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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-11-28

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

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


Thursday, November 28, 2002

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CONTENTS

  • [01] Bookshops demand tough action against copy pirates
  • [02] Central Bank outlines its concerns over Annan plan
  • [03] Brothers killed in horror crash
  • [04] Thousands gather in the north in favour of solution
  • [05] Refuelling strike still looms at airport
  • [06] Nicaragua denies knowledge of Wendy

  • [01] Bookshops demand tough action against copy pirates

    By George Psyllides

    THE BOOKSELLERS' Association yesterday demanded stiffer penalties to stem book piracy, which costs publishers and writers thousands of pounds in lost income and could in the long run give the island, already blamed for not being tough enough on music, video and software piracy, a bad name.

    Most of the book piracy concerns textbooks and has been widespread for English books but has now moved onto Greek books, mainly since the opening of the University of Cyprus.

    The association's chairman, Stelios Sakkas, told the Cyprus Mail that it looked like less than half the students actually bought the original textbooks.

    He suggested the only way to stamp out the phenomenon was to introduce stiffer on the spot fines, close down the copy shops or confiscate their equipment.

    He said fines currently ranged from 1,000 to 3,000 and court proceedings went on forever.

    "If they knew they would have to pay a huge fine they would think twice before they copied textbooks," Sakkas said.

    He said the phenomenon had settled down a bit now, but warned it was bound to rear up again.

    The peak period is when the terms begin at the university and the private colleges, which teach mostly in English.

    One Cypriot writer discovered that her book was being sold at a copy centre outside a Nicosia college for half its price.

    Bookseller Costas Epiphaniou said he recently had a problem with a tourism textbook he was selling.

    Students copied the book and even used it in the class of the professor who wrote it.

    After the matter was reported to police, some students got rid of the copies and bought the book, Epiphaniou told the Cyprus Mail.

    Sakkas said the island could get blacklisted by publishers who could also be forced to raise prices if the situation continued.

    Lawyer Achilleas Demetriades, who represents the Cyprus Federation Against Copyright Theft, said book piracy had reached high levels and challenged the authorities to crack down and protect intellectual rights.

    Demetriades said that a walk around the university campus in Nicosia could easily reveal the extent of the problem.

    On a more optimistic level, police have been cracking down on establishments selling bootleg CDs, DVDs, videos and software with around 9, 000 CDs as well as a large number of DVDs and video tapes confiscated in recent days.

    The sale of pirate material is widespread on the island and even kiosks often sell music, software and films for a fraction of the original price.

    "We must congratulate the police for the latest moves to combat the problem of piracy," Demetriades said.

    He added: "I understand that in the last six months police, in various raids, have confiscated more than 20,000 pirate units consisting of CDs, DVDs, and audiotapes."

    "Customs must also be congratulated for controlling the import of pirate units, though there is a lot of room for improvement," Demetriades said.

    He said the Commerce and Industry Ministry, which was tasked with protecting intellectual property, was understaffed and could not enforce the legislation effectively.

    He said figures showed piracy was costing Cypriot businesses millions in lost income.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [02] Central Bank outlines its concerns over Annan plan

    By Jean Christou

    THE Central Bank is concerned over the contents of the UN plan for a Cyprus settlement and has sent a nine-page letter to President Glafcos Clerides outlining its position.

    In the leaked letter, the contents of which were published yesterday, Central Bank Governor Christodoulos Christodoulou sets out worries connected with the integration of unstable banking practices in the Turkish- controlled north of the island and the creation of a ruling committee in place of a single governor.

    According to the plan, the Central Bank would be governed by a Board of three members, one of whom would be the Governor. At least one member has to come from each component state and the third member can be a non- Cypriot.

    The Governor and the other two members of the Board will be appointed by the Presidential Council for a term of seven years, the plan states and the law may also provide for the establishment of branches of the Central Bank in each component state, and for inclusion of branch directors in the Board of the Central Bank; all decisions of the Board of the Central Bank would be taken by simple majority.

    Christodoulou's letter said that a three-member board would be problematic and that such a model for a central bank was unprecedented with the exception of Switzerland.

    He said that flexibility and decision-making should be secured and provide for a governor and deputy governor. He also suggested that the current structure, including the board and the monetary commission be maintained, while Turkish Cypriots should be represented on a wider board.

    Christodoulou said he also disagreed with the creation of different branches of the Central Bank in each component state "due to the small size of the economy and the island".

    "The creation of branches will create additional operational costs. It would be better for a small economy like Cyprus for the operation of the Central Bank to be concentrated, something that has worked fine until today."

    He said the plan also didn't clearly specify what the currency of the new state would be until the introduction of the euro, which Cyprus is expected to join in 2006. There is a also a provision that the Central Bank "shall exchange deposits held by citizens and residents of Cyprus in Turkish lira in banks in Cyprus into Cyprus pounds at the rate at which the Bank of Turkey shall credit the relevant amounts to the Bank of Cyprus in euros".

