Our View: Leaders’ dinner a case of much ado about nothing

IT WAS inevitable that political meaning would have been read into the dinner at Dervis Eroglu’s house in Nicosia. It was also inevitable that the meaning extracted from the dinner would be negative.

Before President Christofias had even crossed to the north of Nicosia for his social engagement, EDEK issued an announcement expressing “disagreement with the President’s acceptance of Dervis Eroglu’s invitation to dinner in occupied Nicosia.” It was “inconceivable for the President of the Republic to go to the occupied territories and have contacts under the bayonets of the occupier,” the party said.

Saudi billionaire’s yacht too big for Latchi harbour

A SAUDI Arabian royal billionaire is currently holidaying in Latchi, with police taking special measures to protect him and his entourage.

Prince Al Waleed bin Talal – 19th richest man in the world, is visiting Cyprus on his 90-metre long luxury yacht, which is far too large for Latchi’s tiny marina to accommodate.

Local police confirmed that they are aware of the royal visit and have taken precautions to safeguard him. Speaking last night, a representative for Latchi police said: “Of course we are protecting him. We don’t let people go too close to him, He is swimming with his partner at the moment.”

Be an ‘ambassador for tourism’ pleads CTO

THE CYPRUS Tourism Organisation (CTO) has established a new programme aimed at promoting Cyprus as a destination for business conference tourism.

‘Ambassadors in Tourism’ is asking for Cypriot or foreign volunteers who travel regularly to international and regional conferences to champion the virtues of Cyprus whilst abroad, encouraging organisations to locate future events here on the island.

Battle against trafficking ‘far from over’

DESPITE SIGNIFICANT steps forward in the battle against trafficking in persons, the government could not remain complacent as there was still much to be done to “stamp out this crime”, said Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis yesterday.

Sylikiotis acknowledged that the battle against trafficking was far from over. “Despite the successes achieved in the last two years towards addressing the problem of trafficking in persons, we have not reached the end of the road, we have not yet managed to eradicate, stamp out this crime, which is why we will not remain complacent,” he said.

Boy critical after road accident

A 13-YEAR-OLD boy was in intensive care in Nicosia with a fractured skull yesterday after being hit by a car while crossing the road on his bicycle in Larnaca on Thursday evening.

The boy was crossing Kranidiotis Avenue when a 24-year-old woman driving a car under conditions being investigated hit him, causing his skull to fracture.

The boy hit the bonnet of the car and the windshield, which shattered.

He was taken to Larnaca General Hospital but due to his condition, he was transferred to Nicosia where he underwent surgery and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit.

The car driver was arrested and later released.

Conscripts being treated for eye condition

THE National Guard was taking all necessary measures to stop the spread of what appears to be viral conjunctivitis – inflammation of the eyes — among new recruits in Larnaca, the defence minister said yesterday.

Reports said 17 new recruits had contracted the illness and that they had been sent home to avoid spreading it to others at the Larnaca training camp.

Defence Minister Costas Papacostas said the appropriate measures were being taken but cast some doubt as to the extent of the outbreak.

Papacostas said army authorities will look into whether some of the conscripts were feigning the illness.

“I am not confirming but am not ruling the possibility out,” the minister said. “The number 17 has given me this message. That is my view.”

Knife fight in Limassol club ends in serious injury

FOUR people, one of whom is in critical condition, were injured in a knife fight at a Limassol club late on Thursday.

The incident began when a 41-year old and a 19-year-old who had knives and golf clubs, met up with others to find a 34-year-old.

A fight ensued and a 37-year-old was seriously injured and transferred to Larnaca General Hospital where he was said to be in critical condition.

He was later moved to Nicosia General Hospital.

A police spokesman Marinos Vassiliou said yesterday that “concerning the causes of the quarrel, it seems that there were personal differences between them.”

A 55-year-old, a 41-year-old and a 21-year-old were also injured but not seriously.

Britain grants bail to fugitive Nadir


FUGITIVE Turkish Cypriot tycoon Asil Nadir was granted bail by a London court yesterday providing he returns to Britain to face fraud charges relating to the collapse of his Polly Peck empire almost 20 years ago.

Nadir, 69, a Conservative Party donor, fled to northern Cyprus, which has no extradition treaty with Britain, in 1993 to avoid a 34 million pound fraud trial.

The Serious Fraud Office, which is investigating the case, said he remained charged with 66 counts of theft.

Nadir, who denies any wrongdoing, has said he would stand trial to clear his name if he was not taken into custody. Granting bail, a judge at London’s Old Bailey court said he hoped the move would end the “legal limbo” in the case.