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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-05-20

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, May 20, 2000


  • [01] Makarios Hospital getting high-tech heart tools
  • [02] New National Guard chief takes command
  • [03] Loizidou case to be raised at Euro forum
  • [04] Louis targeted in see-saw session
  • [05] Spidernet sets IPO deadline
  • [06] Government defends Cyprus-Greece war games
  • [07] Briton jailed for having Ecstasy
  • [08] Bishop's pain prompts emergency dental meeting
  • [09] Bulgarians find accord too taxing
  • [10] Therapists speak out about state neglect
  • [11] Oil importers seek state subsidies
  • [12] Hitting the road in style
  • [13] Israeli jets violations: Cyprus wants some answers

  • [01] Makarios Hospital getting high-tech heart tools

    By Athena Karsera

    WORLD-FAMOUS heart surgeon Sir Magdi Yiacoub will be using computer-age tools to examine heart patients at Makarios Hospital in Nicosia on June 12, a senior hospital staff member told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    State-of-the-art tele-diagnosis technology will give Yiacoub direct contact with London-based heart specialists to help him diagnose and treat patients in Nicosia that day.

    Yiacoub's visit to Cyprus is partly to mark the high-tech equipment's permanent installation at Makarios Hospital.

    He will also lecture local heart specialists on the links between modern technology and developments in cardiology.

    According to the BBC, Yiacoub, a top heart surgeon at Britain's Harefield Hospital, has been involved in five of the six revolutionary ‘living-donor’ lung operations carried out recently in Britain.

    The experimental procedure uses lobes from two living relatives of a terminally ill lung patient for partial transplant.

    The new tele-diagnosis equipment for Makarios Hospital was purchased with a donation by the Athens-based insurance company Aspis Pronoia. Cyta provided the telecommunications hookups.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [02] New National Guard chief takes command

    NEW National Guard Commander Evangelos Florakis officially assumed his duties yesterday at army headquarters.

    Speaking during the ceremony, 58-year-old Lieutenant-General Florakis said he was assuming a difficult task with many responsibilities, but he would try to continue the work of outgoing Commander General Demetrios Demou.

    "I will try with the help of my colleagues and Cypriot Hellenism to raise the operational ability and readiness of the National Guard because we need it," Florakis said.

    "I understand the pain of the Cypriot people and will try with God's help when we get the chance to see Pentadactylos free," he added.

    Demou said he was lucky to be succeeded by Florakis.

    Florakis, who served in Cyprus during the 1980s, is married to a Cypriot from Paphos.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [03] Loizidou case to be raised at Euro forum

    By Jennie Matthew

    TURKEY’S non-compliance with the European Court of Human Rights ruling to pay compensation in the Titina Loizidou case will be discussed at a two-day European Committee of Legal Affairs and Human Rights symposium in Limassol next week.

    In 1998 the Court ordered Turkey to pay Titina Loizidou £500,000 for depriving her of the right to enjoy her property in Kyrenia since the Turkish invasion in 1974.

    Disy deputy Panayiotis Demetriou said it was very important that the convention was taking place in Cyprus, given that the occupation of the north is a violation of human rights.

    "The meeting will give us the opportunity to stress that the European Court decision must be upheld," he said.

    Human rights abuses of the enclaved will also top the agenda for the Cyprus delegation.

    "We will voice our opinion, along with those of other members, who feel very strongly about Turkey’s refusal to conform to the court’s decision," Demetriou said.

    Turkey, currently seeking candidate status for the European Union, has persistently refused to pay Loizidou, claiming it is not liable for the occupation of north Cyprus.

    Achilleas Demetrides, the Nicosia lawyer who represented Loizidou, is currently working on more than a dozen related cases of people seeking compensation from the Turkish government.

    After the meeting on Monday and Tuesday, the matter is expected to be brought before the next Council of Europe meeting in June.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [04] Louis targeted in see-saw session

    By Michael Ioannou

    THE CYPRUS bourse bared its teeth at bears yesterday to recoup most of Thursday's losses in a see-saw session focused on periphery firms and Louis in particular.

    Laiki, hammered in Thursday's session, bounced back into form after some initial pressure while other

    large caps like Globalsoft also dominated the market for its net gains.

    However it was Louis which was singled out as a strong mover on the market yesterday. The stock fell to an intraday low of £1.20 in pre-trading, triggering an avalanche of buy orders which eventually topped a 5.6 million share turnover.

    Louis eventually closed at £1.56, six cents lower than Thursday.

