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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-05-21

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, May 21, 2003


  • [01] Papadopoulos rejects Erdogan’s Turkey invite
  • [02] Cost of building permit rises
  • [03] Internet scam funds passed through Cyprus
  • [04] EU hand sought in Turkey ships dispute
  • [05] First Turkish Cypriot applies for registration in free areas
  • [06] Bioethics committee issues warning to Zavos
  • [07] Spokesman rubbishes souped-up car rumours
  • [08] New helicopters for fire season
  • [09] CyTA to offer digital TV by year end
  • [10] Bellapais music festival kicks off for a month of harmony
  • [11] Local footballer takes a stand for breast cancer
  • [12] Football match to bridge the divide
  • [13] Trade Committee wants more incentives to replace old cars
  • [14] Prodromou withdraws from DISY elections

  • [01] Papadopoulos rejects Erdogan’s Turkey invite

    By a Staff Reporter

    PRESIDENT Tassos Papadopoulos said yesterday Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's move to allow Greek Cypriots to enter Turkey was aimed at achieving an indirect recognition of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state in the north.

    Papadopoulos said he did not discuss this issue with Greek Premier Costas Simitis, since he did not consider it to be something serious. He said Greek Cypriots could already travel to Turkey.

    Erdogan said on Saturday Greek Cypriots could travel to Turkey via the north as of May 22, which the Greek Cypriot side would regard as using illegal ports of entry into the island. The Turkish side later clarified that travellers could also visit Turkey via Athens or other European cities.

    Papadopoulos said the government did not consider Erdogan’s move a positive step “since this is what happens today.''

    ”This practice was applied many times in the past and so there is not any positive development,” he said adding that Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot side was planning “in any way they can” to achieve direct or indirect recognition of the north.

    “This is illegal and it will not be allowed'', he said.

    Government spokesman Kypros Chrisostomides said yesterday that Erdogan’s decision appeared to reflect Ankara's conviction it was making a sacrifice.

    ''Perhaps Erdogan means that giving up illegality is a big sacrifice and constitutes compliance with law and order,'' he said.

    Asked to comment on Erdogan's expectations for similar moves, the spokesman said that Greece would not allow entry to people with travel documents issued in the north. ''Such possibility is out of the question,'' he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [02] Cost of building permit rises

    By a Staff Reporter

    BUILDING permit costs are set to rise after the House Interior Committee announced on Monday the tax would be reviewed after demands by municipalities.

    In some cases building permit costs are expected to increase to more than 100 per cent.

    The building permit cost for building a 130-square-metre house will increase from £23 to £52, for a 190-square-metre house the cost will increase from £34 to £76 and for a 250-square-metre house costs will rise from £73 to £126.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [03] Internet scam funds passed through Cyprus

    By a Staff Reporter

    UP TO FIVE HUNDRED thousand dollars of stolen money from an international internet scam went through Cyprus, as well as Romania and the Russian Federation. Russian hacker, 26-year-old Vasily Gorshkov, was sentenced to three years in prison in 2001 after being charged with breaking into the networks of American banks and Internet service providers.

    With the help of his partner in crime, 20-year-old Alexey Ivanov, Gorshkov hacked into company networks and stole private customer information like credit card numbers and pin codes. They would then contact a system administrator or chief executive from the target company, telling them what information they had, and blackmail them for money. Some of the companies that fell victim to the scam included the Speakeasy Network of Seattle, Washington, the Nara Bank of Los Angeles, California and the Central National Bank of Waco, Texas.

    The pair also used stolen credit card numbers to make cash on PayPal, an online credit card payment company based in Palo Alto, California.

    Of the $500,000 the pair claims to have earned through blackmail in a nine- month period, some of which was wired to accounts in Cyprus, the US authorities have only been able to account for $10,000.

    The methods employed by the FBI to catch Gorshkov and Ivanov have been widely criticised. They posed as an internet security site called Invita and lured the two criminals to America with a job offer, telling them they would need to show they could hack into Invita’s network to get the job. The FBI then used internet spy software to gain access to the computer in Russia, where they collected evidence. The two men were arrested days later.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [04] EU hand sought in Turkey ships dispute

    By a Staff Reporter

    CYPRUS HAS asked the EU to intervene in a dispute with Turkey to allow the docking of Cypriot-flagged ships at Turkish ports in view of the island’s accession next year.

