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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-12-13

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

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


Friday, December 13, 2002

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CONTENTS

  • [01] New book outlines EU for students
  • [02] Facelift for the Forum
  • [03] Denktash to stay in hospital
  • [04] Fare hikes a 'necessary evil'
  • [05] Market wavers on uncertainty
  • [06] Potato farmers demand 5.6m compensation
  • [07] When a pint's not the full pint
  • [08] Fire razes hotel room

  • [01] New book outlines EU for students

    By Nicole Neroulias

    STUDENTS IN secondary schools, colleges and the university will receive their first European Union Student Handbook this week.

    The handbook is published annually by Generation Europe, a youth-oriented organisation funded by the European Union and personalised according to each country's instructions. In addition to its agenda-style calendar and study tips, the book focuses on European Union history, geography and laws.

    The Ministry of Education has spent 40,000 on the books, which will be given to students at the secondary schools, technical schools, colleges and the University of Cyprus. Next year, the Ministry will also order a simplified edition for younger students.

    Minister of Education Ouranios Ioannides presented the book on Wednesday to school administrators, urging them to spend at least half an hour presenting it to their students.

    There are two mistakes in this year's edition. The first is that Cyprus' currency is listed as the crown, and the second is that Cyprus does not appear on a political map of Europe. These mistakes will be corrected in future editions, Ioannides said.

    Cyprus nearly received its 2003-2004 handbooks in Turkish due to Turkey's order for a Turkey-Cyprus edition. The Greek head of Generation Europe, Alexandra Glika, discovered the mix-up and ensured that the handbooks sent to Cyprus were the Greek-language editions ordered by the Ministry of Education.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [02] Facelift for the Forum

    By Jean Christou

    THE LOUIS-OWNED Forum Hotel in Nicosia is to be rebranded as the Hilton Park Nicosia from January 1 following 3 million worth of renovations.

    Louis announced yesterday that it had expanded its cooperation agreement with Hilton International following the signing of two new management agreements between Louis subsidiary Cyprus Tourism Development Company (CTDC), which owns the Cyprus Hilton, and Louis Hotels Ltd.

    The new Hilton Park will have a spa centre, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and conference facilities and further upgrades to its luxury facilities.

    The new management agreements will come into effect on January 1 and provides for the transfer of staff under existing terms, from Hilton Cyprus to CTDC. Staff at the Forum will continue to work under existing terms.

    Louis said its cruise lines arm anticipated substantial synergies stemming from the management of the two hotels under the Hilton umbrella. The revised management agreement of the Hilton Cyprus, the cancellation of the contract with Forum Six Continents along with the synergies, which will inevitably lead to lower costs for both hotels are expected to result in CTDC's profitability of around half a million pounds, Louis said.

    "The cooperation of the two hotels coupled with Louis Hotels long experience in the local hospitality industry is expected to upgrade the hotel and conference facilities of Nicosia and also provide new prospects for the further development of conference tourism in Cyprus," the announcement said.

    The company would not comment yesterday on the reasons why the contract with Forum was being terminated. Louis chiefs were abroad, a spokesman said adding that the details would be revealed at a news conference next week.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [03] Denktash to stay in hospital

    By Jean Christou

    TURKISH CYPRIOT leader Rauf Denktash could remain at a university hospital for up to a week, Ankara University Rector, Professor Nusret Aras, said yesterday

    Denktash, who spent two months in the US recovering from heart surgery, underwent medical exams at the Ibni Sina hospital. Aras said Denktash "is well" and as "healthy as you and I" but will stay in hospital for three to five days, a week, to receive treatment for post-operative fatigue and anaemia. He added that there were "some small problems with the operation wound".

    Aras said Denktash's condition would not prevent him from working. "'The examinations showed that there is no problem in his heart," he said. Denktash was originally scheduled to return to the occupied areas later today.

    Before leaving for Ankara Denktash told reporters that he had had to leave New York before recovering completely in order to confer with his colleagues on the UN plan for Cyprus. He said he had not been feeling well for a number of days and decided to visit doctors in Ankara.

