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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-03-07

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Talks to go ahead as planned
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Clerides at enthronement of new Patriarch
  • [04] Grant says, struggle for free Cyprus to go on
  • [05] British envoy to narrow differences
  • [06] Government expresses "reserved optimism"
  • [07] Foreign Minister in Rome
  • [08] British MP expresses shock over occupied town
  • [09] Spokesman on proximity talks
  • [10] Cypriot women call for increased role in political arena
  • [11] House President on proximity talks
  • [12] Cyprus possibly the Hong Kong of the Mediterranean
  • [13] Britain welcomes increased effort on Cyprus

  • [01] Talks to go ahead as planned

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- The postponement of today's meeting between the top UN envoy in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, and the Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash would not halt the start of proximity talks, according to UN sources.

    Denktash had to cancel this meeting, and all other appointments for the day, because he has the flu.

    Asked if Denktash's illness may postpone Monday's start of proximity talks, announced by Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides, the UN sources said "no", noting that Denktash would probably recover by then.

    Questioned on the content of the proximity talks, the UN sources refrained from giving anything away and said "we will not try to engage in public diplomacy, do not expect us to be very vocal on anything."

    Feissel met earlier this week with President Glafcos Clerides and was due to see Denktash today, ostensibly to get the green light from the Turkish Cypriot leader for Monday's intensive efforts to reach common ground between the views of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides on the main aspects of the Cyprus question. Such development would allow for direct negotiations to begin.

    The top UN envoy will see Britain's special representative for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, on Wednesday "to exchange notes and coordinate approaches" on Cyprus, the same sources said.

    "Sir David's visit will be supportive of all UN efforts that are being put into this process," they added.

    The proximity talks will have to deal with the different aspects of the Cyprus problem "in a comprehensive manner" as such a method would allow the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to "compromise on a give and take basis."

    Asked if the UN believes there is room to manoeuvre during the talks, the sources said that would depend on the two sides but it is hoped that this would be the case.

    CNA MM/MCH/1997

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    78.16 (+0.76)
    Highest: 82.46 (21/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  87.86 (+0.70)
    Approved Investment Companies          66.44 (+2.40)
    Insurance Companies                    57.44 (+0.51)
    Industrial Companies                   83.22 (+1.36)
    Tourist Industries                     62.15 (-0.11)
    Commercial Companies                   53.14 (+1.01)
    Other Companies                        57.03 (+0.05)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 1130782.488
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MCH/1997

    [03] Clerides at enthronement of new Patriarch

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides leaves on Sunday for Cairo, Egypt to attend the enthronement ceremony of the new Patriarch of Alexandria and Africa, Petros VII.

    Left-wing AKEL party leader, Demetris Christofias, who is a relative of the new Patriarch, will also be present at the ceremony. Greece's President, Costis Stephanopoulos, is to attend as well.

    President Clerides returns home on Monday, March 10.

    CNA EC/MCH/MM/1997

    [04] Grant says, struggle for free Cyprus to go on

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- British Labour Party MP, Barnie Grant, promised here today to make contacts, in order to ensure that the struggle for a free and united Cyprus goes on.

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, Grant thanked the Democratic Party (DIKO) for inviting him to Cyprus and for showing him "precisely what is going on, because when you are in Britain you don't get the full sense of the closeness of the situation".

    Stressing that "a Labour government was partly responsible for not taking action in 1974, when Cyprus was invaded", the British MP pointed out that "it is incumbent on a future Labour government to clear our conscience and to fight to ensure that peace returns to Cyprus and that there is a united Cyprus".

    Grant promised that when he returns to Britain, he will contact his constituents and other MPs, "to fight to ensure that this struggle for a free and united Cyprus goes on".

    "There is", he said, "a group of some twenty to thirty MPs who have made it their expressed duty to fight to ensure that there is a peaceful solution to the Cyprus problem".

    Discussions with President Clerides, involved the Cyprus problem and the forthcoming general elections in Britain.

    "We concentrated mostly", he said, "on the serious situation faced in Cyprus and the hopes that President Clerides has, regarding the proximity talks that are starting up fairly soon".

    Grant also said that they discussed the European Union and added that "the Labour Party supports a full membership of the EU for Cyprus".

    "We are, of course, opposed to the Turkish application to enter the EU, because of its human rights record and also because of their position in relation to Cyprus", he added.

    He also noted that "the Labour Party's position is for the withdrawal of all Turkish troops from Cyprus, for a peaceful settlement and the unification of Cyprus with the settlers returning to their country of origin".