    According to Communications and Works Minister Kikis Kazamias, one in every four EU ships in international waters carries the Cyprus flag and Turkey’s continued refusal to facilitate Cypriot ships effectively means it would also be blocking a huge part of the EU fleet.

    Speaking on his return from Athens, where he took part in a meeting of EU Maritime and Transport Ministers, Kazamias said that the “entry of ten new countries into the EU has increased the participation of the EU fleet in international shipping from 13 per cent to 25 per cent.

    “This means that one in every four community ships in international waters carries a Cyprus flag, and we have asked the EU in its bilateral relations with Turkey to point out that it can not for 30 years prohibit the docking and most of all, not serve ships under Cyprus flag”, Kazamias said.

    “We have pointed out the need for Turkey, to act accordingly, if it wants to join the remaining 25 countries in the European family”, he added.

    Kazamias said: “We believe, bearing in mind the reaction we have had, that Turkey will be in a very difficult position to secure this interstate agreement with the EU without abolishing this one-sided and arbitrary prohibition which has been enforced right after 1974”.

    Cyprus has the sixth largest fleet in the world with over 2,500 vessels registered under the Cyprus flag.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [05] First Turkish Cypriot applies for registration in free areas

    By Alexia Saoulli

    COMMERCE Minister George Lillikas yesterday instructed the Company Registrar to accept the application of a Turkish Cypriot to register his company in the south, provided he fulfilled the conditions of legislation.

    The Turkish Cypriot, whose application was submitted by a Greek Cypriot lawyer, wished to register a company in the free areas, said Lillikas.

    This was possible because Lillikas said the government had always treated “our Turkish Cypriot compatriots as equal citizens”. They have the same rights and obligations as other citizens, he added.

    Based on a Cabinet decision, Lillikas said Turkish Cypriots who wished to develop cooperation with Greek Cypriot businessmen and other companies in the government-controlled areas should implement and follow the provisions of Cyprus legislation and the acquis communautaire, which are already being applied by Cyprus-registered companies.

    “We see no problem in developing cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots”, said the minister - as long Turkish Cypriots who want to register their companies with the Company Registrar and at the VAT Registry pay all their obligations..

    Greek Cypriot businessmen cannot implement government laws in the occupied areas, he warned.

    “Any other intervention can be done when and provided there is no precondition for contact with the occupation regime or indirect or direct recognition of their so-called state services,” he said. “Cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will develop efficiently and smoothly only with a solution to the Cyprus problem”, Lillikas added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [06] Bioethics committee issues warning to Zavos

    By Jean Christou

    THE VISIT by controversial Cypriot American cloning doctor Panayiotis Zavos yesterday sparked reaction from the government’s Bioethics Committee, which warned cloning was illegal in Cyprus and carried stiff penalties under the law.

    An infertility expert based in Kentucky, Zavos announced in Limassol on Monday that within weeks he and his team would implant the first cloned human embryo in a 46-year old American woman at a secret location.

    The location is widely believed to be somewhere in the Middle East.

    Zavos’s first controversial visit to Cyprus took place in March 2001 when he unofficially asked the government to allow him to use Cyprus in his cloning experiments but was refused.

    His visit was shrouded in rumours the cloning would be carried out on an unnamed Mediterranean island, which coupled with Cyprus’ then lack of legislation on the issue, gave rise to reports that Cyprus might be the island in question.

    The government made it clear that Cyprus could not go against a Council of Europe protocol, which bans human cloning even for fertility purposes and rushed to implement relevant laws.

    Since then the House has passed legislation banning cloning and the government has set up the Bioethics committee, to authorise, after application, up to what extent ay cloning or bioethical issue to be approved or done in Cyprus.

    In an announcement yesterday the committee warned the law in Cyprus forbids cloning and offenders could face five years in prison, a £10,000 fine or both.

    “The intentional creation of a genetically identical human being is a tool in the hands of other men, something which goes against human dignity and is a misuse of biology and medicine,” the announcement said.

    The embryo developed by Zavos and his team is being kept frozen while awaiting tests. It will be considered for implantation in the mother only if the scientist is certain it has no abnormalities and is capable of growing into a healthy baby girl with her mother’s DNA.

    Zavos has allowed the veteran British filmmaker Peter Williams, who documented the creation of the world's first in-vitro fertilised baby - Louise Brown - back in 1978, to chart the entire process over two-and-a- half years.

