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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-02-23

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] International Narcotics Control Board report
  • [02] Cyprus - EU - Ocalan trial
  • [03] Rolandis - Egypt
  • [04] Detention center - Illegal immigrants
  • [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [06] PEO - New Secretary-General
  • [07] EU - Cyprus - 4th Financial Protocol

  • 1510:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] International Narcotics Control Board report

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- The International Narcotics Control Board notes the action taken by the Cyprus government to combat money-laundering but suggests greater effort is needed in vetting of off-shore banks and corporations seeking to be registered on the island.

    The 1998 Board report deals with the situation in Cyprus in three of its paragraphs and notes that "comprehensive drug control legislation in line with the international drug control treaties was in place" and that "the control system for narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances was working effectively".

    The Board would appreciate increased vigilance with regard to transactions involving the import of psychotropic substances for re-export to ensure that they are not diverted into illicit channels in third countries.

    The Board also "recommends that the government of Cyprus continue its efforts to study the extent and patterns of and trends in drug abuse".

    Concluding, the report says that "success as an international offshore centre has made Cyprus vulnerable to international money-laundering activities" and adds "the Board took note of the action taken by the government against money-laundering, including the adoption of legislation and the establishment of a unit for combatting money-laundering and an advisory authority."

    "While the efforts of the government have, in all likelihood, increased its capability to take action against illicit financial activity in the country, more efforts need to be made with regard to the vetting of off-shore banks and corporations seeking to be registered in Cyprus," it says.

    It calls on the Central Bank to carry out its own inquiries in order to ascertain the legitimacy of off-shore operators.

    The Board is an independent body responsible for the monitoring and the implementation of the international conventions on Narcotics.

    CNA MCH/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1530:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Cyprus - EU - Ocalan trial

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government has backed fully the European Union's (EU) position that Kurdish rebel leader Abdullah Ocalan should be given a fair trial, attended by international observers.

    In a written statement, issued today, Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, welcomed Monday's statement by EU foreign ministers that said Turkey should solve its problems through political means, with full respect for human rights.

    He also condemned the fact that Ankara is trying to take advantage of the Ocalan issue for propaganda purposes and expressed abhorrence with the way Turkish TV screened Ocalan's transfer to Turkey, after he was abducted in Kenya last week.

    "The Cyprus government is fully aligned with the EU foreign ministers' joint statement yesterday, which supports that Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan must have an open and fair trial before an independent court, with access to legal counsel of his choice and with international observers admitted to the trial," the spokesman says.

    He described of particular importance "the EU's strict opposition to the death penalty and the expectation that Turkey will resolve its problems by political means with full respect for human rights, the rule of law in a democratic society and in full accordance with Turkey's commitments as a member of the Council of Europe."

    "The Cyprus government," Stylianides adds, "deplores Turkey's attempts to make propaganda capital out of the issue, expresses its abhorrence at the manner in which the captive Kurdish leader was paraded in front of the Turkish television cameras and stressed the need to ensure that Abdullah Ocalan is treated humanely."

    The EU ministers issued the written statement after discussing the Ocalan issue in Luxembourg.

    CNA MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1530:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Rolandis - Egypt

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis, expressed the hope for closer cooperation between Cyprus and Egypt, pointing to the diverse advantages Cyprus offers to Egyptian entrepreneurs.

    Addressing a seminar on Cyprus in Cairo, Rolandis said a large number of companies "use Cyprus as a base for their international activities, as their regional services centre, their regional headquarters or as their base for transit trade".

    The minister pointed to tax and other incentives and "a favourable government policy towards foreign investments," adding that Cyprus "can play a catalytic role in facilitating cooperation among businessmen".

    "The ratification of numerous international and bilateral treaties, double taxation relief agreements as well as the very good relations with the countries of the European Union, Eastern Europe and the Middle East, constitute yet additional advantages for using Cyprus as a base for conducting business operations in the region," Rolandis added.

    Concluding, the Cypriot Minister said he had "no doubt that the diverse advantages Cyprus offers combined with the traditional close economic, trade and other links between Cyprus and the Arab Republic of Egypt will be taken into serious consideration by both Cypriot and Egyptian entrepreneurs."

    CNA MCH/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1540:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Detention center - Illegal immigrants

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- A detention centre established within the boundaries of the Central Prison in Nicosia was handed to the police today to temporarily host illegal immigrants.

    Justice and Public Order Minister, Nicos Koshis, said the centre has been designed according to international regulations "so that their stay can be as comfortable as possible, even if they're here temporarily".

    The project cost the government 90 thousand pounds (one Cyprus pound is about two US dollars), while another 24 thousand pounds will be spent to buy furnishings and 11 thousand for a closed circuit TV system.

    However, Koshis expressed the hope that the problem of illegal immigrants arriving here will be temporary.

    A total of 57 illegal immigrants, mainly from Arab countries, are now held in prison or detention centers here.

    In the past few years there has been an increase in the number of people arriving here illegally, due to the island's close proximity to Arab countries. They usually set off for other countries but are dumped on the island's shores.

    Attorney General Alecos Markides expressed satisfaction with the establishment of the centre, underlining however that he expects more to be done on the issue, especially with regard to the amendment of the law on political asylum and foreigners.

    Markides said the new legislation on political asylum, based on the European Union laws, has been prepared and what remains are the UN comments.

    The Attorney General also stressed the need for a change in police attitude towards illegal immigrants.

    CNA MK/MA/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1800:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         114.20  (-0.59)
    
          Traded Value            CYP 5,329,855
    
          Sectural Indices
    
          Banks                   CYP 2,457,338     139.98 (-1.45)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   171,826      72.39 (-0.54)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    93,614      77.54 ( 0.94)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   524,567     101.59 ( 5.80)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   174,794      77.52 (-1.59)
          Trading Companies       CYP   416,003      52.19 (-3.94)
          Other Companies         CYP   219,991      87.05 (-0.59)
    
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1830:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] PEO - New Secretary-General

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- One of the largest trade unions in Cyprus, PEO, elected its new Secretary-General today.

    The new leader of the union, Pampis Kiritsis, is stepping into the position of Avraam Antoniou, who retired recently.

    Speaking after his election, Kiritsis referred to the globalisation of the market, stressing that the labour movement is very much aware of its effects.

    He also said that Cyprus' European Union accession course "is not a bed of roses", especially in the socio-economic sector, where the trade union movement will have to fight a hard battle to safeguard its role and rights.

    Kiritsis, born in Larnaca in 1958, studied Business Management in the Greek city of Salonica, and served over the years in various posts of organisations affiliated to the main opposition AKEL party, including its youth branch EDON.

    CNA DG/RG/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1845:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] EU - Cyprus - 4th Financial Protocol

    Nicosia, Feb 23 (CNA) -- The Foreign Ministers of the European Union yesterday decided to extend by one year the 4th EU-Cyprus Financial Protocol.

    The decision was taken in the context of the Council of General Affairs meeting in Luxembourg, after a proposal by the European Commission.

    CNA RG/MM/1999
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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