Read The Treatment of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire (Part 2) (by Viscount Bryce) A)? GHT="50">
Compact version
Today's Suggestion
Read The "Macedonian Question" (by Maria Nystazopoulou-Pelekidou)
HomeAbout HR-NetNewsWeb SitesDocumentsOnline HelpUsage InformationContact us
Wednesday, 15 August 2018
 
News
  Latest News (All)
     From Greece
     From Cyprus
     From Europe
     From Balkans
     From Turkey
     From USA
  Announcements
  World Press
  News Archives
Web Sites
  Hosted
  Mirrored
  Interesting Nodes
Documents
  Special Topics
  Treaties, Conventions
  Constitutions
  U.S. Agencies
  Cyprus Problem
  Other
Services
  Personal NewsPaper
  Greek Fonts
  Tools
  F.A.Q.
 

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-01-11

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

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


Saturday, January 11, 2003

<OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN=""> <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

CONTENTS

  • [01] Markides: I will not back down
  • [02] The cost of an election
  • [03] House approves 2003 budget
  • [04] Ministry upbeat on growth prospects
  • [05] State lab to start testing for GM foods
  • [06] Paphos municipality workers threaten indefinite strike
  • [07] Government report shows low poverty levels compared to rest of Europe
  • [08] Potato farmers threaten new blockade
  • [09] Man jailed for sexual assault on Russians

  • [01] Markides: I will not back down

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    ALECOS Markides said yesterday there was no way he would stand down his independent candidacy for next month's presidential elections as the heat rose in an increasingly bitter campaign.

    Attorney-general Markides told reporters yesterday after a meeting with rival candidate President Glafcos Clerides that there was no way he would withdraw his candidacy from the presidential race. The meeting was held to discuss progress on the ad-hoc technical committees on Cyprus.

    Asked if he would withdraw his candidacy if UN Secretary-General's Special Advisor Alvaro de Soto's arrival marked a rapid development in the Cyprus problem, Markides replied: "No, because issues of handling and negotiating after March 1 will be raised, as well as implementation of a possible solution, which requires a transitional period of at least two and a half years".

    Asked how he found time to deal with the technical committees and his election campaign, Markides said his priority was to deal in full with his work on the Cyprus problem. But he added that he would very much like to take part in a public debate with the other candidates.

    United Democrats leader and head of the EU negotiating team, George Vassiliou, meanwhile explained why he was backing Clerides' re-election, citing dramatic developments in the Cyprus problem as the reason behind his decision. He accused those who didn't want to believe there would be rapid developments on Cyprus that they were willingly blinding themselves and gave a sharp warning to all players that the Annan plan should not be used as an electoral game.

    "Under no circumstances should the Annan plan be used as a pre-election ball game. With our proposal for an extension of Clerides' term, I fear that is the way we are heading, only to the detriment of the country," said Vassiliou. He emphasised that all factors were pointing in one direction. "The UN has set out dates with the backing of the EU, things are changing in Turkey and Clerides has emphasised he will stay on to continue the negotiations. The chances of development are now," he said.

    Vassiliou noted that Clerides had not stated definitely he would stay for the full 16 months if negotiations were wrapped up within six months. "A lot of things have already been done. There are not many issues that need tying up."

    KISOS leader Yiannakis Omirou said yesterday he did not expect a president to emerge from the first round of elections and maintained that, if he didn't get through to the second round, his party would decide who they would support when the time came.

    Similar thoughts were being voiced by New Horizons leader, Nicos Koutsou, the other presidential candidate, who maintained he was still in the race but acknowledged that the work was cut out for smaller parties in the elections. Like Omirou, he too refused to hint at who his party would support if he didn't make it to the second round. Koutsou also called on the Attorney-general to ensure transparency of the funding for the presidential elections.

    Meanwhile, the ball of blame and guilt was being shot from one side of Nicosia to the other yesterday as Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou and AKEL leader Demetris Christofias exchanged insults and accusations.

