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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-07-01

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Tuesday, July 1, 2003


  • [01] Nicosia buffer zone street repairs to begin on August 1
  • [02] National Theatre boasts rising attendances and host of new projects
  • [03] Pollution fears after Cypriot ship sinks off Scottish island
  • [04] Moves afoot on ways to facilitate Turkish Cypriot exports
  • [05] Turks send utility bills to Strovilia residents
  • [06] Gul: Annan plan is satisfactory, whatever Denktash thinks
  • [07] Syrian couple still critical after attack
  • [08] DIKO spurns EDEK flirtations
  • [09] Parties in hotel dispute called to give an answer
  • [10] Two boats of illegal immigrants seized off Protaras
  • [11] New civil service commission named as DISY blasts the president

  • [01] Nicosia buffer zone street repairs to begin on August 1

    By a Staff Reporter

    REPAIR work to reopen Ermou Street in the buffer zone in old Nicosia will start on August 1, and will cost £1.5 million, Mayor Michalakis Zampelas said yesterday.

    He added that the aim was to finish the project, which will be carried out by Greek and Turkish Cypriot crews, within one year.

    Zampelas said work would proceed in accordance with the Nicosia Masterplan, which had been agreed with the Turkish Cypriot side and was drafted by a joint team.

    The Nicosia Mayor said a study had been carried out concerning the 265 buildings on Ermou Street, and “we know exactly what work should be done to each building to avoid demolitions”.

    Zampelas added that nothing would be done to disturb the area’s character and if a building had collapsed it will be reconstructed exactly as it was, using the same materials.

    The Mayor said he hoped to have a positive response from UNOPS concerning partially funding the project with around £750,000.

    Zampelas was last week joined by his Turkish Cypriot counterpart Kutlay Erk for a walkabout on Ermou Street in the company of the US ambassador and UNOPS officials. The two expressed the hope that the abandoned heart of the old city could soon be revived with functioning shops and businesses shared by both communities.

    The plans for Ermou Street come after an exhaustive two-and-a-half-year study of the area by architects and civil engineers from both communities.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [02] National Theatre boasts rising attendances and host of new projects

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    A THIRTY-six per cent increase in ticket sales, the opening of the Experimental Stage, the groundwork for the building of a new Municipal Theatre and international acclaim for its actors and productions are just a few of the targets achieved by the Theatre Organisation of Cyprus (THOC) in the last three years, according to THOC’s Chairman of the Board, Alexandros Kinanis.

    In a news conference yesterday, Kinanis listed the achievements of the board in the last three years. He announced that the Cabinet was already examining the organisation’s decision to set up a Drama School and confirmed that THOC would be participating in the Cultural Olympiad ‘Athens 2004’ with a production of Orlando by Virginia Woolf. The play will be shown in Cyprus, Greece and various other European countries.

    The organisation’s website,, has been up and running for about a month, while plans to introduce on-line booking will be realised by next year, he said.

    Kinanis welcomed the establishment of the Experimental Stage in 2001 and THOC’s dabble with Dance/Drama productions.

    He noted the rise in THOC’s popularity, evidenced by the increase in theatregoers. During the period 1998-2003, the average number of theatregoers reached 80,563 compared to a maximum of 60,000 between 1993 and 1998.

    THOC has successfully participated in the Epidavros Festival in Greece the last two years to great critical acclaim and will join this year’s festival with their summer production, Menander’s Epitrepontes.

    Regarding the funding of ad-hoc productions and free theatre, Kinanis said that THOC gave out £482,545 in subsidies for 2003 compared to £430,000 in 2000.

    More productions are going abroad and there is greater co-operation with the European Union, he added.

    Plans for the future include the erection of a Cyprus Theatre Museum in Limassol and a new Municipal Theatre in the capital.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [03] Pollution fears after Cypriot ship sinks off Scottish island

    By a Staff Reporter

    SCOTTISH environmental groups have warned of a major pollution hazard after a Cypriot-flagged ship carrying zinc concentrate sank off a Scottish island on Sunday, reports from the UK said yesterday.

