Our very own British Cypriot Andreas Komodikis made his debut for Cyprus Under-21’s squad friendly versus Moldova at the Zimbrou Stadium in Chișinău on Wednesday 9th August.

He is pictured above (’21’ bottom far-left) of Cyprus starting 11 team, to document his first ‘call-up’ since signing a three year deal with Cypriot First Division team ‘Doxa Katokopias’. Andreas Komodikis is a QPR youth product and began his football career with Omonia Youth and also represented a KOPA League youth representative team when they travelled to Cyprus and played against the Cyprus national side.

”What an experience it was… Absolute honour to be given my first international call up and above all to play for my country!”

The 19-year-old writing on his Twitter page explained how he felt following the end of the match. ”What an experience it was… Absolute honour to be given my first international call up and above all to play for my country! Despite the result, it was an unforgettable moment for myself, singing the national anthem and wearing the shirt!!”

The friendly test comes weeks before the UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier which eventually starts for Cyprus in September with their first opponents Malta.

The Cypriot team performed well and despite creating a few good chances, they narrowly lost 2-1 thanks to an ‘own’ goal on 92nd minute.

Both teams enforced attacking football and looked intent to push forward in numbers, creating many chances the Cypriots could even have won on the basis of their solid chances created in the match.

The Moldovan side was in control of possession in the first 15 minutes, taking the game to the visitors. Cyprus gradually eased itself into the game, and indeed constantly improving throughout. This could have opened the scoring. The team had carved out two decent chances around the 20-30 minute mark, with Ioannis Pittas and Konstantinou Soteriou coming close. On the 45th minute, Nikolas Mattheou lost the best chance for the Cypriots. The Moldovan team through Alexandru Boiciuc fired the opening goal however on 46th minute to end the first-half, 1-0 up.

Cyprus equalised to make it 1-1 with a 66th minute goal by Marios Ilias after Ioannis Pittas and Nikolas Mattheou combined well to set-up the attacking play. The home side capitalised on an Andreas Karo ‘own goal’ to sneak a late winner at the 92nd minute.

The Cyprus Under-21 squad: Andreas Christodoulou, Andreas Karo, Christos Wheeler (80′ Kostas Pilea), Rafael Anastasiou (46′ Marios Andreou), Panayiotis Artymatas, Kyriacos Panayi (46′ Andreas Frangos), Constantinos Sotiriou, Georgios Christodoulou (86′ Sotiris Fiakas), Ioannis Pittas, Andreas Komodikis (46′ Marios Ilias), Nikolas Mattheou (67′ Antonis Koumis)

Here at London Greek Radio we would like to congratulate Andreas Komodikis for his Cypriot debut to the Under-21’s and we look forward to seeing his success in the future.


Article written by London Greek Radio

The implementation of an Agreement, signed between the Republic of Cyprus and the United Kingdom nearly four years ago, to regulate land development within the British Bases has entered its final stages.

Former Foreign Secretary William Hague sitting (L) – Cyprus Minister of Foreign Affairs sitting (R)- President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades standing at the back

 

The Agreement allows a large part of the Bases area to be included in the town planning zones, so they can be developed. Specifically, 78% of the BB territory, around 200 square kilometres, that includes private properties, will fall under the regulation.

A total of three municipalities and sixteen communities in the districts of Limassol, Larnaca and Famagusta will benefit from this Agreement providing for the lifting of restrictions on the development of privately owned property by locals within the nonmilitary areas of the Akrotiri and Dhekelia bases.

The historic Agreement was signed on 15 January 2014 by the Foreign Minister of Cyprus Ioannis Kasoulides and Foreign Secretary of the UK William Hague during an official visit paid by the President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades to London.

“The agreement also brings a fresh air of optimism for the residents of the British Bases and those who have property in the Bases since it opens up great economic prospects for development and activity”, President Anastasiades stressed in a written statement issued then.