    The battle began with a razor-sharp offensive by Papapetrou on Christofias for comments he made on a private television channel regarding Papapetrou's stance in the National Council during the Copenhagen summit.

    He accused Christofias of putting party aspirations before the Cyprus problem and striking below the belt, using Clerides as his target.

    The conflict began when Christofias claimed Papapetrou had advised Clerides to think seriously about accepting the Annan plan as it was if the Turkish side did the same. In response, Papapetrou charged the AKEL leader with acting in an un-political and unruly manner by violating the principles of secrecy regarding what was said within the four walls of the National Council. He called on Christofias to reveal what he himself had advised Clerides in front of Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis. "Did he ask him to accept or reject the plan? Or maybe, during those dramatic and crucial moments, he told the president to do whatever he wanted, and that he couldn't give him a straight answer until his party convened to discuss the matter, which, he said would take up to 15 days," Papapetrou said.

    He continued the war of words by accusing Christofias and AKEL-backed DIKO presidential candidate, Tassos Papadopoulos, of inconsistency in word and action, providing past statements of the candidate to reporters in an effort to prove the point.

    Equally zealously, Christofias responded with an impromptu news conference, highlighting Papapetrou's words as proof he was ready to accept the Annan plan as it was and not as a basis for negotiation. Christofias maintained he personally told Clerides at the time that he supported his decision to refuse to sign a unilateral agreement at Copenhagen.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN="">

    <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

    [02] The cost of an election

    INTERIOR Minister Andreas Panayiotou announced yesterday that by 10 pm on February 16, the day of the General Election, the new President of Cyprus should be announced to the public.

    If no candidate gets a clear majority of more than 50 per cent, the two leading candidates will face each other in an electoral showdown on February 23.

    The Minister also revealed that new technology would be used to process votes so that a result should be available "within minutes."

    A precise number of polling stations will be announced for each district on January 17when the final catalogue of voters is complete. However, estimates put the figure at around 1,100 stations for the whole of Cyprus.

    At least two polling stations will be open in Nicosia for enclaved Greek Cypriots.

    It is expected that 10,000 people will be employed especially for the elections, of which 4,000 will be police and the remainder civil servants.

    The Presidential elections are anticipated to cost the Republic of Cyprus £4 million.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN="">

    <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

    [03] House approves 2003 budget

    By Alex Mita

    PARLIAMENT last night approved the state budget for 2003 after a marathon three-day debate, dominated by often-acrimonious exchanges about the upcoming presidential elections.

    The budget was approved shortly after midnight by 29 votes in favour, to two against, with 23 abstentions. DISY, DIKO, the United Democrats and ADIK voted for the budget. Opposition AKEL abstained, while KISOS abstained except on those provisions concerning refugees, defence and EU harmonisation. New Horizons and the Greens voted against.

    The budget provides for £3,080 million in expenditure and £2,401 million in revenue. The total public deficit is expected to grow by £453.1 million pounds and reach £679 million, compared to £590.1 million expected by the end of last year.

    The deficit is expected to remain within the limits set by the EU's Maastricht criteria, reaching 54 per cent of GDP from 55.5 per cent in 2002.

    Expenditure for development projects in 2003 will reach £375.1 million compared to expenditure of 247.7 million pounds in 2002.

    Some £50.6 million will go towards improvements of the road network, another £24.6 million to water projects, £32.1 million to civil planning, £36.4 million for education, £16 million to the Cyprus University, £7.1 million will be geared towards the cultural services and £26.6 million for agricultural development.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN="">

    <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

    [04] Ministry upbeat on growth prospects

    By Alex Mita

    THE FINANCE Ministry yesterday forecast a significant acceleration in growth to 4.2 per cent for 2003, compared to 2.3 per cent last year.

    In a statement yesterday, the Ministry said its predictions ran on the assumption that the predictions of international organisations for growth in the overall EU economy would be validated.

