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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-03-06

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, March 6, 2003


  • [01] Dutch bird imports halted over flu fears
  • [02] Traffic cameras on line by end of the year
  • [03] Kidney doctors withdraw resignations
  • [04] Bases deny US troop speculation
  • [05] Bicommunal website launches same day press translations

  • [01] Dutch bird imports halted over flu fears

    By Alexia Saoulli

    GOVERNMENT vets yesterday sought to reassure the public over fears of a bird flu epidemic, following an EU ban on exports of all Dutch birds.

    All imported birds were quarantined for 40 days before they were sold on the market, Veterinary Services head Fidias Loucaides said yesterday. This was plenty of time to detect whether or not they might have been infected with the highly contagious and fatal influenza virus, he added.

    There had been local fears over the EU ban on all Dutch bird exports following incidences of influenza at 13 different poultry farms in the town of Gelderland.

    Loucaides said Cyprus was affected by the ban as it had a significant market for songbirds, of which Holland was a prime breeder.

    He added a shipment had recently arrived from Holland, but said there was no cause for concern as “all imported birds are quarantined for 40 days and so far the birds have not displayed any symptoms”.

    “If any of the birds had been infected with the virus it would already have manifested because of its rapid development. As an additional measure, however, we have also carried out blood and stool tests on the imported birds, which got the all clear.”

    Another shipment scheduled to arrive over the next few days had been cancelled, he added.

    The disease is transmitted through infected eggs and birds. It poses no health risks to humans.

    “Influenza in birds is a very serious condition and spreads extremely rapidly, leading to death within a few days,” Loucaides said.

    “If it came to Cyprus, we could find ourselves with no more birds,” he said.

    So far there had been no trace of the virus in Cyprus and no outbreak was likely because of the island's effective quarantine system, Loucaides stressed. Importers either placed birds in veterinary services quarantines or in private government-approved quarantine confinements that were regularly checked by the authorities, he said.

    The veterinary services have contingency plans to deal with any outbreak he added.

    “All countries have certain contingency plans to control infectious diseases, such as foot and mouth or influenza,” he said. “These include sealing off the infected area or farm, forbidding all animal movements and slaughtering all infected herds or flocks.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 6, 2003

    [02] Traffic cameras on line by end of the year

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    BY THE end of the year, snapshots of traffic violators will be delivered to homes along with a hefty fine for the unsuspecting offenders.

    The evaluation of tenders for the purchase and installation of speed cameras and traffic light cameras will be completed in a few weeks and up and running within the year, according to one Public Works Ministry official.

    Road Safety expert George Morphakis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that the cameras would be employed on the island by the end of the year, as part of the first phase of a five-year plan.

    “Speed cameras will probably be installed on highways by next year, but important two-lane roads outside cities will get them by this year,” he said, giving as an example the road leading to Palaichori.

    Within the four main cities, around 40 installations for red light cameras will be set up in 14 different locations. These cameras can register speed violations as well as red light violations.

    “Each intersection may have two or three installations from different angles. Apart from red light cameras, there will be a number of speed cameras set up on significant roads within the city, as well as 12 installations for speed cameras outside the cities,” said Morphakis.

    Around one third of all installations will have cameras in operation at any one time, but, according to Morphakis, drivers cannot differentiate between the active and dummy installations.

    The ministry official estimates that for each phase, a similar amount of installations and cameras will be set up to curb the massive number of road accidents witnessed each year. “Every year we will assess the situation and decide where to put the new installations. There will definitely be a full appraisal of the system at the end of the first and fifth year of the plan, ” said Morphakis.

    Assistant Traffic Police chief Neophytos Constantinou said that changes in the law specified that police must place warning signs between 100 metres and five kilometres before speed camera installations. There will be two types of speed cameras, mobile and static. Speed or red light violators will be sent the penalty ticket plus a photograph of the violation to the homes of the car owners using registered post, reducing police time and costs for the project.

    Constantinou warned that legislation also covers visible offences and any offences shown by the photographs would be reported. If drivers are snapped using their mobile phone or not wearing a seatbelt, then they should expect to pay additional fines for those offences.

    Morphakis maintains that increased police revenue was not in the criteria used for the decision on whether to use hidden cameras and where. They concentrated on finding out which roads were most susceptible to traffic accidents.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 6, 2003

    [03] Kidney doctors withdraw resignations

    By a Staff Reporter

    KIDNEY experts Dr Efthyvoulos Anastassiades and Dr Polycarpos Polycarpou have withdrawn their resignations from Larnaca general hospital and their lawyer has called on the authorities to drop all disciplinary action against them, Health Ministry officials said yesterday.

