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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-05-27

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, May 27, 2003


  • [01] Simitis: no point in talks until Turkish attitude changes
  • [02] EU package to inject 12 million euros into the north
  • [03] Vassiliou hits back over delays in adoption of EU laws
  • [04] Poultry farmers face import challenge
  • [05] Need a coffee? It’s cheaper in Paris
  • [06] Village in shock after man kills wife, then self in front of child

  • [01] Simitis: no point in talks until Turkish attitude changes

    By Jean Christou

    GREEK Prime Minister Costas Simitis warned yesterday that the Turkish side’s aim in opening up the Green Line was to undermine the Annan plan and obtain recognition for its breakaway regime.

    He also said the Greek Cypriot side should not seek the resumption of talks until there was a clear indication that the Turkish Cypriot side would accept the plan it rejected in The Hague in March.

    “It is our common assessment that the moves Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side have made in the recent past relating to the easing of restrictions on the freedom of movement to and from the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus do not aim at a solution,” Simitis said at joint news conference with President Tassos Papadopoulos in Athens.

    “These moves were made to create an impression and to reduce the pressure the international community is exerting on Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for a solution and to seek recognition of the self- styled Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus. These moves also aim at removing the problem of Cyprus from the UN framework and gradually taking the issue away from the international arena.”

    Simitis was speaking after three hours of talks with Papadopoulos, which focused on ways to handle common issues and on future moves in the Cyprus problem, and the island’s accession to the EU next year, which he said could act as a catalyst for a solution.

    “We seek the resumption of the talks within the UN framework on the basis of the Annan plan and Security Council resolution 1475. We want a just, viable and functional solution, that is compatible with the acquis communautaire and EU principles,” Simitis said. “We want a European solution within the UN framework.”

    The Greek Prime Minster said that it would be wrong for the Greek Cypriot side to undertake an initiative for the resumption of talks.

    “If we resume talks without changing the basic feature of the current situation, the effort to have the Turkish Cypriot regime recognised, then we would be led to undermining the UN process,” he said. “Negotiations should begin when we feel confident that there is a possibility for a positive development, we do not want to be faced with another deadlock” in the peace effort.”

    He also warned that Ankara should start changing its policies on Cyprus in advance of the EU summit in December 2004, when Turkey comes up for review as a possible candidate.

    “Turkey should give proof of good will long before the EU summit in December 2004 if it wants to begin membership talks, not on the eve of the summit,” Simitis said.

    At a news conference in the north yesterday, Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, who has declared the Annan plan ‘dead’, again called for recognition of his breakaway state.

    “There is no need for this plan for the establishment of a new partnership between the two states. There has to be an acknowledgement of the realities regarding the Turkish Cypriots in the north,” Denktash said.

    Criticising UN Cyprus envoy Alvaro de Soto, who blamed the Turkish Cypriot side for the failure of The Hague talks, Denktash said the Peruvian diplomat had ignored the realities, did not research the causes of the Cyprus problem, and accepted the Greek Cypriot government’s position to control the whole island.

    Denktash also accused De Soto of seeing the problem through Greek Cypriot eyes. “By doing so, he and his team have failed, and lost their credibility, ” he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 27, 2003

    [02] EU package to inject 12 million euros into the north

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    THE EUROPEAN Commission has said that it will announce its package of measures to assist Turkish Cypriots in the occupied north to the Council of Ministers and the European Parliament on June 3.

    The package will inject around 12 million euros to the north, concentrating on three main areas: financial co-operation, trade and bringing Turkish Cypriots closer to the European Union. According to the Cyprus News Agency, if a solution to the Cyprus problem is not found by 2004, then the Commission will propose an extension of the measures for one more year.

    Financial co-operation will involve a further investment of six million euros on infrastructure through the Nicosia Master Plan set-up, with the possibility of extending the programme to Famagusta and Kyrenia. A further two million euros will be spent on supporting small and medium sized enterprises, while one million euros will be used for feasibility surveys on development of the north.

    One and a half million will be allocated to strengthening community ties through the support of non-governmental organisations. The aim is to bring the two communities together under the umbrella of EU membership. Trade unions will be allocated half a million euros, to be distributed through the Pancyprian Union Forum, while one million will be spent on seminars on EU harmonisation and the body of laws required for that.

