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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 97-12-23

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Christmans cards to enclaved children from Canada
  • [02] Seventh candidate for Cyprus elections
  • [03] Clerides says Kyprianou had appreciated his policies
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

  • 1000:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Christmans cards to enclaved children from Canada

    by Menelaos Hadjicostis

    Toronto, Dec 22 (CNA) -- Greek Cypriot children living in the Turkish- occupied part of Cyprus will receive this Christmas an added dose of holiday cheer from an unexpected source.

    More than a thousand Christmas cards signed by Canadians of Greek Cypriot and Greek descent will be sent to these children in a heartfelt gesture of support and solidarity with the enclaved.

    The idea was put in motion by the Hellenic Inter-University and College Council of Canada (HICC), a coordinating body encompassing Greek students' associations from 18 universities across Canada.

    "From my perspective, I can't fathom or even imagine what these people must be going through," HICC Public Relations Officer Costas Alexopoulos said.

    "In 1974, the year before I was born, for something like this to happen and the international community to stand by and just let it happen is mind boggling and it hurts," he added.

    Turkey invaded Cyprus 23 years ago and forcibly expelled 200.000 Greek Cypriots from their homes and property in the northern third of the island. Some 550, out of more than 20.000 caught behind the lines during the invasion continue to live in the occupied area.

    Alexopoulos, who despite his fervent interest in the Cyprus issue has never visited Cyprus, said he was inspired to pursue the Christmas card signature drive last year after he came into contact, via the Internet, with the karpass Coordinating Committee in Cyprus. The Committee is dedicated to ensuring the well being of the enclaved.

    HICC President Costas Coursaris, whose father is Greek Cypriot, explained that the HICC gathered signatures by circulating cards in parishes, diaspora gatherings and social events and from young children attending Greek language schools. Many of these children even created their own cards and wrote personal messages on them.

    "Once the initial hesitation passed, not only were people delighted, but were ecstatic about doing something like this," Coursaris said.

    He explained further that the Council will make this an annual event and is now actively pursuing that possibility of sending toys to the enclaved kids as well.

    But Coursaris was adamant that the real motivation behind this effort lies more in teaching both Canadian youth of Greek and Greek Cypriot descent, as well as the Canadian public at large, of the current reality in Cyprus.

    "We realised that we have to do something about it and that is to show the enclaved people that we haven't forgotten about them. But, the number one issue is to educate ourselves and others," Coursaris said.

    The HICC initiative moved many within the diaspora here. They appreciate the fact that diaspora youth has taken an interest in a group of people carrying on in occupied Cyprus, whose daily struggle goes by largely ignored by the rest of the world.

    Consul General of the Republic of Cyprus to Toronto Achilleas Antoniades praised the HICC's efforts.

    "In the spirit of Christmas, it's to these students' honour to remember the children of the enclaved who still suffer under the Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus."

    He said "the students carry out not only their Christian duty, but their national duty as well by remembering these people who continue to struggle and hold onto the land of their forefathers."

    CNA MHC/GP/1997

    [02] Seventh candidate for Cyprus elections

    Nicosia, Dec 23 (CNA) -- Democratic Party (DIKO) MP and former President of the House of Representatives, Alexis Galanos, announced today he will stand as candidate in the February 1998 presidential elections.

    Speaking at a press conference, Galanos said he felt compelled to announce his candidacy to offer voters an alternative to "old-fashioned political ideas".

    Galanos' announcement followed a decision yesterday by his centre-right party to back the candidacy of independent George Iacovou, who is supported by leftwing AKEL party.

    The DIKO MP is the seventh politician to announce his candidacy.

    The other six are current President Glafcos Clerides, backed by rightwing Democratic Rally party, former President and leader of the United Democrats Movement George Vassiliou, former Foreign Minister George Iacovou, backed by AKEL, former House President and leader of the socialist EDEK party Vassos Lyssarides, former Foreign Minister and leader of the Liberal Party Nicos Rolandis and Nicos Koutsou, leader of the New Horizons party.

    Pointing out that DIKO President Spyros Kyprianou should have stood as candidate, Galanos stressed "it is not right for a party with the history and tradition of DIKO not to fight the elections with its own candidate."

    Asked about the consequences of acting against DIKO's will, Galanos said "it is their right if they wish to expel me from the party".

    He added, however, that he does not need a "certificate" to prove that he belongs to DIKO.

    Galanos has been elected MP for DIKO since 1976, while from 1990 to 1995 he served as President of the House of Representatives.

    CNA GG/MCH/GP/1997

    [03] Clerides says Kyprianou had appreciated his policies

    Nicosia, Dec 23 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides refrained from commenting on criticisms expressed against him by Democratic Party leader and President of the House of Representatives, Spyros Kyprianou.

    In a written statement, Clerides says Kyprianou had repeatedly expressed appreciation for the policies followed by his government, both concerning the Cyprus problem and the Republic's course of accession to the European Union.

    President Clerides said he seeks re-election to continue his strategy, regarding the Cyprus problem, the island's bid to become a full member of the European Union, and the joint defence policy agreed with Greece.

    DIKO had supported Clerides in the 1993 presidential elections. The centre-right party held, until recently, five ministries, while the government partner rightwing Democratic Rally held six ministries.

    Last night DIKO announced its decision to back the candidacy of George Iacovou, who had served as Foreign Minister under Kyprianou's government in the 1980s. Iacovou is backed by the leftwing AKEL party.

    CNA MCH/GP/1997

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Dec 23 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.31 (+0.05)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  87.23 (+0.18)
    Approved Investment Companies          58.78 (-0.29)
    Insurance Companies                    57.51 (+0.19)
    Industrial Companies                   74.10 (-0.38)
    Tourist Industries                     61.54 (-0.39)
    Commercial Companies                   40.89 (-0.07)
    Other Companies                        64.65 (-0.17)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 1724785.460
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1997

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