Monthly Archives: January 2010

Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

Expectant mums turned away after ultrasound breaks down

PREGNANT women in Limassol will not be receiving sufficient medical care nor can their doctors take responsibility for their healthcare following the breakdown of the gynecology department’s ultrasound machine, a senior government doctor warned yesterday.

Dr Stavros Stavrou, head of the government doctors’ union, said the service offered to pregnant women at Limassol hospital’s gynecology department was “insufficient and dangerous”. Because of this he said “doctors cannot take responsibility” for their patients.

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

In the thick of chaos

ON MY desk is a copy of last Thursday’s Cyprus Mail, and on the front cover is a photograph of a survivor being pulled from the rubble in Port au Prince, two weeks after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti.

It is likely this miraculous rescue will be the last, and as rescue efforts wind down, so too will media coverage. Before long, most of us will forget.

For one man, who has since returned to his family in Cyprus, the experience of the earthquake will never leave.

Loucas Cibor, 33, a political councillor with the EU Delegation arrived in Haiti on December 31 to begin his new posting.

“I had been there exactly 12 days when the earthquake happened, at around 4.45pm on January 12,” he said.

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

The 1960s revisited

TO THE architecturally uninitiated, the stark, straight lines of the box-shaped Alexandros Demetriou apartment block in Nicosia may appear little to get excited about, but to architecture buffs it’s one of the few 1960s buildings in Cyprus that’s so special it’s about to undergo extensive renovation.

And whoever has climbed up the building’s trademark exterior spiral staircase can’t help but be in awe of the view that spreads out before them. Quite aside from the building’s architectural merits, its panoramic views of the city, including a breath-taking one of old Nicosia with the Pentadactylos mountain range as a backdrop, make it worth preserving.

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

Just why is Ban visiting?

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s visit to Cyprus, which begins today amid barely-disguised hostility from some political parties and the press, has many observers puzzled. Given that peace talks are nowhere near a key juncture – at least not evidently – the purpose of the trip is not at all clear.

The stated aim of Ban’s visit is to boost UN-backed efforts to reunify the island amid continuing intensive talks between the two communities. In a recent statement, Ban stressed that the UN remained committed to helping the two communities reach a solution:

“The international community has tremendous goodwill for Cyprus and a strong interest in seeing the Cypriots arrive at a solution.”

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

Buddhists hope for tranquil days ahead

THE BUDDHIST community in Cyprus has submitted plans to build a temple on land it has bought near Limassol, finally providing the estimated 5,000 regular temple goers with a permanent place of worship.

The temple is currently located in a rented house in Nicosia near the K-Cineplex and has been the subject of periodically bitter complaints from residents, mostly about traffic congestion and parking.

“At the beginning of last year we had problems like that, but later the people understood and are now friends of us. We don’t make any trouble for them. They don’t make any trouble for us,” said Manjula de Silva who is spokesperson for the temple and founded it himself in 2004. “You can see there are lots of cars parked here now, and it’s OK.”

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

Film Review: Old Dogs

You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, so what do you do instead? Simple: have them do their old tricks – but put a carousel and marching band around them, so nobody notices. The carousel and marching band in question is called Old Dogs, in which Robin Williams and John Travolta do their time-honoured thing which they’ve done since the late 70s; they’re as comfortable as a pair of old socks, and about as charming. Robin is neurotic, fast-talking, angst-ridden. John is languid, suave, a bit of a lad, though his brashness has been smoothed by middle-age: where Tony Manero, Danny Zuko and Vincent Vega – his three most famous characters – radiated danger, he now radiates bonhomie, a businessman’s glad-handing, back-slapping and anecdote-telling.

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

The party’s over for usurpers of property in north Cyprus


THE U.K. Court of Appeal ruling ordering Britons Linda and David Orams to demolish their home built on land belonging to Meletis Apostolides should act as a strong deterrent for speculators of Greek Cypriot properties in the north.

Meletis Apostolides is one of nearly 200,000 Greek Cypriot refugees forcibly expelled from their homes in 1974.

The ruling, in which the Orams were ordered to demolish their “dream-home”, return Apostolides’ land, pay back rent with interest and legal costs estimated at £1.35m, has sent thousands of British and other EU citizens living in Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied north into a state of shock, anger and bewilderment.

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

Rich-bitch Davos and the ugly face of capitalism


AT THIS year’s 40th Davos Meeting of the World Economic Forum, China pledged more stimuli to maintain growth and the West accepted China and India as equals.

Greece denied that a bailout of its economy was needed by the ECB and President Sarkozy believes that the face of capitalism must change if it is to survive. France is plagued by strikes: we are not, but will be when we are obliged to cut our civil service numbers down to size.

Never mind the Cyprob talks, how are we going to save the economy, which is sinking at a rate unknown since independence? Defaults on loans and bankruptcies of small businesses are commonplace and the number of unemployed will be hanging around 10 per cent by the end of the year.

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

Dirty laundry and the mess we’re in


OVER THE LAST couple of years, the CyBC has unintentionally been offering a valuable national service. By herding a variety of leading figures as well as bit-players of Archbishop Makarios’ regime into its studios, it gives an opportunity for old and young Greek Cypriots to learn a few bitter truths and helps them understand the main causes for our state’s current predicament.

Once again I advise anyone who wants to learn why we are in the mess we are today to watch these studio discussions. I know it is a bit masochistic to waste your valuable time watching Nicos Koshis, Christodoulos Christodoulou and Vassos Lyssarides but the insight is worth the sacrifice – and it is valuable.

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Archives January 31, 2010 posted by

Britain’s time for action


TWO YEARS ago when UK inter-communal campaign group Cypriots for Cyprus (C4C) was founded, the group distributed a news release calling on the British Government to support mixed meetings with UK Cypriots and to be generally more proactive in its support of a Cyprus settlement.

Kutlay Erk, then the Adviser to the Turkish Cypriot Leader Mehmet Ali Talat and now the general secretary of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) wrote to me to complain that we should not wait for Britain: that Cypriots, not Britain, should get together and act.

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