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Cyprus Mail: News Articles in English, 02-08-24

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

From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, August 24, 2002


  • [01] Suspended sewage director's file goes missing
  • [02] Another insurance company has its licence revoked
  • [03] Minister: all rubbish dumps will go by 2004
  • [04] Popular Bank profits up
  • [05] 'Flying' to Beirut by sea

  • [01] Suspended sewage director's file goes missing

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    THE PERSONAL file of suspended Sewage Board director, Christodoulos Yiallouros, was reported missing on Thursday by the Nicosia Mayor in a two- hour meeting with CID officers.

    After announcing that he would temporarily undertake the duties of the suspended director, Michalakis Zampelas reported that the personal file of Yiallouros, containing relevant employment information, had gone missing.

    "I told the police that the file was missing. The information inside is not that important but what's of more concern is the question of whether Mr. Yiallouros is a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), which he claims he is," Zampelas told the Cyprus Mail yesterday.

    Yiallouros was suspended after allegations he had falsely presented himself as a member of UK-based ACCA. The association denies that Yiallouros was ever in their books. Police and disciplinary investigations have been ordered into the allegations.

    "Although the ACCA have informed us that he is not a member, mistakes can happen, so we must wait for confirmation before acting," said Zampelas.

    The Cyprus Institute of Certified Public Accountants struck Yiallouros off its register last week after the ACCA responded to their enquiry.

    Regarding the missing file, Zampelas said, "We can neither verify nor deny Mr. Yiallouros' claim that his file was missing since 1992."

    The mayor said that police investigations were expected to finish in 15 days.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [02] Another insurance company has its licence revoked

    By Stefanos Evripidou

    A SECOND Cyprus insurance company in as many months has had its licence revoked as a result of financial difficulties, the Insurance Companies Registrar has announced.

    Winvest Direct Insurance is to contest the registrar's decision by appealing to the Supreme Court.

    Registrar official Victoria Natar ordered Winvest's licence to be revoked claiming: "The company has failed to fulfil its financial obligations under the Insurance Companies Law 1984-2000. As of August 20, the company is not permitted to make any more insurance contracts or renew old ones."

    The case comes just a month after the Aegis insurance group collapsed into bankruptcy after facing a lack of liquidity in the company's assets. Unlike Aegis, Winvest is set to challenge the registrar, claiming that the decision to revoke its licence was taken illegally and, as such, is void.

    The company started operations in November 2000 and by March this year was receiving warnings from the registrar concerning its legal obligations.

    Winvest accuses the registrar, among other things, of not operating in good faith. Natar replied that it was the company's right to appeal against the decision but stressed that her actions were authorised by the Finance Minister himself.

    Natar confirmed that she warned the company on a number of occasions that their expenses were too high, hindering cash flow requirements and threatening their viability. The company dealt mainly with motor vehicle insurance.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [03] Minister: all rubbish dumps will go by 2004

    By Alex Mita

    INTERIOR Minister Andreas Panayiotou yesterday pledged that all rubbish dumps on the island would be scrapped by 2004, making way for state-of-the- art landfills and recycling centres in an effort to get in line with EU regulations.

    Speaking to the Cyprus Mail Panayiotou promised the rubbish dump sited next to the sea caves at Cape Greco would also be scrapped by 2004.

    "We will not only scrap the rubbish dump at Cape Greco, but all rubbish dumps on the island," Panayiotou said.

    Last year, then Interior Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou said Cyprus produced more waste per capita than any other county in Europe and stressed that all rubbish would have to be buried hygienically by 2005.

    Panayiotou assured that the process for the construction of the state-of- the-art landfills and recycling centres was well under way.

    "The Larnaca district officer has been appointed as co-ordinator for the selection of a new area in which we will create a recycling centre and a state-of -the-art landfill," he said

    "The area will cover the whole Famagusta and Larnaca district. We will carry out an environmental study as well as a study to determine which area would be more suited for the site. The area has to be away from built-up areas and tourist zones."

    But Panayiotou said there had been delays because the ministry had had to convince the village of Athienou that the government was not intending to site a new rubbish dump, but a hygienic centre in which rubbish would be disposed of cleanly.

    "There was a small delay due to the reaction we got from the people of Athienou, who threatened to go on the streets. I asked the district officer to explain to the mayor that the site would not be a rubbish dump. It will be a place that would be in line with EU regulations, where we will recycle glass, metal and plastic," Panayiotou said.

    Panayiotou pledged to the thousands of tourists who visit Ayia Napa each year that the rubbish dump at Cape Greco would definitely be gone by 2004.

    "There is no question about it! Our target is to have all the rubbish dumps scrapped by 2004," Panayiotou said.

    When all four landfill sites are constructed, all the dumps on the island will be scrapped.

    "The sites will be run by a special council that will be created to monitor the operations of the new landfills, based on legislation we hope to present to the House soon," Panayiotou said.

    "These organisations will be created in Limassol, Famagusta-Larnaca, Nicosia and Paphos. They will consist of representatives of the respective municipality who will make sure that anything that can't be recycled is buried properly.

    "The landfill will be lined with concrete so that nothing can seep into the ground, and we will also carry out tests to see whether there is any water there that could be in danger of pollution."

    Panayiotou said he had not forgotten about the rubbish dump at Cape Greco.

    "I know that people are upset about the rubbish dump, but I cannot tell you for certain it will go before 2004," Panayiotou said.

    "But there is another thing we can do, which is work together with Ayia Napa municipality to make the situation there more bearable for the tourists until a solution is found."