    "First indications confirm the predictions made by the Finance Ministry," the statement said.

    "Tourism in October and November has shown a positive increase of 2.3 and 3.6 per cent respectively, overturning the negative results we had in previous months, and reservations for the summer period are at a satisfactory level."

    The statement said recent investigations on consumers and businesses had shown that the public's trust in the prospects of the economy had shown a vast improvement.

    "The reduction of interest rates by the Central Bank as well as further reduction of tax rates in the framework of the recent fiscal reform are expected further to contribute to the growth of the island's economy," the statement said.

    "The importance of tourism in the course of the Cypriot economy is paramount, but dependency on tourism has been reduced in the past few years."

    The Ministry said Cyprus had managed to make use of its comparative advantage in other services like telecommunications, the banking sector, professional services as well as health and education.

    "In the last five years, the contribution of tourism (hotels and restaurants) to the economy has remained steady at 8.7 per cent of GDP.

    "The contribution of telecommunications has increased from three per cent in 1998, to 3.6 per cent of GDP in 2002, mirroring the progress achieved in the new economy, and the contribution of the banking sector has increased from 5.8 per cent in 1998 to 6.8 of GDP in 2002," the statement said.

    "The contribution of business services has increased from 14.1 per cent in 1998 to 14.6 per cent of GDP in 2002."

    The Ministry pointed out there had been positive overall growth of 2.3 per cent in 2002, in a year when tourist arrivals had fallen by 10.5 per cent, proving the steady reduction of the economy's dependency on tourism.

    The Ministry said inflation remained at controlled levels, with an increase from two per cent in 2001 to 2.8 per cent, still within the EU's Maastricht criteria.

    "The increase in inflation in 2002 is due to the increase of VAT and other indirect taxes in the framework of the tax reform," the Ministry said, adding that structural inflation had remained at two per cent.

    "Maintaining the rate of inflation at low and controlled levels is due to the healthy foundations of the economy, if we take into consideration the factors that affect inflation (limited expansion of bank loans, limited financial deficit, increase in wages in the framework of productivity, the stability of the currency and a low inflation on imported goods). Inflation has shown a decrease from the recent decision by the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority to reduce call charges."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN="">

    <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

    [05] State lab to start testing for GM foods

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE STATE Laboratory is now equipped to analyse genetically modified (GM) foodstuffs available in the local market, a senior Health Ministry official confirmed yesterday. Although only at a preparatory stage, the programme would be up and running shortly, said Dina Akkelidou, who heads the State Laboratory.

    The Consumers Association yesterday applauded this long-awaited move, as did Green Party deputy George Perdikis, who pointed out the public would now be able to choose what it ate, rather than being forced to eat GM foods unawares.

    Genetic modification of an organism has taken place when it has been artificially engineered to introduce a desired characteristic e.g. increased protein content. Genetic material that codes for high protein from one organism (e.g. beef) is isolated and cut and spliced into another's DNA (e.g. tomatoes) in order to introduce the absent characteristic (high protein content), an environmental impact scientist told the Cyprus Mail.

    Soya beans are commonly modified to be more weather resistant, herbicide resistant or even disease resistant, because it they are a very common product, cultivated worldwide and present in much of everything we eat, from tinned ravioli to dog food.

    The programme's primary aim was to protect consumers, said Akkelidou. Not only would GM foods be clearly labelled on the packaging, but also the percentage of ingredients been modified would be analysed and specified. The EU stipulates that any product containing one per cent or more of a modified organism has to be included on the label, she said.

    "We are still at the initial preparatory stages and have not officially started analysing GM foods," said Akkelidou.

    "The technology and methodology used to test GM food is completely new. We are still drawing up a programme from where to begin and this will then develop to include the analysis of more complex products that are composed of GM ingredients." Corn and soya beans were two well-known examples of GM raw materials that would be first on the list for analysis, she said. From there, the lab would move to analyse foodstuffs such as bread and cereals.

