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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-10-05

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EURO RAPPORTEUR - MISSING PERSONS
  • [02] CYPRUS MILITARY EXERCISE
  • [03] CYPRUS 2008 BUDGET
  • [04] EURO MP`S - FAMAGUSTA

  • [01] EURO RAPPORTEUR - MISSING PERSONS

    First hand experience of the situation on the ground, in relation to the issue of missing persons in Cyprus, was pivotal for Euro MP Ewa Klamt in the preparation of her report to the European Parliament, as she has said in an interview with the Cyprus News Aagency (CNA).

    Speaking after her meetings on both sides of the divide in Cyprus, she said by the end of the year she would report to the Parliament on her experience here with the families, members of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP), at exhumation sites and the bicommunal anthropological laboratory which identifies exhumed remains and will seek more funds for the work they are doing.

    Behind each number, there is a family, a name, a friend, it is still very hard for the families, as identification and return of remains opens up wounds again for them. I am very grateful to the families who have accepted to see me during my short visit to Cyprus, she said, noting that this was a very emotional encounter for her.

    She explained that her job now is to make this problem known to the Parliament and work to speed up the work that needs to be done through more pledges for funds, something that will help hire more scientists, perhaps more equipment and laboratory assistants.

    I shall recommend support to the CMP because through them we shall extend support to the families of the missing, she told CNA in the interview.

    She said the 1.5 million euro now available for the work of the CMP would probably run out by the end of 2008 and through her work she can speak out for Cyprus and encourage other countries to extend their support, financial and other, to this humanitarian issue.

    Klamt expressed thanks to the CMP members, noting their determination to move forward with a view to have results.

    Replying to questions, she said people in both communities have said they want this work to continue and pointed out that political backing of these efforts is a must, if it is to go forward.

    Asked about any problems she has identified during her meetings, she said peoples expectations are high, they want quick results, explaining that this is a pain-staking effort which takes time to ensure it is fully verified.

    Klamt said she did not believe that in most likelihood it would not be possible to locate and identify every single person listed as missing and referred to problems such as construction of new buildings at various sites and the death of witnesses as drawbacks which hamper this humanitarian effort.

    Another element of this tragic aspect of the Cyprus question she noted is the fact that families have begun asking for information about the circumstances of death of their loved ones.

    Identification and return of remains, which is what is happening now, is an important first step, she said, adding that talk of the circumstances of death would open up additional wounds.

    On the fate of Greek Cypriot missing persons, led away during the 1974 Turkeys invasion of Cyprus as prisoners by the Turkish military, she said the issue should be addressed with the Turkish military, see if they keep files and demand that they open up these files to find the necessary information.

    Klamts first visit to Cyprus follows her appointment as rapporteur on missing persons in Cyprus of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament and the adoption of a resolution on the issue of missing persons.

    [02] CYPRUS MILITARY EXERCISE

    Cyprus` Ministry of Defence has announced that the annual military exercise code-named "Nikiforos 2007" will take place between 9-14 October 2007.

    Taking part in the wide-scale maneuvers in the free areas of the Cyprus Republic will be land, naval and air forces of the National Guard, including thousands of reservists.

    [03] CYPRUS 2008 BUDGET

    Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has submitted to the House of Representatives the state budget for 2008 which provides for revenues of 3,3 billion Cyprus pounds and expenditure of 3,8 b. pounds.

    The state budget, which is the last to be presented in Cyprus pounds before the country adopts the Euro in January 2008 provides for a decrease of the fiscal deficit to 0,5%, a decrease of the public debt to 53% of GDP and an increase of the development and social expenditure. Development expenditure will reach 550 m. pounds.

    The growth rate for 2007 is expected to reach 4%, inflation around 2%, unemployment rate 4,3%. The per capita income will exceed 90% of the EU average. The fiscal deficit for 2007 is expected to reach 1% whereas the public debt will reach 60% of GDP.

    [04] EURO MP`S - FAMAGUSTA

    The European Parliaments Committee on Petitions has discussed a petition by the Famagusta Refugees Movement to be allowed to return to the Cypriot town of Famagusta, occupied by the Turkish army since 1974.

    The EP Committee intends to send a delegation of MEPs to visit Famagusta and the fenced off city of Varosha between November 25 28 provided that the Turkish army gives its consent.

    The Famagusta Refugees Movement demands the return of their home town to its lawful inhabitants and stresses that although being European Union citizens, they are still deprived from their fundamental right to return to Famagusta.


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