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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 02-02-27
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Foreign Minister: UN serious on Cyprus peace process
Foreign Minister: UN serious on Cyprus peace process
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides considers a UN Security Council statement with regard to the direct talks as an indication of the importance the Council attaches to the talks.
The minister has welcomed remarks by current European Union Council president Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar that Brussels will decide on Cyprus' accession irrespective of any progress in the ongoing UN-led effort to find a negotiated settlement.
 Cyprus works hard to implement the acquis
Cyprus works hard to implement the acquis
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Chief Negotiator with the EU George Vassiliou assured yesterday in Brussels members of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Foreign and Security Policy Committee that Cyprus works hard, with dedication and enthusiasm to harmonise its legislation and implement the acquis communautaire.
 Government pleased with outcome of Aznar's visit
Government pleased with outcome of Aznar's visit
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The government has expressed satisfaction with the result of a brief visit to Cyprus on Tuesday by the current president of the European Council, Spanish premier Jose Maria Aznar, pointing out his statements reiterated the validity of a European Union decision that a political settlement in Cyprus is not a precondition for the country's accession.
 Cyprus Stock Exchange
 BoC increases its after tax profit by 8.8% in 2001
BoC increases its after tax profit by 8.8% in 2001
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- The Bank of Cyprus has announced an 8.8% increase in profit after tax for 2001.
Speaking at a press conference in Nicosia yesterday Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bank of Cyprus Group, Solon Triantafyllides, said profit after tax amounted to 46.5 million pounds (one Cyprus pound is trading at 1.5 U.S. dollars) compared to 42.8 million pounds in 2000.
Profit before tax for 2001 was 66.4 m. pounds, marking a 4.9 decrease against 69.9 m. pounds in the previous year.
Triantafyllides blamed the reduction in local and global interest rates as well as the prevailing economic decline for the pre-tax profit decrease.
He said the introduction of the Euro in Greece had a negative impact on foreign exchange commissions and dealing profits, while the Group accelerated expansion of its branches in Greece also affected the companys profits. BoC increased the number of its branches in Greece fron 31 to 60.
However, Triantafyllides added, the Banks profitability in Greece was satisfactory and prospects for future growth excellent. Customers deposits there grew by 82% reaching 1.5 billion pounds in 2001 compared with 800 m. pounds in 2000.
The Banks strategic objective in Greece, he said, was to expand further its network, aiming at 120 branches in 2004, while increasing its market share accordingly.
The Bank now holds 3% of the Greek market but its aim is to increase it to 5% by the end of 2004.
The Bank of Cyprus also operates branches in Britain and Australia.
Triantafyllides said the Group's results for 2001 are considered satisfactory and the Board of Directors has decided to propose the payment of a final dividend for 2001 of 8 cents per share, in addition to the interim dividend of 5 cents per share.
The total dividend for 2001 will be maintained at the same level as that of 2000, being 13 cents per share or 26% on the nominal value.
The Groups financial footings, he said, have shown a significant increase in 2001, with assets growing by 22% and reaching 7.7 billion pounds. Customer deposits amounted to 6.3 billion pounds.
Triantafyllides also referred to the Cyprus economy and said the negative impact of the terrorist attacks in the USA in September has affected it. As a result the annual growth of its economy in 2001 was 3.7% and forecasts for 2002 are more conservative, expecting it to grow by only 2.5%.
The Groups Chairman said the Banks results for this year will be affected by some external developments whose outcome is unpredictable and described 2002 as the most critical year in the recent history of Cyprus.
If, he added, the current negotiations for the resolution of the Cyprus problem, bear fruit, in conjunction with Cyprus entry in the EU, "then the economy of Cyprus will have better prospects in the years ahead."
Triantafyllides concluded by saying that he viewed the future with "great optimism.
 Weather and Temperatures for Cyprus
 Cans for Kids Association helps needy children
"Cans for kids" Association helps needy children
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides set in motion here today the first mobile can crasher brought to Cyprus by the local branch of "Cans for Kids".
The United Nations Operations Services (UNOPS) bought the can crasher from Britain. It cost 30,000 pounds.
Olga Demetriadou, president of "Cans for Kids-Cyprus," said the humanitarian association has gathered 16 million empty tins in the last 10 years.
The money raised from this campaign (some 85.000 Cyprus pounds = 130.000 US dollars) were spent for the purchase of medical equipment for the Pediatric Ward of the Makarios Hospital in Nicosia.
Thanking President Clerides, Demetriadou noted the government' s sensitivity to environmental matters.
In addition, members of the Association, said Demetriadou, visited local primary schools to talk to the children about the environmental consciousness. CNA OM/GP/2002 ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
 Spokesman says Security Council statement disperses concerns
Spokesman says Security Council statement disperses concerns
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- A Security Council statement on the ongoing Cyprus peace talks has dispersed all concerns with regard to the role the UN is playing at these talks in that it has repeated the Council's position that resolution 1250 is the basis on which the peace process is founded, the government has said.
 Papapetrou says Denktash should reproach himself
Papapetrou says Denktash should reproach himself
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) - Decisions on Cyprus by international organisations do not adopt Greek Cypriot positions but ratify the compromise between the two communities on the island and thus Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash "should reproach himself and his positions that are a jarring note with those of the rest of the world", Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said here today.
 Government tables bill so Greek and Turkish Cypriots may wed
Government tables bill so Greek and Turkish Cypriots may wed
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) - The Cyprus government will tomorrow table a bill at the House of Representatives, regarding marriages between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, to bridge the legal gap on this matter.
Speaking after a cabinet meeting today, Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou said the issue was discussed by the Ministers, who authorised Minister of the Interior Christodoulos Christodoulou to table the bill tomorrow. CNA/MK/RG/RM/2002
 Vassiliou says Cox and Verheugen to visit Cyprus
Vassiliou says Cox and Verheugen to visit Cyprus
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) - European Commissioner responsible for enlargement, Gunter Verheugen, will be in Cyprus on March 7 and 8, to stress "Europe's interest in Cyprus" and make "interesting announcements", Cyprus' Chief Negotiator for accession to the EU George Vassiliou said here today.
 Maurer says accession talks to be wrapped up by end of June
Maurer says accession talks to be wrapped up by end of June
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) - The EU's Chief Negotiator with Cyprus, Leopold Maurer, said here today that the European Commission expects accession negotiations to be wrapped up by the end of June, during the Spanish presidency, and that the final evaluation of each country by the Commission will be made in its report in October.
 AKEL General Secretary meets T/C Party Chairman
AKEL General Secretary meets T/C party leader
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) -- Left-wing Party AKEL General Secretary Demetris Christofias had a meeting here today, the first after many years, with leader of the Turkish Cypriot Communal Liberation Party, Husein Agulemli, leading their respective delegations, during which they exchanged views on the Cyprus problem and the intercommunal talks.
 US envoy says Security Council statement favourable
US envoy says Security Council statement favourable
Athens, Feb 27 (CNA) - US State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus Thomas Weston, who is on a visit to Athens, stressed today that the Security Council in a statement yesterday "reemphasised not only the need to find a just and lasting settlement on the island of Cyprus, but the urgency", noting the statement "is quite favourable for the future" of the Cyprus problem.
 National Council reviews Cyprus talks
National Council reviews Cyprus talks
Nicosia, Feb 27 (CNA) - The Cyprus National Council convened today, under President Glafcos Clerides, to evaluate developments so far on talks to solve the Cyprus problem.
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