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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-03-13

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Thursday, March 13, 2003


  • [01] Hannay: Denktash rejected everything
  • [02] BA increases capacity on Cyprus route
  • [03] CY unions threaten new wave of action
  • [04] MarkeTrends shares suspended on press reports of bad practise
  • [05] A festering swamp of gore: residents' fury over dumping of chicken waste
  • [06] EU makes car baby seats compulsory by 2006
  • [07] Police fighting tide of juvenile offenders
  • [08] Man held over road rage assault
  • [09] Ombudswoman says specialised centres should be set up for special needs children

  • [01] Hannay: Denktash rejected everything

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash engaged in the “systematic destruction” of the Cyprus talks at every step of the way in The Hague, according to Britain's special envoy Lord Hannay.

    "As the representative of the British government I totally support the decision of the Secretary-general to bring this effort to an end,” Hannay told Reuters immediately after the talks collapsed in the early hours of Tuesday.

    UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan had invited President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to The Hague on Monday to sign a commitment to hold separate referendums on his peace plan on March 30, a proposal the Greek Cypriot side agreed to early in the day.

    But following around 20 hours of negotiations Denktash, steadfastly backed by Turkey, refused even to sign an altered agreement extending the specified deadlines -- a last desperate attempt by the UN to keep the process alive.

    At around 5.30am on Tuesday, Annan conceded defeat, blamed Denktash and said he was closing the office of his special representative to Cyprus Alvaro do Soto.

    “When he (Annan) tried to work out a procedure which would still offer hope for a solution before April 16 when Cyprus signs the accession treaty with the EU he was frustrated by the systematic destruction of his proposals,” Hannay said

    International mediators were furious with the Turkish Cypriot leader for wasting their time, but only Hannay gave vent to the general frustration, both in public in and in private.

    “I think he articulated the general feeling on behalf of everyone,” a source close to the talks told the Cyprus Mail.

    “Mr Denktash rejected the idea of having a work programme, he rejected the idea of continuing work on the legislation for the new Cyprus in the working groups, he rejected any possibility of making progress towards a referendum and in the end the SG was left, I'm afraid with empty hands, so I feel he was compelled in the judgment he reached. I'm sad about it too as he was but I do not think Mr Denktash left him any alternative,” he said.

    Hannay paid tribute to the UN Secretary-general and De Soto for the huge amount of effort they had put into the talks over the past 18 months and said they had come closer than anyone had ever come before on finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    The British envoy said that although Annan had received a “broadly positive” answer from Papadopoulos, Denktash's was completely negative.

    “In the end I think the Secretary-general was right to see that there was no basis, no adequate basis for him to continue his work,” Hannay said.

    Denktash, however, had no regrets. He told the Anatolia News Agency later on Tuesday that Annan's withdrawal from the settlement talks would “positively influence negotiations” between both leaders and said he was prepared to meet Papadopoulos next week.

    However, government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides told a foreign press briefing yesterday that Papadopoulos would only be interested in continuing negotiations within the UN framework.

    De Soto was taking a little time off yesterday at an unspecified location before travelling to New York to work on his report for the Security Council.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    [02] BA increases capacity on Cyprus route

    By Jean Christou

    BRITISH Airways (BA) yesterday announced they would be reintroducing their Boeing 767 on the Larnaca to London route from the end of this month.

    The move also involves an additional four BA flights every week on top of the current seven, according to the airline's Cyprus Sales Manager Marianna Trokoudes, who said this was the equivalent of increasing the route by 120 per cent.

    The 252-seat 767 was pulled off the Cyprus route after September 11, when the airline industry collapsed into chaos. Trokoudes said that as a result of the cost cutting BA was now in a better position to concentrate on markets with a growth potential such as Cyprus.

    “British Airways has recognised the growth potential for the Cyprus market and has decided significantly to increase the route's capacity,” Trokoudes said.

    “Your passengers from and to Larnaca will now be served by bigger aircraft and with more flights to choose from, which is the result of our team's hard work and commitment to the route.”

    BA said it had not let the possibility of war in Iraq affect its expansion plan for Cyprus, although the company admits it is a worrying development for the business. However it said it couldn't base its decisions on something that hadn't yet happened.

    During the Gulf War in 1991, Lloyds of London placed Cyprus in the high- risk war zone making it financially prohibitive for airlines to land on the island. Charter and other airlines pulled out immediately leaving BA and Cyprus Airways to carry the bulk of passengers to and from the island.

    Cyprus has so far not been placed on any new Lloyds advisory and the government has been keeping in contact with the company on this issue.

