First thing this morning was an appointment with the vampire to give blood for tests, followed by an appointment with Dr Levent once I had the results. All OK so now a definite all clear for the South Africa trip.

It is Saturday, so newspaper day and one of the headlines declares that Public opposition is growing against the high-rise building. Even the President has now interveened by saying, "Since the law requires projects to be of public benefit, we must ask ourselves whether these changes to the Girne Decree are in the interests of the whole of Girne or indeed the country." "If we cannot comfortably say YES to this question, then obviously a mistake has been made." " I hope that this will be rectified as soon as possible before the long-term damage of imprisoning Girne in the dark shadow of high-rise begins to affect us all."  John Aziz Kent, chairman of the Hoteliers Union said, "small hotels are going to the wall whilst the much trumpeted Bafra Tourism Investment Zone is on hold, whilst Girne is being destroyed by development". This is not over yet and hopefully somebody will force a rethink before it is too late, but no doubt the contents of the brown envelopes will be hidden someplace off-shore.

Whilst all this is going on, the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Envirionmental Engineers have published photos of partially treated sewage being discharged in to the sea by municiple and hotel waste water treatment plants. The same body has declined to comment on the reliability of official bathing water tests which give the country a clean bill of health. This could add more damage to the TRNC tourism industry, which is in desparate need of a strong boost for next year.

More serious complaints about noise levels from hotels, restaurants and bars. This time it is Bellapais residents who are complaining. Instructions have been issued to fine seven or eight venues along the coast, in central Girne and in Lapta. Is it me, or am I getting old, I fail to understand why music needs to be so very loud and go on so very late at night, but maybe the bar owners would say we need the money to come in.

This week the weather is blamed for the crashes, although it still seems as if the drivers are just losing control. We have had a few quite heavy downpours at intervals during the week. At least 6 accidents are reported where people have lost control on bends or in one case on a roundabout. Do they not explain to learners that after a very dry summer where loads of rubber has been deposited, that when it rains you now have skating rinks. Silly question really because the driving schools don't understand how to drive either.

The President and Speaker of Parliament have both rejected the offer of new luxury official cars. One or two of the small parties in the parliament have called on ministers to take the same action. The action is being taken because some members of parliament are saying, there are more important things to spend 2 miilion TL on that will be of benefit and critising the fact that there was no official competative public tender opened before the contract was awarded. There is a call for the Supreme Court head, Attorney-General, Ombudsman and Auditor General, not to use their cars until this shady situation is clarified. Both the Education and Health sectors are heavily under-funded, so many see this as an unjustified expenditure.

The Vehicle Registration Office strike has been called off. They called the strike because they were inundated by tax dodgers trying to claim immunity because of the government amnesty. Now there is another rumour going round that the government is considering doing away with road tax by adding tax on fuel. That way they say, everybody who uses their cars will be paying regardless. A question springs to mind, how are they going to control MOT and Emission test certificates and how do they ensure that everybody has insurance. At the moment you need these before you can get road tax. Please don't tell me that they are going to get the traffic police to do some work !!!!!

The two Presidents are still saying that a settlement is possible, but how can two guys, who cannot even establish telephone communications between the two sides, or have been unable to open up the two new crossings promised, say a solution is nigh. Talks have been going on since 1974 and the two sides can still not find a solution, why not just leave well enough alone but recognise that the TRNC is a state in it's own right.

I guess that's enough said about the state of things here, before I get in touble for criticising our wonderful members of government.

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