    "There were lots of sellers on Louis yesterday and in pre-trading, so that triggered a lot of buying

    interest," said stockbroker Costas Hadjigavriel. However, other brokers said the market was feeling the jitters of investors confused at Louis's purchase of a controlling stake in associate firm Louis Hotels.

    "They're confused. They don't have details on the transfer of shares to LCL and the issue is very

    obscure," a senior trader at another stockbroking firm said.

    Estimates put the LCL stake in Louis Hotels at 60 per cent, but uncertainty over the exact figure has

    sewn confusion on how the share should be adjusted accordingly.

    "The market has momentum and it is going very well," said Hadjigavriel. "I don't think profit-taking is justified right now."

    Laiki, which opened at a low of £12.78 and flirted with the £12.95-13.00 mark for most of the session, raced ahead in the closing minutes to end with a 20 cent gain at a close of £13.10.

    Many thought that Laiki was a cheap paper at £12.78, said traders who had predicted the stock would bounce back after Thursday's knee-jerk reaction by investors in the wake of Wednesday's AGM.

    The gain brought the advance of the Banking sector up 1.8 per cent.

    Bank of Cyprus, which had been less affected by Thursday's sell-off, climbed 15 cents to £8.45.

    Fund managers said yesterday they had several queries from Greek investors on BoC's IPO in Greece. Rumours had spread the Greek capital that BoC would announce a suspension of trading for next week yesterday afternoon. The suspension would have been the first stage in a book-building process for its initial public offering on the Greek market.

    However, nothing was forthcoming from the Bank.

    Insiders said the rumours were probably fuelled by disclosures one of the senior managers of BoC in Greece was visiting Nicosia headquarters this week.

    "Nevertheless the Greeks do expect something within the next month," a fund manager at a Nicosia brokerage said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [05] Spidernet sets IPO deadline

    SPIDERNET Services Ltd yesterday announced its Internet subscribers have only until May 30 to express interest in purchasing shares during the company's initial public offering.

    Spidernet said the decision for an early cut-off date followed the huge public interest in purchasing shares in the company.

    Until May 30, subscribers can request to purchase shares on-line at Hard copies of applications for share purchase will be sent to applicants immediately afterwards.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [06] Government defends Cyprus-Greece war games

    THE GOVERNMENT yesterday denounced Turkey's disapproval of recent joint Cyprus-Greece military manoeuvres in Paphos as totally unjustified.

    Turkey's Foreign Ministry had called the three-day exercise, code-named 'Toxotis-Vergina', an "activity which might escalate tension and disturb stability in the region," the Athens News Agency reported.

    But Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the real security and stability of the region is jeopardised by Turkey's occupation of northern Cyprus.

    Turkey claims the joint Cyprus-Greece war games are not conducive to holding the third round of the UN-sponsored proximity talks, now scheduled for July 5 in Geneva.

    Papapetrou said he hoped "this was not an effort to create a pretext, in view of the third round of talks, and to prepare the ground that the Turkish side will come to talks with the same attitude and approach".

    He also said Greek Cypriots have shown their willingness and desire to negotiate seriously and to reach a solution to the Cyprus problem within the framework set out by the UN.

    "Our position will not alter, whatever the Turkish pretext," he said.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [07] Briton jailed for having Ecstasy

    A BRITISH tourist was sentenced yesterday to three months in jail for possession of seven Ecstasy tablets.

    Kieran Dennis Hambly, a 23-year-old builder from Cornwall, had pleaded guilty to having the drugs.

    He was arrested last week when police, intent on busting a suspected drug ring operating out of the Ayia Napa hotel where Hambly was staying, rushed into the hotel's lobby in the early hours of the morning.

    Convinced police had come looking for him, Hambly quickly tossed the bag of Ecstasy tablets into a flowerpot -- unaware that standing right next to it was a plain-clothes police officer.

    Police initially thought Hambly was part of a British ring they believed had come to Cyprus to sell drugs.

    But Hambly's lawyer denied his client had any such connection. He said Hambly had merely come to Cyprus with his girlfriend, had never taken drugs before, and had no previous convictions for any criminal offence.

    His lawyer said the couple had been drinking at pubs in Ayia Napa's main square when a stranger convinced Hambly to buy the drug.

    Hambly, his lawyer said, had kept all seven tablets in his pocket for three days after buying them because, after sobering up, he realised he had no desire to try the drug.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [08] Bishop's pain prompts emergency dental meeting

    By Graham Tait-Cooney

    THE CYPRUS Dentists’ Association is holding an emergency meeting today to review its decision to attend an international dental conference later this month in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus.

