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Cyprus Mail: Press Review in English, 99-12-18

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From: The Cyprus Mail at <>

Saturday, December 18, 1999

Government failing to plan ahead for hospital

A VARIETY of issues made their way into yesterday's papers, with the government's alleged inability to plan ahead on public health issues, and its "fear of angering toy importers" by publishing a list of toys containing a dangerous PVC compound cited as just two examples of what was going on in a country seeking to be part of Europe. And with the Cyprus talks over and the silly season fast encroaching on the news agenda, one newspaper gave prominent coverage to a porn star's plan for a record-breaking millennium sex binge.

Simerini reported that the new Nicosia General Hospital would only be able to accommodate 420 patients, instead of the 730 initially planned. Health Minister Frixos Savvides told deputies that, with 420 beds, the hospital would cover health needs until 2008. Deputies expressed their disappointment that the new hospital, which would be ready by 2002, would be able to accommodate the city's needs for just six years. The deputies, the paper said, heard that the hospital had initially been due to have 730 beds, but those responsible for the state's financial issues decided that the number was too high. During construction, the number of beds had been cut to 600, and then to 420 -- the same capacity as the old Nicosia hospital. The Health Minister asserted that for the needs to be satisfied after the first six years, an additional floor should be build now.

Politis yesterday maintained that dangerous PVC toys were still on store shelves, and from there would find their way into children's hands. Several European countries, Politis said, had banned these toys, while the European Union had asked all European Union countries to withdraw all children's toys containing PVC before Christmas. The newspaper even published a list of toy manufacturers, which, according to Greenpeace, were producing PVC toys. Politis says that authorities in Cyprus have been testing toys for a while now, but have refused to publish their findings, citing 'technical' reasons.

Alithia quotes Defence Minister Socrates Hasikos denying recent reports by American publications, which reported that Cyprus was acquiring hi-tech Russian missiles. According to Jane's Intelligence Review, Cyprus would acquire RVK-M1-S and TDR-M1 missiles and 80 T-80 tanks and BMP3 armoured vehicles. The publication asserts that, by doing this, the Cypriot government was creating tension on the island. Hasikos denied the claims and added that they were aimed at hurting Cyprus. Publications like this should not be printed at a time when important talks were being held about the future of the island, especially since they were false, he said.

Phileleftheros reports on the findings of the Fifth Pancyprian Conference on Aids. Health authorities were worried because of the increase in use of intravenous needles by drug addicts. By using needles, they said, addicts were far more likely to contract Aids. Needle-using drug addicts were on the rise in recent years, and doctors feared this would be combined with a rise in Aids cases of people who shared needles to shoot drugs.

Alithia also reported on a Belgian porn star's effort to break all the records by having sex with 2,000 men on New Year's Eve. The endeavour would be broadcasted live on the Internet, the paper said, and would last for 24 hours. Lover number 2,000 is scheduled to take his turn at midnight.

© Copyright Cyprus Mail 1999

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