    The increase in BA flights to 11 per week will give passengers a wider choice of flying times. Seven of the flights will depart at 4.35pm daily, arriving in London at 7.35pm local time. These flights will leave London at 8.40am and arrive in Cyprus at 3.35pm local time.

    The other four flights, on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, will leave Larnaca at 4am, arriving in London at 6.50am local time. They will return on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturday and Sunday at 2.50am after leaving London at 8.15pm.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    [03] CY unions threaten new wave of action

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    FOUR Cyprus Airways (CY) unions are threatening to take action if the new government fails to intervene by March 21 in the on-going dispute between unions and management over collective agreements.

    The four unions, CYNIKA, ASYSEKA, SIDIKEK and PASYPI, warned the Labour Ministry on Tuesday that they had 10 days to mediate between the unions and employers to force the latter to sit down at the negotiating table.

    Costas Demetriou, head of the biggest union, CYNIKA, told the Cyprus Mail that if the ministry did not intervene to solve the problem by March 21, they would take any measures necessary to protect the interests of their members. The unions are demanding a renewal of the collective agreements, including a wage hike of 10.5 per cent, and the resolution of past disputes. Demetriou argues that the wage increase serves to bring CY employees in line with other governmental and semi-governmental employees that got similar hikes years ago.

    Pilots' union (PASYPI) president, George Charalambous, said the matter had been going on for quite a while. The last time measures were taken by the unions in early February, CY management agreed to let the ministry mediate. As a result, all parties agreed in principle to solve the issues, including training matters, mixed fleet flying and collective agreements.

    “But this needs to be put in practice through direct discussion between all parties. If this doesn't happen then appropriate action must be taken,” said Charalambous.

    Cyprus Airways spokesman, Tasos Angelis, did not wish to comment on remarks made by the unions, other than to say, “We are in a transitional period at the moment. We have asked the unions to give us some time, which I believe we are entitled to have.”

    Meanwhile, last week CY management was told by new Finance Minister, Marcos Kyprianou, not to take any serious financial decisions which would commit the new government until they got their house in order. Industry observers note that union demands on the Labour Ministry are a way of putting pressure on the government to test the waters.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    [04] MarkeTrends shares suspended on press reports of bad practise

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    MARKETRENDS Financial Services (MFS) made the news again yesterday when trading of its shares on the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) was suspended for 15 minutes as a result of a press report concerning the activities of its subsidiary, MarkeTrends Insurance, in the United States. The CSE requested that MFS to make clarifications regarding the report by Politis yesterday on health re-insurance plans in the US and allegations of unpaid compensation.

    In an effort to quash rumours floating in public circles and to calm investors, MFS chairman Lambros Christofis called a news conference yesterday, telling investors not to concern themselves with the “war” that was being waged against the company and the “plethora of misinformation being leaked by competitors”. Christofis went as far as to accuse the Securities and Exchange Commission of being biased against MFS.

    Regarding recent allegations about the company's affairs in the US, he vowed to pursue legal measures against all those that attempted to sell lies about the company. Christofis presented the media with a huge file of evidence related to the banning of MarkeTrends Insurance (MI) from issuing insurance policies without necessary licences from the authorities by the Texas Department of Insurance last October.

    MI announced that it “fell victim to devious persons” who issued unauthorised insurance policies by copying MI's logo with the aim of collecting premiums. Christofis refuted reports that the compensation package reached $10 million, insisting that until now only 12 people had made compensation claims, whose value did not exceed $100,000.

    He blamed the affair on a well-planned trap carried out by an American company currently being investigated in Belgium for a similar case. Asked where responsibility lay for the 'bad investment' he replied “responsibility will lie there where it needs to lie and measures will be taken.”

    Clearly referring to the SEC, Christofis claimed that the MarkeTrends Group was under attack and was being ganged up on.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    [05] A festering swamp of gore: residents' fury over dumping of chicken waste

    By Alex Mita

    RESIDENTS of Kokkinotrimithia yesterday expressed concern over the dumping of gallons of waste matter from a chicken slaughterhouse in a field close to a residential area.

    Water infested with blood used to clean the slaughtered chickens at Pipis Farm as well as chicken legs and feathers have formed a festering swamp of gore just metres away from the village's new cemetery in an area where a herd of sheep was only recently grazing. The smell was unbearable.

    A group of concerned citizens claimed the Pipis Farm was illegally built on acres of government property and that waste matter, including droppings, dead chickens and blood was being dumped into the fields.

    Pipis Farm director, Christos Pipis, admitted yesterday that the dumping of waste matter into the fields was not the proper thing to do, but insisted there was no other way of doing it because of the constant opposition from the villagers. Asked whether there was another way of getting rid of the waste matter, Pipis said special tankers could be used to transport the waste to designated areas, but insisted it would cost him £300 a day.