    Grant also referred to his meeting with President of DIKO and President of the Parliament, Spyros Kyprianou, as well as his visit to parts of the Green Line he had not seen before, accompanied by the Deputy Mayor of Nicosia.

    CNA RG/MCH/1997

    [05] British envoy to narrow differences

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- Britain's envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, will attempt to bridge the gap between the views of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides through taking further existing ideas and discussing others, more recent ones that have emerged in the past few months, diplomatic sources have said.

    Sir David arrives here on Tuesday to have a series of separate meetings with President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash on Wednesday and Thursday.

    Asked if Sir David will be in any way involved in the UN-sponsored proximity talks, scheduled to begin on Monday, the sources said the British diplomat will "continue what he has been doing so far" and this could not be defined as proximity talks.

    They pointed out that he is continuing contacts between the two sides "to try and narrow the ground a bit, but he is not conducting negotiations."

    Replying to questions, the sources said ideas which were brought up by Sir David, Britain's Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind and shadow FS, Robin Cook and others will be on the agenda of Hannay's talks on the island.

    "He will be discussing these issues and others that have occurred since. It is going to be a broad ranging discussion," the sources said.

    While on the island, Sir David will attend a lunch hosted by top UN envoy in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, in his residence on Wednesday, to be attended by political party leaders as well.

    In the evening of the same day, the former British ambassador to the UN, will give a lecture at the University of Cyprus on UN reform.

    Before leaving on Friday for Brussels, Sir David will give a press conference.

    CNA MM/MCH/1997

    [06] Government expresses "reserved optimism"

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- The government is cautiously optimistic about the intentions of the Turkish side in the forthcoming proximity talks the UN will carry out in the weeks ahead with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot side.

    "Our optimism is not based on specific moves on issues of substance. It is founded more on a general impression that is created about Ankara's intentions," Government Spokesman, Yiannakis Cassoulides, said here today.

    Earlier in the week, Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides had said the government knows where it bases its reserved optimism about Turkish intentions.

    "There is some element which allows us to be cautiously optimistic," Cassoulides said and noted this does not relate to Turkey's intention to discuss issues of substance but to discuss each aspect of the Cyprus question instead of sticking to its long-standing positions.

    Asked if the government shares this optimism, Cassoulides said it would be preferable to look at this with optimism because "optimism means a desire to find a way out."

    CNA MM/MCH/1997

    [07] Foreign Minister in Rome

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister, Alecos Michaelides, is meeting today in Rome with his Italian counterpart, Lamberto Dini.

    The meeting is part of a tour of six European capitals to discuss the Cyprus issue and the Republic's bid to join the European Union.

    During his stay in the Italian capital, the Foreign Minister will give interviews to the two largest newspapers in Rome, as well as to state television channel RAI 2.

    Michaelides will depart for Bonn later in the evening, for a meeting with German Foreign Minister, Klaus Kinkel, while next Tuesday he will meet in the Hague with his Dutch counterpart, Hans van Mierlo.

    He returns to Cyprus on Tuesday, March 11, after his meeting in the Hague.

    CNA MH/MCH/1997

    [08] British MP expresses shock over occupied town

    Dherynia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- A British member of the House of Commons expressed his dismay over the Turkish occupation of the port town of Famagusta and pointed out the tragedy of its inhabitants' forced expulsion by invading Turkish troops 23 years ago.

    "I'm shocked at this tragedy. I don't think the world is aware of what a tragedy it is to have this empty town which was left by 70.000 Greeks in 1974," said British Labour MP, Sir Wynne Roberts.

    The British MP visited the outskirts of the UN-controlled buffer zone separating the free and occupied areas, along with another 50 foreign MPs on the invitation of the Famagusta Mayor, Andreas Pougiouros.

    "I think it's a great shame that simply the people on the island can do nothing about it, but also the world outside," Sir Roberts said, expressing the hope "that Britain, along with other countries in the UN, will be able to resolve these difficulties in the time to come."

    The British MP along with his colleagues are in Cyprus attending the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association's British Islands and Mediterranean 28 Regional Conference being held here this week.

    On his part, the Famagusta Mayor said that every time he accompanies foreign guests to his town's outskirts, he notices their poignant reaction upon seeing a ghost-town neither he nor its inhabitants can approach.

    "They tell me it is only something totally unacceptable, but something which we could never have imagined until we saw it with our own eyes," Pougiouros said.

    The Mayor also noted that having witnessed the eery sight of the deserted town, stated to him their intention to act with all their strength to end the continuation of this terrible tragedy for the people of Cyprus.

