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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-03-17

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] Cyprus - EU ties
  • [03] Apeldorn's decision "positive", says Cassoulides
  • [04] Government allows remains of Denktash's mother exhumed
  • [05] Bi-communal Trade Union Forum opens
  • [06] Cypriot trade unions urged to keep up EU links
  • [07] Police charges fisherman for infecting British lover with AIDS
  • [08] Court renews remand of three Turks accused of espionage
  • [09] EU envoy: Direct negotiations to begin by June
  • [10] Central Bank reduces interest rates

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    78.90 (+0.59)
    Highest: 82.46 (21/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  88.55 (+0.89)
    Approved Investment Companies          65.14 (-0.40)
    Insurance Companies                    60.13 (+0.42)
    Industrial Companies                   83.39 (+0.22)
    Tourist Industries                     63.26 (-0.64)
    Commercial Companies                   53.25 (-0.13)
    Other Companies                        56.84 (+0.48)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 898605.304
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1997

    [02] Cyprus - EU ties

    by Maria Myles

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Progress towards a settlement in Cyprus is the key to progress in Cyprus' accession to the European Union (EU), while the prospect of accession can exert pressure on the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to come to an agreement, EU sources have said.

    They also indicated that the outcome of membership talks, expected to last for about 2-3 years, would be rather uncertain, if there is no political settlement in Cyprus.

    EU accession could help resolve thorny issues dividing the two sides, such as sovereignty, in the sense that current EU member-states, inadvertently, hand over some of their national sovereignty to the EU and new member-states would be expected to do likewise, they said.

    The EU is currently working towards monetary union, an EU Central Bank, a common foreign policy and on other common issues.

    They expressed EU readiness to contribute to the peace process and step in, if the UN requests Europe's help during negotiations.

    "We have to press on with a solution as nobody is comfortable with the situation on the island and we are not far from the moment of truth," EU sources told CNA in an interview.

    On EU-Turkey relations, they said Turkey must make some positive moves in relation to human rights, the Cyprus question and the Aegean before it presses on with its own bid for membership.

    They also urged Turkey to abandon its attempt to gain more ground among EU members in return for help towards a settlement.

    "The EU is ready to assist the UN peace process if UN Cyprus envoy Han Sung Joo requests our engagement in the talks. Both sides on the island know our capacity to help the peace process," EU diplomats told CNA.

    The situation would be "rather difficult" if the peace talks do not come to a conclusion, they added and noted that the prospect of EU accession "will exert pressure on the government of Cyprus to facilitate a solution."

    "Equally important is our expectation that the Turkish Cypriot side must make some active, not passive, moves," they said.

    EU partners believe membership talks with candidate countries must adopt either a "start line approach", which would allow all candidates with a positive avis to start accession talks but differentiate as they proceed, or begin talks with a limited number of candidate countries and the rest can follow at a later date.

    "We promised neither to conclude nor not to conclude the accession negotiations, we have promised to open membership talks with Cyprus," the EU sources said.

    The negotiations, the sources added, would be conducted on a "take it or leave it basis" and there will be no "opting out" of any current or future EU treaty.

    The absence of a political settlement is the main obstacle in accession talks but the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC) conclusions are not likely to jeopardise these talks, they pointed out.

    Cyprus' accession to the EU could "dedramatise some of the thorny aspects of the Cyprus problem," including the issue of sovereignty, they said.

    "Part of one's national sovereignty is ceded to a certain extent to the EU as the Union is more of a political nature than its predecessors," the same sources underlined.

    On relations with Turkey, the EU sources stressed that unless Turkey makes "positive moves" on three counts (human rights record, the dispute in the Aegean and the Cyprus question), EU funds will remain blocked.

    "Linked to this is the Cyprus question, which complicates matters," they pointed out.

    The same sources consider Turkey's attempt to push for EU membership in return for positive moves on Cyprus as "a tactical error and a bad card."

    "It is not as simple as that, Turkey offering moves on Cyprus and asking for membership in return," they explained and said that hard pressure on this score would result in another negative avis on Turkey.

    On Turkey's prospects for EU membership, the sources said the country's large size and its economic development pose diffictiules to its European aspirations.

    "The combination of these two elements reflects badly on Turkey's application for accession," they said and emphasised that, once in the EU, Turkey would be one of the three most powerful and populous EU partners.

    On the IGC, the sources said the right to veto the accession of new members will probably be retained by member-states who are also working on the introduction of a system of qualified majority voting.

    CNA MM/AP/1997

    [03] Apeldorn's decision "positive", says Cassoulides

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- The government considers "positive" a European Union (EU) Council decision, reaffirming the start of accession negotiations with the legal government of the Republic six months after the end of the Intergovernmental Conference (IGC), Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides has said.