    According to The Scotsman, the Cyprus-registered Jambo ran aground on Tanera Beag in the Summer Isles off Loch Broom on Sunday. Yesterday’s Daily Mirror, under the headline ‘We’re Zinc-ing’, said the Jambo also had around 85 tonnes of gas oil on board when it ran aground on rocks. The mostly Croatian and Polish crewmembers from the ship were rescued.

    The vessel had been en route from Norway to Ireland with the 3,300 tonnes of insoluble zinc concentrate when it ran aground in calm weather.

    A Friends of the Earth spokesman told the Mirror the incident could be “potentially devastating”.

    “We know that zinc can be very hazardous for tiny sea organisms and this would obviously have a major effect on the food chain in what is a fragile eco-system. “As yet we have no details as to whether the zinc is still contained or not. But the oil on board could be a huge hazard in itself.

    “This is a potentially devastating incident both to the fragile environment and the local tourist-based economy. In our view it is not acceptable that a vessel going from Ireland to Norway used this fragile, beautiful environment as a short cut.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [04] Moves afoot on ways to facilitate Turkish Cypriot exports

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    CYPRUS’ Co-ordinator for EU harmonisation, Takis Hadjimemetriou, yesterday confirmed reports that the European Union, the Cyprus government and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce are on the brink of an agreement on how to facilitate the export of Turkish Cypriot products.

    According to yesterday’s Politis, the three parties have agreed on proposals to promote internal trade on the island, which in turn will facilitate the export of Turkish Cypriot products to the EU.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has recently hampered EU efforts to support trade by rejecting the Union’s proposals for trade measures. Denktash refused to allow Turkish Cypriot products to be exported from the government-controlled areas in the south, arguing instead that products should reach the EU via the Famagusta port in the occupied north.

    However, the paper revealed that the promotion of internal trade would allow Greek Cypriots to buy Turkish Cypriot products and export them to the EU, as long as the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce issued a certificate of origin. Or Turkish Cypriots could ignore Denktash’s objections and go ahead and export their products through the government-controlled ports and airports, wrote the paper.

    “There is progress on the matter, but I cannot reveal any details yet,” said Hadjidemetriou yesterday. As it stands, internal trading is allowed, the co-ordinator explained, “and there are ways and methods for Turkish Cypriot products to be exported,” he added.

    Regarding the press reports, he said: “There is an agreement between the Turkish Cypriots, the Cypriot government and the EU to handle the issue. Any development would be considered positive.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [05] Turks send utility bills to Strovilia residents

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE government was yesterday looking into reports that the Turkish Cypriot regime had sent utility bills to a handful of families in Strovilia for the first time since Turkish troops moved forward and occupied the buffer zone village around three years ago.

    In early June, the Turkish Cypriot regime began carrying out road works in the area using the opening of a crossing point at Strovilia as an excuse.

    It became apparent later that the homes of the few families in the area had been connected, without being asked, to the electricity and water lines of the breakaway state.

    And yesterday reports said the Greek Cypriots living in the village had been sent water and electricity bills from the authorities in the north.

    Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said the issue was being investigated.

    The bills were handed over to the district administration, which asked for an official translation.

    The residents remained defiant in refusing to accept the forced state of affairs and demanded they be supplied electricity and water from the Republic.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [06] Gul: Annan plan is satisfactory, whatever Denktash thinks

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul was yesterday reported as saying the Annan plan was a “satisfactory text”, despite what Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash thought about it.

    Speaking on the ‘Morning in Ankara’ programme broadcast by Turkish ATV television, Gul said: “Even if Rauf Denktash says that the Annan plan is dead, the important thing is that there is a satisfactory text on the table.”

    Gul said the world still saw Turkey as the side that didn’t want a solution to the Cyprus issue and that it considered the non-solution of the problem as the solution. His government, however, did not see a non-solution as the solution in Cyprus.

