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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-03-06

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Rifkind on Cyprus' links with EU, Cyprus problem
  • [02] HMC chairman resigns over dispute with Archbishop
  • [03] British envoy to focus on "many aspects"
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

  • 0930:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Rifkind on Cyprus' links with EU, Cyprus problem

    London, Mar 6 (CNA) -- British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind has vowed that Britain will not, either now or in future, recognise the self-styled Turkish Cypriot regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus.

    He has also given the strongest indication yet that Britain will persist in its effort to get the Turkish Cypriots involved in accession talks between Cyprus and the European Union.

    Rifkind believes that direct negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides "are likely to take months, not weeks" and will need the backing of the international community.

    Speaking at the central offices of the Conservative Party here Wednesday night, Rifkind said "we are not contemplating, neither the UK and, as far as I am aware of any other government in the EU, any recognition, formal or informal, direct or indirect, with the authorities of (Turkish Cypriot leader) Rauf Denktash."

    He also said this is not only the British view but also that of all other member states of the EU.

    "We do not recognise that (Denktash's authorities) nor will we do that in future," Rifkind vowed.

    Referring to EU membership negotiations, Rifkind said these have to take into account "all the aspirations and interests of all the people of Cyprus" and need to "be aware and respond to the aspirations of all Cypriots."

    EU accession negotiations, he said, will be with the government of the Republic of Cyprus and stressed "there is only one government of the Republic of Cyprus and I do not believe that any member-state will disagree with me when I say negotiations must be with the Republic of Cyprus."

    He said Britain wishes to see face-to-face negotiations beginning in the first half of this year, which need to be "taken forward as long as is required with the maximum help from the international community."

    "We recognise that Cyprus will need help if we are to achieve the results that we wish," he said and underlined that "negotiations will not be short, not a matter of days or weeks but are likely to take months."

    Difficult issues on security, territory, the right of free movement and other questions will have to be tackled at the negotiating table, he added.

    Rifkind noted that these negotiations will take place against the background of "considerable distrust and suspicion."

    The FS pointed out that progress towards the reunification of Cyprus and on outstanding issues dividing Greek and Turkish Cypriots "will not only be desirable in itself but it is bound to be helpful to wider questions of accession negotiations."

    Reiterating his view that neither Turkey nor any one else can have any right of veto on the accession negotiations, he pointed out that their conclusion is a matter for the Republic of Cyprus and the EU to decide.

    "No third party will have the opportunity to stop that progress," he added.

    Cyprus divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion applied for full EU membership in 1990. It signed an association agreement in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.

    CNA KT/MM/GP/1997

    [02] HMC chairman resigns over dispute with Archbishop

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- Chairman of the Hellenic Mining Company Group (HMC), Paschalis Paschalides, has announced his resignation after a disagreement with Archbishop Chrysostomos over the ownership status and the management of the church-controlled group.

    In a brief written statement Wednesday, also released in the stock exchange, Paschalides, who chaired HMC for the past 45 years, said he resigned because of his disagreement with the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, "over the ownership status of the Hellenic Mining Company and the management of the group's companies."

    Following Paschalides sudden resignation, Archbishop Chrysostomos told the press he was "stunned" by the resignation, noting Paschalides had never before questioned the ownership status of the group.

    Three months ago, following a Central Bank approval, HMC sold 13 per cent of the Vasiliko Cement shares to Italian Italcimenti SPA, for 13,5 million Cyprus pounds (around 27 million US dollars). Italcimenti now owns 33 per cent of the company.

    HMC is a church-controlled holding group with wide interests in 15 companies, including the Hellenic Bank, KEO distilleries and Vasiliko cement.

    It used to be a mining business belonging to Greek millionaire Ioannis Bodosakis, passed on to the Orthodox Church of Cyprus after the island's independence, in 1960.

    The precise role of the Church, whether it is an owner or acting as administrator of HMC assets on behalf of the Greek Cypriot community, has never been fully clarified and is presently being debated at the House Finance Committee. The issue was raised by AKEL deputy Kikis Kazamias.

    According to press reports, Paschalides disagreed with an Archbishop's decision to sell a further 25 per cent of the Vasiliko Cement shares to Greek Cypriot businessman Stavros Galatariotis, whose acquisition to buy the shares sold to Italcimenti was turned down, despite an initial oral agreement with the Archbishop.

    The Archbishop confirmed his decision to sell the shares to Galatariotis, who declined to comment on the issue, the reports added. They also quote the Archbishop claiming absolute ownership of HMC group, saying that late Archbishop Makarios III had bought the group in 1965 for 150.000- 160.000 pounds.

    Meanwhile, following Paschalides resignation, HMC shares closed higher yesterday at the stock-market.

    Hellenic Bank's shares rose by 2,5 cent and coincided with yesterday's announcement of 1996 provisional results, while Vasiliko Cement's shares had a more substantial rise of 16,5 and 18,5 cent for fully and partly paid shares respectively. KEO drinks shares also rose by 8 cent.

    CNA AP/GP/1997

    [03] British envoy to focus on "many aspects"

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- Preparations for next week's visit to Cyprus by Britain's special representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, are going on in earnest with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    British High Commissioner to Cyprus, David Madden, had a 40-minute long meeting here today with President Glafcos Clerides to finalise arrangements for Hannay's four-day visit (11-14 March) and will see Friday Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    "I think the purpose of the visit is to continue the discussions he has had before, taking them further forward," Madden told the press after the meeting.

    Hannay's contacts are "part of an international process of international interest in solving the Cyprus problem and making real progress this year," he explained and reiterated Britain's involvement and commitment to this process.

    Asked if Sir David will focus on any specific aspect, Madden said talks will cover "many aspects" of the Cyprus problem because the objective is "to see a comprehensive solution that covers all the aspects of the Cyprus problem."

    At the end of the day, the High Commissioner pointed out, "there will have to be agreement on all aspects which between them bring real progress on the Cyprus question."

    Replying to questions, Madden said Turkey has "an important role to play in progress on Cyprus" and Britain will continue talks with Ankara and other countries to this effect.

    Asked if the two sides are closer to direct talks, Madden restricted himself in saying that the hope is that current process will lead to this direction.

    "I cannot put a date on these talks but we are working in that direction as are many others," he said.

    Madden could not say "how far away we are from direct talks" but hoped things are moving in the right direction.

    Commenting on the venue of the talks, the British diplomat said this was a matter for discussion and refused to make any further comment on the matter.

    Asked if the forthcoming general election in Britain, widely believed to be announced for May 1, might affect Cyprus, Madden said this would be taken into account.

    CNA MM/AP/1997

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 6 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    77.57 (+0.95)
    Highest: 82.46 (21/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  87.25 (+0.05)
    Approved Investment Companies          64.88 (+0.90)
    Insurance Companies                    57.15 (+0.19)
    Industrial Companies                   82.10 (+5.83)
    Tourist Industries                     62.22 (+1.04)
    Commercial Companies                   52.61 (+2.43)
    Other Companies                        57.00 (-0.35)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 708695.106
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MCH/1997
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