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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 97-10-05

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Burning ship is towed back to Limassol
  • [02] Vassiliou to run for presidential elections
  • [03] Bomb scare on Cyprus Airways scheduled flight
  • [04] Cypriot MPs leave for Brussels

  • 1215:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Burning ship is towed back to Limassol

    Nicosia, Oct 5 (CNA) -- A Cypriot ill fated cruise liner, still blazing since Saturday morning, was still being towed to Limassol port this morning, following the evacuation yesterday of its 673 passengers and crew.

    The Cyprus registered "Romantica" was eventually returning to its destination from Port Said, Egypt, a Police spokesman told CNA today, but was still ablaze and efforts to put out the fire continued.

    The operation to tow back "Romantica", which began yesterday afternoon and continued until late evening, resumed this morning, he added.

    He said the vessel was this morning some 42 nautical miles south of Limassol, but it was unclear when the boat would reach the port.

    Police and the Department of Merchant Shipping have opened an inquiry into the cause of the inferno. Preliminary reports indicated the fire started from an electronic panel in the engine room and quickly spread to the upper decks.

    In a dramatic rescue operation which took only one and a half hours, the "Romantica's" 487 passengers and 186 crew were evacuated with the help of another cruise liner, "Princessa Victoria" which was 12 nautical miles away from the burning ship.

    With the help of two Wessex type helicopters of the British Bases in Cyprus and Cyprus Police tugs, passengers and crew were picked up from lifeboats or were winched onto "Victoria" and were safely taken to Limassol port after noon yesterday.

    According to "Victoria's" Sub-Lieutenant, Antonis Mavrides, the good weather conditions helped in the quick and safe transfer of passengers and crew from "Romantica".

    CNA EC/AP/1997

    [02] Vassiliou to run for presidential elections

    Nicosia, Oct 5 (CNA) -- Former President of the Republic, George Vassiliou, will be a candidate for the February 1998 presidential elections in Cyprus.

    The decision was taken yesterday with an overwhelming majority during a meeting of the Central Council of the United Democrats Movement.

    Vassiliou, President of the Movement, is the fourth person to officially announce his candidacy for the presidential elections.

    Socialist EDEK party leader, Vassos Lyssarides, and Liberal party President Nicos Rolandis, who served as Foreign Minister in the past had earlier this year announced their candidatures.

    An independent candidacy, supported by main opposition left-wing AKEL party, was announced last month by George Iakovou who served as Foreign Minister for both the government of Vassiliou 1988-1993 and earlier when Democratic Party leader, Spyros Kyprianou was in office.

    Kyprianou, also president of the House of Representatives President, yesterday repeated his firm intention to run for the presidency regardless of whether his partner in the current coalition government, President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides, will run for the presidency.

    Clerides, who was the founder of ruling Democratic Rally (DISY) party, was elected President in February 1993 with the support of DIKO which maintains five ministers in his cabinet.

    Clerides last week had said he intends to announce his final decision later this year.

    CNA AP/EC/1997

    [03] Bomb scare on Cyprus Airways scheduled flight

    Nicosia, Oct 5 (CNA) -- Police is investigating a bomb scare on a Cyprus Airways flight scheduled to leave this morning for Paris from Larnaca International Airport.

    According to the Police, a stranger, believed to be Cypriot, called the national carrier probably from a mobile phone and told an employee in Greek "a bomb is going to explode on flight CY386, in one hour."

    The call was received 15 minutes prior to departure.

    The aircraft, an Airbus 310, has been moved to a specially designated security area until the scheduled flight hours to Paris are completed, in compliance with international regulations.

    All 216 passengers, scheduled to depart at 1030 local time (0730 GMT), disembarked from the plane and were taken to the departure lounge until Police investigations are completed.

    CNA MA/AP/1997

    [04] Cypriot MPs leave for Brussels

    Nicosia, Oct 5 (CNA) -- A group of Cypriot deputies left today for Brussels to attend tomorrow's opening session of the European Union (EU) - Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee.

    Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, who was in New York for meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, left yesterday for Brussels to join the Cypriot delegation, chaired by Tassos Papadopoulos.

    Among the issues the Committee will examine are the political situation in Cyprus, the EU - Cyprus relations, the recent UN-sponsored direct talks between Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash and the living conditions of the enclaved in the Turkish-occupied areas.

    The Committee will also discuss the EU's "Agenda 2000" policy document on Cyprus and other candidate countries for the Union's expansion, the island's custom union agreement with the EU, the GATT agreement, economic issues, tourism, and Europe's policy on the Mediterranean.

    Dutch EU External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, a representative of Luxembourg, which chairs the EU this six-month term, and Kasoulides will address the Committee on the political situation and the EU- Cyprus relations.

    The Cypriot deputies will also present suggestions on various issues.

    CNA EC/AP/1997


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