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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 03-06-28

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

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


Saturday, June 28, 2003

CONTENTS

  • [01] Denktash: we can talk about talks between two states
  • [02] Lebanese court ponders fate of Bishop’s robes
  • [03] Post office to introduce daily deliveries in an effort to meet EU standards
  • [04] Rights commissioner singles out prison overcrowding
  • [05] British grammar school for Paphos?
  • [06] Government disappointed at delay in passing Turkish Cypriot measures

  • [01] Denktash: we can talk about talks between two states

    By a Staff Reporter

    TURKISH Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash yesterday dug in his heels over resuming talks on Cyprus, insisting they could only take place on a ‘state to state’ basis.

    "If talks are to begin they have to be based on the principles of the existence of statehood," Denktash said on the sidelines of the Crans Montana forum in Switzerland.

    UN backed peace talks collapsed in March in a major setback to hopes of a solution before Cyprus joins the European Union next May.

    The UN, the EU, the US and Britain have all blamed Denktash for the collapse of the talks in The Hague, saying he was intransigent.

    "The way forward... is for the world to give up its well-meaning but futile attempts to force us back together. Instead they should remove the economic embargo and accept the government which Turkish Cypriot people have elected, " Denktash said in a statement issued during a presentation.

    "In time the two peoples of Cyprus will move closer together in their own way and at their own pace," the statement said.

    A day earlier, Denktash had called for fresh talks on the future of Cyprus.

    "We have to negotiate how to go to the negotiating table because the old attempt has failed," he had told Reuters.

    Denktash said certain conditions must be met before new talks start.

    "The cardinal principal is of course that the Greek Cypriots are not a sovereign government over the Turkish Cypriots. That has to be accepted," he said.

    Ties between the people on the island warmed in April when the Turkish Cypriots, for the first time in three decades, allowed people on both sides of the island to freely cross over to the other side.

    Sources close to Denktash told Reuters they wanted the island gradually to come together -- through confidence building measures -- in a loose federation and that the opening of the crossing was a step in this direction.

    The sources said the security of the Turkish Cypriots, outnumbered by around seven to two was of paramount importance. The crossing was opened only after Turkey had assured Turkish Cypriots of their security, they added.

    Denktash’s ‘Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus’ is only recognised by Turkey, but sources close to Denktash claimed this was only because they had not tried to get international recognition, adding this was an option if all else failed.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 28, 2003

    [02] Lebanese court ponders fate of Bishop’s robes

    By Jean Christou

    LEBANESE security forces are holding a suitcase containing an Anglican Bishop’s vestments after Cyprus Airways (CY) sent the clergyman to Tel Aviv and his luggage to Beirut.

    For the past six weeks, the CY office in Beirut has been trying to extricate the bag from the clutches of the Lebanese military, which is considering whether to release the luggage. However, the judge dealing with the case recently suffered a heart attack, causing a further setback, sources at the CY office in Beirut told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    The saga began when Bishop Bob Jones, head of the Anglican Church for Cyprus and the Middle East, travelled with CY to Tel Aviv to carry out Easter services in Jerusalem in April. While Bishop Jones made it to Tel Aviv, his bag was mistakenly sent to Beirut.

    Since then, CY has been trying to have the luggage released, the source at the airline’s office in Beirut said. “I tried to resolve the issue with customs in Beirut after they saw what was in the bag, but it didn’t work,” the source said.

    He said the issue lay in the fact that the bag was sent to Beirut with a Tel Aviv tag. Israel and Lebanon do not have any diplomatic relations. “This is all because the label said ‘Tel Aviv’,” he added. “It’s a security measure. It’s not anything against the Bishop. It’s just bureaucracy.”

    The source said CY was doing its best and had been making progress when the judge in charge of the case, who was ready to make a decision, had a heart attack. “We are hoping that by Monday we may have some news,” the source said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 28, 2003

    [03] Post office to introduce daily deliveries in an effort to meet EU standards

    By Alexia Saoulli

    IN AN effort to meet European Union obligations, the government has decided to upgrade the Postal Services in order to make them more competitive and productive. The changes will include faster postal deliveries as well as the introduction of new services.

    Following a series of visits to various postal district offices in Limassol on Thursday, Communication Minister Kikis Kazamias announced the Post Office would develop into a semi-governmental organisation. The objective was to ensure that postal services are able to offer greater flexibility and hence have greater potential and ability to compete with the private sector once the service is liberalised, he said.

    However, Kazamias reassured postal workers that the government was not moving towards privatising post offices and merely called on them to show greater zeal and cooperation to improve their services.

    Postal Services head Vassos Vassiliou said the move would make the postal service more independent. “We will be more autonomous and flexible,” he said.

    The EU has specified that delivery services need to be improved, that deliveries must be made five times a week and that postal services should be set at affordable prices, said Vassiliou.

    “We have some problems with our distribution at the moment and we must start improving it.” The goal is to achieve the highest possible percentage of all internal post deliveries within 24 hours, although the EU has allowed a 10 per cent margin for slower deliveries. “Post from abroad, particularly EU countries, will be delivered within three days from the day it was posted, or one day from the day of arrival at Larnaca airport.” Parcel delivery services are also set to improve.

    “I believe we will be able to cope with the changes. We have the necessary technology and the infrastructure to do so,” he said.

    Nevertheless, under certain weather conditions, such as extreme rain, post will still fail to arrive. The logic behind this move is simple: postmen do not have postal delivery cars and so they would get drenched in the showers if they carried on working on their mopeds.