Following the signing of the Agreement, intensive consultations were undertaken between the competent authorities of Cyprus and the British Bases with the aim to prepare and adopt the Planning Policy. To this end, a committee was set up consisting of representatives of the Department of Town Planning and Housing as the coordinating body, District officers, the Union of Municipalities and Communities, the Ministries of Communications and Works and Agriculture and representatives of the Administration of the British Bases.

The process of preparing the Planning Policy, which proved to be very demanding and time-consuming, has gone through various stages and has now reached the stage of assessing the environmental impact on the basis of the agreed Preliminary Planning Policy, prepared after taking into account the concerns and suggestions of the local communities as expressed during open meetings and gatherings that have taken place.

The Environmental Impact Assessment is the sixth out of eight stages of the first phase of the preparation of the Policy. At the next stage, the Department of Town Planning and Housing along with the Administration of the Bases will prepare the final text of the Planning Policy which will be submitted to the Commander of the Bases for final approval. The eighth and final stage foresees the publication of the Policy in the Official Gazette of the Bases and the Republic.

The second phase relates to the period of appeals, during which any interested party can, within four months from the date of publication of the Policy, submit a written appeal to the Governor of the Bases. The appeals will be examined by the Governor in cooperation with the Department of Town Planning and Housing. The Governor has the final say as to whether or not it should be modified. The final Policy will be published in the Official Gazette of the Bases and the Republic and can be revised every 5 years.

A competent source that closely follows the whole procedure has told CNA that “all the procedures were followed, consultations were held, and legal issues raised due to the region`s status have been addressed and now we have reached the completion of the Local Plan of the region, expected to be published by the end of 2017”.

The same source noted that the President of the Republic shows special interest and asks to be kept up to date on the progress of the implementation of the Agreement.

The Head of the Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development Division of the Environment Department of the Ministry of Agriculture, Irene Constantinou has told CNA that the Department of Town Planning and Housing has assigned I.A.C.O. Environmental & Water Consultants Ltd company to prepare the study for the assessment of the Impact on the Environment from the Planning Policy.

Constantinou noted that the Strategic Environmental Impact Assessment, as it is called, should be submitted to the Department of the Environment by October and the Department will post it on its website and invite all interested parties to a public consultation.

She said that the views and proposals to be submitted during the public consultation and the comments of the 10-member competent committee advising the environmental authority in accordance with the relevant legislation will be taken into account during the assessment procedure by the Department of the Environment for its final report/approval.

Speaking to CNA, Mayor of Ipsonas Pantelis Georgiou, who represented the Union of Municipalities in the Commission which undertook the preparation of the Planning Policy, said that the Municipality has welcomed this Agreement since the very beginning, noting however that the publication of the Planning Policy has already been delayed.

He said that landowners have been asking to be informed about the time of the publication of the Policy, noting that British Bases do not disclose much information about this.

According to the Mayor, the British do not want anything more than residential development and some light industrial zones, adding that when asked about tourist development in Limassol area, given that a casino will be built, the answer from the Bases is negative.

He said they get the same negative answer when they ask to establish higher education units. He also said that the Policy has to be consistent with the one in force in the Republic of Cyprus.

Georgiou said that the problem arises from the fact that the final decision on what will be allowed and what will not be allowed lies in the hands of the Governor of the Bases and expressed concern that this may result in unequal treatment between landowners in the Republic of Cyprus and those living in the British Bases area.

He warned that if this is going to be the case, then measures and actions will be taken to rectify this injustice.

On his part, the Mayor of Deryneia, Andros Karayannis said that the municipality expressed its reservations at the very beginning whether the British military authorities would allow any development near the area of St. Nicholas, Strovilia which lies in the municipal limits of Deryneia.

