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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-02

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus President - Israeli agents
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange - Press conference
  • [04] Cyprus - EU Commissioner - Statements
  • [05] Missing Persons Committees - Merge

  • 1505:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus President - Israeli agents

    Nicosia, Feb 2 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides has implied that at present he is not considering the release of two Israeli agents jailed yesterday for three years.

    The President also said today that there is no agreement between the two countries so that Igal Damary, 49, and Udi Hargov, 37, could serve their sentence in Israel.

    Replying to questions, Clerides explained that pardon cannot be granted unless some of the sentence is served, if the Prisons Director submit a good report on conduct and the Attorney General agrees that reasons for pardon exist.

    The two Israelis had pleaded guilty to charges of approaching a restricted military zone and for possessing banned listening equipment.

    Spying charges pressed against them when arrested last November were dropped by the prosecution for lack of evidence.

    President Clerides dismissed press reports that the spying charges were dropped because of pressure and said it was a decision taken by Attorney General Alecos Markides as they could not be substantiated in court.

    "We were not pressured to change the charges, but not to bring them before the court, something we did not accept," he added.

    Regarding the possibility of the two Israelis being sent back to Israel to serve their sentence, President Clerides explained that "this could only be done in cases where there is an agreement between the two countries."

    "Such an agreement between Cyprus and Israel does not exist," he added.

    Invited to comment on statements made by Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahou that "we will do everything to bring back our men, according to Cypriot laws", the President did not rule out the possibility of Israel making such an effort.

    "The point is whether there will be any response to this effort or not, " he concluded.

    Earlier, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said that "for the time being the President is not considering granting pardon."

    Commenting on statements made by Israeli Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon that the sentence was severe, Stylianides said "the Cyprus Republic respects the independence of the courts" envisaged by the Constitution.

    CNA MEM/MM/MA/GP/1999

    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1540:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 2 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         104.68  (1.64)
    
          Traded Value            CYP 5,130,346
    
          Sectural Indices
    
          Banks                   CYP 1,547,419     122.20 ( 1.66)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   307,555      67.03 ( 4.46)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   883,570      80.45 ( 1.02)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   505,207      96.80 ( 0.13)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   422,142      82.80 ( 3.08)
          Trading Companies       CYP   399,505      49.72 ( 4.10)
          Other Companies         CYP   255,673      86.55 ( 0.15
    
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA MCH/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1545:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange - Press conference

    Nicosia, Feb 2 (CNA) -- The average daily volume of transactions at the Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) has more than doubled last year, compared to 1997, CSE Chairman Dinos Papadopoulos said today.

    Speaking today at a press conference, Papadopoulos stressed the need for the liberalisation of the economy and to abandon restrictions on the export of capital gains.

    Papadopoulos said the average daily volume of transactions, which was 694.000 Cyprus pounds in 1997, reached 1,4 million pounds last year (one Cyprus pound is trading at 2,0 US dollars).

    Seven new shares were listed in 1998, raising the number of listed shares to 116, he noted, adding that 1998 was "a year of multiple success and remarkable achievements" for the CSE.

    The Stock Exchange has strengthened its role as a fundamental economic institution on the island, while the public's trust and interest in it have been raised, Papadopoulos added.

    Referring to the CSE computerisation process, he said electronic trading is "at its final stage" pointing out that the existing problems regarding the clearing of transactions which is time-consuming, will be completely overcome with the computerisation of clearing itself.

    Another positive development for the CSE is that the mutual funds Bill, which will introduce the funds in the island's stock market, has already been submitted to the Ministry of Finance, CSE Chairman noted.

    Last year the CSE announced an agreement with Financial Times International (FTSE) under which a new index named FTSE/CySE will be introduced, he said.

    Referring to foreign investors, he revealed that among others, ING Barings and Nomura have expressed interest in the island's stock market.

    However, he urged the government to proceed with the liberalisation of the economy and to abandon restrictions on the free movement of capital, in order to attract more foreign investors.

    Last month the announcement of a takeover agreement involving three insurance companies and the island's second-largest bank resulted in a rally at the CSE, raising the daily volume of transactions to more than 5 million pounds in the following days.

    CNA GG/MCH/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1650:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus - EU Commissioner - Statements

    Nicosia, Feb 2 (CNA) -- Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides today welcomed statements made by the European Union (EU) Commissioner responsible for enlargement that Cyprus' accession talks are on a good course.

    He described statements made by Van den Broek after his meeting in Brussels yesterday with Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides as "positive and constructive" and said they send a clear message to Turkey not to place any obstacles in the Republic's EU course.

    "Van den Broek's statements are a clear indication as to how the EU assesses our accession course, as he believes that it is steady and must be intensified," Stylianides said.

    Yesterday, the EU External Relations Commissioner said "we feel that in the whole negotiating process so far Cyprus has made good progress, an encouraging progress, and we would obviously like to see that maintained..."

    Van den Broek also expressed the hope "Turkey understands that there is a demand from the European side that it should refrain from any kind of action that should slow down, in fact, the progress of integration of Cyprus."

    The Spokesman said the "statements from a person who plays such an important role in EU developments could be considered as an indication that there are no obstacles in our accession course."

    He underlined the importance of the fact that Van den Broek "sends a clear message to Turkey that it cannot place obstacles in our accession course and calls on Ankara to refrain from such actions."

    Referring to the fact that the EU Commissioner expressed appreciation for a decision by President Glafcos Clerides not to deploy a surface-to-air missile system, Stylianides said it "reaffirms that a positive climate was created after the decision."

    President Clerides decided not to deploy the Russian-made S-300 missile system in compliance with two resolutions adopted by the UN at the end of last year calling for the reduction of troops, armaments and tensions here.

    Negotiations for its deployment in the southern Greek island of Crete are now being carried out between Nicosia, Athens and Moscow.

    CNA MM/MA/MCH/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1735:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Missing Persons Committees - Merge

    Nicosia, Feb 2 (CNA) -- The two committees of relatives of persons missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of Cyprus's territory have decided to merge as from today to form the Joint Council of Relatives of Missing Persons.

    This was announced by House of Representatives' President Spyros Kyprianou, after a meeting with representatives of the Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners of War and the National Committee of Struggle for the Missing Persons.

    A total of 1619 Greek Cypriots and Greeks were registered as missing in 1974.

    Kyprianou said an executive secretariat comprising five members of the two committees which existed until today will be set up. One of its responsibilities will be to call general elections next February.

    He expressed the hope that the decision "will be the beginning of new period of cooperation towards the common goal of determining the fate of the missing persons" and noted that "the relatives of missing persons will now speak with one voice."

    The House President reiterated his concerns that efforts are being made to close the issue without a proper investigation into the fate of each missing persons being carried out.

    CNA MA/MCH/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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