    Consumers Association President Petros Markou yesterday expressed his complete satisfaction with the news, which he said would help consumers make informed decisions about what they ate.

    "We have continuously demanded the implementation of GMO analysis of foodstuffs, and even had the relevant legislation enforcing it, but the State Lab had not been equipped to carry it out. Now we will watch and wait to see if consumers are protected."

    The problem surrounding GM foods and GMOs was their possible health side effects, said Markou. "Although this is a still highly disputed issue, which science has yet fully to explain, there have been reported cases of adverse effects of GMO consumption." These ranged from allergies to resistance to certain antibiotics, he said.

    "This is why we want consumers to know what foods contain GMOs, so that they are well informed and can make their decisions (on what to eat) accordingly."

    Perdikis also applauded the introduction of GM food testing, but reiterated his opposition to cultivating GMOs in Cyprus.

    "GMOs are illegal in Cyprus, although foodstuffs containing them are not, because the legislature approving the former's movement has not yet been passed," said Perdikis.

    "GMOs are live organisms and can contaminate non-GMOs, thus forcing their ingestion upon unsuspecting consumers." Labelled foodstuffs on a shelf, on the other hand, gave people the choice of what they were eating, he said. "As for the testing, we are very pleased. It should have happened years ago, " Perdikis said.

    But, according to experts, there is no accurate method to detect GMOs. Although science is making progress in the field, it is not possible to determine whether or not a particular food is derived from a GM or a non-GM variety of crop.

    "This is true," said Akkelidou. "There are very few methods that are accredited as reliable forms of analysis. Because this method is under development we are only going to implement already established disciplines, which only cover a limited number of GM foods."

    Genetic engineering was unpredictable and the damaging effects of GMOs irreversible; if left uncontained it could get out of control, the environmental scientist said.

    "The introduction of genetic material into a second organism is not an exact science, therefore, it is possible to end up creating harmful characteristics - such as toxins - unawares. This doesn't necessarily condemn GMOs but it proves the unpredictability of genetic manipulation," he said.

    That was precisely why measures had to be introduced to protect public health and the environment, said Akkelidou.

    "The products already exist in the market, but there are gaps in the international control systems. They should be traceable at all levels of manufacturing and distribution so that when a problem is identified it can be withdrawn from the market. Products should also carry EU approved safety guarantees concerning manufacturers' risk assessment controls and methods of production," she said.

    Nevertheless, the state laboratory's microbiologists, recently trained in Italy and Cyprus to carry out the GM food testing, as well as to use the costly equipment, will go ahead with the analyses.

    "We plan to start out slowly and progress over time so as to include all products believed to contain modified ingredients," she said.

    .

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN="">

    <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

    [06] Paphos municipality workers threaten indefinite strike

    FURTHER industrial action by Paphos Municipality has been planned for next week due to the continuing failure of the Finance and Interior Ministries to ratify a collective agreement signed between unions and the municipality.

    The news came just as the latest 48-hour strike, which began on Thursday, drew to an end.

    At a news conference yesterday, the SEK-PEO-DEOK unions formally announced the decision by members to renew industrial action on January 16.

    Yiannakis Yiannakou, General Secretary of SEK in Paphos, told the Cyprus Mail that next week's strike would be more widespread and would involve greater numbers of municipality employees.

    "It was decided at a general meeting held on Thursday that the strike on January 16 will involve not just office workers but other municipality personnel, including part-time workers.

    "And this time the strike will go on indefinitely, until our demands are met by the Ministries," he added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN="">

    <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

    [07] Government report shows low poverty levels compared to rest of Europe

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    THE FINANCE Ministry yesterday released statistics showing the country's poverty levels are considerably lower than in most other parts of Europe. The ministry collected various figures concerning income, social benefits, employment, access to goods, poverty levels and the purchasing power of Cypriots per capita, and the results were compared with member states of the European Union (EU).

