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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-05-06

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, May 6, 2000


  • [01] Clerides recovering after ‘successful’ operation
  • [02] Frenzied reporters swamp Evangelistria clinic
  • [03] Banking rumours drive up share index
  • [04] Matsakis lashes out at British after boy loses fingers
  • [05] Drug suspect remanded after police sting
  • [06] Four accused of stealing share cash
  • [07] Quarter of a million pound investment in opera seats

  • [01] Clerides recovering after ‘successful’ operation

    By Martin Hellicar

    PRESIDENT Glafcos Clerides underwent successful surgery to remove a polyp growth from his large intestine yesterday morning.

    Surgeons said 81-year-old Clerides' post-operative condition was stable and that they believed the tumour to be benign, though they will not know for sure until Monday, when results of a biopsy will be ready.

    The political repercussions of the surgery were still not entirely clear yesterday, with the Government Spokesman suggesting earlier estimations that the President would be unable to attend the third round of settlement talks in New York on May 23 might have been overly pessimistic.

    Doctors had promised the President's polyp removal surgery would be a "routine" operation, and it turned out to be just that.

    It began at 8.30am and was completed at noon.

    Shortly afterwards, one of Clerides' three personal physicians, Dr Iosif Kasios read out an official medical bulletin.

    "The operation went smoothly without any particular problems," he stated. "The President came round normally and was transferred to the intensive care unit. His condition is stable and satisfactory."

    Four surgeons - George Kyriakides, Vasos Makris, Andreas Constantinides and Michalis Theophanous - carried out the operation in the presence of the president's personal physicians, Akis Syrimis, Kasios and George Pavlides.

    Kyriakides said afterwards that the President would be "active" and able to start taking liquids within two or three days and could leave the clinic in 10 days’ time. But Kyriakides said it would take "at least six weeks" for the President to recover fully.

    The surgeon said his experience of such cases told him the polyp was benign but he stressed that nothing could be taken for granted until the results of a biopsy were known.

    Kyriakides said a scan carried out on Thursday in preparation for the operation yesterday had shown no traces of polyps in other organs.

    It was reported yesterday that the scan had shown up a piece of shrapnel in the President's body that had been there since the days of his service with the RAF in World War Two. There was no official confirmation of this yesterday.

    Earlier in the day, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said no decision had yet been taken about whether to postpone Clerides' trip to New York for UN-sponsored indirect talks with Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on May 23.

    "No change has been made so far in the planning until we see how things develop, this does not mean talks will resume on May 23 as scheduled but at present there is no reason to change dates," Papapetrou told reporters outside the Evangelistria.

    Cassoulides later said foreign envoys were concerned over the situation created by the state of Clerides' health.

    Also speaking outside the clinic, he said he was not sure about any possible change of date or venue for the talks, adding the issue would be discussed next week.

    Foreign envoys scheduled to visit the island ahead of the May 23 talks have been forced to put their plans on hold and Clerides' doctors have advised him he will not be well enough to travel to New York for May 23.

    But the UN spokeswoman in New York, Marie Okabe, stated late on Thursday that Clerides himself had contacted the UN envoy in charge of the settlement talks, Alvaro de Soto, to inform him he was still hopeful of making the May 23 date.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Saturday, May 6, 2000

    [02] Frenzied reporters swamp Evangelistria clinic

    By Martin Hellicar

    THE DOCTORS had promised that President Glafcos Clerides’ polyp removal surgery would be a "routine" operation.

    In medical terms, the 8am operation may have been just that, but outside the Evangelistria clinic where it took place, the normal routine had been replaced by a frenzied media circus.

    Television crews, newspaper and radio reporters set up camp outside the private clinic from early in the morning, mobbing anyone coming in or out in search of some snippet of information about what was going on inside.

    Television and radio channels regularly interrupted their programming to bring their audiences live coverage of what was happening outside the Evangelistria.

    The first to break the good news about the operation was Health Minister Frixos Savvides, who appeared on the steps of the private clinic at about 11.30 am.

    "Everything has gone very well, the surgeons have not quite finished yet, but there were no problems," Savvides told the eager press pack.

    Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides - whose wife Emi was one of the anaesthetists for the operation - was next to appear, reaffirming that everything had been "as smooth as it could have been."

    The official medical bulletin was read out by Dr Iosif Kasios, one of Clerides' three personal physicians, about an hour later.

    "The operation went smoothly without any particular problems," Kasios stated. "The President came round normally and was transferred to the intensive care unit. His condition is stable and satisfactory," he added.

