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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 98-02-01

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Sunday, February 1, 1998


  • [01] EU 'welcomes accession talks'
  • [02] Cassoulides defends building of base
  • [03] Clerides under fire from Vassiliou
  • [04] Special voting arrangements for the enclaved
  • [05] Sophie the sheep is on the lam
  • [06] Police investigate shooting
  • [07] Heavy security for Tekke visit
  • [08] Plan for 30 per cent tree cover
  • [09] Achna remember their last defeat
  • [10] Omonia reclaim top spot

  • [01] EU 'welcomes accession talks'

    CYPRUS' European Union accession is "welcomed" by the EU, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said yesterday.

    Speaking in London after a two-hour meeting with his American counterpart Madeleine Albright, Cook noted that "Cyprus has a higher standard of living and a stronger economy than many countries who are aiming at the applicant list."

    On the subject of Turkish relations with the EU, Cook said that both Britain and the US are "anxious to find ways to maintain dialogue with Turkey".

    He added that they also hoped Turkey would attend the March EU conference in London.

    If there was no Turkish presence at the conference, he said, other ways to maintain political dialogue would be sought.

    [02] Cassoulides defends building of base

    IF THE Turkish side had been willing to discuss demilitarisation, there would have been no need to build the Paphos air-base, Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said yesterday.

    Commenting on Turkish UN envoy Husseyin Celem's letter to the UN Secretary- general Kofi Annan on Friday criticising the Cyprus government for its armaments build-up, Cassoulides blamed Ankara for blocking demilitarisation.

    He said Turkey had not advised Turkish Cypriot Leader Rauf Denktash to discuss the proposal made by President Glafcos Clerides.

    Cassoulides went on to say that if Turkey complied with UN resolutions calling for the withdrawl of its troops from Cyprus, the island would no longer need to boost its defences.

    As such, he concluded, Cyprus has "the legal right and obligation to defend itself".

    Cassoulides also dismissed the Turkish claim that a 1960 treaty gave it the right to act as a guarantor power for Cyprus. This right, he said, had been lost when Turkey violated the treaty by invading Cyprus.

    [03] Clerides under fire from Vassiliou

    By Aline Davidian

    PRESIDENTIAL candidate George Vassiliou yesterday criticised President Glafcos Clerides and Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides for claiming US initiatives in the Cyprus problem depended on who was elected in February.

    He accused Clerides of trying to highlight his own experience in the national problem, thereby insinuating that no other candidate would inspire a continued US initiative.

    The leader of the United Democrats also dismissed allegations by Cassoulides that Cyprus' EU membership application had been delayed during his presidency.

    Cassoulides had based his claim on the minutes of a National Council meeting on July 4, 1990, at which time, Vassiliou said, the Council had approved of his position on EU accession. The application was made "at the most favourable time", he added.

    Vassiliou also turned his sights on Akel and Diko-backed candidate George Iacovou, for only ever criticising the Disy side of Clerides' government.

    The Disy-Diko coalition which brought Clerides to power recently dissolved with right-wing Diko joining left-wing Akel in supporting nominally independent candidate Iacovou.

    "Iacovou's criticisms are aimed at only one half of the coalition, selectively leaving behind the other half," Vassiliou said.

    Meanwhile Liberal Party presidential candidate Nicos Rolandis yesterday drew attention to statements made by US presidential envoy Richard Holbrooke on Friday, warning that Cyprus could become another Bosnia.

    In his statements, Holbrooke stressed that the US, EU and UN had to take leadership roles to solve the Cyprus problem, adding that differences between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides would necessitate bi-communal talks as well as wider Greek-Turkish discussion.

    International warnings on the possibility of military incidents in the light of the concentration of armaments in Cyprus proved the country was nearing an explosive situation, Rolandis said.

    [04] Special voting arrangements for the enclaved

    SPECIAL arrangements will be made for enclaved people who wish to travel to the free areas to vote in the upcoming presidential elections, the Humanitarian Affairs Office announced yesterday.

    On both Sunday February 8 and 15, Red Cross vehicles will be at the United Nations checkpoints to collect enclaved people crossing to vote. The vehicles will then transport them to various special voting centres.

    The enclaved will be allowed to vote provided they have one photograph- bearing official government document. Red Cross vehicles will also be available to return them to the UN checkpoints after they have cast their ballots. Enclaved voters can expect to be back in the occupied areas at around 2.30pm.

    Any enclaved people wishing to vote after 12pm must make their own arrangements to cross.

    Relatives of the enclaved will not be allowed to collect them from the UN checkpoints to avoid congestion, but can pick them up either from the voting centres or the Red Cross.

    Nicosia's special voting centre for the enclaved will be the Ellenion Elementary School, while in Limassol, Larnaca, Paphos and Famagusta, the enclaved will be able to vote at the District or Administrative Offices.

