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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 00-05-23

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

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


Tuesday, May 23, 2000

CONTENTS

  • [01] Diko firebrand Matsakis under attack
  • [02] Clinton’s 'Cyprus solution’ remark' sows confusion
  • [03] Cyprus urges CoE action on Loizidou case
  • [04] EU accession workshop opens
  • [05] 'Homoeopathic Week' Opens in Cyprus
  • [06] Cypriots tap online bourse craze
  • [07] 2002 date for EU reforms
  • [08] Invasion victim finally laid to rest
  • [09] Market ends in marginal retreat
  • [10] Papadopoulos seeking Diko chairmanship

  • [01] Diko firebrand Matsakis under attack

    Martin Hellicar

    FIREBRAND Diko Deputy Dr Marios Matsakis yesterday came under attack from all sides after his arrest during an anti-bases protest on Saturday, and came back swinging at his accusers.

    Matsakis was held for almost eight hours by British Sovereign Bases Area (SBA) authorities for allegedly blocking a road in the Episkopi base during a demonstration against the British Red Arrows jet-fighter aerial acrobatics team flying over Limassol area homes during training sorties.

    His car was searched by SBA authorities and a loaded pistol was found in it.

    Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou came down heavy on Matsakis, suggesting his conduct could have an "unfortunate" negative impact on delicate Cyprus problem developments. He suggested citizens planning protests with a political impact should clear them with the government first.

    "For certain delicate issues, where there are possible impacts on issues of external politics and the Cyprus problem, it would be good for there to be a notification and coordination with the government to avoid unnecessary tensions," Papapetrou said.

    Disy leader Nicos Anastassiades minced fewer words, charging Matsakis with behaviour unbecoming a member of the House of Representatives. "I was saddened by the actions of the British authorities, but I must also say that it is time we took on board that deputies are not for the sidewalks," the leader of the governing party said.

    "The standing of the House cannot be allowed to be damaged by actions which might not be the right ones for one of its representatives," Anastassiades said.

    Matsakis, a respected forensic pathologist and veteran of many anti-bases protests, quickly counter-attacked. He insisted his protest had been "humanitarian" - concerned with Limassol residents' health, rather than political in nature.

    He accused SBA authorities of "illegally" searching his car on Saturday and of taking top-secret government documents from his car in the past. On Sunday, Matsakis charged the bases with "hushing up" a recent Red Arrow crash in Cyprus last month.

    The bases dismissed Matsakis's claims and accused him of spreading misinformation about the Red Arrows.

    Papapetrou implied Matsakis' protest had been without point, as the SBA had already agreed to stop the Red Arrows from flying over built-up areas, following persistent complaints from Limassol area residents.

    "Concerning the essence of Mr Matsakis' protest, I want to say that there was already an agreement between the bases and the government, publicised on April 6, to ban all flights by Red Arrows over built-up areas as from next year, and for there to be a very, very significant reduction in such flights this year. And Mr Matsakis knew of this because I informed him," Papapetrou told his daily press briefing.

    Saturday's protest, during an "open day" at the Akrotiri RAF air base, where the Red Arrows are based, was staged by Matsakis and about 10 Limassol area residents.

    Matsakis' arrest was given wide coverage on local television. He said the base authorities had had no right to search his car on Saturday. A pistol was found in the deputy's BMW during the search.

    "This pistol was hidden in the car. I was not in the car when I was arrested. I was outside with the demonstrators, but, having arrested me and taken away my personal effects, they took the keys and illegally searched my car, found the gun and thought they had caught a criminal," Matsakis protested.

    He claimed this was not the first time base authorities had "illegally" taken items from his car. "Last time they arrested me, I had documents in my car which were secret, and these disappeared and I made a complaint to the president of the House," he said. He said the documents were confidential House defence committee minutes.

    Bases spokesman Rob Need said a car belonging to Matsakis had been searched because the man was suspected of an offence. He said a loaded pistol had been found in the vehicle. The pistol was returned to Matsakis after he was escorted from bases territory following his release from custody at 11.20pm on Saturday, almost eight hours after his arrest at about 3.45pm, Need said.

