Enlightenment is the only weapon that can help promote the national issue, the leaders of Cypriot diaspora have said.

Noting the success of 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), the overseas Cypriots told a press conference that their efforts will continue especially after the collapse of the latest talks for a Cyprus settlement at Crans Montana.

Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian and Overseas Affairs, Fotis Fotiou, said this year’s conference was upgraded with new events and greater participation.

He thanked POMAK, PSEKA and NEPOMAK for their work, especially Antonia Michalides, chairwoman of NEPOMAK, noting that the new generation should be supported to maintain affiliation with their roots.

Fotiou praised the overseas Cypriots for their continued willingness to help in finding a solution for the Cyprus problem, adding ”we are at a crucial phase and overseas Cypriots are giving us lessons of unity. We will continue the struggle to end the occupation and this is the message conveyed by this conference”, he added.

The commissioner also said that special emphasis should be given for the diaspora to forge more cooperation agreements with the diaspora of other countries that have a key role. He praised cooperation with the Jewish and Armenian diaspora as they are powerful at decision-making centres.

We have also involved Greece in this, he said and referred to the successful example in the US where the Cypriot, Greek and Jewish diaspora work at all levels, especially the political level as it is a way to promote common interests.

Regarding the missing persons issue, Fotiou said it was tabled by many delegates and they discussed ways to promote and enlighten on the issue at decision taking centres so that Turkey is persuaded and pressured into providing information on the missing persons. ”It is a shame for the international community 43 years on, to still have two-thirds of our missing unaccounted for”, he added.

Regarding the number of overseas Cypriots, he said a first estimation is 500-600 thousand.

On the enlightenment funds, Fotiou said that it is imperative to increase them.

POMAK President Andreas Papaevripidis said that they are examining options, noting that prominent business leaders should make a fund solely for enlightenment.

He also said that the aim is to maintain the Cypriot diaspora because it will always need to support its homeland.

PSEKA president Philip Christopher thanked Fotiou for upgrading the Overseas Cypriots’ conference.
Enlightenment is the only weapon we have, he said, adding neither the Cypriot nor Greek governments have yet appreciated that big funds are needed and that 2 million euros is not enough when Turkey spends 100 million at universities and think tanks.

Noting the effort will continue, Christopher called on Cypriot millionaires to “put their hands in their pockets and help”. Successful Jewish businesses put a two-to three percent of their earnings to support Israel, he added.

On her part, NEPOMAK leader Antonia Michaelides Antoniou said the conference was highly successful especially for the youth, as 40 came from all over the world.

“They came here with a limited understanding of what the conference was going to be about and have left feeling inspired to join our organisation and understand about their roots, history and promote the Cyprus problem and the missing persons issue in their own respective nations.

Regarding the new US administration, Christopher said that the American foreign policy was always pro-Turkish. However, he believes that there will be a change and overseas Cypriots in the US will work with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson who knows the Cyprus problem. At the same time, the new US administration has pledged that it will not allow any problem in Cyprus’ EEZ.

He also said that the diaspora in the US are already working on the President’s forthcoming trip to the US, adding “our attack should be enlightenment, we need everyone to know that the collapse of the talks was due to Turkey and the Cyprus issue is an issue of invasion and occupation.

Regarding the Brexit, Papaevripidis said that surely it will directly or indirectly affect the overseas Cypriots planning about Cyprus, however, so far, there have not been great repercussions.

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The latest round of UN-led negotiations in early July this year ended inconclusively and parties to the peace talks are going through a period of recollection.

Article written by Cyprus News Agency, London Greek Radio

Updated August 27th, 2017

The small village of Anafonitria in the northwest part of the island of Zakynthos is being evacuated as the raging wildfire has been threatening houses and human lives. Already some houses have been burned down.

The fire broke out short before 12 noon Saturday in a forest and low vegetation area between Anafiotissa and Volimes. It soon went out of control due to the strong blowing winds.

Firefighters and volunteers are battling against the fire, while aerial means are expected to drop water over the houses to protect them from being burned.

However, the fire is horrific and the flames reach up to ten meters, while the atmosphere is ‘suffocating’, local media report.