    “I have not used a single donum of government property to build my farms on, ” he said.

    “I am not saying that dumping the waste in the fields is a good thing but what can I do? People living around the area are creating problems because I want to build a biological centre where the matter would be treated.

    “What am I supposed to do? Shut the farm and leave a hundred families out of work?

    Pipis claimed his was not the only slaughterhouse dumping waste in the fields. He said other farmers dumped dead goats and manure on the sides of the road and insisted the waste matter was not seeping into the underground water reservoirs.

    “Eighty per cent of the water evaporates,” he said, “and what is left is dry matter. There is no way the waste is seeping into the underground water reservoirs.

    “Other farmers dig holes and dump the waste in them, meaning that the waste can seep into the groundwater,” he said.

    But Green Party deputy George Perdikis was furious with Pipis, alleging he had been breaking the law for years.

    “The audacity of the man knows no bounds,” a fuming Perdikis told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    “He has been dumping the waste illegally for years without a licence. He has been breaking the law consistently for years. I have personally seen a tanker belonging to him dumping tonnes of matter in the fields. When I spoke to him, he promised it would not happen again and then he repeated the same thing in another field,” he said.

    “This man should not even have a licence to farm and sell poultry. He has been getting away from paying for his crimes for years because he knows people. But I will bring the matter to the House again next week and hopefully he won't be allowed to continue.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    [06] EU makes car baby seats compulsory by 2006

    By Alexia Saoulli

    CYPRIOT drivers will have to install baby seats in the back seats of their cars by 2006 if they want to travel with children under the age of three, the EU negotiator's press office confirmed yesterday.

    Children under the age of three will be banned from travelling in the back of cars in the European Union without proper safety seats, following a vote in the European Parliament making baby seats compulsory.

    Pending official approval from EU governments, which have already backed the legislation in principle, drivers will have up to three years to ensure their cars have proper child restraints.

    “The directive will become obligatory in three years after its official approval. That is in 2006. Cyprus, which will already be a member, will have to comply with the provisions of the directive by 2006,” Kyriacos Charalambous told the Cyprus Mail.

    Babies not strapped into special restraints have little chance of surviving car crashes as they are thrust forward into the windscreen or onto the back of front seats.

    British Labour Euro MP Mark Watts said: “There will be no more toddlers sitting on granny's knee or rolling around with the groceries in the back of the car…At just 30 miles per hour (48 kilometres per hour), an unrestrained child takes on the weight of a 3.5 tonne baby elephant.”

    The new law said children over three would be allowed to use adult seatbelts, but only if they used a cushion that brought them to the right height for the safety straps to work. It also required children travelling by coach or mini-bus to use seat belts.

    The island has nearly completed adoption of the EU's acquis for 2001 and has begun screening and adopting the bloc's 2002 legislation, Kyriakides said.

    By the time the country joined the EU in May 2004 it would have caught up with all existing EU legislation, although for practical purposes, candidate countries were given extensions, Kyriakides added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    [07] Police fighting tide of juvenile offenders

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    THERE is a steady rise in juvenile crime but no action is being taken to deal with it, according to police reports and expert opinion.

    Over the long holiday weekend, burglars broke into seven schools in Limassol and got away with small amounts of cash, computers and other items. Police do not rule out the possibility that pupils were behind the spate of burglaries.

    Head of Burglaries at Limassol CID, Nicos Sophocleous told the Cyprus Mail that in a separate incident last week, a 14-year-old boy was arrested by Limassol police. He confessed to the burglary of two schools, six cars, one shop and a motorcycle. He named five accomplices who are all his age while being questioned.

    Two days ago, police arrested a 17-year-old boy from Paphos who they have been seeking for questioning for the last two weeks. He confessed to six burglaries while naming three other partners in crime -- all minors.

    Sophocleous acknowledged rumours that a 14-year-old boy nick-named 'little pimp' is also wanted by police for questioning in connection with a series of burglaries in Limassol.

    One criminologist from the University of Cyprus noted that juvenile delinquency has been on the increase for quite some time. Professor Andros Kapardis told the Cyprus Mail that the impact of recent statistics on juvenile crime were three-dimensional: “First, we are witnessing a significant upward trend in juvenile crime. Second, the age of offenders has been getting lower and lastly, young offenders are committing more serious offences than in the past.”

    He explained that property offenders were prolific in nature because small burglaries did not usually result in the theft of huge amounts of money, creating a chain of further burglaries. Kapardis said the recent spate of burglaries was the consequence of failure of the government to stem the rising tide of juvenile delinquency. “It is the failure of the courts' procedure of supervision and probation orders that they have in place to deal with juvenile crime. Many young offenders end up under the care of wards of state and the Welfare Department, who are not specialised and are overloaded with work,” he said.