He told CNA that despite the efforts made by the competent government bodies “unfortunately, we are constantly stumbling against efforts by the representatives of the British Bases in Dhekelia-Agios Nikolaos bases to protect their military installations by insisting on issues of security and environmental protection who always adopt a negative attitude. ”

The Executive Secretary of the Union of Cyprus Communities Panayiotis Damianou told the CNA that it is important that the development in these areas follows the pattern of development that exists in the Republic of Cyprus with regard to the issuance of planning and building permits.

Damianou pointed out that it is not clear how the applications for planning permission by derogation will be dealt with, noting that this should be clarified.

President of the Council for Registration of Real Estate Agents and  President of the Cyprus Association of Estate Agent Entrepreneurs Marinos Kineyirou said these properties within the boundaries of the British Bases, irrespective of their exact location, have been underestimated and blocked in a way and are considered to be second-class areas.

The Agreement aims to change this unfair situation for the owners of these properties so that they can use their property in the same way as landowners in the rest of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus. To achieve this, the current restrictions on the development of these properties since the establishment of the Republic of Cyprus in 1960 need to be lifted, he said.

He also expressed his reservation as to whether the Agreement would be implemented at the end of the day, explaining that the British seem to link the implementation of the Agreement with the solution of the Cyprus problem.

CNA has also sought a comment from the UK High Commission in Nicosia, regarding the progress in the implementation of the Agreement but has so far received no response.

The Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri, on the southwest coast, and Dhekelia on the east side of the island are British overseas territory. The areas, which include British military bases and installations, as well as other sites, were retained by the British under the 1960 treaties which established the Republic of Cyprus.


Article written by CNA

”The one I’ve been waiting for and finally won best gentlemen’s stylist 2017!”

Tas Anastasis Panteli had written on his Facebook Page, celebrating receiving a gold award from this year’s British Hair and Beauty Awards.

He couldn’t hold back his excitement at the award Greek Cypriot hairdresser Tas is the proprietor of Pure Hair and Beauty Enfield and has long participated in the English awards.

Tas registered for the Best Male Grooming Barber Grooming/Barber award back in March shortlisted by the judges down to the final five through reviews and industry achievements over the last year.

Tas speaking to London Greek Radio described the decision-making process of the judges in the Final:

”For the first Round judges look at all entered salons and look at salon/individuals reviews, Round 2 would consist of mystery clients whether it be a haircut or even stopping by salons for advice and judging the service they received during their experience.”

Tas Panteli receiving his gold award from this year’s British Hair and Beauty Awards

What would have been the criteria they scored the finalists?

”The judges have a pre defined criteria to score each finalist by, all judges score independently and don’t work in a group to score the finalist. This year the awards had 5 judges scoring the finals who would submit their score to be added up and the highest collective score would be awarded GOLD, Silver or Bronze. This year I did try to be different I included a variety of haircuts from young and trendy to old and stylish and I also used different hair types and race to show how diverse my style can be. I also included a lot about me and what I have done in the industry and to help others with my skills, I have spent time at the homeless shelter cutting hair for the homeless and I have also visited local collages to teach students different haircuts and share my knowledge of experience with them.”

Tas, what does winning the award mean to you?

”Winning the award for me was a great recognition of the passion I have for my industry and profession, goes to show you don’t have to be a massive west end salon to be recognised! But it has taken a long time but I enter every year and make it to the finals of the English hair and beauty award, but don’t win! But now we pick up the British award so goes to show if you stay focused on what you want it eventually comes to you.”

If you were ever offered it, would you ‘say Yes!’ to being rewarded your own hairdressing reality programme on television…

”I think a reality TV show in a hair salon would be hilarious especially if they focus on all the customers coming in and out, I can tell you some really funny stories and I’ve also had some cringe worth conversations with clients over their private life’s but would all make good viewing.”

And a ‘fun’ question, which famous Greek or Cypriot singer/celebrity would you like to cut their hair?

”So many of our singers I’d love to get in the salon chair both male and female some because they are great singers and others because I would love to sort their hair out! But the main one would be Paschalis Terzis as he’s one of my favourite singers plus his eyebrows always look like they need a trim!”

