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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-08-07

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, August 7, 2002


  • [01] British troops tried to kill me, claims Matsakis
  • [02] Laiki dispute could soon affect all banks, employers warn
  • [03] Paphos bishop berates dissenting colleagues
  • [04] Government urged to speed up fire compensation
  • [05] BA reports slump in Sept. 11 bookings, but CY running as normal

  • [01] British troops tried to kill me, claims Matsakis

    By George Psyllides

    D.I.K.O. DEPUTY Marios Matsakis yesterday charged that British troops carrying out exercises at a Larnaca firing range had tried to kill him. The Bases spokesman has denied the allegation.

    Matsakis told reporters that he went to the Kalo Horio firing range in an attempt to disrupt the exercise in protest at the planned erection of the huge British aerial at Akrotiri salt lake.

    The outspoken deputy, who has become a thorn in the side of the British bases authorities with his antics, claimed that at one point the troops, who were using live ammunition, opened fire in his direction and tried to kill him.

    Matsakis also slammed a high-ranking Larnaca police officer for not taking his complaint seriously.

    Reports said Matsakis was admitted to Larnaca hospital after the alleged incident with symptoms of fever and headaches. He was treated and subsequently released.

    Bases spokesman Rob Need denied Matsakis' allegations last night, saying the exercises had been completed after seven hours and after not being able to locate Matsakis inside the firing range.

    Need said Matsakis had gone to the range in the morning and left later on, only to return in the afternoon.

    Matsakis was nowhere to be found inside the range and it was decided to stop the exercise, Need said, adding that Matsakis has also entered the firing range on Monday.

    Foreign Minister Yiannakis Cassoulides said Matsakis was responsible enough not to expose himself to thoughtless risks.

    "I think Mr Matsakis' sense of responsibility is developed enough for him to be able to protect himself and not be exposed to thoughtless dangers," Cassoulides said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Laiki dispute could soon affect all banks, employers warn

    By Jean Christou

    THE ISLAND'S two main banks reopened to the public yesterday, following Monday's closure, but Laiki will close again today and on Friday in a dispute over the bank's computing centre.

    Staff at Laiki's computing centre are refusing to do overtime work, accusing the bank of bringing in private contractors in violation of the existing collective agreement. Employers say that, without full coverage at the centre, the reliability of transactions will be compromised and have therefore closed the bank to the public on the days of the action. On Monday, Bank of Cyprus followed suit, arguing there would be a knock-on effect on its transactions, but said yesterday it would stay open today and on Friday.

    However, the chairman of the Bank Employers' Association, Christos Taliadoros, warned yesterday that if the measures by the Bank Employees' Union ETYK continued, the entire banking sector would be affected.

    "If the situation continues, the measures at Laiki will gradually affect all banks because indirectly the effects of the inefficient operation of the computing service at Laiki would have a knock-on effect on the other banks," Taliadoros said. "If Laiki Bank cheques do not clear and are held by another bank, imagine what chaos would result to the whole system."

    ETYK president Loizos Hadjicostis, however, denied accusations that the union was violating the industrial relations code.

    "The measures were taken following repeated warnings to Laiki Bank," he said. "And they have been taken for totally separate reasons from the renewal of the collective agreement. We reported Laiki Bank one and a half months ago for violations."

    The dispute comes as union and employers square up over the renewal of the collective agreement, with ETYK having given 10 days' notice for full strike action after negotiations reached deadlock. The deadline runs out on Saturday.

    Renos Christodoulides, the vice president of the Cyprus Stock Exchange, warned yesterday that protracted industrial action at the banks would lead to problems on the stock exchange.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Paphos bishop berates dissenting colleagues

    By George Psyllides

    BISHOP Chrysostomos of Paphos yesterday slammed the Bishops of Limassol and Kiti for disagreeing with the majority of the senior clergy over whether to summon a Holy Synod in the absence of the ailing Archbishop.

    The members of the Holy Synod met again yesterday to discuss the rulings of three Church Canon experts who decided that a regular Synod could meet under the circumstances.