    Cassoulides told his daily press briefing today Cyprus' course to the EU is "irreversible" but noted it is not a "bed of roses".

    He pointed out a relevant EU decision of March 6, 1995, does not consider a Cyprus solution as a precondition for the island's EU membership, noting however that "accession negotiations would be less complicated and easier if a solution were reached beforehand."

    The Spokesman said the 6th March 1995 decision does not connect the two procedures, but added "it would be a utopia to claim they are in no way connected."

    Asked to comment on Germany's stance, that a Cyprus solution should precede the island's EU membership, Cassoulides expressed the belief it will change once it becomes evident that the Greek Cypriot side will do everything possible for a political settlement.

    The Government Spokesman also said Cyprus could facilitate the improvement of Greco-Turkish relations as well as EU-Turkish relations.

    He cited the customs union agreement between the EU and Turkey as an example.

    In 1995, Greece agreed to lift a veto on EU-Turkey customs union on the pre-condition that accession negotiations would begin with Cyprus six months after the end of the IGC.

    Earlier today Foreign Minister, Alecos Michaelides, said last Sunday's EU Council decision, taken in Apeldorn (the Netherlands), "will facilitate to a significant extent our course to Europe."

    The Apeldorn meeting also urged Turkey to show flexibility in the Cyprus question to overcome the obstacles for closer ties between Turkey and the EU, as called for in the customs union agreement the EU has concluded with Turkey.

    Cyprus applied for full EU membership in 1990. It signed an association agreement with the European Community in 1972 and a customs union agreement in 1987.

    CNA AP/MA/1997

    [04] Government allows remains of Denktash's mother exhumed

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- The remains of the mother of Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, were exhumed today in the free areas of the Republic so they can be buried in the family grave, in the Turkish-occupied northern areas of Cyprus.

    In the presence of Cyprus police, some 20 soldiers of the UN Peace- Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Argentine contingent carried out the three-hour long operation at the Turkish cemetery in the western coastal town of Paphos, where Denktash's mother was buried.

    An Imam living in the government-controlled areas of the Republic held a religious ceremony before the exhumation.

    UNFICYP spokesman, Waldemar Rokoszewski, told CNA that "some time ago Denktash had conveyed a request concerning exhumation of the remains of his mother, who was buried in the Paphos area, in order to bury her remains in a family grave."

    He added the request was put forward through the UN Resident Representative in Cyprus, Gustave Feissel, who conveyed it to the authorities of the Republic that "looked into the issue favourably."

    The operation was carried out secretly, but a number of Greek Cypriots gathered outside the cemetery protesting they do not even enjoy the right to visit the graves of their beloved ones in the areas occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion of Cyprus.

    Asked if he considered Cyprus government's consent to the exhumation as a good-will gesture, Rokoszewski said "any kind of cooperation from both sides (Greek and Turkish), either direct or via good offices mission of UNFICYP will be welcomed and will be considered as positive to the peace process".

    UNFICYP Spokesman refrained from saying whether the relatives of Greek Cypriots missing since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus would be given the right to have the remains of their loved ones, if it is proved they are dead and buried in the occupied areas, as Denktash had claimed in a TV interview last year.

    "I don't want to mix those two together," he said.

    Rokoszewski noted that Denktash's case is different as "we are talking here about a rather personal request," he noted.

    "The issue of missing persons seems to be much more of a political dimension and definitely much more complicated," UNFICYP spokesman added.

    CNA MA/AP/1997

    [05] Bi-communal Trade Union Forum opens

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unionists stressed here today their willingness to defy the long-standing conflict between their two communities and proceed with efforts aiming to reunite their homeland.

    Addressing a three-day "All Cyprus Trade Union Forum," being held in Nicosia, trade union leaders from both sides of the divide together with European colleagues, pointed out the advantages of a reunited island and warned that new conflicts would result only in pain and destruction, for all the people of Cyprus.

    The opening ceremony held in the government-controlled southern part of the divided capital Nicosia was attended by party leaders from both communities, ambassadors or representatives of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, EU Ambassador Gilles Anuil, UN Resident Representative Gustave Feissel and Euro MP's.

    The Forum sponsored by the European Union will continue Tuesday in the occupied areas of Cyprus, and will end on Wednesday in the free areas.

    Michalakis Ioannou, General Secretary of the Greek Cypriot Workers' Confederation (SEK), stressed the Forum's role, in bringing closer the two communities, and reviving the hope of a peaceful future.

    Ioannou said the 1995 first Forum Declaration, will lead the two communities, as it was "the first -perhaps the only- case in which, such large organised groups from the two communities, have expressed their true stance, on major aspects of the Cyprus problem."

    "The sound of hatred and extermination of each other, must be replaced by the sound of logic," Ioannou noted.