According to latest information (2:30 pm local time), the blaze has already reached and burned several shops in the fringes of the village, while those whose houses are not in immediate danger are packing their things to save whatever they can.

The blaze was just 100 meters away from the village houses – or closer.

Traffic police is calling on motorists to avoid driving on the road beyond Katastari in direction of Orthonies, anafonitira and Navagio (Shipwreck).

Anafonitria and Volimes are just 2 km away from the coast, above the famous tourist attraction of Zalynthos shipwreck.

Around 3 p.m., two new fire fronts broke out in the area of Ano Volimes. The new fronts are reportedly 5km away from the fire in Anafonitria.

For the time being, strong winds hinder water dropping helicopters from operating, Athens newsagency reports.

Currently, there are ten fire trucks operating in the area with 25 firefighters.

+++ According to latest information by state ERT TV (3:45 pm), there is no official order for evacuation of Anafonitria, however, Fire Brigades, Civil Protection and local authorities are stand by to implement such a plan. Many people have already left the village. Several houses have burned down. A barn and many animals have been reportedly swallowed by the fire. ERT reporter said that volunteers and local residents are assisting the firefighters in an effort to prevent that more houses are being burned.

UPDATE 1 07:00 pm

The blaze continues its devastating path, has burned down thousands of acres for forest land, at least three houses and an unknown number of shops in Anafonitria village.

Two restaurants outside the Monastery of the same name have been burned and the outside wall of the monastery.

Although there is no official order for evacuation, authorities have made vehicles available for anyone who wants to abandon the area and be transferred to safety.

One fire front is moving to the direction of Navagio (Shipwreck), two others in directions of Maries and Orthonies.

UPDATE 2 10:50 pm

Also in the evening, the fire continues with the same intensity as earlier on Saturday.

More fire truck and more firefighters have been deployed to Zakynthos from other regions.

An extra ferry boat charter is to transport 20 fire trucks and army machinery that will open fire roads. The ferry is expected to arrive after midnight.

The forces are expected to be enhanced with 7 trucks in the morning and two water dropping helicopters.

Aerial means do not fly after dusk.

Earlier Saturday, in a big operation, the fire brigades managed to open the way for 25 private vehicles with some 100 passengers at Porto Vromi. It was mostly tourists who left their cars at the port and went for a visit to the shipwreck by boats. when they return they saw that the blaze was reaching the area.

Mayor of Zakynthos, Pavlos Kolokotsas, speaks of arson. “It is impossible to not think of an arson plan when three fires break out at the same time,” he told private ANT1 TV.

With three fire fronts in Anafonitria, Volimes and  Porto Vromi the night is expected to be very difficult for everyone on the island.

The fire front in Maries.

UPDATE 3 – 01:30 pm August 27

Firefighters were operating all night to limit the fire fronts.

The situation was better on Sunday due to the intervention of water dropping aircraft and helicopters.

Another factor is that the intensity of the winds has temporarily lowered down.

Efforts to extinguish the fire continue without a break.

Wildfires have been raging all summer on the island of Zakynthos and other regions in Greece.

The mayor of Zakynthos said that 30 fires broke out on the island in the month of August and more than 70 since the beginning of summer.

52 wildfires occurred in the last 24 hours across the country.  Strong north winds, the ‘meltemia’, and temperature over 30 degrees have the Greek Civil Protection issuing risk warnings for wildfires.

Authorities arrested a 54-year-old man a responsible for the wildfire in Kaki Vigla, Salamina, on Friday. He is to be charged for causing a fire out of negligence as he was performing outdoor works using a wheel that sparked the fire.

Article written by Keep Talking Greece

CYPRUS champions APOEL Nicosia will face Tottenham, Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stage this season.

The Cyprus champions will make a fourth appearance in the group stage.

APOEL’s greatest moment in the Champions League was reaching the season 2011-12’s quarter-finals before succumbing to a defeat by the Spanish giants Real Madrid.

APOEL beat Czech team Slavia Praha 2-0 on aggregate in the playoffs to reach the group stage this season. The Cypriot side knocked out Luxembourg outfit Dudelange 2-0 on aggregate in the Second qualifying round. This set-up a Third qualifying round when APOEL had swept aside Romanian side Viitorul 4-1 on aggregate in extra-time, four goals coming in the dramatic extra-time of the second-leg in Nicosia.

