Greek singer Demis Roussos, who became popular in the 1960’s and 1970’s, has died in an Athens hospital at the age of 68. The singer had been in hospital with an undisclosed illness for some time.

Roussos was well known for many songs, including Forever and Ever, Goodbye and Quand je t’aime.

He began his music career aged 17 in a band called The Idols, where he met his future Aphrodite’s Child band mates.

His band mate Vangelis paid tribute with a touching message: “Demis my friend. Nature gave you this magic voice of yours which made millions of people around the world very happy”. He continued: “As for me, I keep those special memories that we share together those early days and I wish you to be happy wherever you are”.

Greek singer Nana Mouskouri paid tribute on French radio: “He had a superb voice, he traveled in the world … he loved what he was doing”.


Article written by London Greek Radio

 Official figures released by Greece’s interior ministry illustrate Syriza’s historic victory on Sunday night, which however isn’t complemented by an outright parliamentary majority.

ΒΟΥΛΕΥΤΙΚΕΣ ΕΚΛΟΓΕΣ 2015 ΤΣΙΠΡΑΣ Α ΑΠΟΤΕΛΕΣΜΑΤΑ EXIT POLLS

Syriza’s leader Alexis Tsipras

 With 99.9% of the votes counted Syriza gets 36,34% and 149 seats, two short of a majority.   New Democracy receives 27.81% and 76 seats followed by extreme right-wing Golden Dawn in third place with 6,28% and 17 seats. Centrist Potami trails in fourth with 6,05% and 17 seats. The Communist party of Greece garners 5.47% and 15 seats, with Independent Greeks party at 4.75% and 13 seats. Finally Pasok, New Democracy’s partner in government, wins 13 seats as well with 4.68% share of the vote.

On Sunday night, facing a large crowd at the centre of Athens, Tsipras used the rhetoric that charachterised its electoral campaign.

 ”Today we close the vicious circle of austerity. Hope, dignity, optimism have returned, ” Syriza’s leader said.

”The Greeks have shown the road for change to Europe, a new Europe based on solidarity: the troika is a thing of the past.  The vote against austerity has been loud and clear,” he stressed addressing the people crammed in the square outside Athens university

“The mandate of the Greek people today cancels, in an indisputable way, the memorandums,” Tsipras said, referring to the agreements the previous government reached with Greece’s creditors in return for bail-out loans

However, Mr Tsipras assured that his government will negotiate a mutually beneficial agreement for all sides and that he is ready “to cooperate with all European friends” in order for Europe to return to stability and growth.


Article written by LGR
John Karayiannis on lgr.co.uk

John Karayiannis ‘One Thing I Should Have Done’

Cyprus will select our song for the Eurovision Song Contest 2015 via the route of the live Cypriot Eurovision Song Project which airs on 1st of February in Nicosia. While if you twitter savvy you are sure to have thought at using the hash-tag #EurovisionCY for news on the auditions and Eurochallenge semi-finals (on the CyBc), moreover, 55 entries will be eventually cut to six finalists and our song will be decided by public opinion and judge for who wins…

Mike Connaris, a London Cypriot song-writer has made it all the way to top 6 with his acoustic ballad he penned for Cypriot singer John Karayiannis called ‘One Thing I Should Have Done‘ featuring in a really good line-up of songs eyeing the huge prize of becoming our island’s entry which heads to Austria in the spring. 

Mike’s already written himself into Cypriot Eurovision folklore for his Top 5th result, equaling our best ever, with Lisa Andreas ‘Stronger Every Minute’ in 2004, noting he has an English mother and Cypriot father from Lekkoniko in his biography.

He unearthed male soloist John who is 21 years-old born and bred in Limassol, with the signature look of black, thick-framed spectacles and he recorded the tune at Mcasso Music in Great Marlborough Street and suiting his modern ballad style…

John Karayiannis and Mike Connaris in Green Room

John Karayiannis (left), Mike Connaris (right) celebrate their success at the audition with 4 yes ”votes”

John was introduced to Mike by Christos Kyriakides, who runs a successful music school of the same name in Limassol. Mike was very impressed with John’s voice and invited him to London. After getting to know John, and working closely in the studio with him, Mike set about writing a song especially for John. The song is about regret, but with a twist because it’s not until the end of the song that the real truth comes out. It makes you realise that in a relationship you should look back with no regrets, and always be honest.