    Until last month, the two doctors had worked at Larnaca Hospital's nephrology department for over a decade, but resigned following a rift with their superiors. As the Health Ministry moved to bring medical disciplinary charges against the doctors, who had walked out on their patients without notice, they in turn started legal procedures against former Health Minister Frixos Savvides, alleging they had been persecuted by the hospital's administration.

    According to Health Ministry permanent secretary Andis Tryfonides, the doctors' lawyer, Christos Clerides, has called for the disciplinary investigation to be dropped on the grounds the two medics had the right to know what charges were being investigated on.

    Meanwhile, Tryfonides said Anastassiades could not be reinstated because he had worked with the civil service on a temporary basis, which involved a different hiring system and contract. He said Anastassiades' resignation had been accepted and it was no longer a simple matter of withdrawing it. In order for him to be rehired in the civil service on a temporary basis, he would have to go through legal hiring channels.

    However, Polycarpou had worked at the hospital as a permanent member of staff and so a civil service committee would decide if he would be reinstated to the department, said Tryfonides.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 6, 2003

    [04] Bases deny US troop speculation

    By George Psyllides

    THE BRITISH bases (SBA) yesterday rejected reports that US troops were arriving at RAF Akrotiri on their way to the Middle East, where American and British forces are preparing for a strike on Iraq.

    In a written statement, the SBA said the activity noticed at Akrotiri was in accordance with the decision to assist coalition countries with logistics and air movement.

    “There are, and have been for some time, increased numbers of cargo planes coming into and out of Akrotiri.

    “There are also coalition aircraft undertaking refuelling at Akrotiri,” the statement said.

    The SBA further noted that the bases' intention to contribute to the imminent strike in Iraq had been “made clear” at a new conference in January, and that that commitment had not changed.

    “Many of the aircraft moving into and out of Akrotiri are part of that logistic effort,” the SBA said.

    But after Turkey's refusal to allow US troops bound for northern Iraq to be flown into the country, the SBA could offer an alternative for coalition military planners.

    The Turkish Parliament's vote against the deployment of US troops on the Iraqi border could hinder the Pentagon's plans.

    Even if the decision is reversed, it has already caused at least a one-week delay to the planned invasion.

    According to reports, US military trucks and other hardware headed for the Iraqi border have been prevented from leaving the port of Iskenderum, near the border with Syria, and have been stuck on the dockside since Saturday's decision.

    The Pentagon has said that up to 40 transport ships carrying tanks and other equipment for an infantry division are sitting in the eastern Mediterranean awaiting orders.

    Reports said the option for the Americans was to fly light airborne troops into Kurdish airfields in northern Iraq from Cyprus, Central Asia, Bulgaria or Kuwait.

    But with no armour, the troops would have considerable problems tackling the Iraqis in the north and would have to rely heavily on air support.

    Kuwait has already said it would consider accepting US troops, which Washington intended to deploy from Turkey.

    But analysts believe that without Turkey the coalition would be deprived of a large second front, which the military considers important in dividing Iraqi forces.

    The Director of the Centre of Strategic Studies, Aristos Aristotelous, said the US would now have to change their plans and maybe transport their troops to northern Iraq through Kuwait.

    But this would make everything more difficult, especially the logistics operations, he said.

    He suggested the bases' supportive role would not change, but activity would probably increase if the coalition changed its plans.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 6, 2003

    [05] Bicommunal website launches same day press translations

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE Cambridge Foundation for Peace yesterday launched a website designed to provide free access to daily translations of articles from Greek and Turkish Cypriot press.

    The website, developed under the Bi-communal Development Programme and funded by USAID and UNDP through UNOPS, will feature same-day translations and archiving of articles from the island's press.

    The articles will cover a wide range of subjects, including politics and economics, as well as human interest stories, on a site designed to be accessible and easy to navigate.

    It aims in providing a vital reference point for all those interested in Cyprus.

    With a staff of 10, the website will publish daily articles from all major Greek and Turkish language newspapers on the island.

    The Cambridge Foundation for Peace is a non-profit public charity dedicated to sustainable peace-building in South Eastern Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean.

    The foundation aims to contribute to the capacity of civil society and state actors to strengthen democracy and sustainable peace in South Eastern Europe, through regional co-operation efforts and constructive engagement with international and transitional organisations.

    The website address is:

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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