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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The government hopes that the issue of a Cypriot-flagged ship, of Russian interests, said to have been carrying arms, will soon be concluded.

    Things are evolving and when we have something to say on the matter, we will say it, President Demetris Christofias has said, replying to press questions about this issue.

    It has been alleged that the ship, which originated from Iran, was carrying arms and it was forced by a US military vessel to dock at Limassol port to have its cargo inspected, in order to establish whether there has been a contravention of UN Security Council sanctions, as claimed.

    Asked when the whole matter might be concluded, President Christofias said he did not know.

    It is possible that it may come to a close tonight but it may not. We shall have a final conclusion of the matter within the next few days, the President explained.

    Asked if Israel had demanded confiscation of the ships cargo, Christofias indicated that such matters have nothing to do with the issue at hand.

    How can the Israelis have any demands from us? They cannot have demands from the Republic of Cyprus, he stressed.

    The ship remains docked at Limassol port, on the southern coast.

    The government has said that the issue is delicate and sensitive and called for patience.


    President of the Cyprus House of Representatives Marios Garoyian, heading a six-member parliamentary delegation, departs Tuesday for Prague, on a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Czech counterpart Miloslav Vlcek. During his stay in Prague, Garoyian will be received by the Czech President Vaclav Klaus and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Mirek Topolanek.

    The Cypriot delegation will meet the Chairpeson of the Czech Chamber of Deputies Miroslav Vlcek in the presence of Vojtech Filip, Vice Chairperson of the Czech House and other deputies. Garoyian and the Cypriot delegation will meet the Chairperson and members of the Cyprus - Czech Republic Parliamentary Group.

    During the visit, Garoyian will meet Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwanzemberg and will attend separate working lunches hosted by Miroslava Nemcova, Vice Chairperson of the Czech Chamber of Deputies and Premysl Sobotka, President of the Czech Senate. Garoyian returns to Cyprus on Friday.


    Three areas of services which really matter to people energy, banking and transport are causing the most problems for consumers, according to a new EU report, published by the European Commission. EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva said she was very concerned that these three services are scoring badly against a range of key EU wide consumer indicators.

    According to the report, less than two thirds of consumers are satisfied with their energy supplier. A press release from the Commission says that electricity and gas supply services score particularly badly in terms of reported price increases. About 60% of consumers reported price increases from their energy supplier, while only 3-4% saw price decreases.

    On banking, the report says that bank fees and interest rates are highly differentiated among member states, in a way not easily explained. Banking is particularly problematic in terms of compatibility of offers, ease of switching and actual switching. On average, 11% of users of retail banking changed providers in the last two years.

    On transport, the report notes that consumers using urban and extra-urban transport services experience the least satisfaction and the highest number of problems. Less than half of consumers are satisfied with these services and one out of our consumers has made a complaint.


    The President of the Technical Committee of the Games of the Small States of Europe (GSSE), Georges Diderich of Luxembourg and the Technical Committee member Jean-Pierre Schoebel have expressed satisfaction with the progress made in the preparations for the XIII GSSE CYPRUS 2009. According to an official announcement, issued by the Cyprus Olympic Committee (COC), during their two day visit to Cyprus, Diderich and Schoebel met COC President Ouranios Ioannides and members of the COC Executive Board, as well as the Technical Coordinator of the XIII GSSE, Olga Piperidou and discussed organisational and planning issues.

    Other proceedings discussed included matters to be incorporated into the regulations, the preparation of the preliminary entries of participating countries and preparations for the meeting of the heads of delegations, scheduled for early April. An inspection visit was held at the Limassol Swimming Pool in the presence of the Cyprus Swimming Federation President Panicos Prokopiou where the swimming events of CYPRUS 2009 will take place.

    The GSSE officials also visited the Limassol Sailing Centre where the beach volley will take place and discussed the set up plans with the President of the Cyprus Volley Federation Damianos Xatzidamianou. The Games will take place in the first week of June.

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