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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-11-06

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    European Commissions Progress Report on Turkey includes positive references for Cyprus and its political problem as well as references with which the Cyprus government does not agree, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said.

    Stephanou said that the Progress Report and the Commissions Strategy Paper on Turkey constitute the basis on which the European Council will be invited in December to evaluate the progress which Turkey has achieved as a candidate country and to issue its relevant conclusions.

    The Spokesman expressed the governments disagreement with the way the Commission chose to refer to the non implementation by Turkey of the European Court of Human Rights decisions on Cyprus and especially the comments of the Commission regarding the so called compensation committee set up by the illegal puppet regime in Cyprus occupied areas and Tymvios case.

    Stephanou said that since the Commission has no competence to interpret ECHR decisions, the Government believes that any reference on this issue is useless, particularly as the Court has not definitely decided whether the so called compensation committee constitutes an effective domestic remedy.

    The Spokesman said that the government notes the support expressed by the Committee to ongoing efforts to reach a Cyprus settlement.

    We also noted the reference that the support on the part of Turkey is crucial to efforts for a settlement to the Cyprus question as well as the fact that the Progress Report underlines the need for Turkey to make tangible steps that will contribute to the creation of a positive climate to reach a settlement, he added.

    The Spokesman said it was important that the Commission repeatedly underlined the non implementation of Turkeys obligation to fully implement that Ankara protocol and that there has been no progress with regard to the normalization of the relations of Turkey with the Republic of Cyprus.

    He said that the governments positions will be outlined officially during the discussion before the European Council about the Progress Report.

    Responding to questions, the Spokesman said that the Commission is not competent to set any criteria by which Turkeys accession course will be assessed and the European Council is competent to make this assessment on the basis of its own decisions.

    The spokesman also reiterated the governments positions that the EU and the international community must turn to Turkey and ask her to work towards the settlement of the Cyprus question and recalled a statement by the Commissions President Jose Manual Barroso that Turkey must fulfill its obligations towards the EU and the Republic of Cyprus, apart from the fact that it must cooperate for a just, viable and functional settlement.

    On 22 April 2008 the ECHR welcomed a settlement in the case of Eugenia Michaelidou Developments Ltd and Michael Tymvios v. Turkey brokered by the so called Turkish Cypriot Immovable Property Commission, which provides for the payment of USD 1 million and a property exchange. However, the ECHR has not assessed whether the available remedy is effective for all relevant issues.


    Vice President of the European Commission and Commissioner for Transport, Antonio Tajani, will be in Cyprus for a one day visit at the invitation of Communications and Works Minister Nicos Nicolaides. The Commissioner will give a presentation at an event in Limassol on Saturday, 8 November, organised by the Ministry with the Cyprus Shipping Chamber on the latest developments in sea transport and the European Road Safety Charter.

    In statements to CNA, Director General of the CSC Thomas Kazakos said that Tajanis visit is timely following the publication yesterday of a Commission report on Turkeys progress towards EU accession. In its report, the EU Commission said Turkey is obliged to implement the additional Protocol of the Ankara Agreement, expanding its customs Union to cover the Republic of Cyprus. Turkey, which aspires to become an EU member, has been occupying 37% of Cyprus territory since 1974 and is refusing to open its ports and airports to Cypriot vessel and aircraft, as called for in the Ankara Protocol. Cyprus has been an EU member since 1st May 2004.


    Cyprus will host the International Meeting for Peace The Civilization of Peace: Faiths and Cultures in Dialogue to take place November 16-18. The meeting will be attended by Religious leaders, Heads of State and representatives of different cultures as well as intellectuals, secular believers, journalists from the international media. It is organized by the Community of Sant Egidio in cooperation with the Church of Cyprus.

    the Meeting will be attended inter alia by Cyprus President, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, the President Montenegro, the President of Malta, the President of Albania and the President of Bosnia Herzegovina. Speaking during the press conference, Archbishop Chrysostomos II said that every year the Community of Sant Egidio organize a Meeting for Peace, involving all religions because they believe that all religions play a positive role as regards peace.


    Some 60,000 counterfeit euro bills circulate in Europe every month, according to Eduard Lidgens, representative of the Bavarian Police, who was speaking at a press conference to mark the conclusion of the three-day 6th Euro South East seminar on the protection of the euro against counterfeiting. The seminar, which was organised by the Cypriot Police, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the Bavarian Police, was attended by 90 delegates from 20 countries, who took decisions which will be submitted to the European Commission, which in turn will examine them and decide whether or not to adopt them as community directives.

    Lidgens said the counterfeit euro bill industry extends beyond European borders, reaching even South America, where the authorities found illegal facilities ready to print millions of counterfeit euro bills and cut euro coins, ready for circulation within Europe. ``There are 50,000 to 60,000 counterfeit bills circulating in Europe per month,`` Lidgens said, speaking through an interpreter. He added that EU member states are making great efforts to fight crime, inter alia with undercover police officers, noting that member states have allocated funds worth 2 million euro, which could be used exclusively to strengthen cooperation and enhance expertise of forces involved.

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