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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-08-14

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Wednesday, August 14, 2002


  • [01] Police claim progress in war against bird trappers
  • [02] Tourists want entertainment before culture, Aphrodite mastermind insists
  • [03] Denktash 'panic' over NGOs' call for solution
  • [04] Insurance firm's collapse leaves drivers without cover
  • [05] It's been a hard day's flight
  • [06] Rights' body appeals for Levent release
  • [07] Tala fire threatens houses

  • [01] Police claim progress in war against bird trappers

    By Alex Mita

    SBA police and the Cyprus Game Service yesterday announced they had seized over 100,000 in bird trapping equipment as a result of their joint 'Partnership against crime' effort to clamp down on illegal bird trapping and poaching in and around the bases.

    In a news conference yesterday, SBA Divisional Commander James Guy defended the operation, saying that unjust criticism had been levelled at both the SBA police and the Game Service for a lack of activity in the area of poaching and illegal bird trapping of ambelopoulia.

    "Pressures have been increasing both domestically and internationally for stronger action in this case," Guy said.

    "But we have always had activity in this area. What has been the case is that over the last two years we have increased this activity tremendously and a very important part of this has been the co-operation with the Republic of Cyprus, with whom we have worked closely in carrying out operations to combat the problem."

    Guy said the joint operation had brought together all the agencies involved, including local authority and government representatives, the game service, as well as members of the local community. "We've adopted a strategy that tackles the problem in different ways at its roots among the younger people in schools, for example. We found that the attitude of school children was different entirely from other more mature Cypriots in that the prospect of mist netting did not appeal to them at all," he said.

    "We have also circulated leaflets warning the local community that this is an offence and that we will continue to take action and enforce the legislation. Enforcement includes arrest, seizure of equipment and prosecution."

    The Commander said that the SBA police had welcomed the help and support of the Game Service because they have provided particular expertise and knowledge in all areas, and added that they had also visited all the restaurants suspected of illegally selling ambelopoulia.

    "We have no evidence within the base areas that there are restaurants that are serving birds to the public but we do visit regularly to ensure that this is the case," Guy said.

    Guy announced that the operation had seen 90 arrests for poaching and the seizing of 1,434 lime sticks and nets worth 106,483.

    Both Guy and the Head of the Game service, Pantelis Hadjiyeros, confirmed that an EU delegation would be arriving in Cyprus shortly to assess the problem, but denied they were coming in order to monitor their operations.

    "They are coming not to monitor our operations but to look at the whole problem of mist netting over the island," Guy said.

    "I would like to emphasise that we are very happy to co-operate and offer any assistance in order to let them see what we are doing first hand and to see our operations."

    Hadjiyeros said the EU delegation would prepare a report on the issue that would cover the whole island and not only the SBA areas.

    He added that the Game Service would continue to work with the SBA to bring an end to poaching and expressed the hope that this year would see the last of poaching.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Tourists want entertainment before culture, Aphrodite mastermind insists

    By Jean Christou

    THE BRAINS behind the controversial Aphrodite theme park plan said yesterday that Greece was planning to build a 200-million euro mythological park in time for the Olympics in 2004.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail from London, architect and designer Xanthos Menelaou, rounded on critics of the giant Aphrodite idea, saying the Greek Development Minister had insisted such a park was necessary for Greece to transform itself into a modern tourism destination.

    "Greece is copying us now because it was only recently they decided to create a mythological theme park after our project was announced," Menelaou said.

    "This is a very important question for the critics. If Greece has so many ancient monuments and countless museums and archaeological sites why do you think they feel the need to create a mythology park," he said.

    They are not spending 200 million euros only for Olympics. It's to revitalise the tourist industry in Greece. They know archaeological places don't attract tourists. Statistics will tell you. London has some of the best museums in the world and they are struggling for visitors, and they are free or subsidised. In Cyprus we have only one industry, so do we want to subsidise that?" He said the most visited place in London was the London Eye, which was also initially reviled by its critics.

    Menelaou believes tourists want first to be entertained: culture comes a distant second.

    "If you want a financially healthy industry, you have to give the tourists what they want and now even Italy and Greece for the first time are trying to create mythological parks. Would the critics say Greece is insulting Greek culture?"

    Although Tourism Minister Nicos Rolandis is one of the biggest supporters of the plan and believes the idea would be a worthwhile venture for Cyprus, artists and environmentalists have branded artists' impressions of the $50 million Aphrodite theme park as "ugly Las Vega kitsch". One artist said it looked like a cake.

