Cyprus Mail

‘British journalists may try to check island’s airport security’

By Andria Kades

Cyprus, as a popular tourist destination for Brits is likely being eyed by UK journalists for investigation pieces on airport security, the Cyprus Tourism Organisation confirmed on Wednesday.

Information they received from their London branch was passed on to local authorities to be more vigilant.

However, director of the London branch Orestis Rossidis sought to clarify local reports that it was not Cyprus that was specifically being targeted but all popular destinations for British travellers.

Questioned on the source of the information, Rossidis told the Cyprus Mail it was a “trusted source” and could not be disputed.

The rumours reached Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou who was asked earlier this week whether British journalists would be trying to pass fake firearms through police checks in Cyprus.

He responded saying: “No one would be allowed to question the security level we have, either at airports or other points in our country.”

Later on Wednesday, Nicolaou headed a meeting at the Glafcos Clerides airport in Larnaca where he discussed security measures authorities were taking in ports controlled by the Republic as well as Larnaca and Paphos airports.

Police chief Zacharias Chrysostomou, who attended the meeting along with other government officials said there were more security measures in place.

However he stressed “there is no evidence or information that we should be concerned about” but there would be upped security measures every.

Police at the moment are being advised by European and other counterparts , Chrysostomou told reporters.

“You may have already seen some measures that are obvious. Others however may not be so and they shouldn’t otherwise they wouldn’t be security measures.” An increased presence of armed anti-terrorism police was evident on the streets of the capital on Tuesday.

House president Yiannakis Omirou said he was pleased with the measures police were taking bringing up “the matter of staffing as unfortunately due to the financial crisis there has been a dangerous reduction in the past few years.”

Thus he said the state should take action in enforcing the number of officers as there are early retirements and several people quitting, “which results in continuously weakening the force which is obviously dangerous.”

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