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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-05-10

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, May 10, 2003


  • [01] President slam’s Erdogan’s ‘two state’ message
  • [02] Cancer siblings improving, but causes still unclear
  • [03] Police and CSPCA still looking for paralysed dog
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot woman returns buried jewellery to refugee
  • [05] Rally organisers hopeful of securing exemption from tobacco advertising ban
  • [06] Spanish sweets seized after EU health warning

  • [01] President slam’s Erdogan’s ‘two state’ message

    PRESIDENT Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday rejected Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statement that there were two separate states in Cyprus.

    Papadopoulos said Erdogan’s visit to the north was an illegal act “that comes from the political leader of a country which invaded and still occupies illegally and with the use of force a great part of the Republic of Cyprus whose independence, territorial integrity and security it had guaranteed in 1960”.

    “If Mr. Erdogan supports a just and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, as well as the good offices mission of the Secretary-general just as he claimed during his departure from Turkey, he can turn his general declaration into a specific political action, persuading Mr Denktash to come forward to substantial negotiations, accepting the Annan plan as a basis for negotiations,” Papadopoulos said.

    The President repeated the Greek Cypriot side’s willingness to return to the negotiating table for substantial talks under UN auspices based on the plan drawn up by UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan.

    Papadopoulos reiterated the willingness and readiness of the Greek Cypriot side for “direct and substantial talks under the UN auspices, based on the Annan plan, to find a solution based on the relevant UN decisions”

    “Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots have actually shown and with their attitude proved in the last days that the common vision of a reunited country unites them,” Papadopoulos said.

    “The two communities can and should live together in peace, through a reunited country and a single state, within the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation. However, the recent ease in the restrictions in the freedom of movement of citizens, imposed by the Turkish side since 1974, and the pursuit of measures of good neighbourliness cannot be considered nor do they constitute a solution to the Cyprus problem.”

    He said the Turkish side’s approach clashed with high-level agreements and Security Council resolutions.

    “The experience of all these years proves the international community neither accepts nor can accept the existence and recognition of two sovereign states on the island,” Papadopoulos said, adding that it was this insistence by the Turkish Cypriot side that had led to its exclusion from the EU acquis and prevented a reunited island joining the bloc.

    “It was Cyprus’ accession prospect that led the UN to intensify efforts for an overall settlement, with the approval of all, including Mr Denktash,” Papadopoulos said.

    “I hope that these fundamental principles will be acknowledged as corresponding to today’s realities, and that from this acknowledgement any developments leading to a just, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem will be determined.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 10, 2003

    [02] Cancer siblings improving, but causes still unclear

    AN eight-year-old girl undergoing cancer treatment with her brother in the UK just months after their mother died of the disease is due to return home next month, a happier and healthier child, relatives said yesterday.

    Melanie Papanastasiou and her three-year-old brother Alexandros are currently in England undergoing aggressive cancer treatment. Their tragic tale began last August when Melanie underwent radical surgery to remove an osteosarcoma (a primary malignant tumour of bone or soft parts arising from bone-forming mesenchymal cells), replacing her thighbone with an implant. Her 32-year-old mother, Spyroulla, had been diagnosed and died of cancer only 12 days after Melanie’s diagnosis.

    Yesterday, the Cyprus Mail learned the young girl had completed chemotherapy and on Tuesday stated radiotherapy until June 17. Following the radiotherapy, and once doctors have run tests ensuring her vital organs were not damaged during treatment, she will be able to return home, only going back to England every two months for further tests in case of metastasis.

    In fact, Melanie was recently in Cyprus for a holiday, her aunt Athena Mina said yesterday.

    “She didn’t sit down for a minute,” she said. “We took her to Protaras for a week over Easter and it did her so much good. If she’d had long hair (it has now grown back two inches) you would never have thought she’d undergone chemotherapy.” The only other giveaway is Melanie’s limp, because one leg is slightly longer than the other.

    “This is so as to allow the implant to be adjusted every year – until she is 18 – as she grows taller. Our only concern is that she exceeds the height the doctors have predicted because that will mean more surgery,” said Athena.

    Although Melanie’s brother is on the mend, his treatment is very different. Alexandros was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin's lymphoblastic lymphoma five months later and is undergoing 114-weeks of lumbar puncture and chemotherapy. His aunt said the good news was the ‘cancer’ mass in his lungs had cleared. However, the child’s treatment could end up taking another two years due to the nature of the treatment, which has to be stopped and started, depending on his physical condition.

    “Sometimes his white blood cell count drop and so his treatment is stopped. Other times he needs a blood transfusion and again it’s stopped,” she said.

    Athena (who is Spyroulla’s sister) has been forced to give up work and flies back and forth from London, where she helps her brother-in-law, Nicos, who has also had to stop working to look after his children.

    “I believe Nicos is trying to put on a brave face and to show that he’s okay. We’ve tried approaching him and getting him to talk about everything, but he won’t. He needs (professional) help, but doesn’t believe in it and is bottling everything inside,” she said.