    Four surgeons - George Kyriakides, Vassos Makris, Andreas Constantinides and Michalis Theophanous - carried out the four-hour operation, while the president's personal physicians, Akis Syrimis, Kasios and George Pavlides were also present. The numbers were swollen by two anaesthetists and the Under-Secretary to the President, Pantelis Kouros, who donned a surgeon's gown and mask to watch proceedings.

    Evangelistria director, Andreas Constantinides, said the President had been in good spirits as he was wheeled into surgery. Noticing the large number of medics present, Clerides apparently quipped: "If there's too many people in the surgery then don't worry, I'll leave and make some space!"

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 6, 2000

    [03] Banking rumours drive up share index

    By Michael Ioannou

    THE EQUITY market rose 1.22 per cent yesterday, lifted by a buoyant performance in the banking sector, which continued to advance on speculative buys.

    The all-share index climbed 6.7 points to a close of 556.89 on a turnover of £37.8 million, slightly higher than Thursday's 33.7 million.

    Heavily capitalised bank shares dominated turnover and led advancers of the day, climbing 2.5 per cent.

    Dealers said that the rumour mill continued to churn with Popular Bank and Bank of Cyprus being the flavour of the day.

    "There were a lot of buys on the banks. There is a good deal of speculation on the market surrounding the annual meeting of Laiki Bank and rumours that the Bank of Cyprus might have a firm listing date for Athens," said a stockbroker at a leading brokerage.

    Laiki, which is holding its annual meeting in two weeks' time, rose 25 cents to a last trade of £13.90, while Bank of Cyprus climbed 27 cents to a last trade of £8.57.

    Bank of Cyprus filed an application for a parallel listing of its ordinary shares on the Athens Stock Exchange last December, while the market has been awash with rumours for weeks that Laiki will be issuing giveaways marking its centenary next year.

    However, traders said they were not sure that Laiki would announce any goodies to investors soon, even though shareholders will be called to approve an additional equity issue of 15 million shares during the annual meeting. And Bank of Cyprus shares have been inflating and deflating for weeks on rumours related to its Athens plans.

    "It’s a rumour mill. There is a lot of speculation and some investors have taken a short-term view of the market," the trader said.

    There was mixed trading in the other six sectors of the market, with investment, service and commercial stocks drifting lower and insurance and industrial stocks marginally higher.

    Louis Cruise Lines topped volume ranks with 1.9 million shares changing hands, slipping six cents to a last trade of £2.07. Investment firm Aiantas was also active with a £1.13 million turnover. gained nine cents to a close of £6.62 yesterday after profit taking which depressed its price by more than two per cent on Thursday.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 6, 2000

    [04] Matsakis lashes out at British after boy loses fingers

    By Jennie Matthew

    DIKO Deputy Marios Matsakis has branded the training of British troops outside their specific Sovereign Base Areas as illegal, after a 15-year-old boy had his hand mutilated by what is thought to be discarded British army ammunition on Holy Saturday.

    The boy’s parents and Matsakis claim the injury was caused by ammunition that the boy stumbled across while walking his dog in fields behind the village.

    The Treaty of Establishment gives full authorisation to the Army to train in the fields next to Paramali, referred to by the British as part of a ‘Republic of Cyprus enclave’ within the SBA.

    But Matsakis, a vociferous campaigner against the British bases, threatened yesterday that "any armed British soldiers, caught outside the SBA must be seized and disarmed immediately. They are the enemy."

    Paramali is under the jurisdiction of the Cyprus Government and Matsakis therefore claims that British Army training in those areas is "illegal and disrespectful".

    The accident happened on Saturday morning in the boy's bedroom at his house in Paramali.

    He was playing with the ammunition he had found when one piece exploded in his hand, ripping off three fingers. He was rushed to the New General Hospital in Limassol where he was treated by doctors in the Orthopaedic wing.

    The police were informed at midday and searched the house immediately.

    The found discarded military thunder flashes, one of which is thought to have caused the boy’s injury.

    The British Bases at Episkopi issued a statement regretting the accident, but disclaiming responsibility.

    "It is extremely sad that a young 15-year-old boy should be injured by a firework on Saturday 29 April in Paramali village. This awful accident shows how dangerous Easter fireworks can be."

    They went on to urge parents to accept full responsibility for children when dealing with firecrackers.

    A bases spokesman later conceded that he could not rule out discarded British ammunition having caused the injury.

