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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-29

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Israeli agents - Court
  • [02] Conference - Privatisation and investments
  • [03] Foreign Minister - Brussels - Athens
  • [04] President Clerides - Papandreou

  • 1320:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Israeli agents - Court

    Larnaca, Jan 29 (CNA) -- The two Israelis arrested in November 1998 for allegedly spying against the Republic of Cyprus, pleaded guilty to one of the three charges against them, while the other two were withdrawn. The prosecutors included a fourth charge, which the defence did not object to.

    Sentence for Igal Damary, 49, and Udi Hargov, 37, will pass Monday, February 1.

    The two suspects pleaded guilty today to one of the original charges of possessing illegal listening devices, as well as the fourth charge of approaching prohibited areas, without the consent of the authorities, where National Guard manoeuvres were being carried out.

    The charges of conspiring to obtain information about the Republic of Cyprus, which may have been useful to any other state, through espionage, as well as that of obtaining information about military installations, which could be of use to another state, were both dropped.

    The defence said that the suspects were employees of the Israeli Anti- Terrorist Department and that the equipment found in their possession was to be used to this end, including the murder of innocent citizens by international terrorist organisations.

    The Court also heard the defence's statement that these allegations have been connected to a Cyprus Information Department (CID) report, which does not rule out the suspects' version.

    The defence told the Court that the two agents had arrived on the island to participate in a meeting of foreigners, who had information on possible terrorist organisation plans against Israel.

    The listening devices, according to the defence, were to be used to monitor vehicles so as to avoid Cyprus Police intervention, as it was unaware of the meeting taking place.

    The defence also said that the mission of the two Israelis did not provide for actions against the Republic of Cyprus or in favour of any third country, and stressed that there were no indications that they gathered information about the Republic's defence.

    The prosecutors told the Court that the Cyprus authorities had not been informed of the mission, adding that even if the CID did not rule out this possibility, the Court could not take it into consideration to pass a more moderate sentence.

    CNA MAN/RG/GP/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1350:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Conference - Privatisation and investments

    Nicosia, Jan 29 (CNA) -- Privatisation and international investments, with reference to the Cyprus aspect of the matter, were analysed this morning at the "Privatisation of Public Enterprises: The Prospects Ahead" international conference, taking place in Nicosia.

    The subject was elaborated on by the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus, Afxentis Afxentiou, the President of the US National Centre for Policy Analysis, Dr. John Goodman, US Professor of the George Mason University, Dr. James Bennett, and Chairman of the Cyprus Stock Exchange, Dinos Papadopoulos.

    Afxentiou spoke about privatisation and international investments, in the broader context of globalisation, stressing that "globalisation is perhaps the strongest linkage between the two concepts under discussion".

    He said that "the term 'globalisation' refers to the increasing economic independence of countries and regions, which is mirrored in the growing volume and variety of cross-border transactions in goods and services and international capital flows".

    Afxentiou added that "countries that hope to reap the benefits of globalisation need to be convincingly pursuing sound policies".

    He referred to the importance of government involvement in a market- oriented economy, but pointed out that "this importance should not be associated positively with the size of the government sector".

    On Cyprus, he said that the involvement of the government "is not overly out of proportions", adding that "there appears to be ample room for significant steps towards privatisation and other reforms aiming at liberalising the Cypriot economy".

    He said that "there is certainly scope for more investments" in Cyprus, and stressed the need for structural reforms.

    Afxentiou said that "the need for a change in the role of government in economic activity is also highlighted by Cyprus' efforts towards accession to the European Union".

    Dr. Goodman explained the relation between economic freedom and economic growth, and pointed out that Turkey is ahead of Cyprus in privatisation.

    He also said that domestic genocide is closely related to economic growth, adding on a light note that "when governments kill their people they can't collect taxes".

    He pointed out that privatisation contributes towards a free economy, which means a higher per capita Gross Domestic Product.

    Another interesting point he elaborated on was the relation between economic growth rates in heterogeneous and homogeneous cultures.

    He said that it was irrelevant whether mixed cultures lived in a free or non-free economy, as heterogeneous cultures always lagged behind, "probably because they spend more time fighting" amongst themselves. "This is bad news for Cyprus", he said.

    Dr. Bennett said that "the process of privatisation influences foreign investors and investments in long term ways", adding that "the public monopoly needs to be replaced by competition".

    He said that if private companies can undertake enterprises, "then there is no valid reason why the government should".

    "Privatisation", he said, "sends positive signals to investors", and expressed hope that the present conference would give the process a push.

    Papadopoulos focused his presentation on the reasons privatisation should take place, the necessary ingredients for a successful privatisation programme and the risks associated with it, and the effect of privatisation on the capital market in Cyprus.

    He said that privatisation improves the productivity of capital, enhances competitiveness and the confidence of private capital, helps pay back borrowed capital, and makes the government concentrate on governing rather than producing goods and services.

    He added that it has taken Cyprus "a long time to realise" that privatisations should be dealt with as a manner of pragmatism and "not in terms of dogma".

    Papadopoulos stressed that "privatisation can give the capital market in Cyprus a major boost" and that "wider share ownership will increase the competitive conditions in the capital market, and provide additional liquidity to the market.

    He suggested that Cyprus is "moving down the road of privatisation far too late" and proposed the creation of a body to "push forward Cyprus' privatisation programme".

    CNA RG/GP/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1400:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Foreign Minister - Brussels - Athens

    Nicosia, Jan 29 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides leaves for Brussels Sunday for a meeting with European Union Commissioner for foreign relations Hans Van Den Brook.

    Kasoulides will then visit Athens to meet with his Greek counterpart Theodoros Pangalos, on February 3.

    He returns on Thursday afternoon.

    CNA RM/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1440:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] President Clerides - Papandreou

    Nicosia, Jan 29 (CNA) -- Cyprus' accession process to the European Union provides the preconditions for a settlement of the Cyprus question, Greek Alternate Foreign Minister, George Papandreou has pointed out.

    Speaking after a meeting here today with President Glafcos Clerides, Papandreou also stressed that "a solution to the Cyprus problem cannot be a precondition for Cyprus' European course".

    "This course clearly lays down the conditions to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem," the Greek Alternate FM said, adding that the message to Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots is that "now they are given the opportunity to participate in accession talks but Cyprus will not halt this process, nor can any other power stop Cyprus from this course."

    "The choice is theirs. Either they join in this process at the negotiating table or stay out of it. We hope they take the first option," he added.

    Last year the Turkish Cypriot regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus turned down an invitation from President Clerides to nominate their representatives who would join the Cypriot team negotiating the country's accession with the EU. The EU described the President's invitation as "fair and generous."

    The Greek politician said the European prospect commits all the countries in the region to adopting fundamental principles of democracy and basic EU principles relating to freedom of movement.

    This, he stressed, would be the base "on which a solution to the Cyprus problem will be found".

    Papandreou also met with the Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos and was due to meet with Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides.

    CNA MK/MCH/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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