First up for APOEL is a trip to the Santiago Bernabéu before a GSP Nicosia double against Tottenham and then Dortmund. Then it’s to Dortmund before the Cypriot side host Real Madrid in Nicosia. The group stage finishes at the Wembley Stadium with Tottenham.

Group H

Wednesday 13 September 2017
Tottenham v Borussia Dortmund

Tuesday 26 September 2017
Borussia Dortmund v Real Madrid CF
APOEL NICOSIA FC v Tottenham Hotspur FC

Tuesday 17 October 2017
APOEL NICOSIA v Borussia Dortmund
Read Madrid CF v Tottenham Hotspur FC

Wednesday 1 November
Borrusia Dortmund v APOEL NICOSIA FC
Tottenham Hotspur FC v Real Madrid CF

Tuesday 21 November 2017
Borussia Dortmund v Tottenham Hotspur FC

Wednesday 6 December 2017
Real Madrid CF v Borussia Dortmund
Tottenham Hotspur FC v APOEL NICOSIA FC

Article written by London Greek Radio

GREECE champions Olympiacos Piraeus will face Barcelona, Juventus and Sporting Clube in the Champions League group stage this season.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

FC Barcelona v Juventus Football Club

Olympiacos FC v Sporting Clube de Portugal

Wednesday 27 September 2017

Sporting Clube de Portugal v FC Barcelona

Juventus Football Club v Olympiacos FC

Wednesday 18 October 2017

Juventus Football Club v Sporting Clube de Portugal

FC Barcelona v Olympiacos FC

Tuesday 31 October 2017

Sporting Club de Portugal v Juventus Football Club

Olympiacos FC v FC Barcelona

Wednesday 22 November 2017

Juventus Football Club v FC Barcelona

Sporting Clube de Portugal v Olympiacos FC

Tuesday 5 December 2017

FC Barcelona v Sporting Clube de Portugal

Olympiacos FC v Juventus Football Club

Article written by London Greek Radio

The Cypriot team Apollon Limassol will face Everton of England, French side Lyon and Italian outfit Atalanta in the Europa League group stage.

Meanwhile, AEK Athens take on AC Milan, Austria Wien and Rijeka.

Full group stage draw

The draw took place in Monaco on Friday 25 August 2017

Group E: Lyon (FRA), Everton (ENG), Atalanta (ITA), APOLLON LIMASSOL (CYP)
Group D: AC Milan (ITA), Austria Wien (AUT), Rijeka (CRO), AEK ATHENS (GRE)

Group A: Villarreal (ESP), Maccabi Tel-Aviv (ISR), Astana (KAZ), Slavia Praha (CZE)
Group B: Dynamo Kyiv (UKR), Young Boys (SUI), Partizan (SRB), Skënderbeu (ALB)
Group C: Braga (POR), Ludogorets Razgrad (BUL), Hoffenheim (GER), İstanbul Başakşehir (TUR)
Group F: København (DEN), Lokomotiv Moskva (RUS), Sheriff (MDA), Zlín (CZE)
Group G: Viktoria Plzeň (CZE), FCSB (ROU), Hapoel Beer-Sheva (ISR), Lugano (SUI)
Group H: Arsenal (ENG), BATE Borisov (BLR), Köln (GER), Crvena zvezda (SRB)
Group I: Salzburg (AUT), Marseille (FRA), Vitória SC (POR), Konyaspor (TUR)
Group J: Athletic Club (ESP), Hertha Berlin (GER), Zorya (UKR), Östersund (SWE)
Group K: Lazio (ITA), Nice (FRA), Zulte Waregem (BEL), Vitesse (NED)
Group L: Zenit (RUS), Real Sociedad (ESP), Rosenborg (NOR), Vardar (MKD)

Article written by London Greek Radio

Overseas Cypriots, participating in the 19th World Conference of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK) and the International Coordinating Committee – Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA), in Nicosia, have called on the Turkish Cypriots, whether in Cyprus or abroad, to work with the Greek Cypriots to end the Turkish occupation and reunify the country.

