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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 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] European Institute of Cyprus opens
  • [02] Greenepeace urges Cyprus to back decrease of carbon dioxide gases
  • [03] Cooperation on EU could bring settlement, says Van den Broek
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Cyprus seeks more EU funds for local authorities
  • [06] Bulgarian artists to perform in Cyprus

  • 1520:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] European Institute of Cyprus opens

    Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) -- The opening of the European Institute of Cyprus (EIC) "comes at a crucial moment of European Union -Cyprus relations, when accession negotiations for EU membership will shortly start", said here Tuesday, EU External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek.

    Inaugurating the Nicosia-based EIC, the Commissioner said it will "have a unique and strategic mission to accomplish in the coming months, to contribute to the preparation of the Cypriot society in view of the accession to the EU."

    The Commissioner, who is completing today his two-day visit to the island, pledged that the European Commission will provide "further assistance through the appointment of an European co-Director who will transfer know how on the working of the EU and create links with prominent European institutes."

    Van den Broek stressed that the original ideal behind the project was to set up an European institute "with a bicommunal vocation which could serve the entirety of the island" and will integrate in its structure, eminent representatives of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    Cyprus Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, said the EIC is an "achievement for all those involved, as well as an important step for our country in its effort to become an active member of the EU".

    Its mission, he said, "is a particularly important one", because it will promote the development of high-level research on European affairs in Cyprus, with particular emphasis on questions of special interest to us, such as the consequences of accession and harmonisation with the acquis communautaire".

    Kasoulides said Cyprus must intensify its harmonisation efforts and finalise its internal institutional and economic preparation for accession.

    "We must do whatever is in our power, to achieve, by the time of accession, a negotiated solution to the Cyprus problem, even if the achievement of such a solution cannot be considered as a precondition for accession", he added.

    The Foreign minister said the institute participates in efforts to convince the Turkish Cypriots that "the EU represents our common future".

    Addressing former presidents, foreign ministers, ambassadors and businessmen, the EIC Director, Ambassador Angelos Angelides, said with the ceremony today, "we are officially launching the EIC, though a number of things remain to make it fully operational". It is, however, a step forward.

    He referred to a symbolic planting of two olive trees by Van den Broek and Kasoulides, and expressed the hope that the EIC "will bear the fruits that will be equally beneficial".

    Angelides said the "government's commitment is total and unwavering while the private sector is supportive of the political decisions and recognises the need to show energy and imagination to adjust to the new competitive environment".

    The idea to set up the institute was firstly proposed by former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alecos Michaelides and readily accepted by Van den Broek.

    "It (EIC) is a joint project, aiming at the common goal to help in the preparations for Cyprus' accession to the EU", Angelides added.

    The EIC will give the Cypriot public an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the EU and its development, history, institutions and functions.

    It will provide raw material for researchers, journalists and officials on the EU. It will also provide access to specialised economic and trade cooperation, useful to trade organisations, specialised publications and traders in general and organise training courses in Cyprus.

    CNA EC/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1600:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Greenepeace urges Cyprus to back decrease of carbon dioxide gases

    Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) -- Greenpeace Mediterranean has called on the Cyprus government to back moves to decrease carbon dioxide gases at the Kyoto International Climate Conference.

    In a Greenpeace Mediterranean statement, the organisation notes that the carbon dioxide is a natural gas responsible for overheating the earth's atmosphere, and other dramatic climate changes.

    A number of human activities such as fuel and coal burning, the use of vehicles, and the operation of power plants result in enormous carbon dioxide emissions, the statement says.

    Greenpeace Mediterranean Executive Director, Mario Damato, urged Cyprus to "have a clear stance in Kyoto", adding that "time is running out while industrial nations such as the US until today, have blocked any serious agreement to radically cut carbon dioxide emissions".

    "A fiasco in Kyoto will seriously endanger the future of the peoples in the Mediterranean region and elsewhere", Damato pointed out.

    Last month, Greenpeace published a report saying that climate changes will seriously undermine efforts to sustainable development in the Mediterranean, and aggravate the problems of desertification, and water and food scarcity.

    CNA GG/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1645:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cooperation on EU could bring settlement, says Van den Broek

    Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) -- European Union External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, today said that cooperation between Cyprus' two communities on EU accession matters could facilitate the political settlement of the Cyprus question.

    At a press conference with which he concluded his two-day visit to the island, Van den Broek, pointed out that the two communities of Cyprus will have to work out a formula regarding the participation of both in the EU accession talks with Cyprus.

    At the same time, he stressed the importance of strengthening EU relations with Turkey.

    "We are very much convinced when talking about accession and accession talks that membership of Cyprus should serve both the communities," he told the press conference.

    Van den Broek added that part of his talks here focused on how to ensure that both communities are represented in the accession negotiations, expected to begin in spring 1998.

    However, he reiterated that it is not the right period to start talking about formulas on this issue, because of the presidential elections to be held in the Republic in February.

    "When we talk about Cyprus becoming a member of the EU, then the benefits, the rights and the obligations should apply to both communities," the EU Commissioner said.

    Asked to clarify statements he had made that the legislation of the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish-occupied areas will need to become compatible, Van den Broek said one legislation has to be applicable to the whole of the island.

    "If it is the wish of both communities to be a member of the EU as a federated Cyprus, then obviously there will be one law that is applicable to the whole of the island," he said.

    The EU official said "different legislations de facto apply" in Cyprus today and noted "this is not recommendable".

    He was referring to the so-called laws of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the areas occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion of the island.