The song has a pleasant touch of acapella which is stripped-back to show us John’s crisp really strong vocal, which is adding to the honest and captivating feel to the tune. He knows precisely where the camera lens is and is performing directly to it and each of us are bought into his song and verse…

John explained to LGR his goal of flying the Cypriot flag in Eurovision with his opinion on the song… 

As soon as Mike played me the song, I knew this was for me. I just loved the simplicity in the track and beautiful melody… and lyrics… well that was me! I would love to represent Cyprus in ESC – and I would be so proud to get the support of the Cyprus public to send me there with Mike’s beautiful song”.

John is one the best young vocalists I have ever worked with. I’ve known him for 6 months now, and his voice just improves with every session/video. John can eclipse Lisa in Eurovision for Cyprus, I have no doubts. But the hardest task ahead is winning the Cyprus Eurovision Song Project. But he’s getting there! John has the potential to become Cyprus’s biggest music export – he will become a true international star in the future for sure”, explained Mike about his Eurovision ambitions… 

John has applied to Berklee College of Music in Boston where he was put through auditions and managed to succeed and got accepted. At 6 years-old he discovered music writes his biography, and passed Grade 8 vocals exams with a Distinction and attained 1st place in Cypriot island-wide competitions. He even tried his shot at junior Eurovision at the age of 14 and now he aims to go much further… well all the way to Vienna… the Cypriot final result will be decided by public voting at 50% and judges 50% which airs on Sunday, 1st of February at 19:30 GMT.

Cyprus competes in Eurovision Semi-Final 2 on Thursday 21st May, and the UK can vote for the 10 qualifiers… reaching Saturday night, the 23rd of May at the Wiener Stadthalle in Vienna, 8pm GMT.  

You can check out more news of John Karayiannis by heading to the official web-site at johnkarayiannis.com and facebook.com/JohnKarayiannis.Music and twitter.com/JohnKarayiannis.


Article written by Tony Neophytou

A Foreign Office Μinister said that the British government remains committed to supporting the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community, adding that London recognises the serious difficulties caused by the status quo and that it supports measures aimed at “reducing the Turkish Cypriots’ isolation.”

Baroness Anelay of St Johns was responding in writing to a question by Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, known for his pro-Turkish views, on whether the UK has “actively sought to ameliorate the embargo on the Turkish Cypriot community.”

In her answer the Foreign Office official also mentioned that the UK has suggested that measures should be taken to enable Turkish Cypriots to participate effectively in cultural, social and economic life and public affairs.

“We also support the European Commission’s proposal for a direct trade regulation to enhance the Turkish Cypriot community’s access to EU markets. Disagreements over the legal basis mean that this has unfortunately not yet been agreed,” added Baroness Anelay.

She also repeated the British government’s position that “the best way of resolving the challenges faced by both communities is through a comprehensive settlement to end the division of the island” and that therefore London continues to support strongly UN-led efforts to reunify Cyprus through a lasting and just settlement.

Cyprus to make strict demarches to Britain over Anelay’s remarks

Acting President of the Republic of Cyprus Yiannakis Omirou has described as unacceptable, the position expressed by Britain`s Baroness Anelay, Minister of State that measures should be taken to lessen the so called isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community and announced the government will proceed with strict demarches.

Speaking to reporters after he chaired a cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace, Omirou said the Anelay`s “unacceptable” remarks were discussed at the cabinet.

Anelay was replying to a letter by a member of the House of Lords concerning so called direct trade between the occupied areas and EU member states.

He said it was “a highly provocative statement, which cancels and negates both the status of Britain as a guarantor of the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and is in clear violation of resolutions 541 and 550 of the Security Council” which were adopted after the illegal declaration the pseudo regime in the occupied north.

Τhe cabinet, he said, decided that “strict demarches will be made by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus in London over this unacceptable statement and Britain`s stance and the Foreign Ministry in Nicosia to the British High Commission to Cyprus”.

Britain, he noted, “unfortunately, continues a subversive behavior towards the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, in blatant violation of its obligations as a guarantor of the Republic of Cyprus.”

Answering a question, Omirou said that the measures should be very strict, adding “you are aware of my position that measures should be taken that will be discussed and decided, to make Britain understand that it cannot behave in this manner with no consequences for itself and its interests. “

Britain maintains two sovereign bases in Cyprus.

EU-aspirant Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, in spite of numerous calls by the EU to do so and normalise relations with Nicosia.