    According to Eurostat, the European Statistics Service, Cypriot income per capita in terms of purchasing power parity stands at 74 per cent of the EU average. This about equals that of Spain while superseding the income per capita of Greece and Portugal.

    Cyprus ranks 26th in the world, out of 173 countries, in the Human Development Index published by the World Bank in 2000. Its ranking surpasses that of Portugal and Malta, and to a great extent the remainder of the countries under accession. The index takes into account the purchasing power of households, levels of health and access to education.

    Last year's statistics show Cyprus to enjoy a very high level of employment, with unemployment at just 3.3 per cent, compared to an average 7.5 per cent in the EU. While an average 44 per cent of Europe's unemployed population have been long-time unemployed, Cyprus has a lesser average of 23 per cent in long-time unemployment.

    A 1997 family budget research highlighted the extent to which Cypriot households enjoy the use of basic consumer goods, with 81.3 per cent owning cars, 97 per cent owning a television, 99 per cent a fridge and 91 per cent a washing machine. All households have access to electricity. Furthermore, 68 per cent of households are self-owned, while 18 per cent enjoy free accommodation provided by the state.

    In the sphere of telecommunications, Cyprus benefits from low cost levels for access to land and mobile telephony. Thirty three per cent of households own a computer and 46 per cent a mobile phone, highlighting the level of access to modern technology enjoyed by Cypriots.

    According to the report, pensioners, the lowest income earners, enjoy "generous support" from the state with minimum pension for someone with a dependent fixed at £187 a month in 2002, and £133 per month for a social pension. Regarding income, the minimum wage comes to £294 on hiring and reaches £318 after six months work. The ministry highlight in the report the£34 million annual benefit given to pensioners in the form of a once- only handout ranging between £228 and £325. Child allowance depends on the level of income criteria and costs the state a total £88 million per year.

    For 2002, £57.4 million was given as aid to the more disadvantaged sections of society like the elderly or troubled families. The work of voluntary organisations were highly commended and encouraged in the report, with £11 million given in state aid for such purposes in the last three years.

    In a separate study using the 'Gini indicator' to measure income equality (where zero equals income equality, and one complete income disparity), Cyprus scored a 0.32 compared to the EU average of 0.31. Cyprus enjoys less income disparity than Spain, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and the UK, while coming close to the indicator of Germany, Italy and Luxembourg.

    Regarding poverty levels in Cyprus, the 20 per cent of the population with the lowest income take eight per cent of the total income, while 20 per cent of the population with the highest levels of income enjoy 37 per cent of total income. As a result, the proportion of income disparity is calculated at 4.6, compared to five for Europe. This puts Cyprus in a better position than most EU countries apart from Denmark, Finland and Holland, while Belgium, France and Sweden share a similar proportion to Cyprus.

    According to a family budget research of 1996-97 and using 50 per cent of mean income as the poverty line, nine per cent of Cypriots were living below the poverty level. These households had income less than £2,748 per year or £211 a month. Readjusting these statistics to comply with the European poverty line, which stands at 60 per cent of mean income, puts Cyprus equal to Luxembourg but in a better position than Greece, Portugal, England, Spain and Italy, while worse off than Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Holland.

    Overall, Cyprus has a more favourable position than the average poverty levels of the EU. The report concludes that Cypriots, on the whole, enjoy a high level of purchasing power and satisfactory health and welfare services.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN="">

    <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

    [08] Potato farmers threaten new blockade

    By Sofia Kannas

    POTATO farmers from the Larnaca and Famagusta districts have planned another blockade in protest against the failure of the government to reduce petrol prices.

    Koullis Papachristoforou, President of the Pan-agricultural Farmer's Union confirmed yesterday that the blockade planned for January 16 would probably go ahead if the demand was not met.

