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Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-05-20

Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <>


_THURSDAY 20 MAY 1999_

  • [01] HEADLINES
  • [06] KYP PROTEST
  • [11] HASH POLICE
  • [12] WEATHER

  • [01] HEADLINES

    A NATO missile hit a Belgrade hospital last night, killing four people, while diplomatic efforts towards resolving the crisis seem to be making some headway;

    Cyprus' National Council convened in a purely procedural meeting today, prompting the ire of House President and DIKO Chairman Kyprianou;

    The Central Bank of Cyprus has issued a directive urging all lending institutions to limit activity;

    A Czech delegation arrives in Cyprus on an official visit;

    A German mariner is being questioned by after abandoning his craft off the Akamas coast;


    Cyprus Police carry out three successful raids against drug traffickers in the last 24 hours.


    NATO faced a fresh furore over misguided missiles today, after Serb officials reported that an overnight strike on a Belgrade hospital killed four human beings, including a new-born baby, and injured two women in labour.

    Although the Western alliance admitted in Brussels that one of its laser-guided bombs had gone astray, it declined to say whether it was responsible for hitting the hospital, with NATO spokesman Jamie Shea saying that alliance warplanes attacked a Belgrade military barracks with seven laser-guided bombs at about 2300 GMT last night and that one landed some 500 metres from the centre of the target.

    The blast also took out windows and the main door of the Swedish ambassador's residence nearby, prompting Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh to describe the bombing as "unacceptable" and saying that she will seek an explanation from the alliance.


    Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari left for Moscow today for talks with Russia's envoy to the Balkans Viktor Chernomyrdin and US Deputy Secretary of State Strobe Talbott on resolving the Kosovo crisis.

    Finland's President, recently appointed as the European Union's envoy on the crisis, said that the chances of him travelling on to Belgrade hinge on what Chernomyrdin has to report from yesterday's meeting with Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic.

    According to reliable sources, Chernomyrdin and Milosevic yesterday agreed that any solution should be based on principles agreed by the major powers, but that Yugoslavia must participate in working out details, while Milosevic's office announced that a solution "can only be reached by political means and under UN supervision, and that Yugoslav participation is indispensable in working out details of the principles contained in the G8 plan."


    The West and Russia may have narrowed differences over a peace plan for Kosovo, but a German government source said today that G8 diplomats are unlikely to clinch a deal when they meet again in Bonn tomorrow.

    Speaking after Foreign Ministry officials from the G7 industrial states and Russia wound up talks on a possible UN resolution in the early hours of today, the source said there had been significant progress toward sketching out a "road map" of how to end Yugoslavia's conflict with NATO.

    Major sticking points between Moscow and the Western powers remain however, mainly over the sequence and timing of events that could lead to a withdrawal of Serb forces from Kosovo, an end to NATO's bombing and the return of ethnic Albanian refugees under international protection, as well as over the role NATO would have in such a peacekeeping force.


    The members of the National Council convened at the Presidential Palace in Nicosia this morning, only to have the meeting end after a mere ninety minutes.

    According to Government Spokesman Costas Serezis, today's meeting focused purely on procedural matters, with President Clerides informing those attending, at the outset, of the lack of substantial developments on the Cyprus Issue. Concluding, it was agreed that the various parties submit their suggestions on issues of mutual concern, in writing, in time for the next meeting, set for June 25th.

    Asked whether Cyprus' position with regard to the Yugoslav issue was raised during today's meeting, Government Spokesman Serezis said that the matter was touched upon, but added that all pertinent aspects have been scheduled for discussion during next month's meeting.

    [06] KYP PROTEST

    Democratic Party Chairman and House President Spyros Kyprianou, at a press conference given this afternoon, rallied against the Government Spokesman's presentation of events at today's National Council meeting.

    Warning that his party is seriously considering its continued participation in the decision-making body, Mr Kyprianou raised the issue of adherence to proper procedures and charged the President of the Republic of convening the National Council only in order to carry out what he termed "post-mortems".

    Cyprus' House President also reiterated his party's conviction that the Yugoslav crisis, contrary to what the Clerides administration is saying, is directly linked to the Cyprus Issue, and in closing expressed what he described as his strongest protest yet at the way in which the National Council operates.


    A Czech delegation, headed by Ministers of Finance Ivo Svoboda and Commerce and Industry Miroslav Gregr, arrived in Cyprus today.

    Welcoming the Czech officials at Larnaka Airport, Cyprus' Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Nikos Rolandis said that discussions will focus on bilateral relations in the relevant sectors, in which there is great room for improvement.

    Responding, Miroslav Gregr echoed the words of his Cypriot counterpart, while Ivo Svoboda said that other topics on the agenda include the broadening and promotion of joint investments and services, as well as the two countries' respective EU-accession procedures.


    A circular sent by the Central Bank of Cyprus to all commercial banks, Co-op societies and the House Financing Organisation, urging them to limit the extent of loan activity, has led to widespread concern.

    Reacting to the memorandum, the Director of the House Financing Organisation, which stands to be particularly affected by the directive, told our station that efforts are underway to exempt the organisation.

    Justifying the move, the Central Bank's Financial Research Director stated that the Government was compelled to proceed to such drastic measures given the large public deficit and the negative balance of payment, adding that the directive will most probably remain in effect until the end of the year.


    The Assize Court today reserved for tomorrow its sentencing of Yeorgios Iossiphides Pailas, found guilty of espionage against the Cyprus Republic.

    In his apology to the court, Iosifides entered a plea for leniency, citing grave economic hardship for his family, the interruption of his daughter's course of study at the University of London and the recent case involving two Israeli citizens charged with espionage.


    A small sailing boat, en route from Turkey's Attalyia port to Paphos harbour, was abandoned at sea off the Akamas coast in the early hours of this morning.

    Its sole occupant, 67-year-old German citizen Wolfgang Bartel, told Police that he abandoned his craft after it began presenting problems due to rough seas, and added that the purpose of his visit to Cyprus was to meet three fellow Germans vacationing in Paphos.

    No further information was available, but investigations into the matter are continuing.

    [11] HASH POLICE

    In its campaign against drugs, Cyprus Police made three successful raids in the last 24 hours.

    Detained in relation to trafficking are two Xylophagou residents, Paraskevas Paraschou and Lambros Constantinou, who received a package containing illicit substances from Britain, while Greek citizen Tamara Papadopoulou was also arrested for possession, use and trafficking, after some 30 cannabis cigarettes were found in her Nicosia home.

    The ingenuity of some persons however seems to have surpassed every sense of propriety, with Nicosia residents Elli Georgiou and Stavros Christodoulou arraigned before the Nicosia District court today on charges of cultivating cannabis plants in, of all places, a used plot at the Old Pallouriotissa Cemetery.

    [12] WEATHER

    Tomorrow's forecast includes fair conditions, with light to moderate northeasterly winds, 3-4BF, on generally slight seas, rising to moderate to rough in windward areas. Temperatures will reach 31C inland, 26C in coastal regions and 23C on the higher reaches of the Troodos mountains.
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