    The call for the emergency meeting followed a vocal protest by Bishop Pavlos of Kyrenia against any attendance at the conference by dentists from the Republic.

    Association President Lelia Demetriou-Sadja had initially accepted the invitation for the May 27 gathering.

    Pavlos yesterday said the local dentists' acceptance of the invitation was provocative and inexcusable.

    He said illegal occupation regimes should not be allowed to invite legal organisations recognised internationally to meetings within territory they control, and that such groups as the Turkish Cypriot Dental Association should not be allowed to communicate with legal organisations.

    Pavlos' fears are founded in part on the fact that dentists from throughout the world are expected to attend the gathering, and the presence of dentists from the Republic might suggest some degree of official 'state' recognition of the occupation regime.

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash has long insisted his breakaway regime is entitled to international recognition as a 'state', and has made such recognition a precondition of holding substantive talks on solving the Cyprus problem.

    Only Turkey recognises the Denktash regime as a 'state'.

    Pavlos also called on the Cypriot dentists to urge their counterpart associations in other countries to reconsider their decision to attend the conference in the occupied north.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [109 Bulgarians find accord too taxing

    A BULGARIAN House of Representatives Committee wants a taxation agreement with Cyprus to be terminated, it was reported yesterday.

    The convention, signed in 1985, prevents double taxation for one country's companies operating in the other.

    According to Athens News Agency, the Bulgarian Budget and Finance Committee said yesterday that the convention was not in Bulgaria's best interests, and that ending it would prevent a large amount of Bulgarian currency leaving the country.

    According to Committee information, approximately 250 Bulgarian companies currently operate in Cyprus, many of them linked to Greek companies.

    The Committee also said that the total amount of currency brought into Cyprus by the companies was about $150 million (approximately £95.6 million.)

    According to press agency sources in Sofia, the Bulgarian Plenum is expected to vote on the convention's termination next week, and another will be drawn up in its place. The new convention would probably exclude offshore companies, the sources said.

    [09] Therapists speak out about state neglect

    By Athena Karsera

    REPRESENTATIVES of the island's speech therapists yesterday said they were still fighting an uphill battle for professional recognition and better pay, while trying to enlighten the government and the public about correcting speech handicaps.

    Cyprus Association of Speech Therapists members Naia Leontiadou and Maria Paphiou-Violari told a news conference their profession was, in the main, undervalued and ignored in public and private circles.

    They noted that the Education Ministry has only 30 speech therapists on staff for the whole country, representing about half the Association's 57 registered members.

    While far from ideal, Leontiadou said that even this number was an improvement over past years, "when only five (speech) professionals were spread out among the hundreds of (primary) schools" on the island.

    "We are constantly trying to persuade the Health and Education Ministries of the need to introduce more professionals into the public sector," Paphiou-Violari said.

    Besides inadequate staff numbers, Paphiou-Violari said school facilities are inadequate for proper speech therapy. She said their profession also needs to expand into pre-primary and high school levels.

    "If you look at the results of my work," she protested, "I would not be able to call myself a good speech therapist. But what do you expect when you have only 20 minutes with each child in the photocopy room of a school, with people coming in out and out every few minutes?"

    Leontiadou recalled she once had to treat speech-handicapped children on a school playground bench for lack of suitable space.

    She said the association had been promised a separate room in the new Nicosia General Hospital, still under construction, and had "already begun raising money for equipment" for it.

    Despite this, both women noted that few speech therapists were willing to work at state hospitals because of low pay scales.

    The two women noted that speech therapists have skills that are useful in many areas that are currently neglected, such as helping accident victims learn to speak properly. But they said medical professionals often ignored this expertise, failing even to inform such patients of the possible benefits of speech therapy.

    To call more attention to their profession, the association has organised a Public Information Week, starting on Monday, May 22 .

    Events include screenings of the award-winning film Toy Story, a fund- raising fashion show, a children's theatre production and a series of lectures on speech problems. For more information, contact the association on 02-313470.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [11] Oil importers seek state subsidies

    By George Psyllides

    COMMERCE Minister Nicos Rolandis said yesterday that oil companies on the island have again pressed the government to cover the deficits they have incurred because of rises in the price of crude oil.

    The issue, which has nagged the state for months, was discussed again yesterday at a meeting between Rolandis and the fuel company directors.

    Afterwards, Rolandis said the oil companies would have a deficit of £19 million by the end of May, and that any government subsidy to them to offset this would have to be decided by the Council of Ministers.

    "A government committee will study the figures submitted by the companies and subsequently brief the Cabinet, who in turn will decide about the (subsidy) amount," Rolandis said.

