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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-01-08

Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Mail at <http://www.cyprus-mail.com/>


Wednesday, January 8, 2002

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CONTENTS

  • [01] Dual candidacies divide DISY
  • [02] DIKO: Papadopoulos is fine
  • [03] Cyprus Polytechnic ready for business
  • [04] Road accidents mar return to work
  • [05] Woman, 55, in attempted robbery bid
  • [06] CoE calls for reconciliation
  • [07] Explosions destroy car, ruin shop fronts
  • [08] Football clubs beg government for financial aid
  • [09] Dual candidacies divide DISY
  • [10] Turkish Cypriot surveys have conflicting results
  • [11] Baghdatis prepares for Oz Open
  • [12] Explosions destroy car, ruin shop fronts
  • [13] Bi-communal committees meet on law reform

  • [01] Dual candidacies divide DISY

    By George Psyllides

    ALECOS MARKIDES' decision to run against President Glafcos Clerides has sparked conflict within DISY, as both men come from the same party. This is despite Markides' saying his candidacy was independent.

    DISY's political bureau has already said it would support Clerides though the final decision would be taken by the party's supreme council on Saturday.

    The initial decision to support Clerides did not go unopposed, with several members openly voicing their support for Markides.

    DISY deputy Prodromos Prodromou said yesterday that he did not see any reason why Clerides, at 85, should go through the election ordeal.

    Prodromou urged Clerides to rethink his decision to run and others not to put him through this.

    "He does not deserve such a thing," Prodromou said.

    He suggested Markides' candidacy was satisfactory for DISY and added the party should not be forced to make a decision excluding one or the other candidates.

    Prodromou proposed instead that the party should act as mediators in a meeting between Clerides and Markides in which both candidates sat together and decided on who should run in the elections.

    "I believe it should be Markides," Prodromou said.

    He said Markides could not only be supported by DISY but all the people as he was an independent.

    It would be "wrong and unthinkable" for the supreme council to exclude one of the two.

    He added: "We should try and get one of the two to step down."

    Ionas Nicolaou, another dissident deputy, accused the President's cronies of not thinking about this when they pressured Clerides to seek re- election.

    "They should have acted to prevent this situation," Nicolaou said.

    Nicolaou declined to name those he claimed put pressure on the President adding that the people would now face a dilemma, which could only hurt unity.

    "For the sake of unity and nothing more; because at this moment not only DISY supporters but Cypriots in general would face the dilemma of choosing between two close associates who handled the policy that got the results in Copenhagen," Nicolaou said.

    "This dilemma should have been avoided, he added.

    DISY chief Nicos Anastassiades however is certain not to go for the Markides option as he has already expressed his support for Clerides.

    Anastassiades said Markides did not have the right political judgement when he decided to run against Clerides.

    "He is not one who lacks brains; what I don't credit him with is the right political judgement," Anastassiades said.

    He said it was not the first time actions taken without serious consideration have led to bad outcomes and said Markides should have respected the leader he had co-operated with for so many years and at this point to recognise him and stand by his side.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [02] DIKO: Papadopoulos is fine

    D.I.K.O. yesterday rubbished rumours claiming its leader Tassos Papadopoulos could not speak due to a throat condition, which required an operation.

    "As we said before the president is suffering from acute laryngitis together with a heavy cold," Papadopoulos' spokesman Marios Karojian told the Cyprus Mail.

    Papadopoulos has not commented on any of the recent developments concerning the presidential elections - President Glafcos Clerides seeking re-election as well as Attorney-general Alecos Markides' decision to run -- sparking rumours he was suffering from a throat condition that forced him to travel abroad for surgery.

    Karojian said doctors have recommended that Papadopoulos not strain his voice and assured that in a few days he would be okay to express his views.

    Papadopoulos arrived on the island on Sunday and yesterday celebrated his 69th birthday in the company of television cameras, Karojian said.

    "For those who really care about the president's health, they can rest assured that he is okay and in a few days he will be able to speak and express his views," Karojian said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [03] Cyprus Polytechnic ready for business

    THE UNIVERSITY of Cyprus will be opening its Polytechnic School starting next academic year, the administration announced yesterday.

    The school will offer degrees in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer engineering, civil engineering, architectonics and environmental engineering.

    The four-year study programs are modelled on both international academic standards and on the peculiarities of the local education system.

