|Wednesday, 28 February 2024
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 03-08-01
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HeadlinesHouse Speaker Demetris Christofias said the Annan plan needs to be revised to help Cyprus meet its EU obligations,
Political parties are preparing their official reaction to the last night's new appointments to quango boards,
The European Court of Human Rights has again ruled against Turkey in cases involving denial of property use and access in the occupied north,
AND a new tape has surfaced with what is claimed to be Saddam Hussein's voice urging Iraqis to fight on.
 ChristofiasHouse Speaker Demetris Christofias said the Cyprus government is ready to re-start settlement talks based on the Annan plan whenever the UN Chief puts out the invitation.
Mr. Christofias said with the necessary revisions and improvements, the Annan blueprint can lead to a viable settlement.
The House Speaker said recent developments, like the island's EU accession and Turkey's ambition to join the bloc, bode well for settlement prospects.
Mr. Christofias made the remarks last night at a gathering of refugee clubs from occupied Lapithos and Karavas.
 Christofias2In an interview with the Athens News Agency, Mr. Christofias said the Annan plan must be revised in such a way so as to allow Cyprus to fulfill its obligations to the European Union.
At the same time, the timetable for the return of refugees should be condensed.
The House Speaker said the changes are warranted by virtue of the fact that Cyprus has signed its EU accession treaty and because both communities have embraced each other in recent months.
Referring to December's so-called parliamentary elections in the north, Mr. Christofias said the forces that want change could be strengthened by the outcome.
The House Speaker added that the US has taken the initiative in settlement efforts and may initiate a diplomatic flurry this autumn.
But he pointed to UN Chief Kofi Annan's reluctance to call for new talks because of Rauf Denktash's negative stance.
 CouncilsAfter marathon discussions, Cabinet late last night came out with a list of new appointees to semi-state organisation boards.
Ruling Akel was handed the Chairman's seat on four quango boards including the Cyprus Sports Organisation and the Town Planning Board.
Cyprus News Agency Board Chairman is now researcher Aristos Aristotelous, a former Akel candidate for Parliament.
The Democratic Party took three Board Chairmanships, including the Telecommunications Authority and the Tourism Board.
Socialist Edek received the Ports and Licensing Authorities, while the Greens took the Land Development Organisation.
Among the new chairmen are Stavros Kremos who takes over at the Telecommunications Authority, businessman and former minister Andreas Aloneftis how now heads the CyBC and accountant Fotis Fotiou who takes charge of the Tourism Organisation.
 Councils2In the first reactions to the appointments, opposition Disy spokesman Tasos Mitsopoulos said his party will study the composition of the boards and will make its position known shortly.
Diko deputy chief Nicos Cleanthous dismissed suggestions of any dissention within the party over the appointments.
Edek Chief Yiannakis Omirou said the new Boards will put their stamp on renewal and modernisation.
Commerce Minister George Lillikas said many young people, including a large number of women, have been appointed who are bringing a host of top-grade qualifications to their new jobs.
 Human RightsThe European Court of Human Rights has ruled against Turkey in two separate cases for violating property owners' right to use and have access to in the occupied north.
The cases were filed in 1998 by Ioannis Demades, and Eugenia Michailidou Developments together with Michael Tymvios.
In both cases, the court ruled six votes to one against by the Turkish judge that provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights have been contravened.
In the Demades case, it's the first time that the Court has ruled in favour of an individual who is not a refugee. The ruling concerned denial of enjoyment of a holiday home in the north.
The Turkish judge's effort to postpone the cases and gain recognition for the occupation regime failed after the Court decided that recourse to Rauf Denktash's courts, in order to exhaust all domestic remedies, was impossible at this late stage.
The Court will decide on compensation in the next few months.
Speaking to CyBC, lawyers Christos Clerides and Achilleas Demetriades called the Court rulings as a tremendous success for Cyprus.
Mr. Clerides said this is the second time that the Court has ruled on cases filed by individuals after the landmark Titina Loizidou case.
