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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-09-09
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
THURSDAY 9 SEPTEMBER 1999
 HEADLINESThe Republic of Cyprus signs a financing agreement with the European Union;
Turkish-Cypriot leader Denktash is today scheduled to meet with the UN Secretary-General in New York;
Cyprus' Ecologists pan the government's policy on tourism;
An out-of-control lorry kills five people in Paphos;
Greek and international rescue teams continue their grim work on the outskirts of Athens, in the aftermath of Tuesday's quake;
Israel proceeds with the implementation of the amended Wye River peace accord;
Pro-Jakarta militias in East Timor call a ceasefire;
Cyprus takes a heavy thrashing from Spain in the Euro-2000 football cup fixtures.
 CLERIDES VASSILIOUThe Cyprus Republic, along with the other ten EU candidate-states, has signed an agreement with the European Union within the framework of the PHAROS programme, aimed at the financing of candidate-states in order to facilitate efforts towards harmonisation with the acquis communautaire.
The statement was made this morning by the head of the Cyprus-EU negotiating team, George Vassiliou, after a meeting with President of the Republic Glafkos Clerides. Describing the agreement as extremely significant both economically and politically, Mr Vassiliou added that Cyprus has also recently signed the TINA agreement governing transport and communications within the EU.
The head of the Cyprus-EU negotiating team is to go to Brussels in order to negotiate the exact terms of the agreements and to submit to the EU the programmes for which Cyprus seeks financing.
 DENKTASH ANNANTurkish-Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is today scheduled to meet with UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in New York, while all indications to date are that Mr Denktash will insist on his refusal to attend UN-sponsored face-to-face with Cypriot President Glafkos Clerides.
Yesterday, in an address at New York's Centre for Middle Eastern Studies, the Turkish-Cypriot leader repeated his demand that the only talks possible would be those between two sovereign states.
 ECOLOGISTS VS TOURISMThe Cyprus Ecologists-Environmentalists Movement today expressed its concern over the policy currently exercised by the island's Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, and asks for a re-evaluation of the policy in order to safeguard the natural and cultural character of Cyprus.
In a relevant announcement, the Movement notes that the island's authorities are promoting the establishment of casinos, golf courses and marinas without taking into account existing expert and feasibility studies. The announcement also makes reference to a governmental plan to grant an operating license to a floating casino, and describes the action as a short-sighted and short-lived approach, with flash-in-the-pan profits as the only criterion.
 PAPHOS FATALITYA freak road accident along the Paphos-Mesogi road yesterday afternoon led to the deaths of five individuals: two children and a three-member German family.
The deceased are 5-year-old Alexandra Economides from Paphos, 9-year-old Demetris Papageorgiou from Tsadha, German couple Hans and Christa Gerhardt, 45 and 46 years old respectively, and their 18-year-old son Jens, in Cyprus for holidays.
According to preliminary police investigations, the accident occured when a lorry loaded with construction materials en route to Paphos careened out of control in a residential area, probably due to brake failure, and ploughed through vehicles, buildings, trees and electricity pylons along a two-kilometre downhill stretch of road near Mesogi.
A number of other people, including relatives of the deceased, were seriously injured in the accident, while the driver and co-driver of the lorry, Hassan Ayier and Kyriakos Xenophontos, sustained light injuries.
 GREECE QUAKEGreek and international rescue teams working in heavy rain early this morning freed more survivors from the wreckage of an Athens factory in the aftermath of Tuesday's 5.9 Richter earthquake that has so far led to the deaths of 72 people and has left thousands homeless.
Speaking to Reuters, an Athens Fire Department spokesman said that two more people had been rescued from the Ricomex detergent factory, adding that rescue crews were inches away from a trapped woman.
The Health and Welfare Ministry said 45 people were still missing. Twelve children are among the dead and a total of 1,557 people were injured, with 179 hospitalised, 25 with serious injuries. By early today, rescuers had pulled 102 survivors from the rubble, and tent cities were being set up in Athens' northwest suburbs to help shelter some 16,000 homeless.
Environment ministry inspectors said 80% of about 1,100 buildings examined in the quake-hit area were too damaged to be habitable.
 MIDEASTIsrael has begun its announced release of Palestinian prisoners, setting in motion Prime Minister Ehud Barak's first peace moves following a 10-month freeze.
Four busloads of prisoners pulled out of Shikma prison near the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon after dawn today, with many of the prisoners smiling and flashing a "V" for victory sign through the windows even though their wrists were bound by plastic cuffs.
Israeli officials said 200 Palestinians were being freed from four prisons and a prison hospital, and are being taken to military crossing points in the West Bank and Gaza to be reunited with their families.
Their release follows yesterday's 54-23 vote of approval in Israel's parliament for the amended Wye River accord signed on Sunday by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, who took office in July vowing to revive peace moves frozen by his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu.
 E.TIMORA leader of pro-Jakarta gangs responsible for the wave of killings in East Timor announced this morning that the militias had called a ceasefire in the bloodstained territory. In a telephone interview with Portugal's RDP radio, Herminio da Silva Costa said that militias had halted their campaign at midday local time (or 0400 GMT) yesterday. "We have stopped everything" he said.
Meanwhile, about half of the 2,000 East Timorese refugees sheltering inside the besieged UN compound in the capital Dili, are reported to have fled into the mountains fearing that they will be massacred if the United Nations evacuates.
The United Nations recommended the evacuation yesterday, after Indonesia's imposition of martial law showed no improvement in security, as militias continued killing and looting in protest at a vote for independence for East Timor on August 30th. The international organisation has since delayed for 24 hours its evacuation of Dili, until tomorrow morning.
 SPAIN-CYP FOOTBALLCyprus' national football team was trounced by a score of 8-nil in last night's away Euro-2000 qualifying match against Spain.
Following last night's fixtures, Spain has already secured its place in the final phase of the Euro-2000 Cup with 18 points. As regards the second team to advance to the finals, it's still a free-for-all among Israel with 13, Cyprus with 12 and Austria with 10 points, while San Marino is definitely out of the bidding having not yet won a match.
 WEATHERCloud cover is expected to increase by this afternoon, with the possibility of scattered showers, mainly over the mountains. Winds will be moderate to strong sea-breezes, 4-5BF, giving rise to correspondingly moderate seas in windward areas. Temperatures are not expected to exceed 34C inland, 31C along the coasts and 24C at higher altitudes.
Generally fair conditions are forecast for tonight, but mist and low cloud is expected to form in coastal regions. Winds will settle to light northwesterlies, 3BF, on generally slight seas, rising to moderate off west-facing windward shores, while temperatures are expected to drop to 20C inland and along the coasts, and 14C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
The fire hazard remains extremely high in all forest areas.