    Last year, the Chamber of Fine Arts (EKATE) branded the idea of a Statue of Liberty-sized goddess as "base, barbaric, morbid, bizarre, provocative, flashy, grotesque, monstrous, out of proportion, over the top, tacky, cheap, pointless and offensive".

    Hitting back at the critics, Menelaou said: "What do they mean by tacky? Is it more tacky than all those things they are building all over Cyprus - this confectionery of architecture? Which building's style do they suggest I follow?

    Menelaou said there were too many "great scholars" in Cyprus, "who sit around and scratch their heads but do nothing".

    "I decided to do something," he said.

    He said that to start with the park would have to be self-sufficient or it wouldn't work, and above all it must entertain and then educate.

    One storey will be below sea level to reflect Aphrodite's relationship with the sea. It will contain an aquarium and temple replicas to spark the imagination of visitors and will also have an environmental and marine conservation theme.

    "It has to be attractive to the visitors and ignite their imagination," said Menelaou. "Tourists don't just want to see fish. They have to enter a magical environment."

    Upstairs, the entrance hall will contain shops and cafeterias and a big water tank, again with an Aphrodite theme, while the next floor up will probably consist of a cinema area. Menelaou said the cinema would be an i- Max with a 3D programme.

    "Here, people will be able to live the experience with sound and vision of Aphrodite. This will also be educational as well. I-Max produces fantastic educational films," he said adding that this floor could also be used for other functions such as exhibitions, lectures and conference. Weddings will also be a big thing at the theme park, he said.

    "But don't forget the tourist goes there to be entertained primarily, otherwise he will get tired and bored and leave and will not spend his money. They can't take a week of going around museums. People don't want to spend their one or two weeks' holidays walking on an Aphrodite path or visiting an archaeological site in 40-degree temperatures. How many tourists visit the museum? One or two per cent. How many Cypriots visit the museum. I never saw a Cypriot visit the museum."

    Menelaou said ideas were still being formed and that even the plans for the statue itself, currently reflecting the Botticelli impression of the Goddess, may change during the architectural competition. "It will be a truly unique building," he said, adding he made no apologies for the fact that was being designed to make money. "Even Shakespeare had to sell his plays by inviting us to pay and watch," Menelaou said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Denktash 'panic' over NGOs' call for solution

    EIGHTY-six non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the north have announced a 'joint vision' for a solution of the Cyprus problem before the end of the year, a move, which Turkish Cypriot papers say has thrown the regime of Rauf Denktash into turmoil.

    Kibris said the 86 NGOs had called on President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash to play a constructive role in UN-led talks to solve the Cyprus problem, which have been going on since January this year.

    Two days ago, Yeni Duzen said the 'joint vision' - called 'Solution and the EU' - had caused panic and that Denktash had reportedly given his advisors instructions to play down the impact of the NGO action.

    Yesterday, the paper said the jailing of two journalists this week for libel against the Turkish Cypriot 'state' and its leaders, was part of the measures to deflect attention away from the 'vision', adding Denktash had given instructions to prevent the publication of the paper at home and abroad.

    But Republican Turkish Party Leader Mehmet Ali Talat reminded Denktash that it was his duty to grasp the common vision of the people rather then enter a fight with them.

    The 'joint vision' was announced earlier this week at a news conference, at which the Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, Ali Erel, said the 86 NGOs were in agreement over the need for a speedy Cyprus settlement and the common denominator of EU membership.

    Erel said the joint vision was the result of a two-month work period, adding that the declaration, which reflects the views of the majority, did not comprise a minority status for the Turkish Cypriots, nor did it call for the rejection of their rights.

    He called on politicians to take the vision's message into consideration and noted that the NGOs' goal was to attain what had been achieved in the world, in Turkey and in the free areas of Cyprus.

    "We do not want to consider the hellish scenario in the event that a solution is not reached", he said.

    The "joint vision" notes that a Cyprus settlement and EU membership are necessary in order to solve the problems of the Turkish Cypriots, adding that the lack of a settlement adversely affects the Turkish Cypriots and causes mass migration.

    It points out that the Cyprus problem should be solved before the end of the year and that the Turkish Cypriots and the people of Turkey would suffer the most if a solution was not reached by then.

    "We should not renounce our demand for self rule, nor should we surrender to the Greek Cypriots our political equality and our founding partnership rights granted to us by the 1960 Cyprus Republic agreements in a bid to overcome the current difficulties," the joint vision says, but adds the Turkish Cypriot side should show to the entire world through its actions and approach that it is the side that is interested in an agreement.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Insurance firm's collapse leaves drivers without cover

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    CUSTOMERS of Aegis insurance company have been driving their motor vehicles without insurance for two weeks since the insurance group collapsed at the end of July after falling into bankruptcy.