    Referring to Turkey’s EU accession course, Gul expressed the opinion that both Turkey and the EU would benefit from its accession, adding: “We are not going to cry if we do not accede to the EU. The EU should cry if it loses Turkey.”

    The latest comments confirmed the growing distance between Ankara’s position and that of Denktash, who has declared the Annan plan dead and buried. The international community is trying to have talks resumed by the end of this year following the elections in the north in October or December, and to have them completed by the time Cyprus joins the EU next May.

    Opposition parties in the north have banded together to oust Denktash in the hope that a solution can be reached on the basis of the Annan plan.

    On Sunday, Denktash said “the European Union had understood that it made a mistake but instead of correcting its own words, it wants the Turkish Cypriots to help the Greek Cypriots correct that mistake.”

    Denktash was speaking in Istanbul on his return from the Crans Montana Forum in Geneva. He told reporters that the Turkish Cypriot side had raised critical points at the forum regarding the Cyprus issue.

    “The message we gave is very simple: an agreement in Cyprus can be reached within the framework of principles like peace, right and justice. Peace based on injustice is not possible. There is an injustice in Cyprus that has continued for 40 years,” he said.

    “Reunification is possible if principles of rights and justice are accepted. However, the Greek Cypriot side, which demolished the partnership in the beginning to prevent rights and justice, was later given the title of ‘legal government’. Therefore, the Greek Cypriots do not need to form a new partnership. They are given the right to possess the whole of Cyprus. Because we don’t accept and don’t yield to this, the Cyprus issue can’t be settled. As a result, the Turkish side is shown as the guilty side. We don’t yield to this injustice.”

    Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said yesterday that Denktash was continuing the same policy “with the same method of propaganda”.

    “The Greek Cypriot side seeks the resumption of the negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan to reach a solution before May 1, 2004,” he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [07] Syrian couple still critical after attack

    By a Staff Reporter

    A SYRIAN couple brutally attacked in their home in Chlorakas in Paphos on Saturday were yesterday still in critical condition, doctors at the Nicosia General hospital said. A third Syrian was also injured in the suspected axe attack, but his condition was described as stable.

    The three victims, Ahmed Ashir, 35, his wife Fema, 32, and her brother Mahmud Al-Trashir, also 32, were found in their homes by their children, bleeding profusely after being attacked by unknown assailants, using what police believe to be an axe.

    On Sunday, a group of Syrians working in Paphos gathered outside Paphos police headquarters, demanding that the police work faster to solve the case. Police told the Cyprus Mail yesterday that no arrests had yet been made.

    Doctors at the Nicosia hospital said the victims were suffering from head injuries and that their condition was critical.

    The family’s children are being looked after the Welfare Services and a child psychologist.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [08] DIKO spurns EDEK flirtations

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE SOCIAL democrats yesterday continued to flirt with DIKO for a potential union of the two parties, though the centre party left no doubt that it was not interested, at least not for the time being.

    Vassos Lyssarides, the honorary chairman of the social democratic party, which changed its name back to EDEK from KISOS over the weekend, said yesterday that DIKO should not be allergic to the island’s socialist movement, but have love for it instead.

    The issue emerged after DIKO said it could attempt to become part of the European Socialist Party.

    The move, however, raised eyebrows in EDEK, which disputed DIKO’s socialist credentials.

    Various party officials from both sides then hinted that the two parties could unite, though yesterday such a move looked farfetched.

    In a written statement, DIKO said: “at the present stage, assuming initiatives or responding to invitations by other political powers towards this direction (unifications) has not been set as a priority”.

    “Unifying and strengthening the centre is DIKO’s permanent and continuous target as is its responsibility as a dominant power in the area to work prudently and effectively to achieve this goal,” DIKO said.

    The party added that when the time was right and after careful assessment of the facts, there would be relevant decisions and initiatives, which would be supported by enough certainty and substantial prerequisites for success.

    Lyssarides said if DIKO did not want to have anything to do with EDEK then it meant that the party had not realised what socialism was.

