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Cyprus in brief 23/04/2009

Karamanlis visit

GREEK PRIME Minister Costas Karamanlis is expected to arrive in Cyprus today on an official two-day visit, during which time he is scheduled to address parliament.

His speech is expected to be an analytical overview outlining his position on the Cyprus problem, Greco-Turkish relations, Turkey's EU accession course and the international situation.

According to the Greek premier's itinerary he will address parliament at 10.30am tomorrow. Today Karamanlis is scheduled to meet with President Demetris Christofias. Following the private meeting the two leaders will then hold a meeting with the foreign ministers and diplomats of their two countries. In the afternoon Karamanlis will hold separate meetings with political party leaders, while in the evening he and his wife Natasa will attend a dinner in their honour hosted by the President and his wife Elsi Christofias. Karamanlis' itinerary also includes meetings with Archbishop Chrysostomos II and the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners of War, and laying wreaths at the memorial sites of the graves of the imprisoned and at the military cemetery in Nicosia. The PM will also attend a reception at the residence of Greek Ambassador Vasilios Papaioannou.

Karamanlis and his wife will depart from Cyprus late on Thursday night after being entertained by the presidential couple at their country home in Kellaki, Limassol.

Two die in Limassol car accident

A 24-YEAR-OLD man from Limassol and a seven-month-old girl died in a car accident on Easter Sunday on the Nicosia-Limassol motorway by the Parekklissia exit.

The accident took place at 6pm when the 24-year-old driver, who was travelling with is wife and daughter, lost control of his car, hit the central road barrier and flipped into the opposite lane of the road. His car then collided with two other cars driving towards Nicosia, which both had two people in each car.

His 22-year-old wife and their seven-month-old daughter became trapped in the passenger seats and the fire services were called to release them.

All three passengers were taken to Limassol General Hospital, where the 24-year-old man and the little girl were pronounced dead. His 22-year-old wife was in a critical condition.

The passengers in the other vehicles sustained minor injuries and were released after being given first aid.

As a result of the accident, both lanes of the motorway were closed to traffic from 7pm until 9pm.

British woman drowns

A 61-YEAR-OLD British woman drowned off the coast of Chloraka in the Paphos district, police said yesterday. Jill Susan Jones was found at around 12.20pm on Easter Monday. She had been reported missing by her husband since Sunday afternoon. The 61-year-old was found floating in the sea near Chloraka village by passersby and was pulled to shore. Jones' remains were taken to Paphos general hospital where she was pronounced dead. State pathologist Eleni Antoniou said the victim had died from asphyxia due to drowning. Antoniou, who carried out the autopsy yesterday, ruled out foul play.

Uni will organise exams itself

THE UNIVERSITY of Cyprus will organise exams on its own if secondary-school teachers union OELMEK decided to boycott the exams, the Vice Dean of the University, Costas Christofides said yesterday. However he expressed the belief that ultimately OELMEK would not take any action. OELMEK last week renewed threats to boycott the upcoming Pancyprian exams unless the government shelves plans allowing students with international examinations to be admitted to state universities. Christofides said the decision to admit 7.0 per cent of students to the University who were holding international certificates was taken a year and a half ago not so that OELMEK could study the issue but for the University senate to do so. "Now we are going to implement the decision", Christofides said.

Blazing weekend for fire brigade

THE FIRE Service was called out 158 times over the Easter period to deal with fires that got out of control. Every Easter, youths compete with each other across the island to make the biggest fire in the village or neighbourhood. The traditional Easter bonfire, or "Lambraja", was originally intended as a symbolic representation of the burning of Judas, but has since shed its religious connotations to become more of a national bonfire competition. According to the Fire Service, the emergency service was called out 158 calls between April 10 and 20, reflecting a 36.8 per cent decrease compared to 2008. Fire fighters responded to 69 calls in Nicosia, 28 in Limassol, 34 in Larnaca, 6 in Paphos and 21 in the free areas of Famagusta.

Kiosk robbery

A ROBBERY was committed at a mini-market yesterday morning in the coastal road of Amathus in Limassol. The perpetrator who was described as being a foreigner entered the kiosk and asked the employee to change his $100 note into euros. The 37-year-old woman gave him the money from the currency exchange but he attacked her and snatched the bag that was under her feet containing _4,000 and fled the scene. The robber left a knife behind that was taken in as evidence. The robbery was recorded by the shop's CCTV camera.

EUR 160,000 burglary

FOUR people were arrested on Saturday and remanded in custody in connection to a case of stealing several items worth EUR 160,000 from a safe in a house in Limassol. Limassol CID is investigating the case

Easter drinking

ONE IN every twelve drivers was over the permissible alcohol limit over the long Easter weekend according to the police. The Traffic Department carried out 2,589 breathalyser checks across the island and reported a total of 224 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol. In other words, one in 12 drivers was intoxicated.

In addition, 257 drivers were reported for a violation of the speed limit, while 765 were reported for various other traffic offences. Regarding accidents, a total of 27 road accidents occurred, one of which was fatal, 8 serious road accidents and 18 minor ones. Over the Easter weekend there were two road fatalities, 13 serious injuries and 7 light injuries on the road.

Paphos stabbing
A WOMAN was stabbed while working at a confectionary in Paphos yesterday in what was believed to be a family matter. The 27-year-old Greek Pontian was working behind the till of a confectionary in central Paphos when a relative, believed to be her brother-in-law, paid her a visit at 2.30pm. The 45-year-old man allegedly had harsh words with the woman before pulling out a knife and stabbing her in the stomach. He then fled the scene in his car.
According to reports, one employee wrote down his car registration plates. The suspect was spotted a little later by police on Nicos Nicolaides Avenue. The man confessed during questioning, said a police statement. According to Police Chief Iacovos Papacostas, the motive for the attack was most likely "personal differences". The woman was taken to Paphos general hospital with injuries to the stomach. She is out of danger. Paphos CID is investigating.

Drugs bust
TWO MEN and a woman from Jordan were arrested in Limassol yesterday after half a kilo of cannabis was found in their possession. The bust was made after drug squad officers were tipped off. A 31-year-old man and his 28-year-old wife were arrested when the cannabis was found in her purse. The woman said she bought the cannabis in Amman, Jordan and brought it To Cyprus in her suitcase to give to her brother. Her brother was also arrested but denied any involvement in the case as did her husband.

Rally for 'NO'
A RALLY will be held on Friday evening to mark the fifth anniversary of the 'NO' vote in the 2004 referendum on the Annan plan, organised by the Coordinating Committee of Movements, Clubs and Organisations for the Rally. The Committee calls on all Greek Cypriots to show up to give a strong message that "the proud people of Cyprus do not bend and do not worship the invader and usurper of its land". In an announcement, the Committee said the rally would show that a "proud people will never accept disguised or other plans in the form of the Annan plan".

Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2009

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