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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-01-20

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Greek and Turkish trade unionists meet in Brussels
  • [02] Foreign Minister on Albright's statements
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Lombard NatWest Bank announces 1997 results
  • [05] Greek nationals in jail in occupied Cyprus

  • 1450:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Greek and Turkish trade unionists meet in Brussels

    Nicosia, Jan 20 (CNA) -- Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unionists were meeting in Brussels to follow up discussion on issues of mutual concern.

    Sources in Nicosia told CNA today that the meeting was planned long ago and is not taking place in Brussels because of a decision taken by the Turkish-Cypriot occupation regime, in December, to suspend most bicommunal meetings.

    Four Greek Cypriots representing the three biggest trade unions (PASYDI, SEK and PEO) and three Turkish Cypriots representing an equal number of trade unions (Ntev-Is, Turksen and Stams) are in Brussels for the meeting.

    They are all members of the permanent committee of the All-Cyprus Trade Union Forum, which discusses and studies issues affecting workers on both sides of the divide.

    During their stay in Brussels, the trade unionists will meet representatives of the European Union Economic and Social Affairs Committee, members of the European Parliament and representatives of the European Trade Union Confederation.

    The trade unions of both sides established ties long ago, in a bid to contribute to efforts to bring the two communities closer.

    In March 1997 they organised a four-day forum held equally in the government-controlled part of the Republic and the Turkish occupied areas.

    The illegal regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied since the 1974 Turkish invasion has suspended bicommunal meetings after an EU decision to open accession talks with the Cyprus Republic in April this year.

    The occupation regime opposes Cyprus' bid to join the EU, especially before a solution of the Cyprus problem and Turkey's accession.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1540:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Foreign Minister on Albright's statements

    Nicosia, Jan 20 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides today expressed the view the US is now convinced that the settlement of the protracted Cyprus problem would bring stability to the region and improve Greco-Turkish relations.

    Kasoulides was commenting on an interview US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, with Reuters news agency, where she pledged to press on with efforts to improve ties between Greece, Turkey and Cyprus.

    "I think that, you know, we can't give up here," Albright told Reuters in an interview marking the first anniversary of her appointment.

    The US Secretary of State added "this is one of the difficult areas of the world. We are obviously concerned about Greek-Turkish maneuvering in the Aegean and about the lack of resolution of Cyprus."

    She said the US will keep Richard Holbrooke, who was appointed last year as the American President's special emissary for Cyprus, "on the job."

    Referring to presidential elections to be held in the Cyprus Republic February 8, Albright said Washington would see whether "that will allow the process ... to move forward."

    Kasoulides noted that present situation in the Eastern Mediterranean "has already convinced the US for the need of a Cyprus settlement, which would bring stability to the region and mainly improve relations between Greece and Turkey."

    On his part, Government Spokesman, Manolis Christofides, said Albright's statement reassured that the Cyprus issue remains a priority for US diplomacy and that progress towards a settlement should be made.

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

    CNA MA/AP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Jan 20 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    77.31 (-0.19)
    
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                  89.80 (-0.18)
    Approved Investment Companies          59.67 (+1.07)
    Insurance Companies                    56.13 (-0.36)
    Industrial Companies                   73.89 (+0.16)
    Tourist Industries                     60.12 (-0.92)
    Commercial Companies                   38.87 (-0.33)
    Other Companies                        64.35 (-0.73)
    
    Trading Volume                         CYP 419224.227
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1700:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Lombard NatWest Bank announces 1997 results

    Nicosia, Jan 20 (CNA) -- Pre-tax profits of Lombard NatWest Bank for the fiscal year of 1997 increased by 63 per cent, compared to those of the previous year, reaching 3,2 million Cyprus pounds (one Cyprus pound is equal to 1,9 US dollars).

    Speaking at a press conference here today to present the Bank's results for the financial year ended 30 September 1997, Lombard NatWest Chairman, Michael Colocassides, described its results as "impressive".

    Colocassides attributed the Bank's high performance to the "significant expansion of its business and its revenues, as well as its remarkable achievements in relation to productivity, thanks to further automation."

    Total customer deposits rose by 24 per cent, compared to the previous year, reaching 236 million pounds, while the respective growth rate achieved by the total banking system, was only 16 per cent, Colocassides added.

    Referring to the Bank's advances, he said they increased by 18 per cent to 169 million pounds, while the respective growth rate for the total banking system was 12 per cent.

    As for the Bank's total assets, its Chairman noted that they increased by 19 per cent, reaching 301 million pounds.

    Referring to the Republic's state of the economy, Lombard NatWest Chairman predicted for 1998 a growth rate of 4,0 to 4,5 per cent, adding that both inflation and unemployment are expected to be around 3,0 per cent.

    Also for 1998, Colocassides said Cyprus' fiscal deficit is expected to reach 5,2 per cent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while the public debt is expected to represent 58 per cent of GDP.

    Colocassides said in view of the island's European Union accession talks, scheduled to begin March 30, the process to liberalise Cyprus' economy and financial system will be accelerated.

    Referring to these changes, he said the Bank is planning a series of activities, which will "strengthen the Bank and provide it with a comparative advantage in the new liberalised environment."

    Lombard NatWest has today 23 branches around the island, employing 285 people, and intends to set up three to four new ones.

    CNA GG/AP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1715:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Greek nationals in jail in occupied Cyprus

    Nicosia, Jan 20 (CNA) -- A Greek national, apprehended by the Turkish occupation forces on January 8, 1997 will remain in "custody" for four more days, following a so-called remand order by an illegal military court in the occupied part of Nicosia.

    UN spokesman, Waldemar Rokoszewski, told CNA that George Kantarakis, 32, from the Greek island of Santorini, will appear before the illegal court on Friday.

    Asked if he was in good health, Rokoszewski said Kantarakis never complained. "I do not expect things changed... I am pretty certain that from this point of view, everything is okay", he said.

    Rokoszewski said another Greek national, Spyros Lilles, apprehended by the Turkish occupation troops on December 21, 1997 and jailed for one month, will be freed on February 12.

    He said he was recently visited by his mother, who came to Cyprus from Greece, as well as his Cypriot fiance, around eight times.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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