clues from materials recovered from the murder scene and kept in storage.

    "With new advances in forensic science we were able to find new evidence after re-examining evidence collected from the crime scene in 1982, and we now believe the case is solvable."

    Baker said investigations would be carried out in Nicosia, Limassol and Paphos with the help of the Cyprus police, and he appealed to people who knew Yiannoulla to contact their nearest police station.

    "I would be interested in speaking to people who went to school with Yiannoulla at St John's Wood in London," Baker said. "I would also be interested to speak to anyone who attended dancing lessons with Yiannoulla on Camden Road."

    The case was re-opened last year. Police had already tracked down about 100 of the 1,000 people questioned in 1982, but most of the remainder were thought to have left England and moved to Cyprus, Portugal and Spain.

    Apart from the scientific evidence, the police case revolves around sightings of two men or possibly the same man. On the day of the murder, two people remember seeing a man of Mediterranean appearance in his early 20s chatting to Yiannoulla on the doorstep of her home.

    And on two occasions in the three months before the murder, the two sisters and their mother were followed by a man they described as of Arab or Iranian appearance, who was in his 20s.

    Cypriot police have appealed to anyone who has information about the case to contact their nearest police station.


    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [15] General Hospital patients to start treatment at Oncology Centre on Monday

    By a Staff Reporter

    TEN cancer patients whose treatment had been interrupted because of a malfunction of the radiotherapy equipment at the Nicosia General Hospital have been scheduled to resume their treatment at the Bank of Cyprus (BoC) oncology centre on Monday, Health Minister Frixos Savvides said yesterday.

    Around 40 cancer patients in need of radiotherapy have been left in limbo following the malfunction, though only 10 were being treated at the time of the breakdown.

    Savvides said the matter concerning the 10 patients was resolved yesterday and further discussions were under way to find ways for hospital staff to work at the oncology centre in order to treat their patients there.

    The oncology centre has given assurances that it could treat the hospital's patients in need of radiotherapy, and government doctors have already pledged to work at the oncology centre as a separate group.

    On Wednesday, however, their union warned that they would not be taking orders from "the bankers" but were ready to co-operate with their colleagues at the centre in treating cancer patients.

    Yesterday Savvides said he believed the matter would be resolved soon.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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