Here at London Greek Radio would like to congratulate Tas, on receiving his award and may he long continue to prove he is a ‘cut above the others’.


Article written by Tony Neophytou

Arleta, the iconic singer songwriter of the New Wave Movement of the 1960’s ‘Neo Kyma’ has died at the age of 72. She passed away in the intensive care unit of an Athens hospital where she had been receiving treatment after suffering a severe stroke.

Arleta was born in Athens in 1945. Her real name was Ariadne Nicoleta Tsapra. She studied at the Athens School of Fine Arts. She published her first album of her own creation (A Hat with Songs) in 1960. She is well-known for the songs ‘Mia Fora Thimame’, ‘Serenata’, ‘To Leei Kai To Tragoudi’, ‘Ta Mikra Paidia’, ‘Ta Isiha Vradia’, ‘Bar To Navagio’, and ‘Tsai Giasemiou’.

Amid the early 1960’s launching her music career, she had collaborated with famous Greek composers like Mikis Theodorakis, Giannis Spanos, and Manos Hatzidakis.

Her songs have been performed on the alternative Greek music scene ‘Bouat’ in Athens.


Article written by London Greek Radio

The 19th World Conference of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK), the International Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) and the World Conference of Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK) is taking place in Nicosia, between August 21-24.

Τhe President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades will open the conference in the evening of August 21

According to a relevant announcement, distributed by PIO, the President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades will open the conference on the evening of August 21.

Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Issues and Overseas Affairs Fotis Fotiou, House President Demetris Syllouris, Archbishop Chrysostomos II of Cyprus and Greece’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, in charge of issues of Greeks abroad, Terence Quick will also address the conference.

Heads of POMAK Andreas Papaevripides, PSEKA Philip Christopher, and NEPOMAK Antonia Savvides will also speak during the event.

It is added that the Central Council of Overseas Cypriots will be received by President Anastasiades, at the Presidential Palace. Moreover, members will be briefed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Energy and Finance, as well as by the Presidential Commissioner on issues of their competence.

Leaders or representatives of political parties will address the Conference’s second day, while Overseas Cypriots will also meet with other governmental and non-governmental authorities.

A press conference is scheduled on Thursday, August 24, at the Filoxenia Conference Center.


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Another page of glory in her career and the history of the Greek sports was written on Sunday evening by Katerina Stefanidi, who won the gold medal at the World Athletics Championships and so she became the first Greek athlete to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, World Championship and European Championship.

Katerina Stefanidi secured the first place by jumping at 4.82m

The gold medalist of Rio secured the first place by jumping at 4.82m.

At the World Championships, she also showed her absolute dominance by continuing her efforts at 4.91m where she was again successful. This way she has again the best performance this year in the world. She also tried three times at 5.02m, but – this time – her efforts were not successful.

The gold medal will be awarded to the Greek World Champion on Monday at 18:10.


Article written by Proto Thema

The Cypriot champions APOEL Nicosia have been handed a tie against Slavia Praha, in the Champions League Play-off draw for the upcoming Champions League 2017-2018 season.

APOEL, by far the most successful team in Cyprus in recent years, will be vying for their fourth appearance in the highly lucrative Champions League group stage against the second most successful club in the Czech Republic.

APOEL Nicosia (CYP) v Slavia Praha (CZE), 15th August 7:45 pm Kick-Off

Slavia Praha (CZE) v APOEL Nicosia (CYP), 23rd August, 7:45 pm Kick-Off

Meanwhile, reigning Greek champions Olympiacos are to face Croatian outfit Rijeka.

The Greek side has a long distinguished history of group stages activity and will be hoping to re-enter the competition proper.

Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Rijeka (CRO), 16th August, 7:45 PM, Kick-Off

Rijeka (CRO) v Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) 22nd August, 7:45 PM, Kick-Off


Article written by London Greek Radio

The ties will be played on 17th and 24th August. The 22 winners advance to the group stage, where they will join 16 automatic entrants and ten teams transferring from the UEFA Champions League play-offs.

