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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-05-22

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus signs agreement with Slovakia
  • [02] Cyprus upgrades its seismic network
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] AIDS trial delayed
  • [05] European human rights committee says Cyprus' record improves
  • [06] Local environmentalists take on British Forces over exercises
  • [07] Economic discussions between Cyprus and Romania
  • [08] AIDS trial starts
  • [09] Enclaved teacher seriously ill

  • 1300:CYPPRESS:02

    [01] Cyprus signs agreement with Slovakia

    Nicosia, May 22 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Slovakia signed here today an agreement aimed to strengthen cooperation between the two countries in the economic, industrial, scientific, and technological fields.

    The agreement was signed by Cyprus Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and Minister of Economy of the Slovak Republic, Karol Cesnek.

    Speaking to CNA after the signing ceremony, Christodoulou described the agreement as "very important." It provides for exchanges of experts, information, experience, as well as education programmes.

    During the signing ceremony, Chistodoulou noted that the agreement was another proof of the existing good relations between the two countries, in fields such as tourism, air transport, and social security.

    He referred to Cyprus' willingness to help Slovakia in its efforts towards development, as well as to facilitate its business expansion to the Middle East.

    The Slovak Minister said relations between the two countries can be further improved, and assured Christodoulou that "Cyprus will find in Slovakia, a good partner."

    CNA GG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1310:CYPPRESS:03

    [02] Cyprus upgrades its seismic network

    Nicosia, May 22 (CNA) -- Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment, Costas Petrides, inaugurated here today the first of three phases of a programme aimed to upgrade Cyprus' Seismic Network.

    The first phase, which was completed last May, saw the transfer of the seismographs from Mathiatis village, in central Cyprus, to Nicosia, the telemetric connection of the Mathiatis station with Nicosia, the simultaneous recording of earthquakes on computer and the processing and analysis of seismic data on computer.

    According to Petrides, the first phase cost 21.000 Cyprus pounds (42.000 US dollars), while the estimated cost of the two remaining phases is 48.000 and 12.000 Cyprus pounds, respectively.

    The minister said "Cyprus is in one of the most seismic zones of the world and has suffered many devastating earthquakes since antiquity".

    He said the "primary concern and duty of the government should therefore be to protect the citizens and their property by laying out and implementing proper government policy".

    Petrides pointed out that "the founding of the Seismological Station, despite the decades of delay in comparison with other countries, is of great importance" and increases the quantitative output of quality seismic data.

    CNA RG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, May 22 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    75.76 (-0.68)
    
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  84.79 (-0.60)
    Approved Investment Companies          63.51 (-3.20)
    Insurance Companies                    58.40 (-1.73)
    Industrial Companies                   80.24 (-0.46)
    Tourist Industries                     60.83 (-0.65)
    Commercial Companies                   50.39 (+0.20)
    Other Companies                        54.71 (+0.26)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 681399.230
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1540:CYPPRESS:02

    [04] AIDS trial delayed

    Larnaca, May 22 (CNA) -- The trial of a Greek Cypriot man allegedly transmitting the HIV virus to his British girlfriend was delayed today when he was too ill to appear in court.

    Defence lawyer, Tassos Economou, told the Famagusta District Court Thursday, Pavlos Georgiou, 40, a fisherman from Ayia Napa, accused of knowingly transmitting the HIV virus to Janette Pink, 45, who later on developed AIDS, was too ill with gastro-intestinal problems to appear before the court.

    The defence plea was dismissed, however, by Judge Antonis Liatsos, who instructed for an arrest warrant against the defendant and ordered the hearing reconvene at 16.00 local time, (13.00 GMT).

    Pink, from Basildon in Essex, who travelled to Cyprus accompanied by her father, Vick Ruston, to give evidence against Georgiou, arrived at court to be told of Georgiou's absence.

    The 45-year-old Briton had a three-years affair with the accused, a married father of four, who, as she claims, had never told her he was an HIV carrier.

    Georgiou's wife also died of an AIDS related illness, while the youngest of his four children is a carrier of the disease.

    A doctor summoned to testify on Georgiou's condition said he suffered of complications with his health and has been taking strong drugs dosage since early January.

    He also said he could not tell when the defendant, who was admitted to hospital earlier today, would be discharged.

    CNA TA/MCH/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1710:CYPPRESS:03

    [05] European human rights committee says Cyprus' record improves

    Nicosia, May 22 (CNA) -- Cyprus has made significant progress in improving its human rights record and putting a stop to the practice of torture, the European Committee Against Torture said in a report released Thursday in Strasbourg.

