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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-06-21

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, June 21, 2003


  • [01] Body of missing lottery salesman found in Limassol harbour
  • [02] Asylum seekers housed in nursing home after night in the park
  • [03] Blue flag beaches rise for third year running
  • [04] Pre-orders only as Harry Potter hits the bookshops
  • [05] Trainee workers first victims of refinery closure

  • [01] Body of missing lottery salesman found in Limassol harbour

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    THE body of a lottery ticket seller was fished out of Limassol harbour yesterday. More than six months after his family had reported him missing.

    Greek Navy frogmen found 86-year-old Andreas Papas, known as Mornis, in his car lying on the seabed of Limassol harbour late on Thursday. The Greek divers were combing the area before the arrival of a Greek navy ship carrying the boat, Kyrenia Liberty, from Greece.

    Yesterday morning, police officials, National Guard divers and the Port Authority combined their efforts to raise the double cabin car and Papas from the water. After several hours, the car was taken out the water. The son of the deceased, who arrived at the harbour when news of the discovery broke, identified the heavily decomposed body as that of Andreas Papas.

    The lottery seller’s family reported Papas missing on December 9 last year. Deputy Chief of Police, Charalambos Koulentis, said criminal activity was initially ruled out, given that the seller’s bag was found in the car containing his money and lottery tickets.

    Koulentis told reporters that the car’s engine had been switched on and the handbrake off when it plunged into the sea. Asked why police had failed to find Papas earlier given that they had conducted three searches in the same area, Koulentis replied that the car was continuously being moved by the currents created by huge ships moving through the area.

    State pathologist Elena Antoniou will perform an autopsy on the body today.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 21, 2003

    [02] Asylum seekers housed in nursing home after night in the park

    By Sofia Kannas

    THE THREE Kurdish families who spent Wednesday and Thursday living in a Nicosia park have been found temporary accommodation in an old people’s home, Cyprus Human Rights Institute member Vartan Malian said yesterday.

    The nine asylum seekers are being temporarily housed at the Ayios Pavlos Nursing Home in Ayios Dhometios, but their long-term future remains uncertain, Malian warned.

    “The welfare services found this accommodation, but the problem is still not solved,” he said. “They are accommodated all together in two rooms,

    they are being given meals and there is hot water, but by Monday or Tuesday they (may) have to leave,” he added.

    The asylum seekers, who came from Turkey, had been living in a Nicosia guest house since they arrived in February, but were evicted on Wednesday, after the welfare services failed to pay their accommodation bill.

    Interior Minister Andreas Christou said yesterday that if the families had applied for asylum, then the welfare services were obliged to pay for their living expenses until their application for asylum had been accepted.

    But Malian said the families had still not received the living allowance owed to them.

    “The welfare services said that on Thursday that the balance of money owed to them was posted to the guest house where they were staying. It wasn’t there (yesterday), but I hope it will be there for them on Monday,” he said.

    He also stressed that the responsibility of finding alternative accommodation in the long-term was down to the asylum seekers.

    “It is now down to them. The welfare services want to see a copy of the housing agreement, but it’s a question of finding someone to take them in, first.”

    The owner of the nursing home told the Cyprus Mail that the Kurdish families were now comfortable, following their ordeal.

    “The welfare services called and asked if I had space for them. I saw the three children starving and I felt so sorry for them all, and I agreed to take them in,” she said. “I do whatever I can for them, and they are treated like my other guests.

    “Many other homes refused to take them in,” she added. “Of course they may stay here until they find somewhere else; but there is some pressure for space, I don’t have that many rooms.”

    The Interior Minister stressed yesterday that the government “follows EU policies on asylum seekers”. He also dismissed charges that the island’s infrastructure was insufficient for coping with asylum seekers.

    “I don’t agree,” he said. “Generally, the government has quite a good infrastructure. Of course, we must reinforce it, and make it better, but no one has been refused help.”