In a message, overseas Greek Cypriots, who have gathered here, call on the Turkish Cypriots to contribute to maintaining and strengthening the positive climate that has been created and note that in a reunified Cyprus all legitimate residents will be able to enjoy the wealth of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone.

”We reminisce older times and the good relationship between the two communities, in conditions of freedom, democracy, and mutual respect, and we look forward to the moment of reunification,” overseas Cypriots say.

They add that, ”despite the tragic occurrences and despite the continuing occupation by Turkish troops, we believe that the reserves of mutual understanding are enough to form the foundation of a solution that will secure a reunified, independent, federal Cyprus, without occupation troops and settlers, demilitarised, sovereign, with a single citizenship and international identity, based on UN principles and resolutions, the high level agreements, international law, and the acquis communautaire, where human rights will be guaranteed for all its legitimate inhabitants.”

”We believe that the right solution of the Cyprus problem – with the Republic of Cyprus in the EU – gives a new dimension to our common homeland with huge benefits for both communities, safeguarding at the same time the safety and progress of all of us. We must jointly strive so that we can enjoy the benefits our accession to the European family offers us,” they say.

Furthermore, overseas Cypriots note that “it will be possible for all of us to enjoy the newly-discovered wealth of hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ exclusive economy zone, which belongs to all the legitimate residents of our homeland, in a reunified Cyprus.”

Overseas Cypriots call on the Turkish Cypriots, including those living abroad, ”to work and join forces to lift the Turkish occupation and reunify our homeland.”

They call on the Turkish Cypriots ”to contribute in your own way and support the continuation of the negotiating process in the framework of the UN parameters and the good offices mission of the UN Secretary General, so that progress can be achieved, differences can be overcome, and we can arrive at a viable and functional solution.”

Furthermore, they call on the Turkish Cypriots ”to contribute to maintaining and strengthening the positive climate that has been created, including the efforts for confidence-building measures, which will contribute to improving the daily lives of Cypriots and cultivate trust between the two communities.”

”We also believe that it is an important duty of ours to work collectively for the return of the town of Famagusta to its legitimate residents, as provided for in relevant UN resolutions, without pre requisites and reconditions, and for the adoption of other confidence-building measures which will give new impetus to the negotiations and will have a mutual benefit for both communities,” overseas Cypriots note. They add that ”dedication to UN decisions and resolutions, the implementation of international law and the acquis communautaire,

They add that “dedication to UN decisions and resolutions, the implementation of international law and the acquis communautaire, are guarantees for safeguarding the human rights and personal freedoms of us all.”

”We wish to live in a regime of security, through a solution which will exclude the creation of separate states or a confederation. This homeland is ours, all of us, and belongs to all Cypriots,” they concluded.

Article written by Cyprus News Agency, London Greek Radio

The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades awarded on Tuesday evening the ”Medal for exceptional services” to six Overseas Cypriots for their contribution to promoting justice for the people of Cyprus.

This year the medal was awarded to Nicos Mouyiaris, Antonis Yerolemou (the chairman of Radiomarathon committee which supports young people with a range of learning disabilities in an environment that welcome and respects all cultures. He is also the Chairman of the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood a trustee of the Archdiocese of Thyateira and Great Britain and member of Komi Kebir Association and the Hellenic Centre.) Also Cypriot based in the UK, Andreas Karaolis (Executive Secretary of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK and Executive General Secretary of the Greek Cypriot Brotherhood), Costas Nicolaou, George Lazari and Tasos Zampas. President Anastasiades said that the award is only a small indication of the debt owed to them by their country.

The President was speaking during a reception, hosted at the gardens of the Presidential Palace, in honour of the members of the World Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK), the International Coordinating Committee ”Justice for Cyprus” (PSEKA) and Young Overseas Cypriots (NEPOMAK), attending the 19th World Conference in Nicosia.

”This evening we honour six of our distinguished compatriots who were and continue to be active in important decision-making centres in the United Kingdom, the United States of America, South Africa and Australia” said President Anastasiades.