    Need said Matsakis might be charged at a later date. He said Matsakis' claims about documents having been taken from his car could not be commented on before they had been investigated.

    Matsakis insists the SBA authorities have no right to arrest Cypriot citizens. This is a claim dismissed by Attorney-general Alecos Markides, who yesterday noted that the immunity from prosecution Matsakis enjoys in the Republic as a House deputy does not apply within the Sovereign Bases Area.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

    Tuesday, May 23, 2000

    [02] Clinton’s 'Cyprus solution’ remark' sows confusion

    Athena Karsera

    FOREIGN Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides yesterday said he was sending party leaders letters clarifying apparently conflicting remarks on the Cyprus problem by US President Bill Clinton, EU Commissioner on Expansion Gunter Verheugen and US Ambassador Donald Bandler.

    Clinton and Verheugen last week were both reported to have said there was an agreement between the interested parties for the establishment of a bizonal federation in Cyprus, with two autonomous entities and freedom of movement between them.

    At his daily press briefing yesterday, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said US Ambassador Donald Bandler had told President Glafcos Clerides that, contrary to the claim attributed to Clinton, Washington had not prepared any Cyprus solution.

    "The first thing I want to tell you is that the government has not been informed of the existence of any plan, while our investigations and activities have also not confirmed the existence of any plan," Papapetrou told reporters.

    He added: "The US Ambassador this morning, on leaving his meeting with the president, repeated that the US does not have any plan, and could not confirm whether any other country has a "plan" to solve the Cyprus problem.

    Papapetrou said reactions by various political leaders to the purported Clinton and Verheugen remarks appeared to have been based on incorrect information.

    "The Foreign Minister is within the day sending letters to all the party leaders to inform them about the existing information," Papapetrou said. He added he was convinced the letters would clear up much misunderstanding on the comments attributed to Clinton and Verheugen.

    In response to Social Democrat Movement President Vasssos Lyssarides' call for a National Council meeting on Clinton's alleged comments, Papapetrou said the National Council would meet before the third round of UN-sponsored Cyprus proximity talks, set for July 5 in Geneva.

    Disy president Nicos Anastassiades yesterday said the furore over Clinton's and Verheugen's alleged remarks was inexcusable. "In Cyprus, it seems that what happens is that we produce myths and create issues out of nothing. I think that what Clinton and Verheugen had referred to was the framework in which the Cyprus problem could be solved," in line with previous UN, US and EU positions.

    But Lyssarides said he would continue to focus on Clinton's and Verheugen's purported remarks until the government sent missions to the US and Europe for clarification.

    "I would like to express concern over the lack of government concern," he said, adding that the government seemed to be giving its own interpretation to something that, on its face, seemed clear.

    "This is why I will make statements on this issue every day until they ... send missions to the US and Europe," and tell the respective leaders there they cannot come to Cyprus conclusions without the knowledge of the people involved, Lyssarides said.

    As to reports that Clerides would meet Greek Prime Minster Costas Simitis on July 3, Papapetrou said a date had not yet been set for such a meeting, but it would probably occur on Clerides' Geneva trip.

    Papapetrou also said that the UN envoy in charge of the Cyprus talks, Alvaro de Soto, would meet Clerides on June 16, and the British envoy to Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, would be in Nicosia June 7-9.

    He said US Special Representative to Cyprus Alfred Moses might also visit the island after De Soto.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, May 23, 2000

    [03] Cyprus urges CoE action on Loizidou case

    Noah Haglund

    CYPRIOT delegates at a Limassol conference yesterday pressed 50 MPs from Council of Europe (CoE) member states to take legal action against Turkey's human rights violations.

    The Cyprus call came as the CoE Parliamentary Assembly's Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights began a two-day meeting to discuss legal and human rights issues for member states. Cypriot MPs attending included Panayiotis Demetriou, head of the Cyprus delegation to the CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, and MP Takis Hajidemetriou.