President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades suspended his participation in the UN-led peace talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel “Barbaros” violated the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.

Repeated calls for the withdrawal of “Barbaros” went unheeded by Ankara, which announced recently the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.


Article written by CNA

Moscow is interested in a potential agreement with Cyprus for military facilitation on the island, the country`s Ambassador in Nicosia Stanislav Osadchiy (pictured) has said on Wednesday.

ÑÙÓÏÓ ÐÑÅÓÂÇÓ ÓÔÇÍ ÊÕÐÑÏ STANISLAV OSADCHIY

The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades is expected to visit the Russian capital in the end of February.

Osadchiy said however that at the present stage, Moscow`s consultations with the Cypriot Foreign Ministry concern the preparation of bilateral agreements to be signed during Anastasiades` visit.

Replying to questions, Osadchiy confirmed Moscow`s interest in an agreement providing military facilitation to Russia – similar to the ones in place with France and Germany – and noted that the matter was being discussed.

Moreover, the Ambassador noted that Moscow is following developments concerning the Cyprus issue and natural gas.

The issue of the Turkish research vessel “Barbaros” has been discussed with the Foreign Ministry and Russia urges all sides to break the deadlock, the Osadchiy said.

He noted that “we are doing everything to improve existing good relations between our countries”.

Osadchiy expressed hope that relations will develop further in the future, despite existing difficulties, both in the Russian and in the Cypriot economies.

He said finally that his country has always maintained good relations, both with Turkey and Cyprus, especially now that sanctions are in place.

Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, in spite of numerous calls by the EU to do so and normalise relations with Nicosia.

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades suspended his participation in the UN-led peace talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel “Barbaros” violated the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.

Repeated calls for the withdrawal of “Barbaros” went unheeded by Ankara, which announced recently the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.


Article written by CNA

Cypriot Minister of Energy Yiorgos Lakkotrypis (pictured) has told CNA that oil & gas giant Total has not been able to locate drilling target areas withing the blocks 10 and 11 in Cyprus` Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) that it has been licensed to explore.

CNA_Lakotrypis

Lakkotrypis, who was replying to a question by CNA said that Total has informed the government that following the 3D seismic surveys it has conducted in the two blocks it was not able “to locate drilling target areas”.

He added that Total has made it clear that they cannot go ahead with any drilling and that it is looking into the options ahead.

Asked which other options Total may be looking into apart from the possibility of pulling out from Cyprus, Lakkotrypis did not wish to comment further.

He is briefing parliamentary parties this afternoon.

The Republic of Cyprus is currently developing natural resources discovered within its EEZ, while several international companies are involved in hydrocarbon exploration and exploitation activities.

Delek Drilling Limited along with Avner Oil and Gas LP reported to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) that they had raised their estimate for the amount of natural gas in the Aphrodite (Block 12) reservoir by 14 billion cubic meters (BCM). The new estimates are 127 BCM of gas, up from 113 BCM, and nine million barrels of condensate, up from 8.1 million. The estimated number of barrels of condensate (a liquid byproduct of natural gas production that can be sold separately) has also been raised.

The consortium of Noble Energy and Delek drilling holds the right to explore Cyprus` offshore block 12, in the Republic`s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) as well as Leviathan and Tamar gas fields of Israel.

Consortium ENI/KOGAS has been awarded exploration licenses in Cyprus` EEZ, namely in Blocks 2,3 and 9. ENI completed 2 seismic surveys, and is planning to drill 6 wells in the coming 18 months.


Article written by CNA

British High Commissioner in Cyprus Ric Todd has pointed out that the British Government supports efforts to bring the tragedy of the missing persons in Cyprus to a close, acknowledging the importance of trust and respect between the two communities in a viable Cyprus solution.

ÁÃÍÏÏÕÌÅÍÏÉ - ÅÊÔÁÖÅÓ - ÁÍÈÑÙÐÏËÏÃÉÊÏ ÅÑÃÁÓÔÇÑÉ ÁÃÍÏÏÕÌÅÍÏÉ - ÅÊÔÁÖÅÓ - ÁÍÈÑÙÐÏËÏÃÉÊÏ ÅÑÃÁÓÔÇÑÉ

According to a press release issued by the British High Commission, Todd met on Monday with a delegation of the Community Council of the occupied village of Ashia. Speaking during the meeting, the Commissioner said that the relatives of the missing persons in Cyprus can always rely on the UK to keep raising the humanitarian issue, adding that every day he is struck by how extremely close the human ties between Cyprus and Britain are.