    Nobody at the welfare service was available for comment.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 21, 2003

    [03] Blue flag beaches rise for third year running

    By Sofia Kannas

    THIRTY-nine beaches in Cyprus have received the ‘Blue Flag’ environmental award, a Cyprus Tourist Organisation (CTO) officer confirmed yesterday.

    The awards were presented in Oroklini by the co-ordinator of the awards’ international jury, Fin Bolding Tomsen.

    Cyprus won 39 Blue Flags, and was one of 24 countries in Europe and Africa to receive some of the 2,900 awards handed out by the Foundation of Environmental Education (FEE) this year.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday, CTO officer Maro Kazepi said the Blue Flag scheme has been a success.

    “We did very well. The international jury co-ordinator, Mr. Tomsen visited us for the first time, and his comments were very positive.”

    She stressed that since the CTO and the Cyprus Marine Environment Protection Association (CYMEPA) initiated the introduction of the scheme to Cyprus in 1995, the number of award winning beaches on the island had increased steadily.

    “In 1996, we had 11 Blue Flags, in 2000 we had 29 and this year we have 39, ” she said.

    The awards --which were launched in 1987, the European Year for the Environment -- are given to beaches and marinas which fulfil specific criteria regarding the quality of bathing water, beach area management, safety and environmental education and information.

    Kazepi noted the awards were valid for one year, with municipalities and local councils applying for awards every year.

    “The Blue Flag awards provide an incentive for local authorities to maintain beaches and upgrade their quality every year.”

    The awards also contribute to the promotion of Cypriot beaches abroad.

    “It’s very important -- some tour operators ask for the blue flag specifically. It’s a symbol of quality,” she said. “Even more beaches could win awards if all the municipalities applied,” she added.

    The 39 Blue Flag beaches are:

    Pernera, Vryssi, Protaras in Paralimni; Kermia, Ammos tou Kambouri, Glyki Nero, Pantachou, Katsarka, Vathia Gonia, Nissi, Nissi Bay, Lanta, Makronissos and Ayia Thekla in Ayia Napa; Giannathes in Voroklini; Phinikoudes and Mckenzie in Larnaca; Kalymnos Beach at Pentakomo; Panagies/Aoratoi at Pyrgos; Santa Barbara, Loures, Vouppa, Aphrodite, Onisilos, Armonia and Castella at Ayios Tychonas; Pissouri beach at Pissouri; Municipal Beach at Yeroskipou; Pachyammos, Vrysoudia A and B, Alykes, Municipal Baths and Pharos in Paphos; Coral Beach, Laourou at Pegeia and the Municipal and Dasoudi beaches at Polis Chysochous.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 21, 2003

    [04] Pre-orders only as Harry Potter hits the bookshops

    By Alexia Saoulli

    AT EXACTLY one minute after midnight today, millions of excited book readers around the globe were finally able to buy the latest, eagerly anticipated, Harry Potter book.

    Two years, 11 months and 13 days following the release of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling has finally released Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the fifth book in the seven-book boy-wizard series.

    But, unfortunately, local fans will not be able to join in the worldwide festivities, nor will they be able to purchase the long-awaited fictional novel, unless they’re among the few lucky ones to have pre-ordered a copy.

    Due to the secrecy surrounding the book, which promises new information into the background of the Harry’s family as well as a prominent character’s death, publishers in the United Kingdom only sent it to print last week, causing delays in shipments abroad. Also the publishers could only print a limited number of books for foreign bookshops, particularly if they had not placed orders for the first print in time.

    Today, only four bookshops in Cyprus will have very limited copies of the hardback 766-page book: they are the Moufflon Bookshops in Nicosia and Paphos, the Soloneion Book Centre in Nicosia and the British Bases YWCA in Akrotiri. However, they have all been pre-sold to anxious readers who had ordered them in advance.

    Soloneion said it was disappointed that its customers would be let down. Although it had ordered 170 copies, only 30 are available today to fulfil orders.