    On Thursday, Matsakis deposited two boxes of ammunition with Justice Minister Nicos Koshis to be analysed. He said they were British Army debris, collected from the Paramali area.

    Eyewitness accounts, however, cast doubt on the provenance of the ammunition collected by Matsakis.

    A Bases insider denounced the deputy’s handling of the issue. "It would have been sensible for him, or the boys parents to notify us immediately if they spotted any live ammunition lying around, but they have not contacted us at all," he said.

    But a question mark hangs over why any live army debris should be found in training grounds - open to the public at all times except when live fire training is taking place.

    The Bases spokesman confirmed that it was customary for the army to clean up after training was over.

    Matsakis faxed a formal complaint to British High Commissioner Edward Clay yesterday morning, requesting that they take full responsibility for the boy's injuries.

    A spokesman for the High Commission said that they had received the fax and would look in to it.

    The last complaint about British training exercises in Episkopi was filed last year when the army's two-bladed Chinook helicopter landed too close to houses. Helicopters no longer operate in such close proximity to residential areas.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 6, 2000

    [05] Drug suspect remanded after police sting

    DRUGS seized during a police sting operation could have originated from the occupied areas, the Famagusta district court heard yesterday.

    Investigators told the Larnaca based court that Turkish currency found on a Sotira man led them to believe the drugs might have came from the north.

    Lenos Aeroporos, 19, was allegedly caught red-handed on Thursday, selling drugs in a parking lot in Ayia Napa.

    Police said Aeroporos arrived at the parking lot where he met two individuals at 9.40pm.

    When police appeared, he allegedly tried to get rid of a piece of aluminium foil he was holding.

    Investigators recovered the foil and found 28 grams of what they believe to be cannabis inside.

    Aeroporos denied the drugs were his, while two people who were with him were taken to the police station for questioning and later released.

    A search of Aeroporos’ house found traces of what is believed to be cannabis, along with a weighing scale and cigarette butts.

    Police said they had spoken to soldiers manning guard posts on the cease- fire line to find out if anyone had seen Aeroporos loitering in the area.

    They said the suspect had refused to co-operate and that they were seeking two other men thought to be involved in drug trafficking.

    The court agreed that the suspect be remanded in police custody for eight days pending further investigation.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 6, 2000

    [06] Four accused of stealing share cash

    A PAPHOS court yesterday remanded for eight days four people accused of cashing in around £28,000 worth of shares using forged documents.

    The suspects were arrested after Demos and Froso Nearchou complained to police that someone had stolen their Hellenic Bank share titles, which were due to come through the mail.

    Police investigations found that the titles had indeed been stolen and that the thief had cashed them through a broker using a forged power of attorney.

    The paper trail promptly led police to arrest a 25-year-old contractor from Paphos, who was the janitor at the apartment building where the couple lived.

    Police subsequently arrested a broker and two insurance advisers, all from Limassol.

    The three are suspected of aiding the janitor to obtain the forged power of attorney and cash the money.

    This is the latest in a series of share related scams since the stock market boom last year.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 6, 2000

    [07] Quarter of a million pound investment in opera seats

    THE Paphos Aphrodite Festival Cyprus Ltd has spent £228,000 to buy 2,507 collapsible seats with the aim of boosting opera tourism to the island.

    The private festival company was established last year, and put on a production of Verdi's Aida at Paphos Castle in September.

    To seat the 1,944 spectators in 1999, the company rented seats at an overall cost of £38,000 - an average outlay of £19.55 per seat.

    The performances pulled in an extra 1,850 tourists to Paphos that month.

    The Festival Company was so delighted with the success that it plans to host an annual opera festival in Paphos.

    Hence the decision to buy the seats, and order an extra 563 compared to last time - at an average outlay of £90.95 per chair.

    The seats have been ordered from the UK Alto Seating System Company and will arrive in the summer.

    The company is hoping to reimburse their cost by hiring them out to other spectator events in Cyprus.

    The seats will be erected on the Paphos harbour, in front of the castle, during the four-day festival, to be held from September 8 to 11. Afterwards they will be dismantled and stored in eight 40-metre boxes for future use.

    The Paphos opera festival will be advertised all over the world in a bid to lure European and American tourists to the island.

    This year's production will be of Bizet's Carmen, performed by the Brussels-based Idée Fixe Company.

    Tickets will be available at £35, £25 and £15. For the VIP ticket price, customers will be invited to a cocktail party before the performance.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

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