    Regarding trade, the Commission has said it would allow the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce to issue documents for Turkish Cypriot goods to be exported to the EU via the government-controlled ports in the south.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was reported in Turkish Cypriot newspaper Afrika yesterday as saying that the EU had found a formula to lift the “embargo” on the north. He reportedly said that after the embargo was lifted, Cypriot-flagged ships would be able to pass through Turkish ports, while the EU would set up an office in the occupied north to issue export permits.

    An EU source yesterday categorically denied the opening of an office in the north, saying that “there was no question” of such an action being taken.

    The EU has always denied that an embargo exists on the north, citing a 1994 European Court of Justice ruling which prohibits the import of goods into the EU that are stamped with a certificate of the occupied north.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 27, 2003

    [03] Vassiliou hits back over delays in adoption of EU laws

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    THE FORMER chief negotiator for Cyprus’ accession to the EU, George Vassiliou, refused to be held accountable for delays in the EU harmonisation process yesterday and described President Tassos Papadopoulos’ comments on the issue as “unfortunate and unjustified”.

    Speaking at an impromptu news conference, Vassiliou maintained that the delays in harmonisation recently highlighted by the EU concerned a number of laws which should have been approved in the last few months but have not yet been submitted to parliament. They do not concern laws that are currently being adopted in parliament, he added.

    Responding to statements made by Papadopoulos at Larnaca Airport on Sunday, Vassiliou insisted that he and the previous government have been wrongly accused by Papadopoulos. “The President speaks of delays in implementation of the acquis and the various laws being adopted by parliament, but the EU critique has nothing to do with these supposed delays, ” he said. “It refers almost exclusively to the fact that a number of laws which should have been passed over the last few months have not even reached parliament yet.”

    The former chief negotiator said he was surprised by the President’s comment that the EU report highlighted many delays in the last 10 months, “something which is nowhere to be found in the report”. Vassiliou called the Head of the EU negotiating team for Cyprus’ accession, Leopold Maurer, on the matter, who confirmed that the EU did not have any criticism of his time in office.

    Vassiliou pointed out that during his five years as chief negotiator, he always approached the work with a national perspective and not a partisan one.

    He highlighted that the delays singled out concerned the adoption of legislation on public tenders, energy matters, fuel stocks, liberalisation of the energy and telecommunications market and the environment.

    “We need swiftness in our reactions,” warned Vassiliou, giving as an example a letter sent by Maurer in late February, to which a response was given at the end of April. “This is not acceptable… Instead of blaming each other we need to see how we can concentrate from now on,” he added.

    The European Commission will soon be preparing a progress report on Cyprus’ EU harmonisation, to be published in October. Vassiliou stressed that the island had until July to cover the delays that were currently present.

    Meanwhile, Finance Minister Marcos Kyprianou said yesterday that Cyprus was “on the right track” regarding the timeframe for EU harmonisation. He added that delays in implementation would be sorted out by the end of the year.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 27, 2003

    [04] Poultry farmers face import challenge

    By Tania Khadder

    IMPORTED frozen chickens could seriously threaten the productivity of local chicken slaughterhouses come May 2004, when Cyprus officially joins the European Union. It will then be possible to import frozen chickens from non- European countries that meet EU requirements, and these chickens will be significantly cheaper than locally-raised chickens.

    An official from the Veterinary Services told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that frozen chickens could come from countries like Malaysia, and can cost “30 cents less per kilo than local chickens.”

    Eighteen million local chickens come on the Cypriot market each year, eight million of which are frozen.

    “Right now, the price of fresh and frozen chickens is almost the same,” the official said. “But there will be a big difference in the future.”

    He estimated that 10 per cent of the local market would be taken by imported frozen chickens.

    But imported frozen chickens are not the only EU-related threat to local chicken farmers.

    Dozens of slaughterhouses will be shut down next May if they don’t modify their methods to meet EU criteria and obtain all the necessary licences. Currently, only three of 37 chicken farms are fully licensed, with another three or four waiting to be approved.

    Some owners of smaller farms are merging with larger ones that can afford to make the changes necessary for approval.

    EU inspectors visited the Veterinary Services three weeks ago to monitor its progress in harmonizing with the acquis communautaire. They will be back in June to prepare for the final, all-encompassing Progress Report in October, which will be the last six-month report before full EU membership.

