/ 'Race of death' returns to Limassol
ORGANISED crime returned to the front pages after the latest unsuccessful
murder attempt against Limassol cabaret owner Sotiris Athinis. It was the
fourth murder attempt against Athinis, with the hit-men this time using a
'Low' anti-tank missile to try and get their man.
_ said the police had never in the past been faced with "such ruthless
methods, resorted to by hardened criminals trying to take control the
illegal activities of night life". The use of an anti-tank missile (one of
five stolen from the National Guard three years ago) illustrated the
ruthlessness of the criminals in the pursuit of their objectives, it said.
The use of a missile was of particular concern to the police command
because it showed the lengths to which criminal gangs would go to wipe out
their competitors. The National Guard command was also very worried,
especially after the recent theft of a large quantity of hand-grenades from
its ammunition depots. There are now fears that more weaponry could have
been stolen without the Guard finding out.
_ reported that the "race of death" continued in Limassol "with the same
protagonists". It said that Athinis escaped "by a hair's breadth" from
certain death as he was entering his 'Blue Pearl' cabaret just after
midnight on Saturday. The sound of the explosion was heard all over
Limassol, and it is believed that if the missile had hit its target, there
would have been many deaths.
The police only realised that an anti-tank missile had been used when they
searched the roof of the closed down hotel Panorama, from which the attack
had been launched. Another two Low missiles had been left behind. A witness
in Heroes Avenue saw one of the hit-men, who was dressed in black, climbing
down from the hotel roof and fleeing the scene on a motorcycle.
_ warned that the "unjustifiable prices of shares" traded on the Cyprus
stock exchange posed "huge dangers" as no protection was offered to
investors. The phenomenon of the "unjustified price rises of certain shares,
caused concern". It called these shares 'balloons', the main features of
which were their large fluctuations in prices and discrepancy of price with
It was not unusual in fledgling stock exchanges like that of Cyprus. The
same was true of the Athens stock exchange, forcing the Greek Finance
Minister to issue a strong warning to investors and to take a series of
measures for their protection.
_ took exception to a remark made by the government spokesman Michalis
Papapetrou that members of the communist party Akel would support President
Clerides if he correctly handled the Cyprus problem. It said Papapetrou had
implied that ordinary Akel members did not agree with their leadership's
criticism of Clerides.
It quoted Akel spokesman Nicos Katsourides as saying that Papapetrou's
"attempt is futile". When criticising Clerides, Katsourides said, he was
doing this in his official capacity as Akel spokesman and therefore
speaking on behalf of the whole party.
_ reported that President Clinton had promised a delegation of the Greek
American community that he would put pressure on Turkey to be more co-
operative in Cyprus talks. "All that I have omitted to do until today
regarding a Cyprus settlement, I will do now," Clinton was quoted as
Clinton spoke to the Greek-American delegation last week and asked them to
give their support to his wife Hillary who is standing for Senate.
Diplomatic meetings and contacts in the next few weeks would be critical
for the Cyprus issue and Greek-Turkish relations, the American president
said. He would also raise the matters at his meeting with Turkish Prime
Minister Bulent Ecevit.
_ reported that the winds of peace were blowing in the Middle East after
the signing of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian authority
for the re-activation of the peace process.
© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999