    The Cypriot doctor is one of several scientific teams worldwide engaged in the cloning race. Late last year a UFO sect, the Raelians, claimed credit for the birth of the first cloned baby, a claim, which was never proved. Zavos called the Raelian claim “a joke”.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [07] Spokesman rubbishes souped-up car rumours

    By Alex Mita

    GOVERNMENT Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides yesterday denied reports the cabinet had approved plans to provide ministers and permanent secretaries with luxury cars of a higher engine capacity.

    According to yesterday’s Politis, the cabinet agreed to increase the engine capacity of ministerial cars from 3.0 litres to 3.3 litres, while the maximum engine capacity for permanent secretaries has increased from 2.1 litres to 2.5.

    But speaking at a news conference yesterday, Chrysostomides denied the reports.

    “The cabinet has not approved anything of the sort,” he said.

    Ministerial cars are replaced with new ones every five years and the next replacement is scheduled to take place in 2004 through government tenders to luxury car importers.

    The vehicles are used by the ministers and permanent secretaries both professionally and personally with the government paying the fuel and maintenance costs. The paper reported that cars were initially given only to the President and members of the cabinet, but the law was changed to include permanent secretaries and other officials.

    The engine capacity of cars used by government officials has increased over the years from 1.5 litres to 2.5.

    One minister told Politis the cabinet wanted to increase the engine capacity of the cars in order to allow more car importers to compete in the tenders.

    “We wanted to increase the car capacity not because we wanted bigger cars but because this will allow more car manufacturers to join the competition to provide the best price for purchasing the vehicles,” he said.

    Meanwhile Crysostomides said President Tassos Papadopoulos’ armoured V12 BMW would be replaced with a new car after it broke down twice and one of those times being while the President was on his way to Larnaca airport to collect Greek Prime Minister Costas Simitis.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [08] New helicopters for fire season

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE GOVERNMENT plans to lease two Russian helicopters for $1.5 million this summer, increasing the number of helicopters available to combat summer fires to seven, Interior Minister Andreas Christou said yesterday.

    Forest fires are a real problem in Cyprus due to soaring temperatures during June, July and August, which ignite the dry shrubbery throughout the island.

    Christou said five helicopters were already available to the Republic, including two belonging to the British Bases, two to the National Guard and one police helicopter. From June 1 until the end of November the government will now have the Russian helicopters at their disposal.

    Last summer there were significantly reduced numbers of fires and damage to vegetation due to sufficient organisation, Christou said.

    He added this year firefighting services are better and fuller equipped. They are using better communication systems and rural communities and country patrol units have also been given moderate firefighting kits to deal with small outbreaks.

    He pointed out local authorities were responsible for clearing dry shrubs in rural communities, the Communication Ministry was responsible for clearing shrubs on suburban roads and the District Authorities were responsible for clearing roads within rural districts.

    Meanwhile a fire caused by negligence, such as throwing a cigarette butt out the window, was a criminal offence and any people found responsible would be prosecuted accordingly.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [09] CyTA to offer digital TV by year end

    By Jean Christou

    CYPRUS Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) plans to showcase its new digital television service Mi-Vision during the Cyprus International State Fair, which opens on Friday.

    A CyTA spokesman said digital viewing could be available to the public by the end of this year. All a subscriber needs is a phone line, which pipes the signal into your home in the same way as the internet.

    According to CyTA, subscribers to Mi-Vision will be able to surf the net and use the phone line at the same time in the same way that its ADSL Internet service currently does. In fact the internet will also be accessible through the television itself, depending on the package taken out by the subscriber, which will begin at around £25-30 per month.

    CyTA will be testing the system in July and hope to have it up and running by the end of the year on a commercial basis.

    Digital television offers viewers clearer vision, improved sound quality and reception, alongside a wider range of programming and interactive services such as internet and instant messaging without the need for satellite dishes. New television sets coming on the market are capable of receiving digital programmes, and according to experts, by 2010 terrestrial television will be a thing of the past.

    Mi-Vision could offer 20 or more channels on digital, including local terrestrial stations, with whom CyTA are yet to reach agreement. Other possible channels include BBC, CNN, Eurosport, ESPN, MTV, VH1, National Geographic and Discovery, along with Greek channels. Pay-per view films could be provided at a rate of £1-£3 and viewing live events for a fee, such as concerts, could also be possible

    “There will be different packages available,” said a CyTA spokesman, adding that this would be the first time in Cyprus that phone lines would be used to transmit television instead of a dish and will be available to all subscribers with a phone line.