    But, again, even those farms that have met the criteria will face serious competition once frozen chickens are imported to Cyprus.

    “This will be something the chicken farmers are going to have to face as part of EU membership,” the Veterinary official said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 27, 2003

    [05] Need a coffee? It’s cheaper in Paris

    By Jean Christou

    A CUP of coffee costs more in Nicosia than London or Paris and twice as much as in Berlin, a survey published yesterday revealed.

    The survey published in yesterday’s Politis, which appears to draw on various sources, found that a cup of cappuccino costs 3.4 euros (£2) in Nicosia compared to 3.2 euros in Athens, the second most expensive on the list.

    In London, a cappuccino will cost 3 euros, in Rome, 2.1 and in Paris 2 euros. The cheapest cities to buy a coffee were Madrid (1.9 euros) and Berlin (1.8 euros).

    Espresso was also expensive in Nicosia at 2.5 euros, but not quite as expensive as London where it costs 2.7 euros or Athens 2.6 euros. Berlin was again the cheapest at 1 euro, followed by Paris at 1.5 euros and Rome at 1.8.

    In other categories, Nicosia was not the most expensive, but neither was it the cheapest. Cinema tickets in Cyprus, which cost £4 (6.8 euros) were the fourth most expensive after Athens and Paris (7 euros each), Monaco 6.9 euros and New York 6between 6.5 and 8.2 euros.

    CDs in Nicosia are the second most expensive, costing 20.5 euros (£11.99) each. Only Paris was slightly more expensive at 22 euros. Cheapest is New York, where the average price of a CD is only 16.5 euros, while Athens is 19 euros and Berlin 20 euros.

    Concert tickets in Cyprus are the cheapest between Nicosia, London and Athens but only slightly. At between £10-£15 (17-25 euros), they are around 5 euros less than the other two cities, but it is worth bearing in mind that few international artists every play in Cyprus compared to what is available in London.

    Clubbing is not cheap in Nicosia either. An average night out will set punters back between £10 and £20 (17-34 euros), which is close to what clubbing in Athens would cost (20-25 euros). London and Paris are cheaper with a night out costing 15-22 euros in both cities, the survey said.

    While it’s difficult to avoid paying through the nose for cinema tickets, CDs, concerts and clubbing, it is possible to ‘shop around’ for a reasonably priced cup of coffee.

    Some fashionable cafés on Makarios Avenue in Nicosia can charge even more than £2 for a coffee, while tourist areas are around the benchmark figure. But other places, such as Everest on Ledra Street, charge only a £1 and the further you go into the old town the cheaper the coffee gets. Some old- fashioned coffeeshops, which are either unaware of how much cafés are charging or just not greedy, still sell a cup of Nescafe for only 60 cents… if you know where to look.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, May 27, 2003

    [06] Village in shock after man kills wife, then self in front of child

    By Sofia Kannas

    RESIDENTS of Ormidia village were still in shock yesterday after a 37-year- old man shot his wife in front of her eight-year-old daughter and then committed suicide by turning the gun on himself.

    The incident occurred on Sunday afternoon at the apartment the couple rented in Ormidia, police said yesterday.

    According to reports, Stavros Stavrou, a builder from Paralimni, and 27- year-old Christina Yiasemi from Ormidia were married around three years ago, but had recently been undergoing marital problems due to Stavrou’s jealousy of his wife, who had been married before.

    Late on Sunday afternoon, Stavrou went to the apartment and the couple began to argue. Yiasemi asked her husband to leave and never return. Stavrou allegedly retaliated by saying that if she forced him to leave he would kill her and then himself.

    It appears the 37-year-old went to Paralimni, took his shotgun and returned to the apartment in Ormidia at around 5.30 pm, where he proceeded to shoot his wife in the chest twice, before putting the gun to his own head.

    Villagers were alerted to the tragedy by the sound of bullets being fired and the screams of Yiasemi’s young daughter, who witnessed the scene with a school friend who also happened to be at the apartment. An ambulance was called, and Yiasemi and Stavrou were taken to hospital, but were pronounced dead on arrival. British Bases police and Famagusta CID attended the scene of the crime, accompanied by pathologist Eleni Antoniou.

    Police are continuing investigations.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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