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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-09-07

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

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Tuesday, September 7, 1999


Job Centre



/ '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 company fundamentals.

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.

_To Tharros

_ 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 saying.

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

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