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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-08-30

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus - Tourism - Increase
  • [02] Cyprus shipping - Vessels inspection
  • [03] Church Primate - Arson attack at mosque
  • [04] SPORT: Top European teams - Cyprus tournament

  • 1055:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus - Tourism - Increase

    Nicosia, Aug 30 (CNA) -- The number of tourists visiting Cyprus in the first seven months of 1999 went up by 8,5 per cent reaching 1,3 million, compared with the same period last year.

    According to figures released by the Department of Statistics and Research, 322 thousand tourists visited the island in July 1999 alone, compared to 310 thousand in the same month last year.

    The main countries of tourist arrivals are the United Kingdom with 47, 2 per cent and both Sweden and Germany with 6,0 per cent.

    According to the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, the arrival of 2,2 million tourists last year resulted in revenues of 878 million Cyprus pounds or around 20 per cent of the Republic's GDP (one Cyprus pound is trading at 1,85 US dollars).

    CNA GG/GP/1999

    [02] Cyprus shipping - Vessels inspection

    Nicosia, Aug 30 (CNA) -- A total of 119 vessels under the Cyprus flag were inspected in the second quarter of this year by the Merchant Shipping Department and deficiencies were found on 55 of them, according to an official announcement.

    "The deficiencies found have either been rectified before sailing or the owners opted to change flag to another registry," it adds, noting that inspection from April to June 1999 were by 25,3 per cent higher than that in the first quarter of this year.

    By the end of March 1999 the Cypriot merchant fleet ranked sixth in the world with more than 2600 ships of a gross tonnage exceeding 26 million.

    The announcement says that emphasis continued to be given to the implementation of the government policy for upgrading the safety and pollution prevention standards of the Cypriot merchant fleet as well as the living and working conditions on board Cyprus ships.

    The inspection of vessels under the Cyprus flag were inspected either by the Merchant Shipping Department or inspectors of Cyprus ships stationed at various ports around the world.

    The press release says that three ships were deleted from the Cyprus Registry at owners' request, after they were asked to conduct additional surveys and repairs following an inspection.

    The Department conducts occasional audits of the Safety Management Systems of companies and ships.

    It says that "the supervision and control of the work of Classification Societies, authorised by the Republic to act on its behalf, is now more stringent and systematic."

    It adds that in cases "where it is proved that serious deficiencies reported on Cypriot vessels were due not only to the lack of maintenance on the part of owners, but also to the negligence of the attending surveyors of the Classification Societies, strong representations are made to the latter and whenever the Department is not satisfied by the follow-up action it requests that sanctions are imposed on the surveyors concerned."

    The Department of Merchant Shipping announcement says that so far 500 applications have been received for the Maritime Cyprus '99 Conference to be held October 3-6.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [03] Church Primate - Arson attack at mosque

    Nicosia, Aug 30 (CNA) -- The Primate of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus today expressed the view yesterday's arson attempt at the Moslem Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaca was carried out on behalf of the Turks to cover up for the destruction of over 500 churches in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    Speaking after a meeting with new Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos, Archbishop Chrysostomos said he believes no Greek Cypriot would carry out such an act.

    The Cyprus government has condemned the sabotage against the Mosque and the President gave orders for a full investigation into the incident during which the culprits tried to set fire in four different places within the shrine in the southern coastal town of Larnaca.

    Archbishop Chrysostomos expressed the view the arson was carried out "by persons acting on behalf of the Turks so that they can cover up for the destruction and pillaging of our churches in the occupied areas."

    "I do not believe a Greek Cypriot would carry out such an act," he added.

    It is estimated that over 500 churches in the Turkish-occupied areas, some of them hundreds of years old, have been destructed, pillaged, used for other purposes, such as warehouses or stables, or have been turned into mosques.

    A statement issued yesterday by Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said "such actions undermine the struggle of the Cypriot people and the government is not prepared to show the least tolerance."

    It added "the President of the Republic immediately gave orders for the full mobilisation of the police to investigate the crime and bring the criminals to justice."

    The arson attempt was also condemned by all political parties that believe such acts do not help efforts for reaching a settlement in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded the island in 1974.

    Only slight damages were reported and a leaflet signed by an unknown organisation named "Patriotic Organisation of Cypriot Fighters" was found on the spot.

    The Hala Sultan Tekke was built in memory of Umm Haram, an aunt of the Prophet Mohammed who is said to be buried in the shrine, considered to be one of the holiest Moslem sites.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    SPORT: Top European teams - Cyprus tournament Nicosia, Aug 30 (CNA) -- Top European basketball teams participate in the Caretta Sunball Classic tournament, which opens at "Eleftheria" indoor stadium here this afternoon.

    They are European champions Zalgiris Kaunas, runners-up Kinder Bologna, European Cup winners Benetton Treviso, Greece's champions Panathinaikos, Israel's champions Maccabi Tel Aviv and Partizan Belgrade.

    The programme:

    Monday, August 30 5.30 pm Benetton v Partizan

    7.30 pm Zalgiris v Kinder 9.30 pm Panathinaikos v Maccabi

    Tuesday, August 31

    5.30 pm Zalgiris v Maccabi 7.30 pm Benetton v Kinder

    9.30 pm Panathinaikos v Partizan Wednesday, September 1

    5.30 pm Benetton v Maccabi 7.30 pm Zalgiris - Partizan

    9.30 pm Panathinaikos - Kinder Thursday, September 2

    5.30 pm Game for fifth and sixth place 7.30 pm Game for third and forth place

    9.30 pm Final game

    CNA GP/1999
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