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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-08

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Parliament to pass state budgets
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot opposition leader backs peace efforts
  • [04] Occupation troops apprehend second Greek national
  • [05] Iranian President supports peaceful Cyprus settlement

  • 1500:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Parliament to pass state budgets

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- The island's House of Representatives is expected to pass tomorrow the three 1998 state budgets, as the parliamentary parties have revealed their intentions, during the ongoing House debate.

    Expenditure in the three 1998 state budgets is 1,63 billion Cyprus pounds, while revenues reach 1,08 billion (one Cyprus pound is equal to 1,9 US dollars).

    Yesterday, first day of the three-day debate, the leader of the ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISY) Nicos Anastassiades, praised the government's economic and social policy, and said the main economic indicators have been constantly improving.

    Specifically, Anastassiades noted that the fiscal deficit, inflation and the public debt have fallen, and said DISY will vote the budgets through.

    Dimitris Christofias, Secretary-General of the left-wing party AKEL, said the economic policy of the government has resulted in a fall in wages in real terms, and an expansion of public debt.

    Having accused the government of "amateurish" behaviour, he said the government inherited a healthy economy, and is leaving an economy with a series of unsolved problems.

    Christofias revealed his party will vote in favour of most of the budgets, but will vote against the points with which it disagrees.

    The parliamentary spokesman of the Democratic Party (DIKO) Tassos Papadopoulos, rejecting the extremities, said neither everything is perfect in the economy, nor the economy is collapsing.

    Papadopoulos pointed out that the fiscal deficit is increasing, and that his party approves the three budgets.

    The Socialist Party EDEK leader, Vassos Lyssarides, said voting the budgets, means approving the government policy, and supported that the welfare shown in numbers and statistics is not real.

    Lyssarides said his party will vote against the budgets, except for the amounts bound for the Republic's defence.

    Former President George Vassiliou, leader of the United Democrats (EDI) accused the government of receiving a flourishing economy five years ago and turning it into an economy in recession.

    Vassiliou made a series of suggestions aimed to lead the economy to recovery. However, he said his party will give a positive vote to all budgets.

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

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.20 (-0.29)
    
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  86.96 (-0.23)
    Approved Investment Companies          58.40 (-0.19)
    Insurance Companies                    57.05 (+0.23)
    Industrial Companies                   75.24 (-0.79)
    Tourist Industries                     61.37 (-0.28)
    Commercial Companies                   40.08 (-0.87)
    Other Companies                        65.63 (-0.39)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 383931.282
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1820:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Turkish Cypriot opposition leader backs peace efforts

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- A Turkish Cypriot opposition party leader today stressed the need for peace talks to settle the protracted Cyprus problem as this is long overdue.

    Mustafa Akkinci, leader of the Communal Liberation Party (CLP), believes a solution to the Cyprus problem should be reached before European Union (EU) membership talks with Cyprus begin.

    In an interview with the London Greek Radio (LGR), the Turkish Cypriot politician said the two sides in Cyprus should reduce their armed forces.

    Akkinci expressed the hope that "a fruitful dialogue" would begin after the presidential elections to be held in the Republic in February and said "I think we have lost a lot of precious time".

    Stressing the need for peaceful negotiations, the Turkish Cypriot politician said "we have to sit around the table and find a way out. The agreed framework so far, under the UN umbrella, needs to continue."

    Akkinci said his party is "not happy" with an EU summit decision taken in Luxembourg last month, to open accession talks with Cyprus on March 30, 1998 and excluding Turkey, even though he noted that most Turkish Cypriots want EU membership.

    He said there were two negative aspects from this decision, the first being that it encourages "one side to become a full member even without a solution in Cyprus.

    I attribute a lot of importance to see a breakthrough first, and then the (EU) accession negotiations," he added.

    The other negative aspect the CLP leader sees concerns EU relations with Turkey, which he believes should be improved.

    "Unfortunately Turkey feels excluded from the enlargement process," he said, adding that "if you exclude Turkey totally from the European scene, it is very obvious she is not going to help for a Cyprus solution."

    Akkinci said better EU relations with Turkey as well as the improvement of Greco-Turkish relations would help solve the Cyprus question.

    He noted that the two sides in Cyprus were not the only protagonists in efforts for a settlement, but there should be positive contributions also from Ankara, Athens, Brussels, Washington and London.

    Akkinci disagreed with threats from Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, not to participate in negotiations unless the illegal state established in 1983, in the areas occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion, was recognised.

    He said that if the Turkish Cypriot side turned down an invitation from the UN to negotiate "again we are going to suffer for it".

    Referring to the arms build up on the island, Akkinci said "we should come to a point to reduce forces because we do not need them at this level" and stressed the tension must stop.

    He said "there is not end" to this arms race, describing it as a "vicious circle", which was going to trap both communities as well as Greece and Turkey.

    "If the escalation continues, at the end of the day we might have an explosion," he warned.

    CNA RG/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1840:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Occupation troops apprehend second Greek national

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- Turkish occupation troops apprehended this afternoon a 32-year-old man from Greece, who is visiting the island, Cyprus Police said.

    George Constantinou Kantaraki, from the island of Santorini, is the second Greek national to be abducted by Turkish soldiers in 18 days.

    Kantaraki was seen walking into the buffer zone in Kaimakli area, in the northeastern outskirts of the divided capital Nicosia, by Greek Cypriot soldiers. The young man was then abducted by Turkish soldiers.

    According to police, Kantaraki was visiting Cyprus as guest of his Greek Cypriot friend Dinos Achilleos, from Nicosia.

    Police have informed the UN peacekeeping force in Cyprus and are making efforts to secure Kantaraki's release.

    The occupation regime is also holding Spiros Lilles, from Greece, since December 21.

    Lilles had strayed into the areas occupied by Turkey since its 1974 invasion of the island, after a night out drinking with his friends.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1935 CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Iranian President supports peaceful Cyprus settlement

    Nicosia, Jan 8 (CNA) -- President of Iran, Seyed Mohammad Khatami, expressed sadness about the situation in Cyprus and wished that a solution to the protracted political problem could be found soon, via peaceful means.

    Speaking during the presentation of the credentials of Cyprus' new ambassador to Iran, Giorgos Virides, yesterday, President Khatami said a solution to the Cyprus problem should be sought through negotiations.

    He added that the solution should guarantee the security and peaceful cohabitance of Greek and Turkish Cypriots.

    Cyprus, he added, due to its geographical position, can play an important role in keeping peace and security in the Eastern Mediterranean and can act as a bridge of understanding, friendship and cooperation between the people of the East and the West.

    President Khatami said his government and his country are dedicated to the idea of peace, friendship and cooperation of all people, adding that international problems should be settled peacefully, with mutual understanding and respect.

    He also expressed satisfaction over the excellent relations between his country and Cyprus, which exist since ancient times, and stressed that he looks forward to further strengthening and developing these ties in all fields.

    CNA RG/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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