    Attorney-general Alecos Markides urged those present to apply council sanctions against several instances of gross human rights violations by Turkey.

    To illustrate his point, he noted the case of Greek-Cypriot refugee Titina Loizidou, who successfully sued Turkey in the European Court of Human Rights for the depriving her of her human right to enjoy her property in Turkish-occupied northern Cyprus since Turkey's 1974 invasion of Cyprus.

    The court last year ordered Turkey to pay Loizidou nearly half-a-million Cyprus pounds in compensation. Turkey has so far refused to pay Loizidou, despite several deadlines and extensions, claiming it is not liable for the occupation of Northern Cyprus.

    Ankara argues, instead, that the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus", ruled by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash, is in control of the occupied north.

    The court dismissed this argument as specious, noting that Turkey's estimated 40,000 mainland regular army troops and aircraft enforcing the division of the island make the 'TRNC' a subordinate local administration of Turkey, for which Turkey remains responsible.

    Markides criticised the council's failure to enforce the court's ruling, declaring: "Turkey has refused, not only to allow Mrs Loizidou to enjoy her property by restoring to her free access and right to possess it, but even to execute the court's judgement, dated July 28, 1998".

    The conference agenda includes the EU Charter on human rights, the election of judges to the European Court of Human Rights, the status of homosexuals in CoE member-states, and Armenia's and Azerbaijan's applications for CoE membership.

    The agenda also includes a round-table discussion with the House of Representatives standing committees on legal affairs and human rights, and meetings with members of the Municipal Council of Nicosia.

    The sessions also include addresses by Cyprus Supreme Court President Georgios Pikis, Markides, and Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou in his capacity as Acting Minister of Justice and Public Order in the absence of Nicos Koshis.

    Christodoulou, noting Turkey's continuing occupation of Northern Cyprus is illegal under international law, declared: "It is apparent that there still exists a large gap between declarations and reality".

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, May 23, 2000

    [04] EU accession workshop opens

    THE first of a series of workshops, designed to ease the island's entry to the European Union, opened yesterday at the Forum Hotel in Nicosia between EU advisors and key members of the Cyprus government.

    The workshop, titled: "Towards EU Accession", was organised by the Finance Ministry's Planning Bureau jointly with TAIEX (the Technical Assistance Information Exchange).

    TAIEX comprises experts from the European Commission and member states who advise candidate countries on governmental and economic issues crucial to accession compliance with EU laws.

    Workshops this week will cover financial services, social and labour policy, media and audio-visual legislation, waste management legislation, transportation, implementation of EU chemical legislation and EU consumer policies.

    Speakers at yesterday's opening session included Ambassador Donato Giovanni Chiarini, Head of the EU delegation in Cyprus; Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou; and Andreas Kannaouros, Cyprus Journalists Union President.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, May 23, 2000

    [05] 'Homoeopathic Week' Opens in Cyprus

    By Jennie Matthew

    THE first ever "Homoeopathic Week" in Cyprus opens this week, twelve years after the Cyprus Homoeopathy Association was set up, in 1988.

    Running from May 22 to May 28, the week is intended to promote homoeopathy and deeper interest in natural medicine island-wide.

    The six homoeopathic physicians practising in Cyprus and seven homoeopathic healers – all of whom undergo full training before taking up practice - currently treat about 1,000 patients a month.

    "That's not much. There are a lot of sick people in Cyprus", said association spokesman George Ktenas, owner of a homoeopathic and conventional pharmacy in Nicosia. He hopes the week's events will prompt more people to investigate the curative powers of homoeopathy.

    Based on ancient Greek principles of healing and using natural extracts of plants, animals and minerals, homoeopathy rests on the belief that all sickness stems from the mind.

    Treatment therefore, is two-pronged – dealing with the emotional cause as well as the physical pain of illness. To this end, homoeopathy works alongside conventional medicine in treating serious illness, and in its own right as a preventive course of therapy or in the treatment of afflictions such as migraine, arthritis and allergies.

