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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-07-31

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Delaying tactics, applied by the Turkish Cypriot side, have blocked progress towards substantive talks leading to a solution in Cyprus, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni believes, pointing out that the Turkish Cypriots are backed by Ankara in this.

    Speaking at a gathering of Greek ambassadors, in Athens, she reiterated her firm support for a just, viable and functional settlement in Cyprus, saying that the Greek government will encourage and contribute actively to any effort by Nicosia to make headway towards a solution at European and bilateral level.

    The Turkish Cypriot side, encouraged by Ankara, is procrastinating and such tactics are leading nowhere, in addition to alienating the Turkish Cypriot leadership from the Turkish Cypriots themselves, she said.

    The Greek Minister said that unfortunately in spite of continuous, intensive and sincere efforts by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and his government, the July 2006 UN-brokered agreement has not yielded the desired results.

    Commenting on Turkeys accession course, she said Ankara has to meet European standards and adapt to EU rules and regulations. She expressed hope that the new Turkish government will proceed with the necessary reforms that would bring Turkey closer to Europe.

    Respect of human rights is a must. Greece and Turkey are condemned to coexist and our people will benefit from full normalization of our bilateral relations, she noted, adding that Athens is extending a hand of friendship to Turkey which has to follow suit.


    The remains of another 23 Greek Cypriots, who were listed as missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, have been identified and are being returned to their families for a proper burial, Elias Georgiades, the Greek Cypriot member of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) has told CNA. He also said that the process of exhumation and identification in the southern government controlled part of the country and the northern Turkish occupied areas continues with a view to be completed in the next three years.

    We have been informed by the forensic experts working at the laboratory that these 23 remains have been identified with the DNA method and more remains are expected to be identified by scientific methods, he said. Georgiades noted that notification of the next of kin has already begun and this is done in a very discreet and delicate manner as the issue is extremely sensitive for those involved.

    The president of the Cyprus Committee of Relatives of Missing Persons and Undeclared Prisoners of War Nikos Theodosiou told CNA that 300 remains have been exhumed to be identified by the forensic experts from Cyprus and abroad. We are trying to speed up the process as many relatives are very elderly. We are seeing a repetition of the process that took place two to three weeks ago a new cycle which will last a long time as exhumations and identifications continue, Theodosiou added. He said this work is expected to be completed within the next two to three years, provided there are no interruptions, noting that the stalemate that existed two years ago has ended since the CMP has been reactivated and work has begun in earnest.


    Moodys, one of the world`s premier rating agencies, in its recent evaluation of Cyprus` economy has revised higher the credit rating of Cyprus on foreign currency to A1 Positive in comparison to A2 Positive, which was the previous rating. According to a statement issued here by the Ministry of Finance, Moodys also upgraded credit rating of Cyprus as regards domestic currency, Cyprus pound, to A1 Positive from A2 Positive, which was its previous evaluation.

    The Ministry of Finance considers Moodys revised ratings as a positive development that would strengthen the governments credit worthiness and further improve the terms of financing. Moodys evaluation took into consideration the adoption of the euro January 1, 2008, the viable growth rate, the constraint of inflation in relatively low levels, the stability of exchange rate and the fact that Cyprus is in the process of fiscal reforming that contributes to the continuous improvement of public finances.

    According to the Ministry of Finance announcement, Moody`s considers Cyprus accession to the eurozone a positive step which will contribute to the improvement of the economy and further advance of establishments and citizens. Moodys also believes that the adoption of the euro will lead to a convergence of Cyprus Pound interest rates to the rates of the euro, create more favourable conditions for financing of both the public and the private sector, eliminate the currency cost and risk of the transactions in euro, help attract foreign investments, secure more transparency as regards pricing and finally pave the way for easier access to foreign markets.


    Bids for two multi-million infrastructure projects, a motorway on the north-west of the island and further development of Larnaca port and its marina, have been opened, the Ministry of Communications and Works has announced. Minister Maria Malahtou-Pampalli said the Paphos to Polis Chrysoxou motorway is expected to be completed in just over four years, at an estimated cost of 180 million Cyprus pounds.

    The 31 kilometre four-lane motorway will include side-roads linking the main motorway to other destinations in the area, nine uneven junctions, seven over-fly bridges to by-pass valleys and two tunnels. There will also be 25 under-ground and two over-ground passages to restore the existing road network which could be affected from the construction. The successful bidder is expected to be announced by the end of the year.

    On the Larnaca port-marina project, the Minister said this is the biggest infrastructure project in Larnaca, barring the international airport of the city. Once the project is completed Larnaca port will become the main passenger port in Cyprus and large cruisers will be able to moor there. About 1,000 vessels will be able to berth at the marina, in addition to 400 the marina can serve at present, and be provided with high quality facilities, she said. At present, officials have said that it is very difficult to assess the overall cost of the Larnaca project or estimate the time of completion.

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