Cyprus, he noted, ”has great potential and possesses creative people, who distinguish themselves everywhere, all around the world, as our distinguished compatriots who are being honoured today have proven”.

Overseas Cypriots are ambassadors of Cyprus’ national cause, its language, culture and traditions, the President said, noting that they carry their Cypriot descent with them, as an ”honorary title”.

Photis Photiou, the Presidential Commissioner for Humanitarian Affairs and Overseas Cypriots, said from his part that the people receiving this year’s award have distinguished themselves abroad and are working tirelessly to defend the rights of Greek Cypriots.

Speaking on behalf of all recipients, Mouyiaris thanked for the award, noting that this honour belongs to all Cypriots living overseas and especially to PSEKA President Philip Christopher. ”We will continue to fight for a Cyprus that is free and independent,” Mouyiaris went on and invited those who are well off to support financially the organizations that promote national interests in decision-making centers abroad.

Prior to the reception, members of the Conference Central Council were briefed by President Anastasiades and laid a wreath at the statue of first President of the Republic of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios III.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN-peace talks at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana commenced on June 28, but in the early hours of July 7, it was announced that the Conference on Cyprus ended without an agreement. Talks held under the auspices of the UN aim at reuniting Cyprus under a federal roof.

Article written by Cyprus News Agency, London Greek Radio

Acting President of the House of Representatives Adamos Adamou has said that the contribution of overseas Cypriots to the just cause of Cyprus has always been and continues to be very valuable.

Addressing the opening ceremony of 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), in Nicosia, Adamou said that their role is also important in promoting Cyprus as an attractive investment destination, thus contributing to Nicosia’s efforts to return to economic growth.

He stressed that overseas Cypriots continue to constitute valuable supporters of the just cause of Cyprus, noting that their contribution is extremely important, especially with regard to exerting more effective pressure on Turkey in order to cooperate in the efforts to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.

Referring to Turkey, he said that it is clear that Ankara’s priority remains to upgrade or recognize the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime, which was illegally declared in the northern Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus and is recognized only by Turkey.

In addition, he said that Turkey’s aim is to exploit Cyprus’ geostrategic position in order to achieve its goals in the region. He said that Ankara is acting in a methodical manner towards this goal, working at the same time for the de-recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, through continuously questioning Cyprus’ sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and using the interests of the Turkish Cypriot community as a pretext.

Adamou said that the Greek Cypriot side, acting on the basis of international law – the Convention of the Law of the Sea of 1982, – is proceeding in a decisive manner towards the promotion of its energy plans, bearing in mind the best interests of all Cypriots.

He also said that the Republic of Cyprus has laid the foundations for cooperation in the region with neighbouring countries, in order to achieve stability and security in the wider region, based on the catalytic role that natural gas can play.

Referring to the Cyprus talks that took place this summer in the Crans Montana resort in Switzerland, he said they resulted in a deadlock, noting that the Turkish side did not demonstrate good will, but rather remained focused on its intransigent stance thus leaving no room for a constructive dialogue to take place.

Adamou said that the Greek Cypriot side will continue to do its utmost to reach a viable, functional and just solution, based on international law, the UN resolutions and the European principles and values.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37% of its territory. The President and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mustafa Akinci have been engaged in negotiations since May 2015. The latest round of UN-led peace talks in early July ended inconclusively and parties to the talks are in a period of recollection at present.

Article written by Cyprus News Agency, London Greek Radio

CYPRUS champions APOEL Nicosia have triumphed in the playoff facing Czech team Slavia Praha securing their route into the Champions League group stages competition. This followed playing out a goalless draw in Prague on Wednesday night, 23rd August.

The Cypriot team had turned out 2-0 winners on aggregate thanks to their winning in Nicosia in the first-leg, the week before.

This will be the fourth time APOEL reaching the Champions League group stage.

Article written by London Greek Radio

GREECE champions Olympiacos Piraeus FC have qualified for the Champions League group stages following a 1-0 away victory to Rijeka in Croatia, in the playoffs.

The only goal came in the 25th minute through Marin, which confirmed 3-1 aggregate win over the Croatian opponents.

The Greek team are back in the group stages after a year’s absence.

Article written by London Greek Radio