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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-08-10

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Relatives of the victims of an air crash in 2005, that killed all 121 persons on board, have filed lawsuits against those they believe are responsible for the crash and expressed hope that this will be the last time they organise events to demand justice. Nicolas Yasoumis, who heads the committee of relatives of the victims, told CNA today that two years after the plane crash at Grammatiko site in Athens, the relatives have filed lawsuits in Greek and Cypriot courts against Boeing, the former Helios airline and the Republic of Cyprus which is responsible for the Civil Aviation Department.

    On 14 August 2005, an Helios Airways Boeing 737, on its way to Prague via Athens, crashed into the mountain side north of the Greek capital killing all 121 passengers and crew on board, most of them Cypriot holidaymakers. Yasoumis said on Saturday, the relatives will light candles in all towns of the government controlled part of Cyprus, in memory of the victims. A memorial service will be held on Sunday in the presence of President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos. Yasoumis said that around 120 relatives will leave on Monday for Athens to attend a service at the site of the crash.

    Referring to the lawsuits, Yasoumis said that they were filed by Cypriot and Greek relatives in Greece against Boeing and Helios and in Cypriot courts against the Republic of Cyprus. Administering justice and punishing those who are guilty will be based on a report by Akrivos Tsolakis, the Greek investigator into the cause of the crash, said Yasoumis, adding we hope that this is the last time we have to hold events demanding justice and punishment for those responsible for the death of our loved ones.


    Cyprus first Ambassador to Montenegro, Omiros Mavrommatis, has presented his credentials to President Filip Vujanovic, who expressed his countrys support to a peaceful solution of the Cyprus problem. According to an official press release, President Vujanovic said Montenegro also supported the reunification of Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion and continuing occupation of the islands northern part.

    Referring to Cyprus achievements in the economic sector, Vujanovic pointed out that Cyprus is a model to be copied and asked for assistance to develop Montenegros economy and especially tourism and shipping.

    Ambassador Mavrommatis, who is based in Belgrade, assured Vujanovic that Cyprus will grant every possible assistance and that he will work to enhance relations between the two countries.


    Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Minister Photis Photiou has said that for the time being there will not be any restrictions on the supply of water but warned that if the public does not help in the effort to save water, the Ministry will be forced to impose water supply cuts. Speaking after a meeting on the water situation in Cyprus, the minister said that the dams capacity currently stands at only 18 % and if there is no rainfall by the end of the year, then in the beginning of 2008 we will have only two million cubic metres of waters in the dams, which translates into no water.

    Photiou said the Ministry went ahead with temporary solutions so that we will have additional quantities by next May and June, while tenders for the new mobile desalination plant will open early September. He expressed the hope that these measures will yield results, adding until then we have to take special measures to save water.

    Furthermore, the Ministry has decided to set up a programme for rural areas. Photiou said that efforts to proceed with private as well as community and regional bores are underway for irrigation purposes. He said the Cabinet has decided to increase the fine against those who waste water raising it from 30 to 50 Cyprus pounds. However, he said that if the public becomes sensitive to this issue, then the water shortage can be solved temporary.


    China has reiterated its firm support for a fair and lasting political settlement in Cyprus, that would reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. This position was outlined by China`s Ambassador to Cyprus Zhao Yali to Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoulli at a meeting on Friday.

    An official press release said that Zhao expressed the constant and unwavering support of the Chinese government to a just and viable solution of the Cyprus problem, based on UN Security Council resolutions and the principles of international law.

    Markoulli and Zhao discussed prospects for enhancing the already excellent bilateral relations and expanding bilateral cooperation in international for a, it added. The Foreign Minister reaffirmed Cyprus` support to the policy of a single China and deplored the secessionist efforts by Taiwan, which destabilise the region of Eastern Asia.

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