    “If the weather doesn’t allow for postal delivery services then it won’t be delivered in a day. However, weather conditions in Cyprus are good and so we rarely have such days,” said Vassiliou. Post will not be delivered at the weekend, he added.

    The government has already taken into account the need for more staff, Vassiliou said. “By the end of the year, 30 more postmen will be hired and in 2004, a further 29 will be taken on.” Initially, they would be hired on a one-year contract basis and then made permanent when the need arises, he said.

    The Postal Services are also planning to introduce new services, Vassiliou said.

    “The primary service we are planning on undertaking is an internal courier service.” He said such a service already existed for outgoing overseas mail and now it was time to create one for mail within Cyprus. “This is our priority at the moment. (But) we don’t yet have a schedule for when it will be up and running.”

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 28, 2003

    [04] Rights commissioner singles out prison overcrowding

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    COUNCIL of Europe (CoE) Commissioner for Human Rights Alvaro Gil-Robles yesterday singled out overcrowding as one of the major flaws at the Nicosia Central Prisons.

    Speaking after an hour-long meeting with President Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday Gil-Robles described the talk as “very useful”.

    “My meeting with the president was very useful because we dealt in detail with all the problems. I believe this will give me a fuller picture for the remainder of my visit,” he told reporters.

    The Commissioner refused to discuss what was said in the meeting, but focused instead on his initial assessment of the Central Prisons. “I can already say I found problems, which need to be solved. The most important of all being overpopulation.”

    Gil-Robles stressed that the focus should not remain on this issue alone. “The reasons why these people are in the prisons need to be examined, and that is the most important issue, involving the freedom of illegal immigrants and the jailing of debtors.”

    These were issues which needed more detailed analysis and on which the Commissioner would base his recommendations, he added.

    Asked whether the Turkish occupation forces were discussed in relation to human rights violations on the island, he replied, “The Commissioner is here to study human rights violations of all the people here”.

    Gil-Robles will submit a report on Cyprus to a CoE Committee of Ministers and Parliamentary Assembly in September. He said the report would assess the extent to which human rights were being protected by the Cypriot authorities.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 28, 2003

    [05] British grammar school for Paphos?

    By a Staff Reporter

    A NEW British school could open in Paphos within the next two years, international commerce and legal solutions company KRK said yesterday.

    In a press release, the Limassol-based company announced it had been commissioned by an international businessman to prepare a feasibility study for the opening of a British Preparatory and Grammar School in the Paphos area.

    “It is the intention of our client to establish a non-profit making centre of academic excellence to serve the growing English-speaking population of school age in Paphos,” said KRK chairman Christos Kitsis. “The school will also serve to attract those parents who have chosen to live elsewhere on the island due to the lack of international-standard educational facilities in the area.”

    The proposed school would offer state-of-the-art sports, IT and arts facilities, and will be staffed by British and American teachers, “providing the professionalism to meet the school’s objective of academic excellence.”

    It is also intended that the school offer the International Baccalaureate (IB), for those pupils planning to attend universities outside the UK.

    The school’s proposed opening date is September 2006, though temporary facilities will be acquired for the academic year starting September 2005 if demand is high.

    Kitsis stressed that in order for the feasibility study to be completed successfully, KRK needed to assess how many potential students the school could attract. Parents wishing to register their interest in the project should do so as soon as possible by emailing info@krksolutions.com, faxing 26 822 178 or telephoning on 26 822 177, providing details of the ages and number of children they would like to attend the school.

    A final decision regarding the project will take place this September.

    For more information contact Kalia on 99 533493

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003

    Saturday, June 28, 2003

    [06] Government disappointed at delay in passing Turkish Cypriot measures

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE government said yesterday it was unfortunate that the House had not voted on Thursday on the bill allowing Turkish Cypriot trucks to cross the divide to carry goods in an attempt to promote internal trade between the two communities.

    The measure had been announced by President Tassos Papadopoulos earlier this week and were expected to take effect yesterday after approval from the House on Thursday.

    Voting, however, was postponed following a request from DISY, who suggested it would be more proper if the matter was discussed before the House Communications Committee first.

    House president Demetris Christofias said a delay could hurt the image of the Greek Cypriot side, since the National Council had already unanimously agreed on the measures.

    DISY parliamentary spokesman Demetris Syllouris countered, however, that his party was not against the measures, but that a closer study could help in their implementation.

    Yesterday, Government Spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said it was unfortunate that the House had not voted on the regulations, but expected that by next week all problems and questions would have been settled.

    “The government believes that it should go ahead as soon as possible to facilitate trade between Greek and Turkish Cypriots,” Chrysostomides said.

    He added that there would not be additional legislation regarding the products carried by the Turkish Cypriot lorries.

    “What was said and is viewed as a practical solution without any further consequences is, considering that the products are proved to originate here, then they can commute,” the spokesman said.

    He added: “This could be resolved either by a certificate or a letter from the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, which would accompany the lorries.”

    He reiterated that exports would be carried out from the Republic’s legal ports.

    The spokesman said the lorries would undergo checks from the transport department to determine whether they were road worthy.

    Chrysostomides said there was no indication or estimate on the number of lorries expected, but various comments by Turkish Cypriot traders showed that there would be a substantial movement of goods in various sectors.

    Turkish Cypriots would have to pay VAT on their goods but the possibility they would be selling at lower prices should be expected, the spokesman said.

    He added that some financial consequences should be expected, but not of such a scale as to create problems to the economy.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2003


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