    Christodoulou's letter said it was wrong to say that the Central Bank could convert from Turkish lira to Cyprus pounds because "it is not the responsibility of the Central Bank but the responsibility of the commercial banks and their clients".

    Christodoulou added the banking sector would face considerable problems considering the state of banks in the north, which have gone through crisis in recent years and remain in a fragile state and out of line with international standards.

    "The danger is that from the moment this fragile area is liberated in a demanding environment, a number of these banks will collapse and someone will have to pay the cost," he said. "In this case, if the cost is not covered by Turkey, it will fall on the Finance Ministry of the new state."

    He said it would be necessary to agree on a mechanism for banking systems in the Turkish Cypriot component state to be restructured through mergers and buyouts so as to fulfil international requirements. Otherwise, the reputation of the reliability of the Central Bank of Cyprus, which has taken years to establish, "could be wiped out overnight," Christodoulou said.

    "Technological changes, globalisation and liberalisation of the movement of funds do not leave any space for policy mistakes which would undermine the Central Bank and result in dire consequences for the economy," he added. "It is of utmost importance that no provision in the plan should leave any question marks over the status of the Central Bank in a new state."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [03] Brothers killed in horror crash

    By a Staff Reporter

    TWO brothers were killed and another man was seriously injured in a car crash on Tuesday evening in Orounta outside Nicosia, police said.

    According to police reports, a car driven by 40-year-old Yiannakis Neophytou veered off course on the Mitsero-Panayia road and slammed into a light truck driven by Charalambos Charalambous, 19, with passengers Costas Charalambous, 17, and Vasilis Lambrou, 21.

    Speaking to CyBC radio, Traffic Police Chief Andreas Papas said the accident was one of the worst his department had had to investigate.

    "This is one of the worst accidents I have ever had to deal with," he said.

    "It was a horrific accident. The two brothers were a family's only children. The other man who was with them in the car is in a very serious condition. Doctors had to amputate his leg. The Nicosia Traffic Police Department is in mourning."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [04] Thousands gather in the north in favour of solution

    By a Staff Reporter

    AROUND 15,000 Turkish Cypriots supported by 92 non-governmental organisations yesterday took to the streets of north Nicosia urging their leader, Rauf Denktash, to grasp the opportunity presented by the United Nations to reunite the island.

    Speaking before the crowd that gathered in a square under draconian security, Chamber of Commerce head Ali Erel said the Turkish Cypriot side had an opportunity that should not be missed.

    "If we do not return to the negotiating table we cannot defend our rights."

    People of all ages took part in the rally waving EU flags and banners with the word 'peace' written in Turkish, Greek and English. Shops were closed and children were let off school. Government employees said they had made excuses in order to attend the rally.

    "There is a border on this island that should no longer be there," 19-year- old Tugce Kose told Reuters.

    "Everyone wants peace, people are finally starting to wake up."

    Greek Cypriot journalists were not allowed to cross to the north to cover the event.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [05] Refuelling strike still looms at airport

    By a Staff Reporter

    UNIONS representing staff working for petroleum companies at the island's airports have renewed their threats for a 24-hour strike on Friday.

    The dispute is over the renewal of a collective agreement, but it's still not clear whether the strike will take place.

    A BP spokesman said nothing had been decided yet and that talks would continue for the rest of the week.

    But Cyprus Airways Spokesman Tassos Angelis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday not a single flight would be affected in case of a strike.

    "We are not sure there is going to be a strike, but if there is, no CY flight will be affected," Angelis said.

    "BP and Exxon-Mobil are not the only Petroleum companies at the airport."

    The Civil Aviation said they had not been informed that there would be a strike on Friday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [06] Nicaragua denies knowledge of Wendy

    By George Psyllides

    A NICARAGUAN stuck on the island for almost three years because she does not have a passport will have to remain in Cyprus until she resolves her identity with the immigration department, the head of the department said yesterday.

    Wendy Duchovny, 30, arrived on the island in March 2000. She came to Limassol from Egypt as a tourist but the passport she was travelling on was fake.

    Duchovny managed to get through immigration, but two weeks later she lost her passport and reported it to the authorities.

    It then transpired that she had entered the island using a false passport, an action that landed her in jail for 50 days.

    After her release she did a number of odd jobs and is now receiving benefit. The authorities have renewed her residence visa, despite her repeatedly telling them she wanted to leave.

    But according to the head of the Interior Ministry's immigration department, Annie Shiakalis, the authorities have tried to help her by obtaining a passport for her to leave the country.

    There is no Nicaraguan embassy or consulate in Cyprus, so the Foreign Ministry contacted Nicaraguan authorities through embassies abroad.

    The Nicaraguan authorities, however, replied that they had no such name on their records and could not therefore issue a passport.

    Shiakali told the Cyprus Mail that the ministry wanted to help Duchovny leave the island but that she had to resolve her identity issue first.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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