    According to the university's announcement, candidates will need to pass exams in Modern Greek, mathematics, physics and one of chemistry, biology and technology to enter.

    Professors will be answering questions about the school today from 6pm to 9pm at the university's main hall.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [04] Road accidents mar return to work

    A 72-YEAR-OLD woman was yesterday rushed to hospital with head injuries when she was knocked over by an oncoming car while trying to cross the road.

    At around 6.30am a 46-year-old man from Palouriotissa hit Theodoula Hadjistylianou while she was trying to cross Kennedy Avenue in Nicosia near E&S supermarket.

    According to police reports, the pensioner was rushed to Nicosia hospital, where she is being kept in the surgical ward. Nicosia police are investigating the accident.

    A 16-year-old Limassol boy was yesterday arrested after violating a series of road safety laws, said police.

    Police were carrying out routine checks on Akademias Street in Yermasoyia when they asked the minor to pull over. According to police the youth instead sped off, jumped a red light and proceeded to collide into an oncoming vehicle. He was finally pulled over on Nikolaou Gregora Street and arrested.

    The boy had two female passengers with him, also 16 years old.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [05] Woman, 55, in attempted robbery bid

    By Sofia Kannas

    A FIFTY-FIVE year old woman was arrested on Monday night after attempting to rob a Limassol bakery at knifepoint.

    The attempted robbery took place at the 'Sun Fresh' bakery on Ayia Filaxeos Street at 7.45pm.

    The would-be thief entered the shop brandishing a knife, her face obscured by a black hood, and proceeded to demand money from the shop assistant working behind the till.

    Coincidentally, two policemen were in the bakery when the incident occurred, and were able to restrain and disarm the female intruder.

    She was initially arrested for attempted armed robbery but will not be charged after it was ascertained that she suffered psychological problems.

    An unemployed widow, the woman apparently tried to rob the bakery when she became desperate to send money to her two sons studying in Canada.

    She was reduced to the attempted robbery after she found herself in severe financial difficulty.

    The woman has been admitted to a Limassol psychiatric unit for treatment.

    Limassol police said yesterday that the incident could be the first ever attempted armed robbery by a woman in Cyprus.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [06] CoE calls for reconciliation

    By Alexia Saoulli

    THE COUNCIL of Europe's (CoE) Secretary-general, Walter Schwimmer, said yesterday the CoE fully supported a solution to the Cyprus problem and would contribute towards the reconciliation of both communities on the island.

    "There is now a window of opportunity to find a solution, in particular also with a change of mood of the Turkish Cypriot population and a new attitude of the Turkish government in Ankara," Schwimmer told journalists following a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides yesterday morning.

    He added that the CoE would do whatever it could to support a solution and, in the event of an agreement, would contribute to reconciling the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities.

    Schwimmer, who is in Cyprus on a five-day official visit, yesterday held "very constructive and very positive" meetings with Clerides, House president Demetris Christofias and Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides.

    "We are interested in finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and in reunifying the island. We do not want to see any more divided lines or cities in Europe," said Schwimmer, adding both sides had to take advantage of the present favourable political situation. And he agreed with Christofias that a solution had to respect the human rights and basic freedoms of all communities living on the island and hoped that "the Cypriot representation's empty place in the CoE would soon be filled by Turkish Cypriots".

    Other than the Cyprus problem, the Secretary-general and Cassoulides discussed the CoE's continued struggle to fight migration, money laundering, organised crime, racism and xenophobia issues. Schwimmer commended Cyprus as an active player within the CoE and said its attempts to strengthen stability and peace in Europe had not gone unnoticed. Cassoulides said, this was because, despite the island's small size, it had upheld the Council's foundations as it gave great importance to democracy, the protection of human rights and state justice.

    Commenting on Clerides' surprise announcement last Friday that he planned to stand for re-election in next month's presidential elections, Schwimmer said he was "impressed by President Clerides' personal commitment to a solution of this conflict".

    "He informed me," said Schwimmer, "about his intentions (and) why he wants to run again for president for a period of 16 months. I think that it is a great success for President Clerides that Cyprus is accepted a s a new member-country of the European Union and he wants to use that time until the final accession to the EU (on May 1, 2004) and to a find a solution to the reunification of the island".

    Schwimmer will meet today with political parties from both sides at the Ledra Palace hotel checkpoint at 9am.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [07] Explosions destroy car, ruin shop fronts

    By Sofia Kannas

    A POWERFUL car bomb exploded in Makedonitissa on Monday night, destroying a BMW worth an estimated 35,000.