Furthermore he expressed the full support by Britain to the work of theCommittee on Missing Persons (CMP). Todd expressed his gratitude to the relatives of the missing of the village of Ashia, for their presentation noting that “diplomats have to remember”.

The delegation presented the HC with a petition.

According to the recent report of the UN Secretary General on the United Nations operation in Cyprus, as at 18 December 2014, the Committee’s bicommunal teams of archaeologists had exhumed the remains of 948 missing persons on both sides of the island and the remains of 564 individuals have been returned to their respective families, including 135 during the reporting period (June-December 2014). The total number of missing persons identified in 2014 now stands at 157, the highest in any given year, it is noted.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory.


Article written by

The President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has made it crystal clear that he will not be forced to return to the negotiating table, under threat or blackmail, expressing at the same time regret that the UN Secretary General has adopted the “logic of blackmail.”

ÐÑÏÅÄÑÏÓ ÁÍÁÓÔÁÓÉÁÄÇÓ - ÂÉÂËÉÏ ÓÕËËÇÐÔÇÑÉÙÍ

President Anastasiades

Reiterating his commitment to a political settlement which would reunite Cyprus, he also said some quarters have ignored Turkey`s blatant violation of the Republic`s sovereign rights, in particular with regard to Nicosia`s exclusive economic zone.

“Ι will not succumb, under any circumstances, to threats or blackmail in order to be drawn into negotiations”, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades has stressed, reacting to the UN Secretary General`s report on the UN operation in Cyprus.

In an interview with Mega TV after the report was issued officially, President Anastasiades revealed that in New York last September he was given promises by the UN Secretary General, the UNSG Special Advisor Espen Barth Eide, the US Secretary of State John Kerry, the US Vice President Joe Baden, the Russian Foreign Minister that Turkey would be willing to move forward in the negotiations, which were set to begin on October 9.

In addition, President Anastasiades revealed that an Ambassador of a great power informed him that Turkey was ready to lift the embargo on ships carrying the Cyprus flags. Instead, five days later Turkey issued a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, committing parts of the Republic`s exclusive economic zone.

President Anastasiades pointed out that it is inconceivable for everybody, on one hand, to recognize the illegality of Turkey`s move and at the same time invite the Greek Cypriot side to participate in a dialogue under these conditions.

Replying to a question, President Anastasiades said he believes that, having seen his support of a UN-proposed solution plan (the Annan Plan) in 2004 which most Greek Cypriots rejected, he would have accepted any kind of solution.

“I am determined to find a solution and I have made this clear, he said, adding that the UN instead of recognising his proven good will, they assume that he would accept any kind of proposal in order to satisfy their own interests.

Asked if he agrees now with a proposal for a change in the strategy of the Greek Cypriot side on the Cyprus issue, President Anastasiades said that “we have chosen the path of dialogue. On the other hand Turkish intransigence is well known.”

“It is unthinkable for some people to ignore Turkey`s provocations and exert pressure on the President to change his policy, or consider that his policy has failed”, he added.

“We are not looking for any solution. We want a solution that leaves no winners and no losers. We do not want a solution which will be the product of blackmail and the will of the powerful”, he said.

The President stressed the need for unity on the internal front and added that “we should not abandon the logic of a solution based on the legality of international law and adopt the logic of the blackmail, as unfortunately has been adopted by the UN Secretary General.”

President Anastasiades suspended his participation in the UN-led peace talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel “Barbaros” violated the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.

Repeated calls for the withdrawal of “Barbaros” went unheeded by Ankara, which announced recently the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.

Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, in spite of numerous calls by the EU, which Ankara aspires to join, to do so and normalise relations with Nicosia.


Article written by CNA

Cyprus government has expressed great disappointment and dissatisfaction on the contents of the UN Secretary General`s report on the situation in Cyprus, and has made written and verbal representations at the highest level.

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΚΟ ΜΕΓΑΡΟ ΚΥΠΡΟΥ

Cyprus Presidential Mansion

In statements on Thursday, Government Spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said the “government would like to express its great disappointment and dissatisfaction on the contents of the UN Secretary General`s report on the activities of the United Nations in Cyprus during 21 June 2015 until 15 December 2014”.