    “This book is going to sell very well, no doubt about it. People will just have to be patient and wait until next week for the second print. It would have been nice if we could have sold them today and I’m only sorry people will coming looking for it and be disappointed to find we don’t have it in stock.”

    Although several bookstores across Europe and the United States hosted all- night parties, with copies starting to sell just after the stroke of midnight, bookshops around the island will not indulge in similar frenzied ‘Potter Parties’.

    “Do we need to (have a special event) for Harry Potter?” asked the Soloneion. “I don’t think it’s necessary.” Nevertheless a countdown to midnight was scheduled in New York’s Times Square and festivities were planned for Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

    Bookshops in Paralimni and Larnaca did not seem interested in the launch and none had bothered to acquire English copies of the book, preferring to wait for the Greek translation in November. Some did not even know who Harry Potter was and had to have the story explained to them before they said they hadn’t ordered it.

    Meanwhile, Limassol bookshops were going to leave their customers in the lurch as well.

    Kyriakou bookshop, the only one importing the book, said it had had problems its freight forwarders, preventing the book from arriving today.

    “We ordered well over 100 copies, but unfortunately none have arrived, with 100 already pre-sold. It’ll definitely sell and I believe it will be the top seller of the year, just like Book 4 was,” said Kyriakos Kyriakou.

    Although Paphos has a large English-speaking population, of the 16 bookshops listed in the phone book, only one, Moufflon, had confirmed it had ordered the book, which is being sold for £16.99. Because there were no extra books available, the bookshop had to pass on making today a special event, although a substantial shipment was due soon. “We’ve already sold our (50) copies as they’ve been pre-ordered and so have none for the general public…We were told more should be available by the end of the week, but anything can happen (such as shipment delays) so we’re not making a big splash over this…When they’re here, they’re here.”

    The Nicosia Moufflon Bookshop also said it had pre-sold all its copies today as it had been advertising the launch for the past three months and orders had been placed well in advance.

    But anxious readers need not fret, as Hellenic Distribution Agency said it would be distributing more books in Nicosia, Larnaca and Paphos on Monday or Tuesday. Outlets will include the Hellenic bookshop at the Hilton hotel, the Metropolitan bookshop, Moufflon, Soloneion, Kohlias, Woolworths, Cessac in Dhekelia, Larnaca Airport and Academic and General in Larnaca.

    “We’ve flown the books in and so were able to distribute them to four bookshops for the launch (Moufflon in Paphos and Nicosia, Soloneion and YWCA), over and above their own orders. We should have more in next week,” said a book importing department employee. “The demand for this book is great and the suspense is increasing. They’re just selling like hot cakes.”

    Joanne Kathleen Rowling is a publishing phenomenon, with the series selling over 100 million books translated into 42 different languages around the world; her books have been attributed with making children wanting to read.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 21, 2003

    [05] Trainee workers first victims of refinery closure

    By a Staff Reporter

    SEVENTEEN workers from the petroleum refinery in Larnaca were made redundant yesterday, the first victims of the Cabinet decision to transform the grounds into a fuel import terminal.

    The workers had been employed on April 2 in the Production Unit on a six- month training contract terminating at the end of October. But management informed them yesterday they would have to leave by the end of the month without compensation. They said the government decision not to upgrade the refinery meant that procedures had to be changed.

    However, the 17 jilted employees maintained there was no mention of upgrading when they were initially hired. They told Larnaca Press that they would be seeking legal advice on the unexpected sacking.

    The new government recently shelved plans to have the refinery upgraded to meet EU standards, arguing it would cost less to turn it into a fuel import terminal until a new energy center at Vasiliko was completed by 2008. Commerce Minister George Lillikas said the fuel import and storage terminal would continue to operate until 2010.

    Existing staff at the refinery warned the minister on Thursday that they would take industrial action if he did not keep his promise to find them jobs when the site closed next year. Around 125 employees were to be made redundant in 2010. But since the decision was taken not to upgrade the site, the plans to close the refinery have been brought forward by six years to 2004.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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