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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-11-20

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Road accidents in Cyprus are down by 8-10% this year, compared to 2007, even though the aim is to achieve a 20% decrease, Chief of Police Iacovos Papacostas said.

    In an interview with CNA, the Police Chief remarked that there have been great successes in efforts to combat drugs while similar accomplishments have been achieved in crime solving.

    He said that the Cyprus Police Force is highly respected and is greatly admired for its effective performance by overseas bodies.

    Papacostas told CNA that said Cyprus accession to the EU has led to sufficient staffing of various departments in order for the Force to have a respectable representation at international fora.

    ``We look at our European colleagues boldly because we have nothing to be jealous of ``, he added.

    The Chief of Police acknowledged that the Police Force is plagued by bureaucracy.

    Papacostas said that many of the problems, which the force is facing, derive from the areas of the Republic under Turkish occupation since 1974. The opening of crossing points to and from occupied Cyprus has contributed to the increase of criminality, Papacostas acknowledged, noting there is no cooperation with the so called police authorities in the occupied north. The assistance we require from the UN, in various instances, leads to time-consuming procedures, said Papacostas.

    The Police Chief noted that what particularly worries us, is that the occupied areas have become a haven for our fugitives``, said Papacostas to CNA.

    The type of cases which originate from the occupied areas concern smuggling in all its forms, theft and drugs especially heroin which travels from Afghanistan to Turkey, ends up in the occupied areas and subsequently to the free areas of the Republic.

    He noted that the increase in drug use is linked with the opening of crossing points and the movement from the Turkish occupied areas to the government controlled part of Cyprus.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islands northern third.

    Another headache for the Cyprus Police is the cooperation, which criminals from both sides maintain, and these links have become closer after the partial lifting of restrictions in the movement of people to and from the northern Turkish occupied areas and the opening of crossing points to and from occupied Cyprus. Their activities include drugs and forgery, Papacostas noted.

    In the midst of this circle of crime are illegal immigrants as well as criminals from EU countries and third countries who manage to find their way to Cyprus, he said.

    The Police Chief told CNA that he anticipates crime to rise significantly in reunited federal Cyprus since the ceasefire line will be abolished and movement will be unrestricted.

    ``The new Federal Police will face new challenges``, he said.

    Asked if the presence of European citizens and citizens from third countries creates problems to the Police, Papacostas said that figures indicate that the presence of foreigners, Europeans, legal and illegal immigrants has burdened not only the problem which Cyprus is facing with road traffic accidents but also the issue of crime. Latest figures show that 40-45% of the road traffic accidents and a 30-33% of the crime reported is caused by foreigners, he said.

    The reasons behind this are that in Cyprus traffic drives on the left while foreigners are used to different driving systems. They also purchase cheap vehicles, which are not fit for the road while the consumption of alcohol causes more accidents. In brief, I would say that the presence of European citizens and citizens from third countries does cause problems as far as crime and road traffic accidents are concerned, Papacostas added.

    Referring to the successes of the Police Force this year, Papacostas said these concentrate on combating drugs where drug traffickers have been greatly affected while the number of crimes has been lower, and this is something that can be proved in figures and statistics.

    He praised the good work carried out by the Police which collect information and have had several successes in combating crime, adding that this task becomes more difficult as time passes.


    President Demetris Christofias pledged on Thursday to continue to do his utmost in order to deepen further the excellent friendly relations between Russia and Cyprus.

    Speaking at a special ceremony where he was declared a distinguished honoured doctorate holder by the University of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, the President outlined his vision for his countrys future, in a reunited Cyprus, talked about bilateral relations, emphasizing the need for closer links in education and culture, stressed the pivotal role multi-party diplomacy can play and said it was imperative to reassess the architecture of European security.

    He also commented on the global financial crisis and its fallout on the world economy and noted that Cyprus today is one of the three main sources of foreign investment in Russia.

    The President said that the University decision to declare him an honoured doctorate holder reflected the deeper sentiments of appreciation and respect of the Russian people for Cyprus and its people.


    President Demetris Christofias concludes his official visit to Moscow on Thursday, having signed a joint declaration with the President of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev to develop further bilateral ties and cooperation.

    On Thursday morning President Christofias will be declared a distinguished honoured doctorate holder by the University of International Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.

    Later on, the President is due to meet Sergey Myronov, Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation and then he will give a press conference at ITAR-TASS offices.

    In the afternoon he will meet Moscow Mayor Yuri Louzkov and in the evening he will attend a concert and a reception, hosted by Cyprus Ambassador in Moscow Petros Kestoras.

    The President and the Cypriot delegation return on Friday.

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