Apollon Limassol (CYP) v Midtjylland (DEN)
Viktoria Plzeň (CZE) v AEK Larnaca (CYP)

Club Brugge (BEL) v AEK Athens (GRE)
Panathinaikos (GRE) v Athletic Club (ESP)
PAOK (GRE) v Östersund (SWE)


Article written by London Greek Radio

AEL Limassol 1-2 Austria Wien (agg: 1-2)*
Aldair 60′               Holzhauser 34 (P), Felipe Pires 90

Apollon Limassol 2-0 Aberdeen (agg: 3-2)
Schembri 17′, Zelaya 86′

Dinamo Minsk 1-1 AEK Larnaca (agg: 1-3)
Saroka 47′ (P),         Acorán 90+3′

Apollon Limassol, AEK Larnaca are through to Play-off draw, Friday 4th August
AEL Limmassol (are out)

Gabala 1-2 Panathinaikos (agg: 1-3)
Moledo 52′ og                        Lod 63′, Cabezas 66′

Panionios 0-1 Maccabi Tel-Aviv (agg: 0-2)
Korbos 79′ og

PAOK 2-0 Olimpik Donetsk (agg: 3-1)
Mak 24′, Cimirot 45+1′

Panathinaikos, and PAOK are through to play-off draw, Friday 4th August
Panionios (are out)


Article written by London Greek Radio

The process for a Cyprus settlement which ended in Crans-Montana can be resurrected but this will not happen by the UN but through an agreement by the sides, UNSG`s Special Adviser on Cyprus said on Thursday after a farewell meeting he had with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades.

UNSG`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Espen Barth Eide sitting between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative to Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar

Asked if the UN believe that  the negotiating process which ended in Crans-Montana is dead or can be extended, Eide said that the process that led in Crans-Montana ended in Crans-Montana, and that was what the SG said but that doesn`t mean that it cannot be resurrected.

“What I am saying and I think the leaders agree with – I am not speaking on their behalf but it is my sense that it is a shared understanding – that it will not be resurrected by the UN. The resurrection will have to happen from here in harmony and through agreement by the sides. and if they agree the SG is there,” he noted.

Asked if it is difficult now to have a new process or a new attempt, Eide said that “you should not give up hope. On the other hand, I cannot with confidence say that I think it is just around the corner. We are here to help. We will always be available and the SG has said that he remains available if the sides want it.”

“We are not planning an initiative. I think that`s natural. We had Crans-Montana. We believe that we did what we would to facilitate this process but if there is a shared, joint request by the sides and by the guarantors, the UN of course – it is part of its mandate – would be available to help. But the decision has to be made here,” he noted, adding that the international community now needs to be convinced that there is a real intent to try again.

He said that if ever a new chance comes along in the future, it would be good to preserve as much as possible the Guterres framework which is the outcome of months of preparation. “If we were able to answer those six questions at the same time, simultaneously, I think we would have a strategic deal. But I don`t think you should give up with the idea,” he said.

Eide said that this was his last meeting in this format with Anastasiades. He noted that they had a good, friendly conversation about their shared experience in this process.

He said he has mixed feelings about leaving Cyprus. “I think we achieved a lot in this process and I think that Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akinci with our help and with all the international support and the support from people here in Cyprus managed to bring this process further than any pair of leaders before them,” Eide noted.

At the same time, he added, “we cannot hide the fact that we did not succeed in solving the problem. I would rather leave after having assisted the leaders in actually achieving a settlement that could be implemented.”

He noted that these are large and complicated issues and that what`s left of this phase is a better understanding of where an agreement could be found, if ever there will be a new attempt and if somebody would try again, I hope that the achievements that have been achieved over these past years, particularly the past 27 months which is the time that the Anastasiades-Akinci talks started in May 2015 till Crans-Montana and the conclusion of the Conference on Cyprus.

