Daily Archives: July 5, 2011

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Police launch seat belt campaign

 

SIXTEEN out of the 22 killed in car crashes so far this year were not wearing their seatbelts, while less than 14 per cent of passengers in the back seats of cars bother to buckle up, the head of the traffic department said yesterday.

The shocking figures were announced as police kicked off an island wide campaign yesterday highlighting the importance of wearing seatbelts.

It coincided with the death yesterday of a 47-year-old asylum seeker in the Tseri industrial area. Driving too fast, he lost control of his car and swerved into the oncoming traffic hitting a truck. He was killed immediately. He too was not wearing his seat belt.

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Our View: What we need is a reduction, not an increase, in municipalities

ON SUNDAY referendums were held in eight villages about the possibility of changing status from community to municipality. Not surprisingly seven of the eight overwhelmingly voted in favour of becoming municipalities, the only exception being Pano Polemidhia, the majority of which voted against becoming part of the existing Kato Polemidhia municipality.

It is bewildering why the government bothered with the referendums. Was there really any possibility that the residents of the villages would not want to elect a mayor and a municipal council? Pano Polemidhia voted against because its residents did not want to be swallowed up by the existing municipality, but if they were offered their own they would certainly have voted ‘yes’.

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CY denies serving out of date meals

CYPRUS Airways (CY) denied yesterday it served expired meals to the passengers of an inbound flight, thus putting their health at risk.

The airline was responding to a report in Sunday’s Politis, which said that the meals on a May 24 flight from Saint Petersburg, Russia, had expired a month before.

A crew leader’s report published by Politis said: “meal boxes for inbound flight had stickers on them indicating the ‘best before’ date which was the 21st of April, 2011. We conducted (sic) catering from LED (Saint Petersburg airport) and were told that it was OK to use those meals.”

The newspaper also listed two cases, earlier this year, in which passengers had complained after finding foreign objects in cheese pies served on CY flights.

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Murder attempt made on journalist at anti-Ankara newspaper

A TWENTY-SIX-YEAR-OLD Turkish man appeared in court yesterday accused of a failed attempt to murder journalist Ali Osman Tabak of the north’s outspoken Afrika newspaper on Sunday night.

The alleged would-be hit man, Turkish national Mustafa Yalcin, is said to have fired one shot at the journalist after entering the offices of the controversial Afrika newspaper early on Sunday evening. Tabak told the press later he escaped injury or death by “a hair’s breadth” by leaping out of the gunman’s line of fire. Yalcin was later arrested in possession of a Czech-made 7.65mm pistol believed to have been used in the attempted shooting.

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Minister and unions meet over pension reform

FINANCE Minister Charilaos Stavrakis revealed little yesterday after having sounded out public-sector unions on the government’s proposals for pension reform.

In a brief statement following his meeting with leaders of the PASYDY, PEO and SEK unions, Stavrakis said only that the unions agreed to study the proposals and “to get back to us”.

Stavrakis refused to be drawn into specifics, but did say that during the meeting he fleshed out the government’s thoughts with some concrete numbers.

He said the meeting was part of government plans announced last week to increase existing contributions by civil servants toward their pensions, among other things.

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Tourism on the increase with Russians the biggest spenders

AN INCREASE in arrivals from the UK has put a smile back on the face of the Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO), after recent years saw the island’s main source of tourism steadily – and worryingly – diminish.

According to the CTO’s deputy chairman Lefkos Fylaktides, the steady reduction in British tourists that has been noted over the past few years has ended for the time being. In fact, he said increased arrivals from the UK – as well as Russia and Central Europe – had led to an 11 per cent increase in arrivals over the first five months of this year compared to 2010.

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Kalopanayiotis: a vision rewarded

LOCALS may already know the village of Kalopanayiotis which woos tourists with its gorgeous setting, historical and ecclesiastical monuments, and sulphur-rich hot springs but its community is now hoping that its title as Cyprus’ own 2011 European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) will attract even more people and funding for its ongoing regeneration project.

Kalopanayiotis and runner-up Fini, both in the Troodos mountains, participated in this year’s EDEN competition under the theme of Tourism and Regeneration of Physical Sites and were awarded yesterday at the European University Cyprus.

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Poor turnout as villagers decide their future

AN EXCEPTIONALLY low turnout marked the weekend’s referendums on whether local communities should become municipalities, with some places seeing less than a quarter of villagers showing up to cast their vote.

In total, five communities voted in favour of the switchover – Geri, Tseri, Ypsonas, Livadia and Sotera – while Dromoloxia and Meneou residents opted for their communities to be merged.

The Limassol district’s Pano Polemidia, consisting of mainly refugees, voted against merging with Kato Polemidia municipality.

Pano Polemidia had one of the highest turnouts – 56.1 per cent – with 64.89 per cent of voters opting against the merger.

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Arrests in sham marriage case

POLICE have arrested three persons on suspicion of conspiring to arrange and carry out a fake marriage.

A Larnaca district court yesterday ordered the suspects – a Cypriot national, a Ukrainian and a Bulgarian – be remanded in police custody for five days.

The case dates back to October 2010 and involves a civil marriage held at the municipality of Lysi.

Police told the court that their first suspect, a 52-year-old Cypriot, confessed under questioning that he had urged the Ukrainian woman to wed a Bulgarian national and permanent resident of Cyprus.

The purpose of the marriage was so that the 46-year-old Ukrainian could remain on the island as her residency permit was about to expire.

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Eroglu seeking to finish negotiations this year

TURKISH Cypriot leader Dervish Eroglu said he expects talks with Greek Cypriots to intensify after a meeting this week with the UN Secrerary-General with a view to concluding them this year.

Eroglu said unlike the Greek Cypriots, “my people are more eager for a settlement” but it was impossible to reach a solution with the efforts of just one side.

“We are going to Geneva with the aim of pushing the Greek Cypriot side towards a solution because time passing by isn’t a problem for them,” the Turkish Cypriot leader said in an interview with broadcaster BRT.

Eroglu said deadlines were needed as the talks could not go on endlessly without a result.

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