    Although their prognosis is good so far, British specialists fear a “damaged gene” is the reason all three family members were inflicted with cancer. If that is the case, the children’s cancer will most likely recur at a later stage.

    “They (doctors) took blood from Melanie around two months ago for genetic tests,” said Athena. “The geneticist told us that the results could take months before we know if the cancer was caused by something in her DNA. If it wasn’t, then their prognosis is good. It means (the coincidence of cases) was bad luck.”

    But local specialists fear that ‘bad luck’ has nothing to do with it. They believe the freak coincidence of a family afflicted with three different types of cancer is likely to be related to environmental factors. Although Cyprus is not known for having increased concentrations of radioactivity or nuclear energy, the family grew up in Nicosia’s Archangelos district, only four kilometres from Kato Lakatamia – an area long associated with baffling increased cancer incidences.

    In fact, according to Athena, a family neighbour also died unexpectedly from the same form of cancer that killed Spyroulla. “Perhaps it could be environmental,” she said. “I just don’t know.”

    Although the government is paying for the children’s initial treatment, it does not cover any other expenses or future medical check ups. The family and donations are covering these, and a bank account, set up by their colleagues, exists at Hellenic Bank in Nicos Papanastasiou’s name (account number 131-12-054593-00).

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 10, 2003

    [03] Police and CSPCA still looking for paralysed dog

    THE PRESIDENT of the Cyprus Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA) is still wondering what happened to a paralysed dog dumped in front of one of her kennels earlier this week.

    Toula Poyiadji told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that she was still very concerned about the Chow Chow, and was not satisfied with the effort made by the police and the government Veterinary Services.

    A Nicosia man left his severely wounded dog outside the CSPCA on Monday night, and concerned workers were unable to move it because it tried to bite anyone who touched it. He came back the next day around noon to pick up his dog, saying he would instead dump it somewhere else.

    It is not clear what has happened to the dog since then, and Poyiadji has grown frustrated with what she sees as a lack of effort on the part of the relevant authorities.

    “They (police) know where this man is working, but they don’t arrest him because it is an animal and they don’t think it’s important,” Poyiadji said.

    A police spokesman, however, said yesterday that they had searched the man’s house for the dog without success, and that the owner claimed to have taken his dog to a vet.

    “If this is true there is no problem, but this is what we are still investigating,” the officer said.

    But Poyiadji thinks otherwise. “I have called all the vets in Nicosia and none of them said the dog has been there,” she said. “But this is exactly the problem, the police are willing to accept any explanation.”

    Nicosia District Veterinary officer, Andreas Hadjicostis, said yesterday that the case was in police hands, and that Veterinary Services could do nothing until police can tell them exactly what happened.

    “At the moment, it is a case of accusation between two individuals, and it has to be handled by the police,” he said. “Police are still investigating the location of the dog.”

    Poyadji says she was shocked that while the paralyzed dog suffered under the sun and in his own mess on Tuesday morning, the Veterinary Services told her she would have to fax them a letter explaining the case before they could intervene. Four days later, she continues to fight to punish the man responsible for the abuse of his dog by contacting the Ministry of Justice and writing a letter to the Government Veterinary Services and the Ministry of Agriculture.

    “I am still very sad about this poor dog,” she said. “I’m so disappointed that the police feel too weak to discover what really happened.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 10, 2003

    [04] Turkish Cypriot woman returns buried jewellery to refugee

    By a Staff Reporter

    A GREEK Cypriot woman recovered her buried jewellery after 29 years this week, thanks to the thoughtfulness of the Turkish Cypriot woman who currently occupies her home.

    In 1974, Ellada Kyriacou buried her jewellery in her back yard for safekeeping, and fled. Now after 29 long years, she returned to her occupied village of Kalopsida to retrieve them.

    On Wednesday afternoon, when the Greek Cypriot refugee visited her home, she did not really believe she would find her family heirlooms, but decided she had nothing to lose in asking. So she asked the Turkish Cypriot woman now living in her home, Zerin Doam, whether she had found her jewellery at any point during the years, and was most surprised to hear that she had.

    Doam told Kyriacou that 10 years ago her children had found the jewellery while playing in the garden. The Turkish Cypriot woman decided to keep it, with the intention of returning them to their rightful owner some day.

    Kyriacou said she was extremely moved to be able to hold in her hands the same jewellery she wore on her engagement day. The heirlooms included her wedding rings, crosses and bracelets belonging both to her and her children and Archbishop Makarios gold pound coins.

    Doam, who had kept the jewellery in good condition all these years, told Phileleftheros: “Today a great weight lifted was from me and I feel better for this action.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 10, 2003

    [05] Rally organisers hopeful of securing exemption from tobacco advertising ban

    SOURCES close to the Cyprus Rally yesterday assured the event was safe for 2003 but refused to comment on whether the rally would still be in the World Rally Championship (WRC) next year.