    “You cannot be a member of the socialist family without being a socialist;

    “First they have to decide that they want to be socialists and prove they are socialists,” Lyssarides said.

    He added: “Socialism is not a robe you wear and discard at will; socialism is life, sacrifice and struggle.

    “If DIKO esteems these struggles and it is touched by the socialist ideology, I personally would be the happiest person in Cyprus.”

    Lyssarides said he hoped DIKO would become socialist so that the two parties advance together.

    “But first we have to become socialists,” Lyssarides said.

    Asked to comment on the change of the party’s name for a second time, Lyssarides said it was decided because of historic reasons and links to a proud past.

    He said the first change - KISOS -- was decided in an effort to unite with various other forces.

    “In an attempt not to seem arrogant we wrongly changed the name,” Lyssarides said.

    “It was wrong,” he added.

    The veteran politician argued that it was an honest mistake stemming from the desire to enlarge the movement.

    “But today there is no reason not to go back to a proud, historic root, which I believe is respected by more people than those who vote for us,” Lyssarides said.

    The fresh change in the party’s name was decided by the party’s charter conference on Sunday.

    It was also decided to reintroduce the clenched fist as the party’s symbol along with the socialist rose that is currently used.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [09] Parties in hotel dispute called to give an answer

    By a Staff Reporter

    LABOUR Minister Makis Keravnos will today demand a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ on his mediating proposal in the dispute between hotel owners and staff who are threatening to go on strike.

    After many of meetings with all involved parties yesterday, Keravnos said he would be submitting his proposal for the renewal of the collective agreements in the hotel industry.

    Unions seemed ready to sign, though they had reservations about the hoteliers’ intentions.

    Yesterday’s meetings started at midday with the minister meeting the hoteliers.

    The meeting with the unions started at 1.30pm and lasted for more than three hours.

    The main point of conflict is the renewal of the collective agreement, which expired last year.

    On Friday, the hoteliers conditionally agreed on the Labour Ministry’s mediating proposal in an effort to avoid a crisis.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [10] Two boats of illegal immigrants seized off Protaras

    By a Staff Reporter

    THIRTY-FOUR illegal immigrants travelling in two fishing boats were detained yesterday after they were located just off the coast of Protaras in the Famagusta district.

    The migrants, all men, were spotted at around noon moving suspiciously.

    Authorities were notified and responded by scrambling a police helicopter and two patrol boats in the area.

    The two fishing boats were towed to the Paralimni fishing shelter at 3.30pm where they were met by a large police force.

    According to reports, the immigrants appealed to be released to return to the country they had sailed from on Saturday, headed for an undisclosed European country.

    The 34 men, who did not carry any travel documents, refused to reveal their nationality.

    They remained at the shelter, guarded by a large police force, waiting to hear whether they would be allowed to leave or not.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Tuesday, July 1, 2003

    [11] New civil service commission named as DISY blasts the president

    By a Staff Reporter

    PRESIDENT Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday appointed the new Civil Service Commission amid accusations from the opposition that there had been no attempt to hold any kind of dialogue.

    Appointments to the commission and - more importantly - to the boards of semi-government organisations, have been a point of bitter conflict between the government and DISY, which demanded that any appointments be made in proportion to the parties’ electoral power.

    Papadopoulos has repeatedly rejected the demand, arguing that DISY never applied such proportional representation in the 10 years of Glafcos Clerides’ rule.

    Yesterday, and despite the appointment of a former DISY deputy to the public service commission, DISY issued a written statement accusing the President of proceeding to appoint the members of the five-member commission without first trying to have a dialogue with the opposition.

    “In consequence, DISY has nothing to do with the choices; the issue will be discussed tomorrow (today) during the political bureau’s regular meeting,” the statement said.

    Papadopoulos appointed former judge and minister Marcos Spanos as chairman of the committee, and former DISY deputy Sophocles Hadjiyiannis, lawyer Andreas Kenevezos, and former minister Pavlos Papageorghiou as members.

    Earlier, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides had said he did not think the President had asked for suggestions, but that parties had tabled their proposals.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

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