As regards the illegal and provocative actions of Turkey in the Cyprus Republic’s Exclusive Economic Zone, which have undoubtedly led to suspending the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus issue, said Christodoulides, the report presents the facts in a way which does not reflect the reality whatsoever.

The report, he said, “does not make a clear reference to the continued violations of the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, an independent and sovereign state, member of the UN contrary to international law and the UN Charter and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas. The report does not make any reference to Turkey`s illegal seismic activity in Cyprus` EEZ through its vessel Barbaros, which was accompanied by Turkish warships.

“The lack of clear reference to what caused the negotiations to be suspended, a little before the start of the most critical phase of the negotiating procedure that began last February with the adoption of the joint declaration, is debatable and does not help in solving the crisis created by Turkey”, he added.

Christodoulides reminded the UN role as guardian of international law and the UN Convention on the Law of the Seas.

The Cypriot Spokesman further expressed the strong disappointment of the government for the insufficient references of the report to the humanitarian issue of the missing persons and the reference to the occupation forces and their cooperation with the Committee on Missing Persons. “This picture does not reflect the reality”, he remarked because it is well known that Turkey, which occupies one third of Cyprus, “refuses to offer access to more than 30 military areas, which, according to valid reports, there are mass graves, as well as access to military archives, significantly hindering the work of the CMP and prolonging the drama of the relatives of the missing persons”.

He also said that the report contains extremely unfortunate claims about restrictions and barriers that impede the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community as well as claims about so called inability of Turkish Cypriots to participate meaningfully in an interconnected world.

“We stress that any economic inequalities between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities are the direct result of the continued illegal occupation of a part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus by Turkish troops”, said Christodoulides.

He called for lifting the restrictions that the occupation force has imposed on Turkish Cypriots to serve the political expediencies of Turkey and aim at the perpetuation of the division and occupation on the island.

The government, he added, “stresses that the approach of equal distance under the guise of impartiality emboldens Turkey and further complicates the existing situation”.

The Spokesman added “we intend to proceed with written and verbal demonstrations to the highest level” that will include the UNSG.

Asked if these issues were raised during the President`s meeting on Thursday with the US Ambassador, the Spokesman said that President Anastasiades and the Foreign Minister have a number of meetings with ambassadors of permanent and non permanent members of the UN Security Council, in view of the UNSG`s Special Advisor on Cyprus, Espen Barth Eide briefing the Council on 26 January and the resolution that will be adopted by the Council.

President Anastasiades, he added, already met with the Ambassador of China and France and also held contacts with the British High Commissioner and the Russian Ambassador.

Asked if the government will request of Eide to urge Turkey show good will, the Spokesman reminded that Eide yesterday publicly said that President Anastasiades has exhibited a constructive approach and his approach should be acknowledged by the Turkish side.

To a question if a development should be anticipated, the Spokesman added “the ball is in Turkey`s court”.

President Anastasiades suspended his participation in the UN-led peace talks following a Navigational Telex or NAVTEX, issued by Turkey in October last year, as Turkish seismic research vessel “Barbaros” violated the Republic’s exclusive economic zone.

Repeated calls for the withdrawal of “Barbaros” went unheeded by Ankara, which announced recently the NAVTEX`s extension until April 6, 2015.

Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus’ northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, in spite of numerous calls by the EU, which Ankara aspires to join, to do so and normalise relations with Nicosia.


Article written by CNA
Michelle Janes (Abstract Artist)

Michelle Janes (Abstract Artist)

I was so pleased that one of my favorite pieces was snapped up at a recent charity event at the Cypriot Community Centre in Wood Green.

“Emerald Light” is an optimistic vision where colour rather than substance was applied to achieve what some admirers have called “exuberant”.

The finished product was adapted from the original abstract painting to create a limited edition print. I decided to print on a diasec format in order to achieve the maximum gloss effect … a face mounting process that allows photographs to be bonded directly and permanently to Acrylic sheet.

The art work was Photograhed by the World famous firm John Jones and mounted by Kay mounting.

The piece was sold to a private buyer at the annual dinner dance of a charity which raises funds for children with special needs. The Chairman of SYNDESMOS ATOMON ME EIDIKES ANANGES John Kyriakides was delighted with the sale and commented afterwards “the proceeds will help to pay for social excursions and activities which mean so much to the children .”

The dinner was attended by local dignitaries and to all accounts was a great success.


Article written by Michelle Janes (Abstract Artist)