    The CyTA spokesman said the issue is not so much about the advent of digital television itself. “It has to be competitive. It’s a fight over who gets the best programmes in the subscriber TV sector. The issue is not digital or not. The mass market solution is a good pay channel.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [10] Bellapais music festival kicks off for a month of harmony

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE SEVENTH Annual Bellapais Music Festival begins today at the historic mediaeval abbey near Kyrenia, with 11 concerts slated over the coming month.

    The festival kicks off at 9pm with a harp recital by Sirin Pancaroglu.

    One of Turkey's leading harpists, Pancaroglu explores the boundaries of her instrument by embracing its traditional repertoire together with contemporary pieces transcribed from an array of musical traditions.

    Since 1991 Pancaroglu has been collaborating with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra's concertmaster in the US, Ignace Jang, creating an innovative repertoire though commissioning new music.

    Her concerts have taken her across the world, including performances at the Kennedy Centre in Washington DC, Seoul South Korea, Mexico and France.

    She now lives in Istanbul and is member of the faculty at Yildiz Technical University.

    Tonight, she will be performing pieces by Bach, Respighi, Hindemith, Cardon and Godefroid, as well as arrangements of Greensleeves, David of White Rock and Londonderry Air.

    The festival closes on June 23 with a gala concert featuring Turkey’s 9 September University Symphony Orchestra, conducted by talented 33-year-old Ibrahim Yazici and featuring Turkish Cypriot solo pianist Ruya Taner.

    Tickets for the performances are available at the door for 10 million TL (approximately £3.50) each.

    More performances include:

    May 29: Turkish Cypriot baritone Arda Aktar accompanied by Turkish pianist A N Nihan Turnagol in pieces by Handel, Mozart, Rossini, Bizet and Wagner.

    June 2: Polish violinist Krzysztof Specjal and Polish pianist Joanna Lawrynowicz performing works by Chopin, Penderecki, Szymonowski and Wieniawski.

    June 5: French pianist Betrand Giraud performing pieces by Schumann, Liszt and Brahms.

    June 9: The Bosnia Herzegovina Trio featuring soprano Adema Pljevljak, Emir Nuhanovic on Clarinet and Ehlima Tikvesa on piano. They will perform pieces by various composers, including Spohr, Horozic, Dvorak and Schubert.

    June 12: Flutist Karin Jans and accordionist Sylvia Wenke from Germany, playing pieces by Bach, Méhul and Vivaldi.

    June 17: A recital by soprano Aytul Buyuksarac and pianist Demet Eytemiz, performing pieces by Giordani, Bellini, Mozart, Dvorak and Strauss.

    June 20: Chamber music featuring Turkish musicians Aycan Sancar on flute, Sedat Civelek on oboe, Attila Sentin on clarinet, Tahsin Arslan on basoon and Muammer Oz on the French horn.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [11] Local footballer takes a stand for breast cancer

    By a Staff Reporter

    A LOCAL footballer has auctioned his shirt with plans to donate the proceeds to Breast Cancer Forum, Europa Donna Cyprus.

    Anorthosis top scorer Marios Neophytou decided to auction his number 10 football shirt on May 9, one week before his team beat Limassol’s AEL in the Cyprus Cup Final. The auction ends this Sunday.

    The auction takes place on the 26-year-old’s website, So far the highest bid has been £400 for the top belonging to this year’s championship’s first scorer, who scored a total of 33 goals.

    Although Neophytou was abroad yesterday, reports said he felt he had to give something back to society from the world of sports and to respond to the love the fans gave him.

    When asked why he was supporting Europa Donna he said: “I realised breast cancer is particularly widespread and believe this disease concerns us all. Men sex should stand by women and support them in any way they can.”

    Meanwhile Europa Donna was surprised and pleased by the unexpected donation, and expressed the hope that people would respond to the auction.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [12] Football match to bridge the divide

    By a Staff Reporter

    NICOSIA MAYOR Michalakis Zampelas and his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, Kutlay Erk, have agreed to organise a bi-communal fair and football matches between amateur teams from both sides of the Green Line.

    “This kind of event will bring Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots closer together and will be the beginning of more activities between the two communities,” Zampelas said on Monday night.

    The two leaders reached the agreement at the UNOPS offices in Nicosia at a meeting on May 16.

    The team have also decided to translate the Nicosia Municipality English magazine Nicosia This Month into Greek and Turkish. Committees would meet regularly on both sides to implement the new initiatives.