    According to police reports yesterday the device went off at 8.15pm in the parking lot of a block of flats on Elia Papakyriakou street.

    The car belonged to 38 year-old Andreas Symeou from Makedonitissa.

    Preliminary examinations at the scene by police have shown the homemade bomb used contained highly explosive materials.

    The cost of damage to the vehicle is estimated at around 15.000.

    Two bombs also exploded in the early hours of Tuesday in Limassol.

    The first explosion occurred at 1.50am after an incendiary device went off under the car of 38 year-old Nicos Constantinou.

    Constantinou's Mazda was parked outside his house on Arcadia street when the homemade device went off, causing widespread damage to the car. A vehicle parked nearby belonging to Maria Irakleous was also damaged.

    A second explosion occurred in Limassol at 4.45am yesterday.

    This latest blast was caused by a hand grenade that exploded on the road outside a block of flats on Limassol's Omonia avenue.

    The scale of the damage was considerable with the blast shattering the shop windows of a pharmacy, a kiosk and a shop selling car spare parts. Six vehicles parked on the pavement near to the scene of the explosion were also damaged.

    Possible motives behind all three of the bomb explosions have yet to be ascertained by police.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [08] Football clubs beg government for financial aid

    CASH-STRAPPED football clubs, hard-pressed to meet UEFA solvency criteria, have kicked off a campaign to secure additional financial aid from the government.

    Their haste was understandable, given that clubs have until May to get their accounts in order. Failure to attain the financial standards set by UEFA will result in crippling sanctions, most notably disbarment from European football competitions as of the 2003-2004 season. If UEFA gets serious, non-compliant clubs could even be prohibited from making foreign signings.

    Cypriot clubs, traditionally the underdogs in the Champions League and UEFA Cup, have in recent years visibly improved. More recently, defending champions APOEL of Nicosia showed they can mix it in the UEFA Cup. Participation in European competitions naturally means a great deal of cash for clubs - ticket sales plus broadcasting rights-although some would argue there are political gains for the country as well.

    Europe's top football organisation has laid out criteria in five main fields that football clubs must adhere to: sporting, finances, infrastructure, personnel and administrative, and legal issues.

    UEFA states that the aim of its financial criteria are to strengthen the economic and financial capacity of the clubs, increase their transparency and credibility, and place the necessary importance on the protection of creditors. The infrastructure criteria - the other thorny issue for Cypriot clubs - include local authority safety certificates for the stadium, an approved evacuation plan, a minimum capacity of 3,000 seats, a first aid room, suitable media facilities and a playing field of natural grass or artificial turf of a designated size.

    Cypriot Division 1 football clubs, some of them heavily debt-ridden, will have their work cut out complying with these standards in the immediate future, and have turned to the government for financial assistance. They are asking for 5 million yearly; initial reports suggested that clubs had also asked for 20 million in loans at low interest rates, but football powerbrokers yesterday said this was probably not a consideration anymore.

    Other demands include clubs' exemption from paying VAT, income tax and social security. The key here is the parliament, which can approve and allocate funds and institute special legislation.

    The lobbying started yesterday, with the presidents of Division 1 clubs and senior KOP [Cyprus Football Association] officials meeting with House Speaker Demetris Christofias. No commitments were made after the meet, but KOP said it would be making an announcement later today. It was not clear yesterday the association would be making a decision, but a source told the Cyprus Mail that "things were looking good" for the clubs.

    Following the meeting with Christofias, KOP president Costakis Koutsokoumnis clarified that the association was not asking the government to pay for clubs' accumulated debts. He noted that the issue "must be resolved by March or April at the latest, otherwise Cyprus' football might not be represented in Europe at all." As he conceded, "none of the 14 First Division clubs currently satisfy UEFA criteria."

    Although Koutsokoumnis said the House Speaker was "firmly on KOP's side," he added that this season the government's financial aid had dropped from 1.3 million to one million pounds. Of this sum, approximately 400,000 were allocated to policing the stadia.

    That raises the question of whether the government will be willing to make the big jump to 5 million. But there are other complications; not all clubs are in agreement as to how government funds should be shared out. It is estimated that, in total, First Division clubs have 10 million in debts, but the lion's share falls to a small minority. One Famagusta club reportedly owes 4 million, and Nicosia powerhouses APOEL and Omonia reportedly are both one million pounds in the red.