    [05] Sophie the sheep is on the lam

    By Andrew Adamides

    SOPHIE the sheep, alleged to be the Syrian Friendship Club's runaway Ramadan repast, was yesterday reported alive and uneaten and living in a humane society shelter.

    The Sophie saga began around 15 days ago, when she was found wandering in Nicosia with a piece of rope tied round her neck. She was taken in by Toulla Poyiadji, president of the Cyprus Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (CSPCA), and then took up residence with the 80 dogs currently at the society's buffer zone shelter.

    But when Sophie made a television appearance after a Sigma TV crew filmed at the shelter, Nicosia's Syrian Friendship Club claimed she belonged to them, and was destined for the feast celebrating the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

    Poyiadji demanded proof of ownership, which the restaurant was unable to produce. Until it does so, she is refusing to hand Sophie over.

    The club said yesterday that they still claim Sophie is their property and hope to get her back, although since Ramadan ended yesterday, Sophie has now missed her chance to be part of the celebrations.

    Poyiadji, meanwhile, was yesterday picketing the Presidential Palace along with 40 other human protestors, 20 dogs and a cat to protest against government cuts in CSPCA funding.

    The 1993 cuts reduced the organisation's yearly grant from 2,000 to 250, an amount which Poyadji says barely covers the shelter's phone bill.

    The CSPCA is demanding that the government pay it 10,000 it would have received over the past five years had the funding not been slashed.

    Poyiadji currently does all the work at the shelter herself, as the organisation cannot afford to hire anyone else.

    One dog-lover at the protest said: "The Ministry of Agriculture says 'we are backing you, we want to help you', but they don't do anything"

    Poyiadji told the Cyprus Mail Palace Guards had threatened that if she took the dogs inside the palace grounds, she would have to "face the consequences".

    [06] Police investigate shooting

    POLICE are investigating a report that seven shots were fired near the International Merchandising Centre (IMC) in Strovolos early yesterday morning.

    At around 1.05am, the IMC's night watchman reported hearing a volley of five shots followed shortly afterwards by a further two. The gunfire was also heard by another security guard at a nearby building.

    A black car, which disappeared before police arrived, was said to have been parked nearby.

    [07] Heavy security for Tekke visit

    By Jean Christou

    MORE than 1,200 Turkish Cypriots yesterday visited the holy Muslim shrine of Hala Sultan Tekke on Larnaca's Salt Lake, the largest number to cross the Green Line from the occupied north since 1974. The visit took place amid heavy security.

    They came as part of rapprochement efforts under UN auspices to celebrate Eid el-Fitr, marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.

    The 24 Greek Cypriot-owned buses carrying the pilgrims began crossing at the Ledra Palace checkpoint early in the morning, travelling in convoys of four. The visitors paid 2 each for the trip.

    Greek Cypriots who regularly picket the checkpoint at weekends hoping to dissuade tourists from crossing to the north smiled and waved to the Turkish Cypriots, many of whom smiled back.

    An organised campaign by members of the anti-occupation movement Pak saw protestors boarding the buses and handing out leaflets in Turkish.

    "We want to give the message that we are not enemies of the Turkish Cypriots," said Pak president Aris Hadjipanayiotou. "What we want is the Turkish soldiers and settlers to leave Cyprus, and we are asking the Turkish Cypriots to make a struggle together to unite our country."

    At the mosque the Turkish Cypriots, ranging from grandparents to toddlers, milled around the nearby Al Halili restaurant or had impromptu picnics on the grounds after finishing their prayers. Many took family snapshots or video footage.

    But some complained about being confined to the grounds. "The policeman will not even allow me to go down to the shores of the Salt Lake," said Kemal Asak, 55, whose second visit it was.

    He had been at the mosque last April during the first visit by Turkish Cypriots, who had complained then that the building was not in good condition. "This time it looks a bit better," Asak said.

    Three middle-aged women complained the carpet in the mosque smelled bad.

    Teenage girls Sifa and Vedia, both university students in Nicosia, said it was their first visit and they felt it was a good thing for the two sides to get closer together.

    One old Turkish Cypriot man who spoke fluent Greek and who wished to remain anonymous - as many of the pilgrims did - had not been in Larnaca since 1974.

    "I believe things are pretty dead between the two sides. Each sees the other like an enemy when there should be peace. Our youth do not see things like we used to. We were like brothers," said the 76-year-old, originally from Paphos.

    The pilgrims returned to the north between 4 and 5pm.

    A reciprocal visit by Greek Cypriots to the Ayios Andreas Monastery in the occupied Karpass peninsula is expected to take place at Easter. More than 1, 000 Greek Cypriots made the trip to the monastery last November.