    Kapardis highlighted a law passed in 1996, which introduced Community Service into the system. “This is a very good measure to deal with juvenile crime but it has not been implemented yet because of understaffing.”

    “Cyprus is lacking a proper juvenile court, staffed with people who are specialised and able to cater to the needs of young offenders. At the moment, they are put up against judges who deal with adult offences everyday,” he added.

    Kapardis believes that Cyprus needs to employ specialised staff to deal with juvenile delinquents that will not be overloaded with other issues, and can concentrate on giving minor offenders the attention they need.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    [08] Man held over road rage assault

    By a Staff Reporter

    A MAN involved in a collision with another car was remanded in custody on Tuesday after he went on to punch the other driver involved, pull his trousers down and slash the tyres of two other cars, a report in Phileleftheros said yesterday.

    According to the paper, 20-year-old Athos Charalambous, who was arrested in connection with the incident yesterday, allegedly became enraged when he discovered he could not get away from the scene of the accident in which he was involved.

    The 20-year-old from Paliometocho was reportedly driving towards Nicosia on Tuesday night when he collided with the car of the alleged victim, who was coming out of his drive onto the main road.

    Following the collision, the two men got out of their cars, and Charalambous reportedly proceeded to assault the other driver, hitting him in the face.

    A female driver who observed the assault stopped her car to assist the victim, but the enraged 20-year-old allegedly continued his attack, throwing the man onto the bonnet of the woman's car as well as onto the asphalt. During the assault Charalambous is reported to have pulled down his victim's trousers of the victim. He then allegedly proceeded to slash the tyres of the woman's car with a penknife, before slashing those of his alleged victim, who had by then fainted.

    He was remanded in custody for four days by police, after he refused to hand over his penknife.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Thursday, March 13, 2003

    [09] Ombudswoman says specialised centres should be set up for special needs children

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE Ombudswoman yesterday called for the creation of health care facilities to provide support for an increasing number of school children suffering from behavioural and emotional problems.

    Eliana Nicolaou was referring to the case of a disruptive Nicosia primary school boy with a history of violent behaviour. Despite the parents' association's calls to help the child, nothing substantial was ever done and the Ombudswoman decided to conduct her own investigation.

    “In order for the educational system to accept such children (with emotional and behavioural disturbances) into mainstream schools it must be adequately prepared to meet their needs,” she said. “The lack of services providing psychological and social support in mainstream schools, as well as the lack of therapeutic communities for children with behavioural or developmental disturbances, has led to the insufficient handling of their problems, resulting in these children being forced out of the educational system or, when within it, being constantly rejected.”

    Nicolaou pointed out that the policy of introducing special needs children into mainstream schools was aimed at avoiding their stigmatisation and social exclusion. However, she said this policy often brought about directly the opposite results, if the child and its family were not offered sufficient help and support.

    This particular boy needed systematic support and help, Nicolaou told the Cyprus Mail. But, at present there was no establishment, which provided such care in existence, she said.

    “I've suggested that children in need of systematic support for behavioural and psychological problems should go to special therapeutic centres for a period of six to eight weeks,” she said.

    The ombudswoman's report suggested that everyone involved, particularly the Health Ministry, should study the possibility of operating a daily care unit along the lines of emotional health care centres for children and teenagers abroad, and working closely with hospitals. Child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, educational psychologists, teachers and nursing staff would all be involved in running the programmes, she said.

    These centres provided children and teenagers with a “protected” and “controlled” environment, said Nicolaou. Through therapeutic intervention programmes and/or the appropriate medication, they could then be reintegrated back into mainstream schools, without removing them from their home environments, she added.

    Referring to the 11-year-old boy at the Palouriotissa 'B' Primary School, Nicolaou said that despite the involvement of a number of health care workers, no real help was offered to the child, who needed continuous observation and support from specialists to deal with the emotional and psychological nature of his problems.

    Although the Social Welfare Services and the Children's Psychiatric ward at Makarios Hospital in Nicosia were handling the child's case, they were not able to support him systematically or to offer daily care involving behaviour changing treatment programmes tailored for such children.

    “No other service or centre/unit in Cyprus can offer this kind of help to these children. Children that do not suffer from physical or mental disabilities, but problems based on their emotional health,” stressed Nicolaou.

    Although her suggestions were not legally binding, they were usually taken into consideration by the relevant authorities, she said. However, if need be, she could take action and insist that her suggestions were carried out.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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