    CNA TA/MH/MCH/1997

    [09] Spokesman on proximity talks

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- The government expects that the UN-sponsored proximity talks, due to begin on Monday, will move forward the Cyprus peace effort to allow a fruitful dialogue between the leaders of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to take place.

    "We expect the proximity talks to reach that point which would satisfy our side that there are prospects for a productive dialogue between the leaders of the two sides, President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash," Government Spokesman, Yiannakis Cassoulides, said here today.

    The Spokesman was speaking at his daily press briefing ahead of the start of intensive talks between the UN Secretary-General's Resident Representative Gustave Feissel and the two sides.

    The start of the proximity talks was announced by Cassoulides on Thursday.

    Asked if the government would rule out any kind of meeting between Clerides and Denktash, the Spokesman replied "I would not like to use in my reply the verb 'exclude' but I would say that I fail to see the reason or the use of any such meeting."

    Cassoulides said President Clerides will convene a meeting of the National Council, his top advisory body on the handling of the Cyprus question, on Friday, 14 March, to discuss developments in the Cyprus problem.

    CNA EC/MM/MCH/1997

    [10] Cypriot women call for increased role in political arena

    by Myria Antoniadou

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- Women in Cyprus believe their position in society has improved over the past few years, but they are not at all satisfied with their participation in the island's political life, and particularly with their meagre representation in the House of Representatives.

    Women affiliated with political parties have said they are disappointed with pre-election promises for increased participation of women in Parliament, which proved to be "empty words."

    Speaking to CNA, most women representatives backed the introduction of quotas as a temporary measure to encourage more women to participate in mainstream politics.

    According to statistics, Cyprus ranks last but one among European countries in the number of women deputies, with only three MPs in the 56- seat House.

    Since the Republic of Cyprus was established, in 1960, only three women served as MPs at any one time. In contrast with other European countries, the two left-wing parties in Cyprus have never had a woman deputy.

    The leader of "Protoporia Women's Association", of the right-wing ruling Democratic Rally party, DISY, Lia Georgiadou, believes women bear a share of the responsibility for not convincing the electorate to vote them in.

    She criticised the parties for not backing women and described party pre-election statements as "empty promises".

    Christina Demetriadou, representing a women's organisation affiliated to the left-wing party AKEL, acknowledged that "important steps have been taken" but noted that women's representation in the political arena does not reflect the serious and many roles she has in today's society.

    She said the right social infrastructure to help women shift their role must be created and called on women to struggle for a change in the prevailing stereotypes within society.

    The president of the centre-right Democratic Party women's section, Antigone Papadopoulou, said "women are socially active, educated and have capabilities", but parties are not taking advantage of half the human potential. She described the election result as "undemocratic".

    Roulla Mavronicola, of the Socialist Party EDEK, underlined that "women's position in the political and social life is anything but equal." She said there were "capable women" among the candidates for the House and that parties will have to account for their failure to elect more women MPs.

    Androula Vasiliou, Cyprus' former First Lady elected MP in May's 1996 parliamentary elections, believes Cypriot women "have made major progress in the past ten years and are more active in the economic and social sectors."

    Vasiliou said "party declarations backing the principle of equality and advocating more women deputies were empty words, as they did nothing to back female candidates."

    Former MP Rina Catselli, the only woman elected to the House for three consecutive terms, stressed that "women have improved their professional status and have an education which compares favourably with that of men."

    She pointed out that all three women elected "had some relation to politically strong men" and added that all parties are dominated by men "who make statements in favour of women in a bid to attract them to their ranks".

    The Cypriot women stressed that all social groups have to struggle for their rights but women have to be more dynamic if they want to change their position in society.

    All women, apart from the left-wing leader, said they were in favour of the introduction of quotas as a way of boosting their participation in politics.

    Demetriadou believes women's representation cannot be ensured through measures or appointment to senior party positions and other decision-making posts. "Quotas do not tackle the problem at its root," she added.

    On the contrary, Vasiliou, who recently represented the House at a conference in New Delhi, organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on "partnership between men and women in politics", believes these quotas are necessary.

    She said one of the conference conclusions was that quotas should be adopted for at least a ten-year period, considered necessary "to change public opinion and traditional attitudes which considers politics a male privilege."

    Catselli, who has long been calling for quotas, noted they would not benefit women, "but the parties themselves and democratic procedures."

    CNA MA/MM/1997

    [11] House President on proximity talks

    Nicosia, Mar 7 (CNA) -- House President and President of the Democratic Party (DIKO), Spyros Kyprianou, said today there has been an attempt to create an atmosphere of optimism concerning UN-sponsored proximity talks, scheduled to begin on Monday with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    "I am not saying we should always be pessimistic," Kyprianou said, noting that "other than some general messages that Turkey is willing to co- operate for a solution to the Cyprus problem, I have no knowledge of any positive developments."