    President of the Greek Homoeopathy Association, Hara Varsakeli, is to chair a discussion group tomorrow at 8pm in the lecture theatre of the Bank of Cyprus headquarters in Nicosia.

    On Saturday at 5pm, Dr George Katsonis, is giving a public lecture at the Forum Hotel, Nicosia, titled: "Vaccines: Myth and Reality". A Sunday outing to the village of Alona finishes off the week's events.

    The idea for "Homoeopathic Week" emerged after last year's five-day Cypro- Hellenic homoeopathy seminar in Nicosia, which generated considerable interest.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, May 23, 2000

    [06] Cypriots tap online bourse craze

    By Michele Kambas

    ONLINE trading is taking off in Cyprus with savvy businesses hoping to tap a flourishing Internet market and a craze for anything listed.

    One site launched just eight months ago is reporting up to 4,000 users a day from Cyprus and places as far away as Australia, and more firms are keen to cash in on demand for online trading.

    An estimated 13 per cent of the population of 690,000 uses the Internet in Cyprus, while dabbling in stocks is a national obsession -- an estimated 20 per cent of Cypriots invest in the stock market.

    Xak.com was the first online provider to launch last November, but at least three or four others are in the pipeline. Hermes Stephanou, managing director of Francoudi and Stephanou (F&S) which runs xak.com, said the response to the service since it went live in March had been phenomenal.

    "Currently we receive 4,000 customers per day on our website from people browsing for information. We get people logging in from Cyprus and from another 53 countries around the world," he said.

    During the Cyprus stock market's sharp rally last year, when the general index rose almost 800 per cent, it was almost impossible to get hold of overworked brokers who set minimum quotas on values of transactions they would handle. "(Investors) can place their orders at their leisure any hour of the day or night. They know that they are going to be executed without wondering whether they are going to be given priority from a broker," Stephanou said.

    Roys Isaia of Cytanet, Cyta’s Internet division, said the Cyprus Stock Exchange had also begun offering online trading, but current legislation prevented investors from gaining direct access to the bourse's computers. Clients are able to submit orders for stocks online at the bourse, which takes one minute. It then takes a little under two minutes for the order to be executed.

    Nicosia-based Severis and Athienitis Financial Services has announced plans to acquire a 20 per cent stake in Stockwatch.com, a local business information provider that was launched last year. They too have plans to launch online trading, managing director Nicos Severis said.

    "We aim to develop Stockwatch into a premier provider of information on the CSE, both for domestic and foreign investors," he said.

    Both Stephanou and Severis dismissed suggestions that a personal relationship between brokers and clients was essential in a closely knit society such as Cyprus

    "I think it is a misconception," Stephanou said. "Cyprus has taken to the Internet very rapidly and there are many Cypriots using our site."

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, May 23, 2000

    [07] 2002 date for EU reforms

    ALL reforms regarding Cyprus' EU harmonisation will be made by 2002, the Greek European Commissioner on Employment and Social Affairs said yesterday.

    Speaking after meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and House President Spyros Kyprianou yesterday, EU Commissioner Anna Diamantopoulou said this would guarantee Cyprus' smooth accession into the EU.

    Diamantopoulou arrived in Cyprus on Sunday to open the fourth Round Table Session of the European Employers Organisation at the invitation of the Cyprus Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEV).

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, May 23, 2000

    [08] Invasion victim finally laid to rest

    ANOTHER Greek Cypriot killed during Turkey's invasion of Cyprus in 1974 was laid to rest yesterday, almost 25 years after his death.

    Elias Markos' family knew he had been killed in the Battle of Pentadaktylos on July 20, 1974, and that he was buried in Lakatameia cemetery. But they did not know the site of his grave.

    After his remains were identified through DNA analysis, Markos, a native of Famagusta, was buried with honours at Tymvos in Makedonitissa. Since his parents had already died, Markos' funeral was attended by his eight siblings and representatives of the Government, the National Guard and the Cyprus Police.