“We want to record all these and we will make sure in the report that I will submit – I will work with the SG and then he will submit it to be more formal to the SC. We will take down all that we can say of course respecting the boundaries of the sides. We will try to record all that was achieved and also where we think we could have been going so that the work has not been lost,” the diplomat said.

Eide refrained from responding to a question about the Turkish stance during the last dinner in Crans-Montana, noting that things have been said about that and he does not think it would contribute to anything to continue that now.

He said that his focus now is to finalise his job here with the reports to the SC, noting that they will make a public report and their own internal lesson learned.

Asked about his message for the Cypriots, he said that Cyprus is a great country with a rich culture and with the benefit of having the potential of being a united country with several rich cultures coinciding.

He expressed the conviction that Cyprus would be better off united. “I think you would be stronger together, I think you will be richer together, economically but also culturally, you will be safer together,” he noted.

He stressed that it is up to the Cypriots, who “need  to take their faith in their own hands. We cannot do it for them. We are not asked to do it for them. We are asked to be here and be helpful as facilitators but at the end of the day it is up to the Cypriots and the leaders of course like Mr. Anastasiades and Mr. Akinci”, noting also the role of the society.

If people want change, they need to stand up for change, he stressed, noting that this is not the only legitimate view and that it is not illegitimate to think that things are better as they are, but he disagrees with this.

He said that he has been strengthened in his conviction that a united federal Cyprus is the best option for all the people in Cyprus.

Referring to his cooperation with the leaders, the negotiators and their negotiating teams, Eide said that the fact that they sometimes disagree on certain issues is normal, because you cannot expect an envoy to be constantly in full agreement with both sides if they are in disagreement with each other.

“Overall we have developed a high degree of respect for each other. I think I have learned to understand at least some of the particular sensitivities that comes with being a Cypriot, Turkish Cypriot or Greek Cypriot, and things that might easy from the outside are less easy when you see it from the inside. And I say that with empathy and understanding”, he noted.

Eide also said that when Cypriots discuss the future it is relatively easy to discuss future arrangements, when they discuss the present it becomes a little bit more difficult and when they try to agree on the past it is absolutely impossible.

He brought as an example the settlement of property issues, “where you have strong personal memories of loss on both sides” and the past comes back into the present .

He also said that everyone should be critical of their own efforts and that “one thing we could collectively collect upon, that means the UN and the sides and everybody involved, is that maybe this process was too secretive”.

Eide said that given that it took quite some time, maybe it would be better with hindsight to have some more transparency and some more sharing of what was actually happening.

The fact that even though a lot of progress was made, they were unable to say what that progress was made people, understandably, suspicious, he explained. It also made it easier for those people who have the conviction that there should not be a solution to tear it apart and take it down, he added.

Eide said that you either have a short, quick and effective secret process or you have a long and more transparent process.

The Norwegian diplomat said that some more involvement by the broader society would have been helpful, noting that civil society came on the stage relatively late. He noted that he knows many-many people on the economic side, business leaders, trade union leaders who were determined to help for a settlement but who didn`t want to raise their voice.

Eide noted that more work could have been done to prepare the people for the reality that a solution will not be absolutely perfect from either side. “A solution entails an element of compromise. You have to accommodate and meet each other,” he said.

Asked if it was a mistake that the security issue was left to be discussed at the end of the process, Eide noted that they were engaging with it for years in a brainstorming format and in a shuttling format.

He said that there was a concept available for a fundamental change in the 1960 system, a fundamental change in the system of guarantees, an end of the right of intervention, a massive reduction of troops but also that would entail a security structure which with some foreign involvement, UN, EU and others, that would be helpful in alleviating the fears of both communities.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.  The latest round of the UN-backed Cyprus talks in Crans-Montana, Switzerland, ended inconclusively. The peace talks under the auspices of the UN aim at reuniting the island under a federal roof.


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