    A representative of the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU) said the trade unionist movement "does not recognise any religious or national frontiers", and noted that "the trade unions' presence, proves their willingness to establish these principles in Cyprus."

    Jean Labeere, representing the European Trade Unions Confederation (ETUC), said his Confederation is committed to promote Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

    He pointed out that "the two communities' trade unions, must be an example for all us all."

    Pauline Green, Leader of Europarliament Socialist Group, said the principles on which the EU was founded, and which have provided peace in Europe for so many years, must prevail in Cyprus.

    "It is the growing realisation that whether Greek or Turkish Cypriot, the concerns, worries, hopes and expectations of the families of workers here on Cyprus, are the same," Green said.

    Ali Kercay, President of the Turkish Cypriot trade union KTAMS, told the Forum that the two communities of Cyprus "have been through a lot of pain, and thus they now declare: That's enough. We don't want Greek or Turkish Cypriots to suffer any more."

    He said "trade unions are against any chauvinistic approach. We shall oppose them and confront them to the end. We don't want any more killing and pain. We want conditions of happiness and peace."

    Avraam Antoniou, General Secretary of the Greek Cypriot Workers' Federation (PEO), pointed out that meetings like the Forum, should not only deal with labour issues, but they "must send a strong, hopeful message to all Cypriots, Greeks and Turks, that they can live and thrive together."

    Onder Konuloglu, President of the Turkish Cypriot Turk-Sen trade union, said since the 1995 first Forum, the situation in Cyprus has deteriorated, following chauvinists' actions, "which are still threatening our people."

    "If we fail in our struggle for peace, Cyprus will turn to a time bomb, which will bring pain and disaster. We must not allow chauvinism to lead us. We must take the initiative and trace our own course," Konuloglu said.

    PASYDY, the Greek Cypriot Civil Servants Trade Union President, Nicos Panayiotou, stressed the willingness of the trade unions to improve relations between the two communities.

    He said "the division of our country and people, constitutes an unreasonable anachronistic situation, in contrast of the spirit of collectivity, which is being now, internationally developed."

    DEV-IS Turkish Cypriot trade union President Bayram Celik said Cyprus should not join the EU before a solution to its political problem, adding that the Forum brings the two communities closer together. He said he hopes "the EU will embrace a unified Cyprus."

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA GG/GP/1997

    [06] Cypriot trade unions urged to keep up EU links

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Links between Cypriot trade unions and the European Union (EU) have helped to keep Greek and Turkish Cypriots on the island talking, European Commission Trade Union Administrator, Ivor Roberts said here today.

    Addressing a three-day All-Cyprus Trade Union Forum sponsored by the EU now underway in Nicosia, Roberts urged Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unionists to stay close to Brussels because it not only kept the unions abreast on the latest developments on the labour front, but also "kept up the dialogue between the two communities in Cyprus".

    Roberts pointed out the fact that representatives from the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the European Commission present at the study conference today should not be taken lightly.

    The EU Commissioner likened EU trade union efforts in Cyprus to those in Ireland where, he pointed out, "the trade unions were the ones which maintained contacts between the two communities".

    He also encouraged that similar study workshops take place in Cyprus on a regular basis so mutual trust and understanding can be fostered.

    Meanwhile, forum participants unanimously voiced their opposition to global attempts at privatisation of state-owned industry.

    Keynote speaker for the second half of today's forum, German Trade Union Association representative, Hartmut Tofaute, expanded on the negative effects of privatisation and harmonisation of industry in Europe.

    He noted the social and economic fallout from privatisation efforts, pointing out that the social safety net in many European countries has been poked full of holes.

    He added unemployment has increased and the gap between rich and poor has grown as a result of privatisation.

    Koulis Theophilou, Vice-President of PASYDY, the Greek Cypriot Civil Servants Trade Union, told delegates Cyprus is too small a place for free enterprise to reign free because "economic monopolies are easily created".

    "Privatisation will create worker unrest and mortgage the future of Cyprus to foreign big business," he added.

    The representative of the Turkish Cypriot Elementary Teachers' Trade Union, Cemal Ozyigit, said Turkish Cypriots oppose privatisation, citing examples from Mexico and the United Kingdom where the policy has created economic problems.

    Welsh Secretary for the Transport and General Workers Union George Wright called privatisation a "disease we must protect ourselves from".

    Scottish Trade Union Congress Representative, Campbell Christie said that 18 years of Conservative rule in Britain "has swept away public sector provisions".

    The Forum's proceedings will continue tomorrow in the Turkish-occupied northern part of the island and conclude on Wednesday in the government- controlled southern part of the divided capital Nicosia.