    Several thousand drivers are reported to be affected.

    The provisional liquidator for the company, Andreas Charalambides, has announced that all insurance contracts made by Aegis expired on July 31, obligating former clients insured by the company must find another insurer as soon as possible.

    Charalambides said that Aegis clients who fail to secure the legally compulsory third party insurance will be held personally liable for all damage should they become involved in accidents from this time onwards. Accidents may be settled by the Motor Insurance Fund (MIF) after the cut- off date, he said, but the MIF had a right of recovery of that sum against the client.

    He confirmed that the MIF was obligated to settle all claims before July 31 as long as one of its members was appointed permanent liquidator at the next court session on September 2.

    Charalambides said that the problem faced by the collapsed company was a lack of liquidity in the company's assets due to almost one million pounds being tied up with their agents. He explained that insurance premiums were collected by the company's intermediaries, but in this case, a large sum of money stayed for too long in the hands of the agents, bringing the company to bankruptcy. He noted that the company's management was not without blame either.

    "Big balances held by agents is a major cause of insurance bankruptcy. It is not regulated in Cyprus," Charalambides said.

    As of January 1 next year, a new Insurance Companies Law will come into effect under the umbrella of the European Union harmonisation process. "The new laws will normalise a lot of things, including existing balances between insurers and their agents," Charalambides said.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] It's been a hard day's flight

    By Soteris Charalambous

    THE CHEATLES, Europe's leading Beatles tribute band, arrived at Larnaca airport yesterday for their seven-stop tour of Cyprus -- only to find that their luggage had been left behind at Manchester airport.

    The band, who hail from "near Liverpool", shrugged off the inconvenience as "one of those things".

    The Cheatles have made a career of reproducing the much-loved songs of The Beatles in tours all over Europe and plan to tour Hong Kong later in the year. The Cyprus tour will involve a gruelling schedule of seven free open- air shows that the organisers expect to draw huge crowds.

    Greeted by the 'Carlsberg girls' carrying flowers and placards, the mop-top quartet were supposed to arrive in full Beatles regalia -- but due to the unfortunate mishap with their luggage were received wearing their shorts.

    "We're just going to enjoy ourselves, we're really looking forward to it," said Jamie, who plays Paul McCartney.

    The Cheatles have been together for eight years, and were started by Jamie and Julian (who plays John Lennon) while studying at university.

    Asked why they chose to form a tribute band to The Beatles, Jamie said: "We're big fans, and were brought up on the music when we were kids. They are good songs to play, everybody knows them, the audience can dance and sing... you can't go wrong."

    They donned Liverpudlian accent to answer questions about their strangest experiences while on stage: "We got some knickers thrown at us last week. Fortunately they were clean."

    As long as their guitars arrive on time the foursome will be appearing at the Galatex Area in Limassol tomorrow, then Dassoudi Beach in Limassol on Friday, followed by The Square Area and Nissi Beach in Ayia Napa on Saturday and Sunday. After a one-day break they resume at the Finikoudes Beach area in Larnaca on the 20th, followed by a performance at Coral Bay Beach in Paphos on the 21st and ending at the Sunrise Beach in Protaras on the 23rd.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [06] Rights' body appeals for Levent release

    THE NATIONAL Organisation for the Protection of Human Rights in Nicosia yesterday condemned the jailing of two Turkish Cypriot journalists in the north last week.

    The condemnation was published in joint resolution signed by the Union of Cyprus Journalists, The Association of Newspaper Publishers, the Cyprus Bar Association and UNESCO Cyprus, following a meeting on the issue yesterday morning.

    The resolution demands the immediate release of the two journalists, who should be allowed to "exercise their inalienable right to free expression".

    "We shall continue to monitor developments in this matter and to make all necessary representations both in Cyprus and abroad until our two compatriots are released and an end is put to the relentless persecution of their newspaper," the joint resolution said.

    Last week a 'court' in the north sentenced Sener Levent, the editor of Afrika, formerly Avrupa, and reporter Memduh Ener to six months over an article criticising Denktash and the Turkish Cypriot regime in the north. In all around 400 similar libel cases are pending before the 'courts' against Levent and other Turkish Cypriot journalists.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [07] Tala fire threatens houses

    A FIRE which broke out in Paphos was raging out of control yesterday evening, burning shrub and carob trees.

    The blaze began at around 3pm at the village of Tala, and put many houses in the area in danger. The Fire Service said it had mobilised more than 20 men as well as fire-fighting helicopters to try to extinguish the flames. Members of the Game Service were also helping.

    A Fire Service supervisor told the Cyprus Mail it was not yet known how the fire started.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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