    Wreaths were also laid on behalf of President Glafcos Clerides and Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos.

    The remains of several other people killed during the Turkish invasion have been identified using the DNA method.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail

    Tuesday, May 23, 2000

    [09] Market ends in marginal retreat

    By Michael Ioannou

    SPECULATIVE trading pared early gains on the Cyprus bourse yesterday as it ended in marginal retreat with most sectors suffering losses.

    The broad trend was underperformed by gains in the tourism sector and a slight advance for insurance shares. The market opened some ten points higher than Friday's level but started to sag as investors reaped quick gains.

    The Cyprus Stock Exchange all-share index closed 0.18 per cent down at 525.72 on a trading volume on a par with Friday at around £37.3 million. The index

    had opened at 535.21 points, scaled to an intraday high of 537.21 and subsequently slipped.

    Dealers said that buy orders which marked the start of trading attracted speculators. "When the market goes five or six points up sellers start coming in and that is what is keeping the market steady at the moment," one stockbroker said.

    Shares in the "other" category, which is the most extensive, dominated 31 per cent of all trading. Banking stocks absorbed 30 per cent.

    Trader Socrates Georgiades said that some investors had changed tack and rather than wait for long-term gains they were chasing them at the earliest possible

    opportunity. "At the moment the index is being kept in a very narrow trading range. Speculators are content with a five or ten cent profit (per share). We are not really seeing it go anywhere until there are announcements which will shake up the market," he told reporters.

    Banking stocks ended a shade lower than Friday's level, 0.2 percent down. Bank of Cyprus dropped two cents to £8.43 on a turnover of 383,448 shares while

    Laiki were down three cents to 13.07 on a turnover exceeding 545,000 shares. Both shares traded with a yawning difference in intraday highs and lows; 19 cents for Bank of Cyprus and 35 cents for Laiki.

    Laiki shares absorbed 7.1 million pounds worth of the day's traded value.

    Louis Cruise Lines remained dominant in terms of volumes traded. Some 2.45 million shares changed hands -- less than half of the record 5.6 million of Friday

    -- retreating four cents to 1.52.

    Small cap Dodoni also stood out for its volume -- 1.11 million shares -- as the stock nudged up marginally by a fraction of a cent to a last trade of 22 cents.

    Investment firm Unifast Finance scored the highest percentage gain, adding 6.6 per cent to close at 4.44 while Options Eurocongress was up two per cent to 2.77.

    Ceilfloor, which went back on the market yesterday after a week-long suspension in the wake of the Avacom bid to take control, fell 41 cents to 3.69.

    The bourse said yesterday that PHC Franchised Restaurants, which are among others owners of the Pizza Hut chain in Cyprus, would start trading on May

    29. PHC will float 17,333,331 ordinary shares with a par of 20 cents each and 3,333,276 warrants.

    [10] Papadopoulos seeking Diko chairmanship

    By George Psyllides

    DIKO Parliamentary Spokesman Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday announced he was running for party chairman during the September electoral conference.

    In a written statement, Papadopoulos said he had decided to run for the chairmanship after numerous contacts with Diko officials and citizens involved in the political and social life of Cyprus.

    "The politically brave decision of the founder and first president of Diko, Mr Spyros Kyprianou, not to run for president of the party again sets the pace and the direction for all of us," Papadopoulos' statement said. With this direction in mind, he continued, the party's September conference should be the starting point of the effort to rebuild Diko and the centre.

    "It is time for a new beginning. It is time to regroup and renew the Democratic Party together," Papadopoulos said in his statement.

    "I have always tried, and I believe, succeeded to a great extent, to be useful for Cyprus, the struggle for national and physical survival, Diko, and the Centre. From this new struggle, I am not allowed to, and could not, be absent," he said.

    Papadopoulos enjoys the backing of Kyprianou, who openly voiced his support for him after deciding to step down as Diko chieftain.

    © Copyright Cyprus Mail


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