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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Watching Chelsea in Chinese… ]

Watching Chelsea in Chinese…

IT’S not every day you get an offer of a free VIP ticket to see a Champions League match, in fact it’s never happened before and I doubt it will ever happen again. And it’s not every day that you decide to give it away to a mate. Last weekend, it snowed in Athens. It snowed and it snowed and it snowed. So that by Monday morning the city was at silent standstill and the famous slippery marble pavements were as treacherous as bobsleigh runs.

The night before as the airport closed down, Chelsea football team had circled in the clouds above for two hours, in an ultimate stack experience, while a runway was especially cleared. Meanwhile at 3.30am, in minus 6, in a freezing Surrey, my friend Richard was scraping frozen ice off his windscreen, pouring saucepans of warm water over the windows and clutching his Rough Guide to Greece, looking forward to spending a sunny few days away from his usual daily grind of the four hours commute back and forth to London. But easyJet never left for Athens that day, nothing left for Athens that day. Which makes Stelios’ speech here on Monday night entitled, “Can Greece be the next Florida?” all the more poignant. And begs the answer, only if they can invest in some gritting lorries.

But back to Richard: after waiting for five hours at the airport he was eventually told the fight was cancelled. So he wended his weary way back along the fog bound M25, back through the tailback traffic, back through bitter weather and black iced lanes, and sent a sad text. “Not sure can make it.” And in one of those impulsive moments when you know your donkey needs a carrot: I texted back. “Get here and you can see Chelsea.” “Am coming,” came the reply.

Exactly twenty-four hours later, he was standing on the doorstep. He’d used a different airline, a different airport and he’d brought his Watford scarf. He told me that the plane had been stuffed with “sowff” London lads; cockney speaking Greeks. He asked the one next to him which team they were supporting at the Karaiskakis Stadium. He got a cheeky grin and the lad pulled from his bag a blue Chelsea shirt and the striped red and white of Olympiakos. “Whoever f**ing wins mate”. But, I guess, realistically it was to do with where he could get a seat in the stands from a tout outside the stadium, without being beaten up.

It wasn’t a great match. As Richard told me, by 10pm in the evening with sub zero temperatures, and a ground only just defrosted from ice and snow, Chelsea never warmed up. But, even so, the famous Olympiakos fans created atmosphere with their flags, flares and deafening whistling at the opposition. It had been, he said, when he arrived back at 1am in the morning, wearing an Olympiakos scarf singing “Thrile gera, gama ta mounia”, definitely worth it.

Meanwhile, like everyone else in Athens, except Panathinaikos supporters, I’d been scratching around for where to watch the match. People were furious such an historic game wasn’t being shown on terrestrial TV: football no longer for the fans, but for the advertising revenue. Which is how I ended up watching it on a P2P screen with Chinese commentary, a bottle of Mythos, and my snow boots…

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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