    The move, however, was halted by the Bishops of Limassol and Kiti, who on Monday voted against it and suggested to wait for a medical council to report on the Archbishop's health before taking such a decision.

    Chrysostomos of Paphos said yesterday that Monday's meeting did nothing but "talk to pass the time".

    Chrysostomos charged there was a fifth column in the Church and that was why everything was happening as it was.

    "I want to believe that they understand as everyone else understands. We were nine people: the seven couldn't be wrong while the two were right, since the rulings from the Canon experts were clear," Chrysostomos said.

    He added: "I believe that whatever the medical council's decisions, the two brothers would still disagree because something else is hiding behind this disagreement."

    "There is no sincerity," Chrysostomos said.

    The bishop refused to elaborate into any details.

    "I don't wish to say more; I think people have memory and judgment and they understand," he said.

    The outspoken bishop said that he would not participate in any other meeting if the full Synod was not convening.

    Concerning the Archbishop's health, Chrysostomos said they had authorised the Bishop of Trimithounda to contact the doctors and ask them to draft a report on his condition.

    Chrysostomos said that all the members of the Holy Synod agreed that the Archbishop's Cypriot cardiologist would be taking part in the council as well the health minister.

    But according to Bishop Vassilios of Trimithounda, no Cypriot doctors have been invited to join the council.

    He said they had decided not to invite any because the condition concerned neurological problems only.

    Vassilios said the health ministry would also be informed about the Archbishop's condition.

    The main issues to be addressed by the medical council are whether the Archbishop is fit to return to Cyprus or if he needs to continue his treatment in Greece, where he has been for the past three months.

    "The aim of the medical council is not to decide whether we should replace the Archbishop but to see what more we can offer," Vassilios said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Government urged to speed up fire compensation

    By a Staff Reporter

    THE HOUSE Interior Committee has urged the government to hasten its efforts to compensate those affected by last week's devastating fires in the Kourris valley above Limassol.

    The Committee dealt with the issue in yesterday morning' s meeting in the presence of the Ministers of Commerce, Justice and a representative of the Interior Ministry.

    The Ministers assured that the state services had assessed the damage and that the government would examine all possibilities in order to compensate those affected.

    The committee asked to be informed in writing as to the extent of compensation to farmers after fires in 2001 and 2000. The committee will deal again with the issue after the summer holidays.

    Last week's blaze has been classed as the worst ecological disaster ever to hit the area, after it had incinerated over 18 square kilometres of fruit and olive trees, as well as a cardboard box factory and a restaurant.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] BA reports slump in Sept. 11 bookings, but CY running as normal

    By Jean Christou

    THE ONE-day fear of flying which has apparently gripped many European travellers also appears to have hit Cyprus, but only when it comes to using 'western' airlines which might be seen as September 11 anniversary targets.

    Cyprus Airways (CY) and Israeli airline EL AL say they are running at normal capacity on September 11, the anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the US last year when two American Airlines jets were flown into the World Trade Centre Twin Towers.

    However, load factors provided by British Airways (BA) show a slump in bookings out of the island for September 11 while capacity on the 10th and 12th are higher.

    According to reports from Europe, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and Air France all said they were suffering a drop in bookings for September 11.

    BA said it had cancelled 26 transatlantic flights on that date while Air France cancelled two round-trip long-haul flights, one to New York and the other to Washington, because of low reservations. Virgin reported a slump in bookings but no cancellations. Other European airlines were running at normal capacity the reports said.

    In Cyprus, the national carrier said its bookings for London and Athens were steady on September 10, 11 and 12 with nothing unusual to report.

    But BA said the flight they had on September 11 for the UK was not even half full. Flights on the 10th and the 13th are two-thirds full, indicating a slump on the 11th.

    Agents for Israeli airline EL AL said that there was no change in bookings at all on or around September 11 and that everything was running as normal. "Most of the EL AL passengers at that time are students," a spokesman added.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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