    Commenting on the revised version of the UN plan, Denktash said it contained some improvements but that it was still unacceptable to sign as it stood. He said negotiations should have been given a chance but instead were being held in the dark "without any contact". "We have not reached the point of signing a document," he said. "We want negotiations.

    Denktash said his people in Copenhagen would be asking the EU for more time to negotiate. "We want the leaders of the EU to act with reason," he said. "We want them to realise that they are killing the chances for an agreement when they impose a solution on us." He said if Europe wants Cyprus to be united it must give the two sides a chance but if the EU accepts the Greek Cypriots "then they must negotiate with us separately about our membership". "They must lift the embargoes, they must extend economic aid to us and raise the level of our economy to that of the Greek Cypriots. In that way we can also get ready by the time Turkey is ready to join the EU".

    Denktash said because the EU wants the whole of Cyprus it will be forced to take the Turkish Cypriots into consideration. "I have told all concerned officials that forced marriages do not work. The two peoples must not be forced together once again," he said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [04] Fare hikes a 'necessary evil'

    By Alex Mita

    TAXI FARES are set to skyrocket from January 1 after the Communications Ministry bowed to intense pressures from the Urban Taxi Drivers Federation (UTDF) to readjust prices to match with increasing fuel and maintenance costs.

    The UTDF has had a long history of disputes with the Transport Department the latest being the latter's intentions to issue 269 new professional drivers licenses. Last Tuesday, taxi drivers warned they would go on an indefinite strike claiming that the cost of running their business was forcing a lot of drivers to quit.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail yesterday, UTDF president George Koronides said he was pleased with the outcome of Wednesday's meeting between the Communications Ministry and the Department of Transport on the issue.

    "We are delighted with the Ministry's decision to increase taxi fares, but we are still not happy with their intentions to issue new professional taxi licenses," Koronides said.

    "We have nothing else to do now but to take the licenses issue to court."

    Koronides said the standing rate during the day would rise from 1.25 to 1.70 and the charge per kilometre would increase from 22 cents to 32 cents per kilometre.

    The flag-fall rate after 8pm would increase from 1.87 to 2.26 and the charge per kilometre would rise to 38 cents.

    The rate per minute for a taxi to wait for the customer will rise to 12 cents per minute in normal hours and 14 cents a minute after 8pm, while the rate charged for carrying luggage is set to have a 100 per cent increase from 25 cents to 50 cents per item carried.

    The Department of Transport has also increased the taxi driver's holidays from nine days a year to 14, and customers will also be expected to pay 1 per ride on holidays.

    But Consumer Association president Petros Markou said the increases were a necessary evil.

    "The Urban Taxi Drivers Federation presented valid and logical arguments on the problems they were facing from fares being lower than the fuel and maintenance costs," Markou said.

    "Therefore the Consumers Association did not object to the raising of the taxi fares. Unfortunately, bearing in mind the rise in fuel and maintenance costs raising the taxi fares is a necessary evil."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [05] Market wavers on uncertainty

    STOCKS PLUNGED 3.04 per cent yesterday, following the previous day's identical increase as investors became increasingly unsure of what would happen at the EU summit in Copenhagen.

    The all-share index closed at 110 points on a volume of only 3 million. Blue chips fell 2.91 per cent taking the FTSE/CySE index to 444.4 points.

    All sectors took a hit, particularly construction companies, which jumped 7.0 per cent on Wednesday but fell back 5.0 per cent. Other hard-hit sectors included investment, technology, financial companies and banks, all dropping in or around 3.0 per cent.

    Top traded shares were Bank of Cyprus, which ended the day at 1.74 after dropping four cents, and Laiki, which shed six cents to close at 1.44.

    Louis Cruise Lines, which earlier in the day announced a new cooperation agreement with Hilton International, was heavily traded but lost almost one cent to end at 19 cents with over one million shares changing hands.

    "Investors that have a weak heart and high blood pressure are advised to pick a different hobby," said the xak.com analyst. "The investment community is trying to keep up with developments in Copenhagen but it's not an easy task as events unfold by the minute. Today's press delivers the message that all sides are in a deadlock again, and hopes for signing an agreement document are drifting away. In a nutshell, investors are now aware of a deadlock, an awareness that has prompted them to liquidate their positions today as they await more news."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [06] Potato farmers demand 5.6m compensation

    By Alexia Saoulli

    POTATO FARMERS yesterday demonstrated outside the House of Representatives, demanding 5.6 million in compensation for financial losses incurred this year. If the government failed to meet their demands they would take active retaliatory measures and block roads, they warned.