 GrainFarmers' associations reacted angrily to government plans to purchase 1,500 tonnes of Turkish Cypriot grain from fields in the Potamia and Louroudjina area.
Wheat growers said the government decision essentially legalises the occupation of the island's northern third and gives a financial shot in the arm to the Denktash regime.
Wheat Growers Association President Andreas Theophanous said part of the grain that will be purchased was cultivated on Greek Cypriot-owned land.
However, Interior Minister Andreas Christou rebuffed the claim, saying that the plan purchase concerns cereals grown on Turkish Cypriot land.
 EvkafThe Turkish Cypriot religious organisation Evkaf is demanding that the Cyprus government pays the outrageous sum of 500 billion dollars as compensation for use of its property in Larnaca.
According to the Turkish Cypriot press, Evkaf will settle for 173 million dollars as a first installment.
Property belonging to Evkaf is protected under the Constitution.
Meanwhile, Evkaf Chief Taner Dervish said a plan is in the pipeline to open the fenced-off area of Famagusta.
According to Mr. Dervish, the opening of the area will boost the occupation regime's coffers by 100% and will create 15,000 new jobs.
 crashA 20--year-old Yeri man was critically injured shortly after midnight in a traffic accident on the old Nicosia-Limassol road.
Police said Loukas Zipis lost control of his car near the Dali industrial area, rolling over repeatedly.
Zipis was not wearing his seatbelt. He was taken by ambulance to Nicosia General Hospital where his condition is described as critical.
 SaddamA new audiotape purportedly from former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein was broadcast today, urging "faithful" Iraqis to fight and drive out U.S. forces.
The speaker conceded that some "low and undignified" Iraqis had collaborated with the U.S. forces.
In a tape broadcast by another Arab television station on Tuesday, Saddam apparently mourned the death of his two dead sons Uday and Qusay, saying that they died as martyrs and vowed America would be defeated.
The CIA said it believed Tuesday's tape was almost certainly authentic.
 LiberiaWest African foreign ministers are in Monrovia to smooth the exit of President Charles Taylor as Liberians celebrated news that peacekeepers were poised to deploy and end two weeks of slaughter.
West African leaders yesterday approved the dispatch of the first peacekeeping troops by Monday at the latest, and called on Taylor to go into exile in Nigeria three days later.
The Economic Community of West African States which is providing the peacekeepers with logistical support from the United Nations and United States, said Taylor should honour his pledge to leave Liberia and go after troops deploy.
A senior Taylor aide said the president would leave as soon as he felt comfortable with the peacekeepers' deployment.
Rebel Liberians have been trying to oust Taylor, a former foe in a brutal civil war which left 200,000 civilians dead in the 1990s.
 mideastIsrael announced plans to build new homes at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip in defiance of a U.S.-backed peace plan, just a day after U.S. President George W. Bush said the initiative was on track.
The Palestinians said the tender for 22 new homes in the Neveh Dekalim settlement was a blow to the peace "road map" and undermined efforts to rebuild trust after 34 months of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The United States said it was still discussing with Israel the meaning of what Palestinians see as a crucial part of the first phase of the "road map" -- an end to settlement activity in Palestinian territories.
And in a further blow to cautious peace hopes, Israel and the Palestinians failed to agree on a handover of two West Bank cities to the Palestinians.
 weatherA seasonal low pressure system is blanketing the island.
This afternoon will be fine with moderate sea breezes, force 3 to 4 with slight seas.
Temperatures will reach 39 degrees inland, 35 on the south coast, 30 on the west and 29 in the highest mountains.
More fine conditions tonight with a change of fog and low cloud developing along the coasts.
Winds will be northwesterly light, force 2 to 3, with calm to slight seas.
Temperatures will drop to 22 degrees inland, 23 on the coasts and 18 in the mountains.
Fine conditions are expected to carry through the next three days.
A reminder, as always, that the fire hazard is extremely high in all forest areas.