    With crude oil at about $29 a barrel -- far higher than it was when the state set the price the companies were to get for each barrel of oil they imported -- the fuel companies estimate they lose £5 million every month they bring oil into Cyprus.

    Oil companies' spokesman George Petrou said: "We will wait for the ministries involved to calculate the amount (of any subsidy to be granted), and then talk again next week."

    "We asked for the deficits to be covered as soon as possible, and we hope the government sorts out the issue by the end of June," he added.

    Instead of raising fuel pump prices to indemnify the oil companies for their losses, the government in February decided to subsidise imported oil with tax revenues for a period of three months, and to rethink the issue at the end of that period.

    That period would appear to be up on May 31.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [12] Hitting the road in style

    By Noah Haglund

    A CARAVAN of chrome and steel set out from Nicosia’s Eleftheria Square yesterday in the form of the 12th International Historic Car Rally.

    The annual event is hosted in Cyprus by FIPA (Friends of Historic and old Cars of Cyprus) with support from Mobil and is open to vehicles manufactured before 1978.

    Entries ranged from diminutive British roadsters to beefy American makes from the mid-century, elegant German touring sedans, nimble saloons and sleek sports models.

    Of the 59 participants this year, 50 are from Cyprus, seven from Greece and two from Israel.

    In the first of three trips yesterday, participants drove to Phinicoudes and back.

    Today they will set off from the Forum Hotel in Nicosia and head for the Elias Beach Hotel in Limassol, and then on to the Forest Park Hotel in Platres by evening.

    Tomorrow -- the event's last day – the classic cars will leave Platres for Nicosia via Kakopetria.

    Leading yesterday's procession was a black 1915 Ford Model T, with brass trimmings and wooden spoke wheels, looking as new as when it first rolled off the assembly line.

    Its owner, 90-year-old Nikolas Koutsakos of Kato Drys, was swamped by reporters eager to interview the most mature participant in the rally. But he let down his parental guard for the special event, allowing his son Renos take the wheel on the 500-km course, which they expect the car to complete.

    Members of the Moadon Hahamesh Israel Classic Car Club have shipped over a 1969 Mercury Cougar and a 1964 Plymouth Signet 200 for the event.

    The secretary of the Israel Classic Car Club, Amnon Irmay, said that the original plan had been to enter 11 cars. But when sponsorship fell through, only two owners were willing to pay the $5,500 needed to cover the full expenses of shipment and participation.

    Among the other vehicles taking part was a dark red 1953 Opel Olympia belonging to Demetrios Kipouridis and his daughter Daphne from Kozani in Greece. A family heirloom, the car's first owner was Kipouridis' father.

    FIPA collects and restores antique and classic cars in Cyprus as well as promoting ties with similar organisations abroad. The organisation supports local charities, and in March donated proceeds from its Spring 2000 Rally to the Cyprus MS Association.

    The next major event on the FIPA calender is the Autumn Historic Car Rally on October 15. For more information, visit the FIPA web page at

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Saturday, May 20, 2000

    [13] Israeli jets violations: Cyprus wants some answers

    CYPRUS has called upon Israel to explain why its military aircraft violated Cyprus airspace on Wednesday, government spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said yesterday.

    It is the second time this month that Cyprus has sought an explanation from Israel after its planes entered the Nicosia Flight Information Region (FIR) which covers an expanse of airspace in the eastern Mediterranean.

    Papapetrou confirmed reports that the infringement involved more than 100 violations of the FIR. Politis has reported that around 110 Israeli fighters flew inside the FIR without submitting flight plans.

    "We made new representations yesterday which have also been communicated to the Israeli government but no explanation has been given so far," Papapetrou said.

    He added that the Israeli government had not yet replied to similar complaints made on May 8, also over violations of the Nicosia FIR by Israeli fighters.

    "We have reminded the Israeli government that we are waiting for this reply, " the spokesman said.

    Military sources said that Israeli jets heading to Lebanon sometimes entered the FIR and on those occasions the island’s aviation authorities were not informed for security reasons.

    The Israeli embassy spokesman Shmulic Bass told the Cyprus Mail yesterday he had conveyed the Cyprus government's request to top levels of the Israeli Foreign Ministry and he was expecting a formal and detailed response in 10 days since it was a serious matter. "Every request for explanation or information is taken seriously in Israel," Bass said.

    Cyprus and Israel enjoy generally good relations, although there were strains 18 months ago when two Israeli agents were arrested and jailed for spying on the island's military installations. There has also been unease over Israel's military pact with Turkey.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

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