    "The potato farmers are protesting at the price of petrol. They are still waiting for a decision by the government regarding the introduction of coloured petrol, which will not be taxed.

    "We have the word of the Commerce Minister that there will be a meeting with the farmer's union to discuss the problem though. We asked the potato growers to wait until the meeting with Minister Nicos Rolandis before going ahead with the blockade, but I'm not sure they will," he added.

    Dr. Antonis Constantinou at the Agriculture Ministry confirmed that the issue of petrol had to be resolved by the Commerce and Industry Ministry.

    "We at the Agriculture Ministry can extend our influence over some matters via our representative at the Cyprus Potato Marketing Board but we cannot resolve the petrol issue.

    "The potato farmer's concern is understandable but whether taking to the roads in tractors will be effective in getting their demand met is questionable," he added.

    "Cyprus is moving towards the EU and at the end of the day we will have to implement whatever applies in Europe."

    However, Constantinou expressed regret that the situation remained unresolved.

    "It is necessary for the relevant authorities to bear in mind that our farming sector is fragile and decisions on issues like this cannot be delayed too long.

    "On the other hand, the government cannot come to a satisfactory resolution under the threat of blockades."

    Commerce Minister Rolandis said yesterday that measures had already been taken by the government in response to grievances voiced in December 2002, when potato farmers took over the runway at Larnaca Airport as a form of protest.

    "We have already reached a decision regarding the demand for compensation: £4 million will be given to the potato farmers and £6 million will go to other farmers.

    "As for petrol prices, we have an arrangement already whereby any excise duties on fuel purchased by potato farmers since July 2002 will be refunded.

    "We will also colour petrol sold to farmers so that in can be used in agricultural equipment, but not in cars. If it is used in personal vehicles, they will be committing an offence."

    Rolandis confirmed that the law introducing coloured petrol has already been drafted.

    "The law will be presented in the House of Representatives next week and, all being well, coloured petrol should be introduced very soon.

    "We will address other issues and problems relating to agriculture on the island at a meeting at the end of the month," he added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    <OBJECT classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6, 0,0,0" WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" id="e_savings" ALIGN="">

    <EMBED src="esavings.swf" quality=high bgcolor=#FFFFFF WIDTH="215" HEIGHT="70" NAME="esavings" ALIGN="" TYPE="application/x-shockwave-flash" PLUGINSPAGE="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer">

    [09] Man jailed for sexual assault on Russians

    A 40-YEAR-old man was yesterday sentenced to 15 months in jail after he was found guilty by a Limassol court on five counts of rape, indecent assault and theft.

    Georgos Athanasiou from Trimiklini was arrested in September suspected of kidnapping, attempting to rape and stealing from a 49-year-old Russian woman and her daughter.

    The Russian women said Athanasiou had robbed them at gunpoint and sexually assaulted the daughter after failing to rape her.

    The women claimed the suspect had introduced himself as a tour guide and offered to take them to Paphos and show them the most important attractions.

    The court heard how he picked them up from a Limassol beach and drove them to a mountainous area, where he robbed the 49-year-old at gunpoint, taking $500 dollars from her bag before locking her in the car.

    The suspect then attempted to rape the daughter but after she reacted and pleaded with him not to hurt her, he sexually assaulted her.

    He then drove the two women back to Limassol and abandoned them, threatening to hurt them even more if they went to the police.

    Passing sentence, the court took into consideration the fact that Athanasiou had confessed to having committed the crimes, but also the seriousness of his actions.

    The court ruled that Athanasiou's assault on the two women was premeditated, since he used forged licence plates on his car.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003


    Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
    Back to Top
    Copyright © 1995-2016 HR-Net (Hellenic Resources Network). An HRI Project.
    All Rights Reserved.

    HTML by the HR-Net Group / Hellenic Resources Institute, Inc.
    cmnews2html v1.00 run on Saturday, 11 January 2003 - 14:01:20 UTC