    Ayia Napa Mayor Varvara Pericleous yesterday finally accepted to comment on the issue. The mayor claimed she wasn't aware of attempts to contact her on the story over the past three months. Efforts by the Mail, Radio Napa and DIKO deputy Marios Matsakis to elicit comment on the issue from the mayor had until yesterday been in vain.

    "There have been vigorous attempts from everyone to have the rubbish dump removed. You keep coming back to this? Isn't there anything else you can write about?" Pericleous asked.

    "The rubbish site cannot be moved because there is nowhere else to site it. We have had discussions about it for a long time, but Ayia Napa is a small strip along the shore, so wherever we move it, it will affect someone living in the area."

    Pericleous said the municipality was trying to find areas outside of Ayia Napa.

    "We tried at Xylophagou, but they wouldn't let us site the dump there," she said.

    The dump lies across a signposted path leading to sea caves at Cape Greco, which many tourists have followed, only to come face to face with mountains of rubbish. Pericleous said the signposting was the responsibility of the Forestry Department.

    "We will speak with the Forestry Department to have the signs removed and we want to work with them to redirect the way to the sea caves so that people will not be led to the site," she said.

    "Do you think we want to have a rubbish dump at a site we like to compare to the Akamas? Even the worst mayor would not want this for their town."

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [04] Popular Bank profits up

    THE POPULAR Bank Group announced yesterday that its pre-tax profits for the first six months of the year had shown a 53 per cent increase, reaching 12.1 million compared to 7.9 million last year.

    Profits to shareholders were 6.2 million compared to 463,000 in 2001, the group said.

    The group's operating costs increased by 13.9 per cent, reflecting the negative effects from the cuts in interest rates and the slowing down of the growth rates of the local and global economies.

    Substantial increases were also recorded in "personnel expenses", especially abroad.

    The group said the increases had been anticipated because of the rapid growth, especially in Greece and Australia.

    "Other expenses", the group said, had shown a small increase of 6.5 per cent, indicating that the company's efforts to stem these expenses had paid off.

    The fall in the stock market (CSE) had little effect on the group's first semester results, when compared to the same period last year.

    The group said that - barring unforeseen economic or political instability - results for the second semester would be much better than last year's.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

    [05] 'Flying' to Beirut by sea

    By Sofia Kannas

    AFTER THREE decades, a marine passenger service is once again running between Cyprus and Lebanon. Since August 1, this year, Delta Travel in Larnaca have been offering a 'flying dolphin' or hydrofoil service to Beirut from Larnaca.

    The 125-seater Flying Star, travels at speeds of up to 39 knots whereas an average ship travels at just 18. Its ability to 'fly' over the water has also added to the Star's reputation as a speedy mode of marine transport.

    The trip to Beirut aboard the Star takes approximately three and a half hours and includes waitress service of complimentary sandwiches and (non- alcoholic) drinks. Passengers sit in airplane style seats, while those travelling first-class have the luxury of their own cabin.

    The _Flying Star,/i> was the initiative of Yiasbek Agencies, a Cypriot company owned by a Lebanese businessman with Cypriot nationality. Yiasbek also own four hydrofoil vessels in Greece, operating services to the Greek islands and Italy.

    Vassos Ioannides, General Manager of Delta Travel, is pleased with how the service is going so far. He believes the Flying Star offers a good means of alternative transport to Lebanon.

    "Cyprus Airways originally had two flights a day to Beirut, and these are always fully booked. The Flying Star therefore offers a viable alternative to air-travel. It's something in between a plane and a boat."

    The craft, built in 1989, has also been recently refurbished and meets required European Union standards.

    Asked whether the journey by sea might be too lengthy for some travelers, Ioannides said, "A plane journey does not just include flying time. It also means at least an hour's wait before check-in, plus additional time for baggage reclaim."

    "With a flying dolphin, you only need to get to the port 15 minutes before departure. Neither do you have lengthy security screening both prior to boarding and after leaving the vessel," he added.

    The Manager likens the service the Star offers to budget airline Easy-Jet, as both offer comfort, safety and reliability at reasonable prices.

    The _Flying Star,/i> appears to have the edge over other marine passenger vessels. It can ride the seas like an ordinary ship as well as 'fly' the waves.

    As Ioannides explains, "unlike some cruise-liners, a flying dolphin can travel in high seas. The 'skis' at the base of the boat give it greater stability and balance than other vessels."

    Price-wise, a return journey to Beirut from Larnaca costs 70 per person, plus a maximum port tax of 38. Child fares come at a 50 per cent discount, although reductions for groups are not available. First class travel is a 15 supplement.

    An adult (economy) return fare to Beirut with Cyprus Airways costs 144 including tax. However, flight prices are reduced if passengers are willing to give up the luxury of an 'open' return.

    Ioannides is confident that the fares Delta offer dolphin passengers are reasonable.

    "When we arranged the trips between Cyprus and Beirut we aimed to offer good service at affordable prices, for both Cypriots and visiting tourists" he said.

    "Delta also organise good-value excursions and accommodation for passengers once they reach Beirut," he added.

    Asked whether Delta were planning to extend their range of destinations, he confirmed plans were already under way for services to the Greek islands.

    He also revealed that in an effort to improve the current service to Beirut, a stand-by vessel was to be available from mid October. There are also plans to replace the Flying Star with a superior catamaran in November.

    Currently, the Flying Star departs from Larnaca twice weekly on Mondays and Thursdays at 8.30am and returns from Beirut on Tuesdays and Thursdays, arriving at 11.45am.

    Copyright Cyprus Mail 2002

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