    Zampelas also said that a date would be set later for the bicommunal fair, which is to take place at Ledra Palace in the Buffer Zone, and where both communities will have the chance to present traditional sweets and other things.

    Zampelas’ next meeting with Erk is set for June 6, where they will examine the progress of the bi-communal events.

    Immediately after the announcement, Zampelas left for Strasbourg, where he will participate in the 10th Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe of the Council of Europe. The session, held twice a year, will deal with city problems of new EU member states.

    He will then go to Berlin to attend the German-Cypriot Forum entitled “Life and culture in the two communities of Cyprus.”

    The mayor returns to Nicosia on Saturday.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [13] Trade Committee wants more incentives to replace old cars

    By George Psyllides

    THE HOUSE yesterday asked the government to prepare a study into the potential of providing financial incentives for motorists to replace their old vehicles.

    The House Trade Committee said ample motives should be provided to owners of old vehicles, especially those using leaded fuel, to replace them with new ones and clear the streets of cars over 10-years-old.

    The committee maintained the proposed £200-£300 purchase incentive announced by the government to replace cars that use leaded petrol was not enough to motivate owners to buy a new car.

    Committee chairman Lefteris Christoforou asked the representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Communications to convey the committee’s decision to their superiors so they could prepare a study in 15 days.

    At the same time Christoforou said DISY deputies were preparing their own bill aimed at putting pressure on the government to announce measures.

    Christoforou said the government had to give tax breaks and other incentives to citizens to replace cars over 10 years old, a move he maintained would protect the environment and improve road safety.

    DISY deputy Maria Kyriacou suggested a substantial cut in import duties on new cars as well as readjustments in road tax to convince motivate people to replace their old cars.

    Her DISY colleague Zaharias Zahariou said the cost for the state would be minimal considering the total costs footed by the government to restore the environment, the increased fuel consumption and the lethal road accidents caused by ageing vehicles.

    AKEL deputy Stavros Evagorou used Japan as an example where the owners of older vehicles have to pay higher road tax, which made it more cost effective for them to replace their cars on a regular basis.

    The matter will be discussed again in 15 days, by which time Christoforou asked the ministries to have the studies ready and forward the results to the committee.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Wednesday, May 21, 2003

    [14] Prodromou withdraws from DISY elections

    By George Psyllides

    D.I.S.Y. DEPUTY Prodromos Prodromou yesterday announced he was withdrawing from his party’s election race just five days before the vote.

    Speaking at a news conference, Prodromou, who was running for deputy chairman, said his decision had been affected by the tense political climate lingering in the party after the February’s presidential elections loss.

    Prodromou, along with several other deputies, had supported the candidacy of former Attorney-general Alecos Markides instead of the party’s official candidate Glafcos Clerides.

    After the elections Prodromou and the Markides camp drew the ire of DISY grassroots members whose majority blamed the loss squarely on them.

    “The party chairman had asked for the elections to be postponed, arguing it was necessary to move away from the climate formed in those early days.

    “It looks like this plea has not been noted or it looks like some other things are going on that I cannot explain,” Prodromou said yesterday.

    Prodromou expressed scepticism when asked if the tension was deliberately kept at a high until the party elections but said the current conditions were exceptionally uneven for him.

    “Under these circumstances I judged that it would not be favourable to contest the deputy chairman position and it would be better to withdraw my candidacy, despite the fact that by submitting my candidacy I felt that I contributed to party unity,” Prodromou said.

    He added that his decision had nothing to do with surveys but it stemmed from his personal contact with DISY members.

    On the wider front, the two contenders for the party leadership, former foreign minister Yiannakis Cassoulides and incumbent chairman Nicos Anastassiades, have stepped up their campaigning in the run up to Sunday’s duel. The main point of conflict between the two yesterday was the veracity of their respective popularity surveys, with both candidates disputing each other’s polls.

    Cassoulides on Monday presented three surveys, which had him as being in the lead while Anastassiades countered with three other surveys that show him ahead of his rival.

    Cassoulides pledged to win next year’s European parliamentary elections, if he was voted into the party leadership.

    He said the 200,000 DISY supporters wanted an improved party, a new leadership with in-depth knowledge of the Cyprus problem and be able to handle all issues at hand.

    Anastassiades appeared optimistic he would emerge victorious and embark on a new, modern, European future for the Cypriot people.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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