    "This is very pleasant because we worked very hard on this issue," Cyprus Attorney-General, Alecos Markides told CNA here today.

    Reuter reports that not a single case of torture had been reported to the Committee during a visit here in May, 1996, a great improvement over a 1992 trip by the Committee on which several incidents were singled out.

    The Committee is part of the 40-member Council of Europe, of which Cyprus is a member, and the report was approved by the Cyprus government before its release.

    The 1992 report noted most actions of detainees mistreatment were committed in the police stations of the two southern coastal towns of Larnaca and Limassol.

    "There has been a very positive evolution since our first visit, notably concerning people detained by the police," the Committee said.

    The Committee was allowed unrestricted access to local military and psychiatric institutions, as well as prisons. It added human rights in general have improved on the island, since a mediator was named to examine complaints by individuals of torture and mistreatment.

    The Committee, however, said it was aware of some cases of mistreatment by police and repeated its earlier criticism of the duration police can hold people in custody.

    It also reiterated its disapproval of Cyprus' policy of separating prison inmates suffering from AIDS or Hepatitis B from other prisoners, regardless of their condition.

    "There is no medical justification for this segregation," the Committee's report said.

    CNA MH/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1805:CYPPRESS:04

    [06] Local environmentalists take on British Forces over exercises

    By Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Nicosia, May 22 (CNA) -- As British soldiers prepare to hold military exercises in an environmentally sensitive region of the island, local environmentalists are bracing themselves up for strong protests.

    In spite of assurances the British Forces in Cyprus have given, that they will take every precaution against damaging the northwestern Akamas peninsula, environmentalists warned today they are determined to protect the region rights by any means at their disposal.

    "We denounce the indescribable behaviour of the government and the British to the people of Cyprus and the international public opinion, and warn that we will struggle by any means for the protection of Akamas and the rights of the Cypriot people," the environmentalist umbrella organisation, Environmental Movement of Cyprus, said in a written statement.

    Some 100 British soldiers from the Sovereign British Area (SBA) of Dhekelia will start Monday a five-day infantry training exercise, using blank ammunition in six square kilometres in the Akamas peninsula.

    In a press release, the British Forces said they will "enforce stringent regulations to preserve and protect the countryside," during the military exercise.

    "They (the soldiers) will take with them hand-held weapons, a few tents and the absolute knowledge that they must care for the area on which they are training," the press release added.

    It also said "no training devices that might possibly start a fire will be used. When training without live ammunition, the soldiers pose no fire risk whatsoever."

    Local environmentalists, however, remain unconvinced, denouncing the Cyprus government's decision to allow British Forces to train in the Akamas and charging that irreparable damage will done to the area.

    "The insistence of the British to use Akamas for exercises constitutes an outright violation of all European Union (EU) decisions and directives on the protection of the environment and particularly areas of great environmental value", the Environmental Movement of Cyprus said.

    "At the same time, it violates the human rights of the inhabitants in the area," they added.

    The Cyprus government granted permission earlier this year to the British Forces to conduct military exercises in the Akamas, which is home to such endangered species as the Loggerhead and Green turtles.

    The 1960 Treaty of Establishment, which granted Cyprus its independence and sovereignty from British colonialism, provides for limited British Army training in Akamas which often ranges between 35 and 70 days.

    The Treaty also established two SBAs on Cyprus, one in Dhekelia, on the southeastern coast of the island, and Episkopi, on the southwestern coast.

    Environmentalists were up at arms last February when British forces again conducted military exercises. The fury of their wrath even took British Forces in Cyprus aback, putting them on the defencive on how they go about training in Akamas.

    "British Forces Cyprus are not insensitive to the concerns expressed about training on the Akamas. Military training is always an emotive issue, and the arguments against can often seem powerful and at times, exaggerated, " the British Forces press release said.

    But no amount of soothing rhetoric can quell the environmentalists' vociferous opposition to the exercises.

    They maintain the exercises are incompatible with the protection of the environment and doubt whether "the heightened environmental conscience of British soldiers training in Akamas do not affect the environment."

    "We know the area has been burned repeatedly, no vegetation grows in places where bombs have been falling for years, and shells and shell fragments litter the entire area," the Movement of Ecologists and Environmentalists, a branch of the Environmental Movement of Cyprus, told CNA.

    British Forces counter by saying that soldiers are briefed on the risk of fire and claim that fire damage to Akamas has been "very limited" in the 35 years British soldiers stationed in Cyprus have been conducting military exercises.

