NEWS

Cypriot bird trappers set meals above voting

NICOSIA (Reuters) – Cypriot bird trappers are threatening to dump their ballot books over a government clampdown on killing migratory birds, a popular local delicacy. Cyprus, an EU candidate, has come under scrutiny from Brussels amid complaints that trappers massacre thousands of birds flying between Europe and Africa each year. Authorities say reports of millions of birds being killed are grossly exaggerated, but admit there is a problem in convincing locals to scrap a centuries-old practice. Trappers were having none of it. «It is a traditional sport we inherited from our grandfathers,» said spokesman Stavros Neophytou. A couple of Mediterranean islands, including Rhodes, maintain the practice as well, he said. «The only means we have at our disposal is to turn in our voting papers, to put pressure on our MPs,» he told Cyprus Radio. Karamanlis’s address at the Thessaloniki International Fair tomorrow is the right time for launching a substantial counterattack. ND has to inaugurate the opening of a new opposition term; a term where conservative discourse is not spent merely on rebuffing government achievements but on stressing what ND would have done instead or what it will do, should it come to power. Besides, that would be the best way of showing the ruling Socialists’ handicaps.