    There were fears that the Cyprus Rally was in danger of being axed by the FIA due to House plans to enforce an EU ban on tobacco advertising. The loss of the event would cost the economy an estimated £12 million brought in by WRC enthusiasts.

    An EU Directive requires a ban on tobacco advertising in all member states. It was implemented in July 2001 with an extension to October 2006 for sponsorship of world level events such as Formula One.

    And with the ruthless axing of great Formula 1 circuits enforcing the ban such as Spa Francorchamps in Belgium by F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone, fears were raised that the WRC Cyprus Rally would follow suit to make way for other events where tobacco advertising would be allowed.

    But a source told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that nothing had changed and that the event was still on the WRC calendar.

    “There was no official announcement by the FIA and unless they make an official announcement saying that the Cyprus Rally was cancelled, the event will go ahead as planned,” the source said.

    However, the source refused to comment on whether the event would still be on the WRC calendar for 2004.

    “People love rumours and they love to stir things up but the Cyprus Rally is still on and unless the FIA releases an official statement as we did with the Australian Rally saying it would be upheld, everything is as is”

    The source’s comments were backed by Green Deputy George Perdkikis, who yesterday assured the House would exempt the Cyprus rally from the tobacco advertising ban.

    “I don’t think there should be any fears about the event being scrapped,” he said.

    “If cigarette ads appear on 10 cars in a rally, that doesn’t mean that the whole population of Cyprus will start smoking.

    The thing is there are personal interests involved regarding keeping the event in Cyprus, and what I feel is going to happen is that when the Cyprus Rally is excluded from the ban on tobacco advertising, other people will want to be excluded as well, like for example billboard companies who will say we want to be excluded so we can advertise cigarettes.”

    Cyprus Rally Clerk of the Course, Takis Kyriakides, said he was hopeful the plenum would exclude the Rally from the ban next week.

    “The problem for us is the new law that was passed by the House which prohibits advertising of any form after May 30, this year,” he said.

    Kyriakides said he was hopeful that the plenum would allow tobacco advertising for the rally until the end of 2006, when the FIA will ban cigarette ads in motor sport worldwide.

    “We approached the Minister of Health and then we wrote to the House Health Committee asking for the Cyprus Rally to be exempt from the tobacco advertising ban on international events until the world ban on tobacco advertising is put in effect by the FIA in 2006.

    “Last June, we told the FIA that tobacco advertising was allowed in Cyprus because at the time it was. So you can imagine if a manufacturer like Peugeot who is entering with five cars sponsored by Marlboro this year, are told they cannot advertise, it would be disastrous and the end of the Cyprus Rally for good,” Kyriakides said.

    The FIA and the WRC are happy with holding the event in Cyprus even if it is last on the manufacturers marketing list, because they see us as the gate to the Middle East and they are happy with the way we are organising the event, so we should keep it that way.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, May 10, 2003

    [06] Spanish sweets seized after EU health warning

    THE Health Services confiscated a batch of Spanish novelty liquid sweets before they hit the local market after receiving warnings from the UK Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the European Union Rapid Alert System.

    The three varieties of novelty liquid sweets – Roll on King, Spray King, and Tuby Acid – were manufactured by Spanish company King Regal, said health services head, Sophoclis Anthousis. “They have caused burns to the mouths of five Spanish children and other effects such as stinging sensation to lips and tongue, and irritation to taste buds,” he said.

    The government received information on the sweets on May 2 from Belgium and immediately launched an investigation into the matter. The Rapid Alert System is a communication network between all EU countries, which is based in Brussels and used to pass on information and warnings about products in the European market.

    “Any time we receive information that an imported food product may pose a health risk or is faulty, we check to see if it exists on the market. If it doesn’t, we locate the brand’s importers, using information sent to us the Rapid Alert System,” he said.

    In this instance, the importers said they were waiting for a box containing 15 samples of the sweets, which were going to be used for promotional purposes prior to their eventual launch in Cyprus.

    “We found the sweets and confiscated them. Then we notified Brussels,” said Anthousis.

    The FSA said the liquid sweets, which had only been on the market since early 2003, resembled roll-on and spray canisters, and contained a syrup which the Spanish authorities believed was too acidic for children. “Although adverse health effects to children are extremely unlikely to be life threatening, they could be alarming to children and extremely unpleasant,” said the FSA.

    Following discussion with the Spanish authorities, King Regal has agreed to withdraw the product from sale and to change the composition of the liquid sweet to substantially lower the acidity level, the European Commission said. “They have also confirmed that no more of the sweets will be made until the Spanish Health Authority is satisfied that the syrup will not cause harmful health effects to children,” said the FSA.

    Nevertheless, Anthousis said that if attempts were made to import the sweets again in future, they would be thoroughly screened first before they hit the local market.

    The Health Services check all imported foodstuffs and ensure they are accompanied by health guarantees from the country of origin’s authorities. Any product not up to standards or failing to meet legal requirements is confiscated before it reaches the public, he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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