Daily Archives: July 15, 2011

Archives July 15, 2011 posted by

Great week for Cyprus football

 

AEK were yesterday handed a tricky tie against Czech side FK Mlada Bolesvlav in the third qualifying round of the Europa League following their record-breaking 8-0 thrashing of Maltese side Floriana on Thursday.

The Larnaca side will face the Czech Cup winners at home in the first leg on the July 28, should they, as expected, avoid an upset of gargantuan proportions in the home leg against Floriana next week.

Anorthosis convincingly beat Georgian side Gagra 3-0 at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium on Thursday, playing some quality football on their way to a comfortable victory.

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‘If the president is not to blame, then who is?’

THE GOVERNMENT and specifically President Demetris Christofias were yesterday left exposed when it emerged at least six ministries had been aware of the danger of storing highly explosive munitions at the Evangelos Florakis naval base.

Leaked documents confirmed that in the run up to Monday’s catastrophe at least two high-level meetings involving five ministries had been held to draw attention to the danger.

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Our View: Unrepentant President not even willing to offer apology

PRESIDENT Christofias’ poor and inadequate leadership was perfectly illustrated by yesterday’s bland and insipid address to the people. His speech said nothing that we had not already heard from his spokesmen and AKEL minions who have been on a mission to muddy the waters and absolve their boss of any responsibility for the Vassiliko disaster.

He made a big issue out of the investigation that would be conducted by a leading Nicosia lawyer, appointed yesterday by the Council of Ministers, as “a full investigation of the conditions, causes and reasons that led to the big tragedy is the demand of all of us”. He also mentioned the investigation that would be carried out by the Attorney General in order to establish if there were criminal responsibilities.

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Nowhere for government spokesman to run or hide

The sheer smugness of the president has become his undoing. Three years of it and he’s nowhere to be seen, hiding like Papacostas and Tsalikidis, who in resigning ‘sur le champ’ removed any need for an in-depth, let’s slow things down to stop, inquiry.

But two times as smug government spokesman, Stefanos Stefanou is now trying his best to sidestep the issue by calling for calm common sense and for us to await the findings of a “government-led full and exhaustive inquiry into the Vassilikos tragedy”.

Mr Stefanou: how is it that the dangerous consequences of a brushwood fire which began at 4am were not relayed to a single resident in the area?

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Angry protesters call on Christofias to resign

THOUSANDS of people from across the island converged on the Presidential Palace last night in the largest protest yet against the government.

Chanting “Christofias, die!” and “Police, turn your shields to face the Presidential Palace” the crowd – numbering well over 10,000 – again called on the President and members of his government to step down.

“From Kellaki to the cell” was another chant directed at the President.

It was by all accounts the largest non-partisan gathering on record.

The demonstration centred on a makeshift platform where anyone with an opinion stepped up to the microphone to voice their anger.

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Cold comfort from an isolated Christofias

PRESIDENT Demetris Christofias yesterday called for unity in dealing with the dire effects of a naval base blast that killed 13 and knocked out the island’s main power station as he pledged that those responsible, no matter what their status, would be held accountable.

Addressing the Cypriot public for the first time since Monday’s deadly blast, Christofias expressed his “sincere and wholehearted” condolences to the families of the dead sailors and fire-fighters but stopped short of offering an apology.

“Our pain is great. Even greater though, is the pain and grief of the families and relatives of the people who heroically gave their life on the line of duty,” the president said in a live broadcast.

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President’s speech deemed inadequate by all parties except AKEL

THE PRESIDENT’S first address to the nation since Monday’s naval base blast was deemed clearly inadequate by nearly all parties bar ruling AKEL yesterday.

Opposition DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades accused President Demetris Christofias of not having the courage to apologise to the Cypriot people.

He was saddened “because the president showed through his address that he was not able to rise to the occasion”.

While Christofias spoke about measures taken to allocate criminal responsibility where it is due, “political responsibility should be taken on by politicians. That was what the people expected (yesterday),” he said.

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Last farewell for twin victims

 

SCORES of people yesterday gathered in Limassol to bid a final farewell to the twin 19-year-old brothers Miltos and Christos Christophorou, who were killed in Monday’s naval base explosion.

As the caskets with the sailors – draped in the flags of Cyprus and Greece – were carried inside the church, they were greeted with extended applause as some cried “heroes.”

Dozens of mourners wore blue and white – the navy’s colours — at the family’s request.

Many hugged each other for comfort crying, others endured patiently in the scorching sun for hours and the heat made worse from a power cut caused by blown fuses.

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All clear so far on any possible health hazards

 

THERE WERE strong messages of reassurance yesterday that there is no immediate cause for concern over public health following the Mari base explosion.

The government Department of Labour Inspection (DLI) told the Cyprus Mail that tests so far have yielded nothing harmful regarding air quality or radiation levels.

“There is no need for concern” said DLI Director Leandros Nicolaidis. He revealed that his department have surveyed the area of the Evangelos Florakis naval base and the Vassilikos power station, and found only background levels of radiation. This, he assured, is normal, and consistent with measurements taken all over the island, suggesting no additional radioactivity in the wake of the disaster on Monday.

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Police struggle to cope with ‘lights out’

TRAFFIC police chief Demetris Demetriou was yesterday indignant that his department could be accused of doing nothing to man traffic signals at crossroads during power cuts.

He also denied rumours that road accidents had increased since daily electricity cuts had taken hold of the island following Monday’s explosion at the Evangelos Florakis naval base which damaged Cyprus’ main power station.

“We are doing everything we can. I’ve just sent four police off now,” he said at 2.30pm yesterday. “To the Kalispera lights, CyBC lights, Lycavitos lights, Gavrielides lights… The problems are constant.”

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