    [08] Plan for 30 per cent tree cover

    THE PAST five years have seen 15,241,000 of government money spent on the protection and development of forested areas, with a further 7,500,000 going on re-forestation since 1975.

    Agriculture Minister Andreas Mantovanis gave the figures at a tree-planting ceremony yesterday in the Athalassa area of Nicosia.

    He said several national forest parks had been created over the past 23 years and great emphasis was placed on fire prevention and the improvement of forest roads.

    The aim of government policy was to bring forested areas up to EU standards, he added.

    "Our aim is to increase forest cover to 30 per cent of Cypriot territory to satisfy EU levels set out for member states," he said.

    Forests cover only 19 per cent of Cyprus at present.

    Mantovanis also stressed the importance of a cultivating an environmentally conscious attitude in children.

    The ceremony, which will be followed by other events marking Tree Week, was organised by the Cyprus Red Cross youth department.

    [09] Achna remember their last defeat

    ETHNIKOS Achna's home clash against Anagennisis today will have special significance for the surprise package of the championship.

    Anagennisis were the last team to beat Ethnikos in the league, last October, winning their clash in Dherynia 3-2. Since then, the fortunes of the two side could not have been more different.

    Anagennisis went into a slump, sacking their coach Andreas Kissonergis and are now second from bottom on a paltry 10 points.

    Ethnikos are unbeaten since then, having won nine, drawn two and conceding only six goals.

    Their recovery coincided with the return of prolific Serbian goalscorer Mousic, one the longest-serving and most loyal foreign players in Cyprus. Mousic has scored 12 goal this season and is third in the scorers' table.

    Ethnikos, who are also in the third round of the cup, were yesterday displaced from third place by Apollonas, but victory today would see them reclaiming it.

    In today's other match, Anorthosis entertain Salamina in the Famagusta derby at Antonis Papadpoulos stadium. The only side to have won a league game there in the last four years were Ethnikos, who defeated Anorthosis 2- 0, just before Christmas.

    Salamina have had a disappointing season, sacking coach Karalic after a string of poor results, and are unlikely to pose a threat to Anorthosis, who will return to top spot in the table with a win today.

    [10] Omonia reclaim top spot

    By George Christou

    OMONIA regained the top spot in the table yesterday after a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Aek in Larnaca. They are three points in front of Anorthosis who play Salamina today.

    Apollonas climbed to third place, level on points with Anorthosis who have a better goal difference, thanks to a comfortable 3-1 home win over struggling Evagoras.

    A goal in the last minute of the game gave Paralimni their first home win of the season; they beat bottom club Ethnikos Ashias 2-1. Finally in Paphos, Apop crushed relegation-threatened Alki 5-1 and moved up to seventh place in the table.

    Omonia took revenge for their first round home defeat by Aek, thanks to a fortunate victory. They played badly in a very poor first half in which Aek dominated and were not much better after the interval.

    In their first proper attack of the second half in the 67th minute, Omonia scored the vital goal, a bullet header by young defender Ioakim. This was the sum total of Omonia's threat to the Aek goal but was enough to take the three points.

    Ake once again suffered for failing to convert their chances. Both Toinze and Georgiou spurned easy chances in the second half as Aek suffered their third defeat of the season.

    Apollonas, despite being without Papavassiliou, did not have to break sweat to overcome Evagoras. Captain Pittas set them on the way to victory with a fourth minute goal.

    Spoliaric added a second from a direct free-kick from what looked like an impossible angle in the 56th minute. Mladenovic got the third, which was the Serb's first league goal for Apollonas.

    Pachtalias scored Evagoras' consolation goal, converting a penalty, 11 minutes from time.

    Paralimni broke their home jinx yesterday thanks to Kosmas' 90th minute goal. Since moving to their new ground a year ago, Paralimni had only won once there and that was last season.

    Bottom club Ethnikos Ashias will count themselves unlucky for not taking at least a point after a spirited second half performance in which they equalised through Bata and created the chances to have won the game.

    Georgian forward Oudmandzuridze had put Parlimni ahead in the 27th minute. The Georgian also set up Kosmas' last-minute winner, which gave coach Stavros Papadopoulos job security for another week at least.

    The turning point in Apop's victory over Alki came on the stroke of half- time when the visitors, who were leading 1-0 through a Kondolefteros goal, were reduced to 10 men. Christodoulou hit an Apop player and was sent off for a second bookable offence.

    Apop ran riot midway through the second half, scoring three times in the space of four minutes. Jovanovic scored two to take his tally for the season to 10 and Charalambous got the other.

    The two Michailovices, Radmilo and Arsene, completed the rout. Apop have not lost since new coach Argyroulis took over the side just before Christmas. They have now climbed to seventh place.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 1998

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