    Barring a decision today, KOP officials and club representatives will next be meeting with KISOS party chairman and presidential candidate Yiannakis Omirou on 20 January. The lobbying coincides with the run-up to the national elections, with pundits suggesting this is the best time for football powerbrokers to get what they want from the government.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [09] Dual candidacies divide DISY

    By George Psyllides

    ALECOS MARKIDES' decision to run against President Glafcos Clerides has sparked conflict within DISY, as both men come from the same party. This is despite Markides' saying his candidacy was independent.

    DISY's political bureau has already said it would support Clerides though the final decision would be taken by the party's supreme council on Saturday.

    The initial decision to support Clerides did not go unopposed, with several members openly voicing their support for Markides.

    DISY deputy Prodromos Prodromou said yesterday that he did not see any reason why Clerides, at 85, should go through the election ordeal.

    Prodromou urged Clerides to rethink his decision to run and others not to put him through this.

    "He does not deserve such a thing," Prodromou said.

    He suggested Markides' candidacy was satisfactory for DISY and added the party should not be forced to make a decision excluding one or the other candidates.

    Prodromou proposed instead that the party should act as mediators in a meeting between Clerides and Markides in which both candidates sat together and decided on who should run in the elections.

    "I believe it should be Markides," Prodromou said.

    He said Markides could not only be supported by DISY but all the people as he was an independent.

    It would be "wrong and unthinkable" for the supreme council to exclude one of the two.

    He added: "We should try and get one of the two to step down."

    Ionas Nicolaou, another dissident deputy, accused the President's cronies of not thinking about this when they pressured Clerides to seek re- election.

    "They should have acted to prevent this situation," Nicolaou said.

    Nicolaou declined to name those he claimed put pressure on the President adding that the people would now face a dilemma, which could only hurt unity.

    "For the sake of unity and nothing more; because at this moment not only DISY supporters but Cypriots in general would face the dilemma of choosing between two close associates who handled the policy that got the results in Copenhagen," Nicolaou said.

    "This dilemma should have been avoided, he added.

    DISY chief Nicos Anastassiades however is certain not to go for the Markides option as he has already expressed his support for Clerides.

    Anastassiades said Markides did not have the right political judgement when he decided to run against Clerides.

    "He is not one who lacks brains; what I don't credit him with is the right political judgement," Anastassiades said.

    He said it was not the first time actions taken without serious consideration have led to bad outcomes and said Markides should have respected the leader he had co-operated with for so many years and at this point to recognise him and stand by his side.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [10] Turkish Cypriot surveys have conflicting results

    By Alex Mita

    A STAGGERING majority of soldiers serving in the Turkish army and in the 'police' in the North are in favour of UN Secretary-general Kofi Annan's plan for a solution, according to a survey carried out by Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kibris.

    According to Kibris, the survey, carried out on 1,194 Turkish Cypriots showed that 85 per cent of soldiers and 75 per cent of 'police officers' were in favour of the Annan plan.

    The results showed that two-thirds of those asked were in favour of the plan and that they would vote yes on a referendum scheduled for March 31 in the event of a deal on being reached.

    Kibris claimed that 75 per cent of those in favour of the plan live in Morphou, an area destined to be returned to Greek Cypriot control according to the maps submitted in the plan.

    However, in an article yesterday entitled 'Trust in Denktash', nationalist newspaper Volcan claimed its own survey showed that 79.8 per cent of those asked were strictly opposed to the Annan plan and that they would like Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash to remain in power and represent the Turkish Cypriots in negotiations over the Cyprus problem.

    According to Volcan, 79.8 per cent of those asked were against the plan, 17.6 per cent were in favour, while 1.1 per cent had said they had not decided and 1.5 per cent refused to answer the question.

    Volcan claimed 70.2 per cent of those asked said they saw no reason to replace Denktash as the head the Turkish Cypriot side's negotiating team, while 24.6 per cent said he should be replaced.

    According to the survey 64 per cent of those asked said a solution within one year was out of the question as opposed to 32.4 per cent who believe a solution is achievable, while the majority of the 1,250 people included in the survey feel the plan doesn't secure their sovereignty and equality.

    Volcan claimed that 69.4 per cent of those asked were not in favour for the return of Greek Cypriots to the North.