    Commenting on developments in the Cyprus peace effort, Kyprianou said it was clear Britain had the "leading role with the full backing of the US."

    He said he would wait to see how things develop and added that "if things are positive, we shall facilitate the effort as much as we can, but we shall not remain quiet if things take a turn for the worse."

    The House President appeared critical of comments Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides has made to the effect that there are hopeful signs from Turkey that it is ready to cooperate towards a Cyprus settlement.

    "This does not necessarily mean the problem is resolved or the Turkish position has shifted," Kyprianou said, noting he would wait until he is fully briefed about the messages conveyed to Michaelides.

    Meanwhile, AKEL Parliamentary Spokesman, Andreas Christou, said his party backs the start of proximity talks but noted that the timing of these talks is not favourable to the Greek Cypriot side.

    "We believe there is no other method, but a dialogue, to solve the Cyprus problem," Christou said and noted that his party has no knowledge of any new developments concerning the Turkish positions on Cyprus.

    CNA MCH/MM/1997

    [12] Cyprus possibly the Hong Kong of the Mediterranean

    Limassol, Mar 7 (CNA) -- Cyprus could very well become the Hong Kong of the Mediterranean if all its assets are exploited fully, Chairman of the Cyprus Offshore Enterprises Association (COEA), Norman Elliot, said today.

    "Combine (commercial infrastructure, communications and taxation) with possible European Union membership and the fact that Cyprus is strategically placed as a gate-way to the Middle East, and you have something unique which if exploited to its maximum, could make this small island the Hong Kong of the Mediterranean," Elliot told delegates gathered at the COEA's 4th Annual General Meeting here.

    Elliot said Cyprus has enormous potential as an offshore financial centre, but pointed out certain problems that must be resolved in order to fulfill that potential.

    "There is an apparent lack of will on the part of the various authorities to seek a way to make life easier for the companies and expatriot employees already established here and for genuine applicants wishing to form new organisations," the COEA chairman noted.

    More than 26,000 offshore enterprises have been authorised by the Cyprus government since 1975, generating an annual income of more than 161 million Cyprus pounds (around 322 million US dollars), employing directly about two per cent of the country's total work force.

    Elliot urged the Cyprus government to seriously look at establishing an Offshore Service Centre staffed by trained personnel in order to cut through the bureaucracy faced by existing offshore companies on the island and by new entrepreneurs wishing to establish new companies.

    Addressing the general meeting, Government Spokesman, Yiannakis Cassoulides, told delegates that Cyprus is adamant not to let its good name as an offshore centre be dragged through the mud as a result of recent allegations of money laundering on the island.

    "Cyprus is not prepared to have its reputation sullied by the proceeds of crime," Cassoulides said, referring to the US State Department's recent inclusion of Cyprus on its list of high priority countries where money laundering is occurring.

    "There is absolutely no evidence that any large-scale money laundering is being carried out in our country (and) American authorities provide no evidence whatsoever regarding the actual existence of money laundering in Cyprus," Cassoulides stressed.

    The Government Spokesman pointed out that Cyprus is included in the list because of its geographical position and the fact that it is an international offshore centre.

    "There is no allegation whatsoever on behalf of the State Department regarding either any lack of adequate legislation in Cyprus on money laundering or any procrastination on the part of the authorities investigating and prosecuting crimes of this kind," Cassoulides said.

    The Spokesman also said Cyprus' eventual accession to the European Union will in no way hinder the setting up of offshore businesses on the island, but will rather provide ample opportunity for new offshore businesses to flourish here. CNA PI/MH/MCH 1997


    [13] Britain welcomes increased effort on Cyprus

    London, Mar 7 (CNA) -- Britain has welcomed the announcement of intensive efforts to help move the Cyprus peace effort forward and allow for direct negotiations to start.

    "We welcome the intensification of the negotiation process and we fully support UN efforts towards a settlement," a Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesman told CNA here today.

    The statement came ahead of Monday's scheduled resumption of proximity talks between the UN and the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides.

    Meanwhile, British Foreign Secretary Malcolm Rifkind will discuss the Cyprus question with US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, during his visit to Washington early next week.

    On Tuesday, Britain's special envoy for Cyprus, Sir David Hannay, arrives in Cyprus for intensive talks with the two sides in a bid to help bridge the gap between them. CNA KT/MM/MCH 1997

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