    CNA MH/GP/1997

    [07] Police charges fisherman for infecting British lover with AIDS

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- Police today charged a Greek Cypriot fisherman for infecting a British woman with the AIDS virus.

    A police announcement said Pavlos Georgiou Kremastos, 40, from the Ayia Napa eastern coastal resort, was charged after a complaint by Janette Pink, 44, from Britain, that he had infected her with the AIDS virus.

    The charge was based on section 190 of the Criminal Code regarding the transmission of contagious diseases, the announcement said.

    This provision was once used to fight the spread of cholera and typhoid on the island and provides for penalties of up to two years' imprisonment or a fine of 1.500 Cyprus pounds (about 3.000 US dollars) or both.

    According to the announcement, in a previous statement to the police Georgiou had alleged that Pink was aware of his situation.

    Pink had moved to Cyprus in 1993 and began a romance with Georgiou, who was married with four children.

    She claims that despite knowing his own wife was dying of AIDS, Georgiou had lied about her illness as well as his own AIDS infection. She also claims he had knowingly infected her.

    Last year the Cypriot fisherman told a local magazine that members of his dead wife's family had told Pink he was HIV positive, but she told them she did not care.

    Pink's life expectancy is no more than two or three years, according to a recent report in the British tabloid "Daily Mail".

    She told the newspaper she wanted to see action taken against Georgiou "not for revenge, but to prevent anyone else going through the suffering myself and my family endured."

    This case is considered a legal test on how to handle allegations that an HIV carrier has recklessly or willfully caused harm to his lover by passing on the infection.

    The Cypriot authorities want Pink to come to Cyprus for the trial, but other arrangements could be made if she is not in a position to travel.

    CNA MA/AP/1997

    [08] Court renews remand of three Turks accused of espionage

    Limassol, Mar 17 (CNA) -- The Limassol District Court today renewed remand orders against two Turks and a Turkish Cypriot, accused of espionage against the Cyprus Republic.

    All three suspects were arrested on March 8, when police found military documents, maps of National Guard camps, video tapes containing military information and newspaper clippings on National Guard's armament programmes, in their possession.

    The three are Nedjip Sarichichekli, 45, a Turk married to a Turkish Cypriot, Mustafa Omer Konor, 37, a Turk married with a Greek Cypriot and Djian Nejip, 37, a Turkish Cypriot living with a Greek Cypriot.

    The Court renewed Sarichichekli's remand order for a further eight days and for the other two suspects, six days.

    They all live in the southwestern coastal town of Limassol after having "fled" the areas occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion of Cyprus to live in the government-controlled free areas of the Republic.

    CNA PI/MA/AP/1997

    [09] EU envoy: Direct negotiations to begin by June

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- European Union (EU) presidency representative for Cyprus, Kester Heaslip, believes face-to-face talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, to solve the protracted Cyprus problem, could begin before the end of the first half of this year.

    Speaking here this afternoon, after briefing along with EU ambassadors in Cyprus participants in the 11th meeting of the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Cyprus issue, Heaslip revealed that the UN Secretary-General is determined to call a direct meeting before the end of June.

    The Joint Parliamentary Committee two-day meeting begins tomorrow at the International Conference Centre, in Nicosia.

    Asked if he shares optimism expressed by some EU states that direct talks could begin before the end of this year's first half, Heaslip said "that is realistic."

    "I can't be certain, of course, but I think we all hope that face-to- face negotiating sessions can take place before the end of June," he added.

    Replying to a relevant question, he said he based his optimism "on the determination of the (UN) Secretary-General."

    "It is his decision to start these exploratory talks and he has done so with the expressed intention of being able to call a meeting of the two leaders before the end of June," said, noting the UN Chief "is very determined."

    Last week the UN began indirect talks through bi-weekly separate meetings with President Clerides and Rauf Denktash in a bid to break current deadlock and convene face-to-face talks.

    President Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash had two meetings in Nicosia in October 1994, which reached a deadlock due to the Turkish side's insistence on separate sovereignty. The two men have not met since.

    Heaslip said he will not call on the President or meet Denktash during his visit here, as he has come for the Joint Parliamentary Committee meeting.

    The Euro-MPs taking part in the meeting were later received by President Clerides who briefed them on the latest developments of the protracted Cyprus problem.

    CNA MK/MA/AP/1997

    [10] Central Bank reduces interest rates

    Nicosia, Mar 17 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Central Bank announced today a decision to lower interest rates by a half percentage point.

    As from tomorrow, the highest deposit rate falls from 7,0 to 6,5 per cent.

    The highest lending rate will also be reduced from 8,5 to 8,0 per cent.

    The decision provides that for new loans the reduction will be effective as from tomorrow, while for existing loans, from July 18, 1997.

    CNA GG/AP/1997
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