    But, Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous told the Cyprus Mail yesterday the amount of compensation the farmers received would be decided at the Cabinet's next meeting, as soon as President Glafcos Clerides returned from the EU Summit in Copenhagen. Themistocleous said the remuneration would not be swayed by external pressures and threats.

    "The Cabinet has yet to decide what amount of money we will give the potato farmers," he said. "It is not a decision that only one ministry can make alone. It will combine all bodies' input."

    The farmers have attributed the sum to losses incurred in the spring harvest and told the House Agriculture Committee yesterday the amount was not negotiable. If the government refused to make the payment, they threatened to move ahead with active measures, involving the blockade of major roads.

    The Committee unanimously backed the farmers' plight and told Themistocleous to convey this support to the Cabinet. They urged the ministers to meet the farmers' demands and make the payment.

    But, the government "doesn't operate under threats and pressure," said Themistocleous. "The Cabinet will make its decision calmly and base it on all the facts. We will not be bargaining the amount of money handed out to them." What those facts were he would not specify, nor how the farmers explained the 5.6 million compensation fee.

    "We will discuss all aspects involved and decide what amount of money to give them. This could be one million, two million or five million," he said. "We do not know yet, nor have we outlined a budget." Whatever the amount, it would definitely not exceed the sum potato farmers were demanding, he added.

    But, representatives of the farming community are worried about how they will get through the holidays if the money is not paid to them.

    "Three thousand five hundred families will not be able to spend Christmas," they said.

    Farmers claimed they were forced to endure extreme financial hardship. One even suggested the government pay them 60 million in compensation so that they could pack in the profession. Some accused the government's agricultural policy of "driving them to the edge of a cliff".

    Themistocleous said he did not think things had come to that and that it had been a threat thrown out in the heat of the moment. He pointed out that under his Ministry, the government had appointed 260 million to the farming industry, of which 26.5 million was allocated to potato farmers.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [07] When a pint's not the full pint

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    D.I.S.Y. DEPUTY Georgios Georgiou championed the cause of beer drinkers all over the island by raising the question in parliament as to what regulations govern the size and shape of 'pint' glasses used in bars, restaurants and hotels yesterday.

    According to Phileleftheros, the deputy claimed that different types of beer glasses used in the food and beverage industry were causing unfair competition and cheating drinkers out of a proper pint-full of beer, the report said. Georgiou asked the Commerce Ministry to inform parliament in what way the matter is regulated in Cyprus.

    As it stands, said Georgiou, bars in Cyprus purport to offer pints of beer and set the corresponding selling price, but depending on whether they are using glasses that conform to the English model, 0.568 litres, or the American model, 0.473 litres, the punter runs the risk of being duped out of 95 millilitres of premium beer.

    The DISY deputy was quoted as saying "It's difficult for the customer to notice the difference between the types of glasses due to the small difference in quantity, size and shape. However, the difference does make a difference to him and to the owner of the establishment."

    Bars that serve pints of beer in proper glasses might still cheat the customer of a few droplets of golden liquid as the creamy froth or 'head' of the beer is often used to make up the millilitres of a pint, making the more expensive specialty beers. even more expensive. To avoid debate, especially a drunken one, England and Germany have both dealt with the matter by serving beers in lined or marked glassware, making it a legal requirement to fill the glass to the line - and with liquid not foam.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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    [08] Fire razes hotel room

    A BLAZE broke out a Larnaca hotel yesterday morning, causing extensive damage to the establishment's second floor.

    Police said at around 2.35am a fire broke out at the Sandy Beach Hotel, which completely destroyed a second floor room and caused widespread damage to the rest of floor.

    Police said the fire service was called in to put out the blaze and preliminary investigations suggested it had started due to a lit candle in one of the rooms on the same floor.

    At the time, 120 tourists were staying in the hotel, two of which developed respiratory problems and were administered first aid. Oroklini police are investigating the incident.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002


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