|Sunday, 19 January 2020|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 01-03-09
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
 HEADLINESGreek Foreign Minister George Papandreou's three-day visit to Cyprus aims to coordinate action between Athens and Nicosia,
Cyprus Airways are considering a fare hike on its flights to Athens once the new airport in Spata opens up,
While a labour dispute within Eurocypria's ranks again threatens the national air carrier,
Police chief Andreas Angelides and Akel MP Kostas Papakostas traded barbs over party meddling within the force,
An ETA car bomb killed a policeman in Spain's northern Basque region,
And the Taleban have reportedly destroyed the ancient Buddha statues in Afghanistan.
 CASSOULIDESA visit by Greek Foreign Minister George Papandreou to the island will have the four-fold purpose of discussing the latest developments in the Cyprus issue and the island's course towards European Union accession, evaluating the current situation in Turkey and getting to know the island better.
Speaking to the Athens News Agency, Foreign Minister Ioannis Cassoulides said Mr. Papandreou's visit to the island is part of continuing talks between Greece and Cyprus to evaluate developments and coordinate actions on the Cyprus issue and the island's accession course.
Beyond that, Mr. Papandreou will get a chance to fulfill his wish to learn more about Cyprus and will tour towns and villages where he will talk about the 2004 Olympic games.
Mr. Papandreou is expected to arrive in Cyprus on Sunday morning and will hold talks with Mr. Cassoulides.
He will meet President Clerides on Monday.
Mr. Papandreou's three-day visit will also include meetings with Archbishop Chrysostomos and party leaders, as well as a trip to the "Andreas Papandreou" Air Base in Paphos.
The Greek Foreign Minister will be declared honorary citizen in Paphos and Limassol.
 FaresCyprus Airways are expected to consider a fare hike on flights to Athens, because operation of the new airport in Spata means an automatic fourteen pound increase in the airline's cost to ferry each and every passenger.
Cyprus Airways spokesman Tassos Angelis said the greatest problem the airline is expected to face with the opening of the Spata airport will be transporting passengers to and from Spata, since a part of the road towards the airport is not yet ready.
 PlanesA labour dispute within Eurocypria's ranks doesn't bode well for an auspicious start to the tourist season.
The charter unit's employees decided on strike action prompted by a dispute over pilots being declared part of Cyprus Airways staff.
The strike action will be in effect after the deadline issued to the company is passed in ten days.
Meanwhile, Eurocypria pilots will not fly with the six pilots transferred from Cyprus Airways and will work strictly according to regulations and their collective bargaining agreement.
 TalatRepublican Turkish Party leader Mehmet Ali Talat launched another salvo against Rauf Denktash and his policies on the Cyprus issue.
The Turkish Cypriot politician said not resolving the Cyprus issue will lead to a dead end, while both the economy and democracy itself will fall victim to the stalemate.
Mr. Talat said his political adversary is doing everything to muzzle the opposition and re-instate the archaic, single-party system.
He referred to mistakes made by the Turkish Cypriot side regarding the island's European Union accession course which, he claimed, the Greek Cypriots are benefiting from.
 AKELAkel MP Kostas Papakostas today accused the Police of incompetence and of marginalising stellar officers at the expense of unqualified staff.
Speaking on CyBC, Mr. Papakostas claimed that party interference is a common occurrence resulting in incompetent officers being promoted, a practice which undermines and weakens the force.
He also made accusations of party meddling in hiring, transfers and promotions which marginalise outstanding officers including himself.
Mr. Papacostas added that while meddling was common in the past, they have now become an exact science.
 CHIEFResponding in kind, Police chief Andreas Angelides fired back that Mr. Papacostas isn't as squeaky clean as he makes himself out to be and that he undermine's the integrity of the force.
Mr. Angelides also accused the Akel MP of being among the first who always point the finger at police and claimed that the former Deputy Police chief would often sit at his desk and discuss promotions and transfers of officers with party members.
He added that Mr. Papakostas would himself meddle in police affairs by launching threats.
Mr. Angelides admitted that party meddling does go on, but he ignores it and promotes worthy officers.
 SPAINA car bomb blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA killed one policeman in Spain's northern Basque region and injured another this morning after the officers were lured into a trap.
The rare attack on the Basque region's own police force, coming at the outset of the campaign for May 13 Basque elections, followed a recent crackdown on ETA that has led to a string of arrests, including the capture of its alleged top military leader in France.
One day after ETA was suspected of stealing 1.5 tonnes of explosives in France, the outlawed group struck again, raising to 27 the number of killings blamed on ETA since it called off a 14-month-long ceasefire in December 1999.
ETA, which seeks to carve out an independent Basque homeland in northern Spain and southwestern France, is blamed for about 800 deaths since 1968.
 AFGHANAfghanistan's opposition said the ruling Taliban have destroyed the two ancient Bamiyan Buddha statues in central Afghanistan, despite worldwide pleas to save them.
There was no immediate comment from the Taliban nor was there any independent confirmation of the latest opposition report.
The two Buddhas in the central province of Bamiyan tower 53 metres and 38 metres and were hewn out of sandstone cliffs almost 2,000 years ago.
Earlier, a Pakistan-based Afghan news service reported that the purist Islamic Taliban used a "large explosive" on Thursday to destroy the "top quarter" of the tallest statue.
The Taliban had vowed to destroy the Buddhas sparking international condemnation, but the campaign had been put on hold for the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. The feast ended on Thursday.
 MIDEASTIsraeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon sent a letter to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to discuss a halt to violence and pave the way for a possible renewal of peace talks.
In the West Bank and Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers and Palestinian gunmen exchanged fire in the first serious clashes since Sharon took power and the Jewish state's security forces were on high alert for possible attacks by suicide bombers.
An aide to Sharon said the newly-elected Israeli leader was willing to meet Arafat in person to discuss ending violence, but any peace negotiations could only take place after an extended lull in fighting.
Sharon sent Arafat the letter last night, saying he hoped for "personal contacts" to renew peacemaking and end the violence.
Sharon's spokesman made clear however there was no change in the Israeli leader's policy that violence must stop before peace negotiations start.
 armyThe British Army said 17 members of the Welsh Guards, the regiment which Prince William joined for a survival course last summer in Belize, had tested positive for illegal drugs and would be sacked.
The number of positive tests at the high-profile infantry unit was unusually large, though not the biggest hit the Army.
The Army, which numbers around 100,000, dimisses soldiers who test positive for any class of drugs almost without exception.
The ministry dismissed as pure speculation reference in tabloid newspaper reports that Prince William, may join the Welsh Guards.
 weatherThis afternoon will be mainly fine with scattered clouds and light to moderate, northwesterly to northeasterly winds, 3 to 4 beaufort.
Seas will be slight to moderate.
Tonight will remain fine with light, northerly winds, 2 to 3 beaufort and with slight seas.
The temperature will drop to 9 degrees inland, 11 on the coasts and 5 in the highest mountains.