    The EU Commissioner said that cooperation and discussion between the two communities on issues concerning EU accession, such as legislation, would also facilitate efforts for a political settlement.

    "Can we not see the communities talk to each other on those issues," he said, noting that countries that do not have "the internal problems that Cyprus has, have terrific problems with the adjustment to EU legislation."

    The EU official pointed out the Greek and Turkish Cypriot communities would first have to agree on how their legitimate interests would be protected and then inform the EU.

    Van den Broek acknowledged there is a difference in view between the two communities on a number of issues, including their security, and that they have various apprehensions regarding EU accession.

    "Whatever the parties agree between each other in order to safeguard what they feel (such as their security) will not easily run into EU objections," he said.

    "We don't work with dogmatisms at the expense of vital interests that deserve maybe for a period of time a certain special attention," he added.

    The EU official noted that "the whole accession process and preparation is never conducted with only the official delegation as such, there are experts coming and discussing things."

    He said it would be desirable and useful to use the EU negotiations "to create more understanding here and have more talks between the two communities".

    "That process of encouraging both communities to discuss with each other what their bargaining position will be vis-a-vis the EU can develop a confidence building which obviously can be conducive to progress in the political talks."

    However, he acknowledged that "eventually it will be the political talks which will have to give shape to what the future legal status of this country is."

    "Let's try to get out of this vicious circle of first a political solution and then accession talks and let's try to have this complicated process of the accession talks help at least produce more understanding in the political talks," the EU official said.

    Referring to his visit, he said he informed his interlocutors what the EU expects from the upcoming summit, to be held December 12 and 13, in Luxembourg.

    Van den Broek expressed the hope the Luxembourg summit will adopt the Commission recommendation to open accession negotiations with Cyprus and the five Central and Eastern European countries.

    He added "we hope also that a satisfactory and acceptable package can be agreed for Turkey", during the summit, and described Turkey as an "important partner" for the EU.

    Asked to elaborate on EU relations with Turkey, Van den Broek expressed the hope Ankara will give the EU "a number of positive signals which will encourage a positive language in Luxembourg."

    He also wished it will be made clear to Turkey that the EU is serious "about working further in this process for membership".

    "We don't make any secret that at the present point in time there are certain situations in Turkey that would make it very difficult to accept Turkey today as a full member of the EU.

    But we have at the same time given the very clear intention to work together with them, to dialogue with them to enhance the process towards their integration into the EU," he said.

    During his second visit to Cyprus this year, Van den Broek met President Glafcos Clerides, Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides, and Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash.

    He said that during his meetings here he discussed "how to further accelerate the preparations for membership".

    The EU official also met the UN resident representative, Gustave Feissel and British High Commissioner, David Madden, and spoke to some 200 Greek and Turkish Cypriots about the EU, its functions and institutions.

    Van den Broek said his meeting with people from the two communities gave him the opportunity "to remove a number of misunderstandings, notably with the Turkish Cypriot community regarding what our objectives are with this membership..."

    CNA MA/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.04 (+0.20)
    
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  87.86 (+0.03)
    Approved Investment Companies          59.20 (+0.34)
    Insurance Companies                    56.18 (+0.95)
    Industrial Companies                   73.04 (+0.18)
    Tourist Industries                     62.48 (-0.22)
    Commercial Companies                   39.39 (+2.07)
    Other Companies                        59.27 (+0.46)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 595659.145
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Cyprus seeks more EU funds for local authorities

    Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) -- Local administration officials have urged the European Union to treat Cyprus on an equal footing with other applicant countries in terms of funding and provide financial and technical assistance through a variety of programmes to develop further self- government.

    Nicosia mayor Lellos Demetriades and Larnaca mayor George Lykourgos outlined their views on how the EU could extend its strategy on local administration to include Cyprus and help the country familiarise itself with Community practices, policies and working methods.

    Demetriades, president of the Union of Cyprus Municipalities, told a hearing on cohesion and enlargement of the European Parliament held in Strasburg, Cyprus should be included in and benefit from participation in programmes now opened up for the countries of Central and Eastern Europe.

    Funds allocated under the reinforced pre-accession strategy should be offered to Cyprus as well in agriculture and harmonisation process.

    "The only available financial means for Cyprus are the grants of the fourth financial protocol, sufficient only to cover partially the participation of Cyprus in some programmes, namely Leonardo, Youth for Europe, Socrates and media programmes," he told the meeting.

    Lykourgos said if the EU Commission's proposals (Agenda 2000) are adopted, Cyprus "must be granted equal treatment with the other candidate countries."

    Cyprus, he pointed out, needs to harmonise its structures and legislation with that of the EU and has to have access to more programmes of financial assistance.

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1710:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] Bulgarian artists to perform in Cyprus

    Nicosia, Dec 2 (CNA) -- Two outstanding Bulgarian artists, a pianist and a violinist, will be in Cyprus next week to give a recital, organised by the Oxford Society in association with a local cultural trust.

    Pianist, Sarkis Zakarian, one of the most talented pianist of his generation, and violinist Makrouhy Papazian, will perform on Monday night music by Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin and Liszt.

    Sarkis, currently living in London, has performed at the prestigious Wigmore Hall and Makrouhy returns to the island after last year's thrilling performance here.

    The organisers, the Oxford Society, an association of former students of Oxford University, UK, and the Pharos Trust seek to contribute to cultural and intellectual life and are involved in a wide range of cultural events.

    CNA MM/GP/1997
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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