    "Fire damage in the area - as recorded by the Republic's Forestry Department - has been just 72 hectares, much less than one square kilometre in 35 years. Not a high figure for Cyprus," the British Forces statement said.

    British Forces also point to the fact that no alternative training area has been identified elsewhere on the island.

    The Cyprus government entered negotiations recently with the British Forces on the island to find a new location for the exercises, but all other sites scrutinised proved unfeasible.

    The British Forces also argue that industry, tourism and hunting "constitute a far greater threat to the environment of the Akamas area", than military training exercises.

    Undaunted, the Movement of Ecologists and Environmentalists plays down this argument.

    "We are not asking for the British exercises to stop so that other destructive activities can continue," the Movement said.

    CNA MH/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1950:CYPPRESS:05

    [07] Economic discussions between Cyprus and Romania

    Nicosia, May 22 (CNA) -- The 11th Session of the Mixed Commission on Economic, Industrial and Technical Cooperation between Cyprus and Romania began here today.

    During today's meeting, the heads of the two delegations discussed the two countries' state of the economy, and reviewed commercial and economic relations between them.

    Prospects of further cooperation in the fields of investments, trade, tourism, transport, agriculture, telecommunications, research and technology were also discussed.

    Cyprus' Planning Bureau Permanent Secretary Symeon Matsis and Romania's Under Secretary of Commerce, Michail Berinde, are heading the two countries' delegations.

    According to an official press release, at the end of discussions, a protocol on future economic cooperation between the two countries will be signed.

    Earlier today Berinde was received by Cyprus Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Kyriacos Christofi.

    CNA GG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2000:CYPPRESS:06

    [08] AIDS trial starts

    Larnaca, May 22 (CNA) -- The trial of a Greek Cypriot man alleged to have infected his British girlfriend with the HIV virus, started here this afternoon, after being adjourned earlier today, due to the defendant's failure to appear at the Famagusta District Court.

    Pavlos Georgiou, 40, a fisherman from Ayia Napa, was earlier today admitted to hospital with gastro-intestinal problems, but Judge Antonis Liatsos instructed for an arrest warrant to be issued against him.

    This afternoon he appeared in court to hear his former girlfriend, Janette Pink, 43, testifying against him.

    Pink, who has developed AIDS, told the court she met Georgiou during a holiday in Cyprus and they started a relationship.

    She said she learnt from newspaper reports that Georgiou's wife and child had been infected with AIDS but when she asked him about it he dismissed the publications as rumours.

    After his wife's death, Pink heard from his sister-in-law that she had died of an AIDS related disease.

    Pink came to Cyprus last Monday, from Basildon in Essex, accompanied by her father Vick Ruston, to testify against Georgiou, who denies the charges.

    The court heard from Pink that Georgiou had never warned her he had AIDS.

    Georgiou claims Pink knew he had AIDS and that the case had been brought up so she could get revenge on him for not marrying her.

    The trial continues tomorrow.

    Georgiou has been charged under section 190 of the Criminal Code, originally drawn up to fight the spread of cholera and typhoid, 50 years ago.

    CNA TA/MCH/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2030:CYPPRESS:07

    [09] Enclaved teacher seriously ill

    Nicosia, May 22 (CNA) -- Enclaved Greek Cypriot teacher, Eleni Foka, is seriously ill and is being blackmailed by the illegal Turkish occupation regime that if she seeks treatment to the government-controlled areas of the Republic she will not be allowed to return to the occupied Karpass peninsula.

    This was stated by Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, himself answering to representations made by US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill and British High Commissioner, David Madden, on the issue, House President, Spyros Kyprianou said.

    Foka, who has been awarded many honours for her contribution to the education of the few remaining enclaved Greek Cypriot children in the northeastern Turkish-occupied Karpass peninsula, was asked to sign documents that would mean recognition of the illegal regime and she refused to do so.

    The provocative behaviour of the Turkish occupation regime was denounced by President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou, who said representations will be made on the issue.

    MP Alexis Galanos also suggested the preparation of a written condemnation by the Parliament to be handed to Andras Barsony, rapporteur for Cyprus of the Political Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Barsony is currently in Cyprus to investigate the living conditions of some 500 Greek Cypriot and Maronite enclaved.

    There are only three teachers in the Turkish-occupied areas to provide for the elementary education of 34 Greek Cypriot and Maronite children, despite special provisions in the Third Vienna Agreement, concluded between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot interlocutors in 1975 providing for "facilities for education" of the enclaved.

    Meanwhile, the committees for the enclaved met today with Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, to discuss the problems faced by the enclaved.

    CNA MCH/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY

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