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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-08-29

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus has sent the largest firefighting mission of firemen and volunteers to Greece, to combat the huge blazes that have reduced vast expanses of the country to ashes over the past few days.

    A total of 137 Cypriot firemen, assisted by 12 fire engines from the island`s Fire Department, are currently in Greece, where they have joined forces with the Greek firefighters in Aliveri and Mount Seta of Euboea, Matesi in Elea, Lala area and Foloi forest near ancient Olympia in Peloponnesus.

    The Cypriot firemen, along with members of Cyprus` Civil Defence and volunteers, were trying to contain and extinguish the fires, in addition to guarding areas to prevent any rekindling of fires.

    Prime Minister of Greece Costas Karamanlis has expressed gratitude for the assistance offered by other countries and admiration for their altruism in carrying out the difficult task of fighting the raging fires. He also thanked them for their solidarity with the people of Greece.

    Greek Government Spokesman Theodoros Rousopoulos referred yesterday to a proposal by Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos to rebuild a community that was badly affected by the fires.

    Rousopoulos said the villages of Artemida, Makitsos and Smerna were in a dire situation, noting that these were the communities with the most victims.

    Mayor of the village of Aliveri in Greece Katerina Karapa has told Cypriot Minister of the Interior Christos Patsalides that ``Aliveri was saved thanks to the Cypriots.``

    Patsalides said he had contacted Karapa to thank her for the psychological support and care the Cypriot mission received in Aliveri and expressed the undivided support of the government and people of Cyprus to the Greeks.

    Opposition PASOK leader in Greece George Papandreou has contacted President Papadopoulos to thank him for Cyprus` assistance.

    Furthermore, a delegation of the Church of Cyprus flew to Greece on Tuesday to visit the affected Metropolis in Greece and be briefed by the local Metropolitan Bishops about the situation in their districts, so as to arrange for further assistance.

    Cyprus` Red Cross President Photini Papadopoulou has sent a message to her Greek counterpart Andreas Martinis, expressing sorrow for the victims of the fires in Greece.

    She also announced a contribution of 10,000 pounds (1 Cyprus pound is trading at approximately 1.71 euro) for the relief of the victims of the national disaster.

    The Red Cross has also announced a pancyprian collection for items such as sheets, blankets and towels to cover immediate needs of the affected people in Greece.

    In Cyprus, political parties, banks, organisations and institutions have expressed grief regarding the situation in Greece and have opened bank accounts or organised collections for the relief of the victims.


    The intense verbal interference of the Turkish army in political developments in the country concern Cyprus as well as the European Union, said Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis.

    In statements after returning to Cyprus from Bled, Slovenia, where she participated in the conference entitled ``EU 2002: Enlargement and Completion``, organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Slovenia, Marcoullis repeated that irrespective of the election procedures in Turkey, the Cyprus problem remains in the hands of the Turkish army.


    An earth tremor, measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale, was recorded on Tuesday evening, at 22:55 local time (1955 GMT) .

    According to the Geological Survey Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, chances of aftershocks are remote.

    A Department press release says the epicenter of the quake was in Aradippou area, in Larnaca district, on the south, at a depth of 10 km. The tremor was felt in the Nicosia and Larnaca districts. There have been no reports of casualties or damage.

    Seismologist Kyriacos Solomi of the Geological Survey Department told CNA today that, although nothing can be ruled out, it is not likely that there will be aftershocks, since no seismic activity has been reported after the initial earthquake.


    Cyprus Airways Group loss has reached 6.82 million Cyprus pounds during the first six months of 2007, compared to a loss of 23.32 m. in the corresponding period of 2006.

    The total revenue of the Group, excluding Eurocyprias revenue (21,1 million) from the comparative figures of 2006, increased by 8,1 million or 12,3% to 73,8 million in the first six monthly period of 2007, according to the consolidated results for the first six months of 2007, approved by the Board of Directors of Cyprus Airways in August.

    The Groups operating expenditure, which includes cost of sales and administration expenses, was 79,3 million in the first six months of 2007 and appears lower because the 2006 comparative numbers include the operating expenditure of Eurocypria Airlines of 22,2 million

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