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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-02

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Offshore sector contributes to Cyprus' GDP
  • [02] Kasoulides on EU Commissioner's statements

  • 1240:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Offshore sector contributes to Cyprus' GDP

    Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) -- Cyprus' offshore sector contributes 300 million Cyprus pounds to the Republic's economy, which represents around 7,5 per cent of its GDP, Finance Minister, Christodoulos Christodoulou, has stated. (One Cyprus pound is equal to 1,9 US dollars).

    Addressing a seminar of the Association of Chartered Accountants, Christodoulou said Cyprus now has the fifth largest ship registry worldwide.

    The Minister pointed out that during its accession talks with the European Union (EU), expected to begin in April 1998, the Republic will seek special agreements on the offshore sector, in order to preserve its comparative advantages.

    It will not be the first time an EU member-state seeks a special agreement or a transitional period, Christodoulou said, adding that Ireland, Portugal and Luxembourg have achieved arrangements which do not totally comply with the acquis communautaire.

    Referring to the island's comparative advantages, Christodoulou spoke of the high education level of its human resources, the island's geographical position, and the low cost of services offered.

    Cyprus' high standards of living, together with low criminality rates also constitute two of the island's comparative advantages, he added.

    A total of 31.000 offshore companies are currently operating on the island, employing around 5.000 people, or two per cent of its economically active population.

    CNA GG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1425:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Kasoulides on EU Commissioner's statements

    Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, repeated here Tuesday the pseudostate in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus is illegal and any activity on its part is not covered by legality, including its so called "legislation".

    Kasoulides was invited to comment on statements made by European Union (EU) External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, that the legislation of the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities should become compatible with that of the EU.

    The Denktash regime in the Turkish-occupied north of the island unilaterally set up a pseudo "state" in 1983, which is recognised only by Ankara.

    Kasoulides reiterated the Cyprus government's position for participation of representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community in the island's accession negotiations with EU, scheduled to start in April 1998.

    "They (T/C) should accept that it is the Cyprus Republic holding the negotiations with the participation of T/C and accept the principle of the island's accession to the EU," Kasoulides said.

    Only when this is accepted, the Greek Cypriot side will talk about various ways in which the T/C can participate in the official delegation, he added.

    The Foreign Minister talked about the implementation of European legislation which will be applied on the whole of the island, noting "I cannot accept anything else."

    The pseudostate is illegal and therefore its activities are illegal, he said, "including legislation."

    The Cyprus government, Kasoulides said, will harmonise its legislation with that of the EU.

    "When the island is reunited, certainly this legislation will be valid for the whole of the island" and the decisions of the self-styled "parliament" in the north would therefore be invalid.

    Van den Broek, told reporters earlier today he had suggested to Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash the start of negotiations between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities on the island to make compatible "legislation" as a first step before T/C participation in the accession negotiations.

    Speaking to journalists after the inauguration ceremony of the European Institute of Cyprus, Van den Broek said he had earlier today held a "very open and constructive talk" with Denktash, noting he was "very pleased and satisfied."

    He said they concentrated very much on the problems that have to be overcome to make accession negotiations a success.

    Van den Broek reiterated the EU would very much like to "see Cyprus a member of the EU, benefitting both communities."

    However, he said there is still a lot of clarification which needs to be done, notably to the Turkish Cypriot community, and added that he spent a lot of time talking with Denktash on what the EU is and what it stands, because the T/C is not familiar with this.

    Van den Broek said the forthcoming EU summit in Luxembourg, "will also show the way forward in our relationship with Turkey," which is of specific interest to the Turkish Cypriot community.

    The EU is in constant contact and communication with Ankara, he added.

    The EU Commissioner said he cannot talk of real breakthrough, but stressed that he is not in Cyprus to "negotiate" but "more to explain and to listen, try to assist in finding the right solutions to start up the negotiations with success."

    Van den Broek repeated it is too early to discuss a formula about the participation of T/C in the Cyprus negotiating team, but said "where the difficulties lie, have clearly been identified".

    He told Denktash that accession negotiations are a complicated issue, especially with the case of Cyprus since there are two communities "that also may have different legislation on both parts of the island."

    Van den Broek said it might be useful to identify what is the situation and what adjustment is necessary, and what "legislation is needed to become compatible with the single market of the EU."

    In parallel, he added, the political talks can be conducted between the two communities.

    The EU official acknowledged there are reservations and certain sensitivities on the on Turkish Cypriot side.

    The Commissioner is now giving a bicommunal press conference at the Ledra Palace hotel, situated in the UN-controlled buffer zone, in Nicosia.

    CNA EC/AP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    KYPE END
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