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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-07-26

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    A UN-brokered agreement between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities, to help resume substantive negotiations leading to a political settlement in Cyprus, is the only significant and practical move made, in the past three years, the Government believes.

    Speaking at his daily press briefing, Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas also said that provisions of the UN-proposed solution plan (the Annan plan), which was rejected by most Greek Cypriots in a referendum in April 2004 and approved by the Turkish Cypriots, will reappear in any future talks.

    We have before us an agreement relating to procedures and the only substantive and practical step since the April 2004 referendum is the July 8th agreement, Palmas said.

    Replying to questions, he said that if and when something substantive emerges from this procedure in relation to the resumption of negotiations with a view to make progress or to reach a comprehensive settlement, this shall be dealt with accordingly.

    He noted that circumstances were different in 2004 or 2005 and now the situation is different and should be handled in an appropriate manner.

    The July 2006 agreement was reached between Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, under UN auspices. It provides for technical teams and working groups to be set up to discuss concurrently issues that affect the day to day life of the people and substantive issues.

    Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion and the latest UN effort to find a political settlement, through the Annan plan, failed. Greek Cypriots say that the plan did not lead to the reunification of the country, nor did it serve the interests of the people of Cyprus, in addition to giving Turkey the right to maintain troops on the island and a say in the affairs of the country, hence they rejected the proposed solution.


    The Cyprus Tourism Organisation (CTO) has unveiled a draft outline of its plan to attract investment in the tourist industry, to be funded jointly by the European Union and the CTO. Speaking at a press conference CTOs Director of Tourism Division Lefkos Filaktides said the incentives plan is part of the Strategy for Tourism Development and provides for less hotel beds, a change in accommodation patterns to render Cyprus more competitive.

    The draft plan, he explained, is expected to be finalized in October this year and by March next year the CTO will be ready to examine the first applications, with the initial funding expected to be allocated in the second half of 2008.

    The coordinator of the plan Konstantinos Theos said that CTO will provide 13 million euro with a view to encourage investment initiatives from business, to improve infrastructure and services and upgrade the tourist product. The plan also envisages golf courses, thematic parks, health tourism, conference centres, workshops and activities for the visitors, exhibition venues and sports facilities. It also includes investment plans to upgrade existing hotels and hotel apartments, from two to four star.


    A minor tremor, registering 4,4 on the Richter scale, was recorded at 1228 local time (0928 GMT) on Thursday and was felt primarily in the capital Nicosia, but also in the villages around the city as well as in Limassol. The epicenter of the earthquake was the area of Klirou, some 20 kilometres south west of Nicosia and its depth was around 50 kilometres, according to the Seismological Survey Department.

    There are no reports of damage but we shall monitor the situation, Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Fotis Fotiou said today. He said there was no cause for concern.

    The Director of the Seismological Survey Department Polis Michaelides said no after-shocks were registered and explained that this phenomenon was a one off incident. We seem to have an active fault which causes seismic movement in the area of Klirou, even though this location is not among the places where tremors happen often, he explained.

    He said that further tests can be carried out in the area after 24 hours elapse, from the time the earthquake struck, before reaching any concrete conclusions about any possible dangers.


    As the heat wave that has hit Cyprus continues, the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance issued on Thursday a warning, ordering employers to ask their staff to stop working for four hours, from noon until 1600, if their job involves exposure to sunlight. Cyprus has been suffering from unusually high temperatures, for this time of the year, coupled with very high levels of humidity in addition to very light winds.

    According to the Meteorological Services, todays temperatures were in the 40s inland and around 34 on the coast and will remain at that level on Friday too. Humidity at Pafos airport, on the west coast, reached 75%, with 65% in the southern coastal town and 44% at Larnaca airport.

    The Cyprus Electricity Authority (EAC) said today that demand for electricity registered a new record, as the highest production stood at 1021 MW, when inland temperatures reached 42.5 degrees Centigrade. EAC said in a statement that in spite of the huge demand, there was uninterrupted supply and its services responded well.

    Meanwhile, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Fotis Fotiou appealed again for restraint in the use of water, saying that water capacity in the islands reservoirs is barely 19 per cent. We have very little water in our reservoirs and if we are not careful, this will not last long. Needless to say that the high temperatures worsen the situation, he pointed out, noting that the Cabinet decided at its weekly meeting on Wednesday to set up mobile desalination units to supply water within the next six to eight months.

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