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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 00-01-15

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, January 15, 2000

Pesticide abuse and pornography

PESTICIDE abuse, pornography on children's "cartoon" videos and the Defence Minister's "adventures" at the House were some of the more eye-catching stories in yesterday's dailies.

Phileleftheros reported that there was no law in Cyprus controlling the sale of pesticides in shops. The chairman of the House Agriculture committee, Christos Mavrokordatos, is quoted as saying that "anyone" could open a shop selling pesticides and give farmers directions on how to use them. Mavrokordatos claimed the victims of the existing situation were the farmers and consumers who, in the long run, might face health problems because of misuse of the poisons. Experts are quoted as saying that last year, 25 per cent of vine products were lost because of the poor quality of the pesticides used on them. Paphos deputy Nicos Pittokopitis accused government agronomists of failing to visit farmers and properly advise them on pesticide use. Pittokopitis also accused farmers of routinely over-using pesticides and fertilisers when market prices were high, in a rush to get their produce to market.

Simerini reported about a police probe into a videotape sold as children's cartoons that turned out to contain hard-core pornography. Police were to take statements from the parents who bought the tape for their children, the paper reported. The manager of the company that produced the tape, a film director by profession, was quoted as saying he blamed the incident on sabotage, saying someone was out to ruin his company. He also said it could be the work of pirate video networks. The director expressed his disgust at the incident and his sympathy for the parents of the children who had this "traumatic" experience. Akel mouthpiece Haravghi took another swipe at Defence Minister Socratis Hasikos. The paper reported that the Minister had twice been forced to withdraw bills he tabled during Thursday's House defence committee session. Hasikos had to agree to re-submit amended versions of the bills, the paper reported. The Minister was pushing for an amendment granting the cabinet the power to by-pass House procedures when making emergency armaments purchases. The other bill would have given Hasikos direct control of National Guard forces, Haravghi reported.

Alithia focused on Cyprus problem developments, reporting that "openings" by the Greek side towards the Turkish Cypriots reflected a new strategy adopted by Greece in her dealings with Turkey. Government spokesman, Michalis Papapetrou, was quoted as saying that it was the government's intention and desire to make steps towards improving relations between the two communities on the island. Papapetrou said Nicosia would be careful to make sure such rapprochement did not suggest any recognition of the pseudo-state. The spokesman referred to long and short-term plans for rapprochement in conjunction with Cyprus's EU accession course.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 2000

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