    Volcan slammed the leader of the Republican Turkish Party, Mehmet Ali Talat, when he said on an interview that he was not opposed to the return of 52 occupied villages to Greek Cypriot control, nor to the relocation of their 55,000 Turkish Cypriot inhabitants.

    The paper quotes Talat as saying that he was not "bothered if cantons were created in Karpasia and Kormakitis," and that Turkish Cypriots residing in those areas should be relocated.

    According to Volcan, Talat said he was "not opposed to the return of Greek Cypriots to the North since everyone has the right to reclaim his property, especially when he had the title deeds."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [11] Baghdatis prepares for Oz Open

    MARCOS Baghdatis yesterday left his Paris training base to fly to Australia in preparation for this year's Open.

    Baghdatis goes into the new year full of confidence and hoping to build on the success of 2002 where he ended the year ranked number two in the world junior rankings after having won a number of satellite tournaments and making it to the final of the US Open.

    Baghdatis was recently in Cyprus visiting his family and received his visa from Australian High Commissioner Frank Ingruber, an avid tennis fan. Ingruber was present at the 17-year old Cypriot's first tournament victory - the Aphrodite Cup in 2000.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [12] Explosions destroy car, ruin shop fronts

    By Sofia Kannas

    A POWERFUL car bomb exploded in Makedonitissa on Monday night, destroying a BMW worth an estimated 35,000.

    According to police reports yesterday the device went off at 8.15pm in the parking lot of a block of flats on Elia Papakyriakou street.

    The car belonged to 38 year-old Andreas Symeou from Makedonitissa.

    Preliminary examinations at the scene by police have shown the homemade bomb used contained highly explosive materials.

    The cost of damage to the vehicle is estimated at around 15.000.

    Two bombs also exploded in the early hours of Tuesday in Limassol.

    The first explosion occurred at 1.50am after an incendiary device went off under the car of 38 year-old Nicos Constantinou.

    Constantinou's Mazda was parked outside his house on Arcadia street when the homemade device went off, causing widespread damage to the car. A vehicle parked nearby belonging to Maria Irakleous was also damaged.

    A second explosion occurred in Limassol at 4.45am yesterday.

    This latest blast was caused by a hand grenade that exploded on the road outside a block of flats on Limassol's Omonia avenue.

    The scale of the damage was considerable with the blast shattering the shop windows of a pharmacy, a kiosk and a shop selling car spare parts. Six vehicles parked on the pavement near to the scene of the explosion were also damaged.

    Possible motives behind all three of the bomb explosions have yet to be ascertained by police.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [13] Bi-communal committees meet on law reform

    By Alexia Saoulli

    MEMBERS OF the two ad hoc technical committees on the Cyprus problem met yesterday in a bid to try and draw up common laws for a unified island.

    The Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot legal experts met for the first time, under the chairmanship of the United Nations within the buffer zone, to discuss procedural aspects and chart a course for the technical work ahead, according to a UN press release.

    Attorney-general Alecos Markides, who heads the Greek Cypriot committees on treaties and common state laws, said the groups had dealt with outlining a timeframe, how the work would be carried out as well as fundamental rules that would govern both committees' roles.

    "The main aim was to meet up and discuss timetables. for a first encounter there was a good atmosphere," he said. According to Reuters, lawyers agreed to set a timetable of meetings until February 28, the UN deadline for a deal on power sharing.

    It was agreed that the committee on treaties would meet again today and on Friday, and the committee on common state laws would meet tomorrow. "In view of the workload of the committees, it is envisaged that the schedule will further intensify starting from next week," the UN said yesterday.

    Meanwhile UN Special Envoy Alvaro de Soto is expected back on the island within the next few days after visiting in Greece and Turkey. According to Turkish News Agency reports, during his stay in Ankara, he is expected to discuss the latest Cyprus problems developments with officials there.

    However President Glafcos Clerides was yesterday unable to say what the UN's intentions were at this time as he had not received any such information yet. But, he added: "It is likely we will have it when Mr De Soto returns."

    At the moment negotiations are hindered by reservations expressed by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to key provisions in the UN power- sharing blueprint, and by next month's presidential elections on February 16.

    Meanwhile Turkish Cypriot support for Denktash has dwindled according to Turkish Cypriot newspaper Miliet warning that Turkish Cypriots would soon secure Greek Cypriot passports and leave the island.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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