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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Republic of Cyprus has the sovereign right to exploit its natural resources within the international law and order, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has stressed.

    Commenting on the Turkish Foreign Ministry announcement regarding Cyprus plans to exploit its natural gas resources in its Exclusive Economic Zone, Stephanou denounced the announcement, describing it as unacceptable.

    The Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs claimed that Cyprus plans to explore and exploit its hydrocarbon reserves is not in line with international law and does not contribute to efforts to solve the Cyprus problem.

    The Republic of Cyprus has the sovereign right to exploit its natural resources and it does so always in accordance to the intnerational law and order the Spokesman underlines.

    Noting that Turkey continues its policy of threatening Cyprus, the Spokesman stresses that ``the Cyprus problem can not be solved with threats``.

    The Cyprus problem can be solved by respecting and implementing the UNSC resolutions on Cyprus, resolutions which Turkey provocatively ignores and does not implement, he underlines.

    According to Stephanou, it is up to Turkey to solve the Cyprus problem, so that the illegal Turkish occupation of 37% of Cyprus territory ends and its people, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots are in the position to jointly exploit the islands natural resources.

    Drilling for natural gas off the southern coast of Cyprus will begin around October.

    Cyprus has signed a production-sharing contract with Houston-based Noble Energy. The company has a concession to explore for hydrocarbons in an offshore field in its Exclusive Economic Zone, south-east of Cyprus, known as Block 12.

    The Eastern Mediterranean area is believed to have a massive amount of natural gas resources.

    Cyprus has signed an agreement to delineate the Exclusive Economic Zone with Egypt and Israel with a view to exploit any possible natural gas and oil reserves in its EEZ. A similar agreement was signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    Turkey is the only state in the world which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus.


    The economy of Cyprus has overall sound fundamentals, EU Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, Olli Rehn has said.

    Speaking Friday in Brussels, Rehn said that Cyprus needs to make urgent reforms but denied that its economy was too exposed to Greece.

    Cyprus has overall sound fundamentals. While the Cypriot banking sector is large in size relative to the economy, Cypriot banks are well-capitalised and supervised, he said, according to the European Voice.

    He expressed the view that any private-sector involvement in bailing out Greece would have a manageable impact on the Cypriot banking sectors.

    Rehn said that domestic banks have sufficient capital buffers to absorb expected losses, while the impact on subsidiaries of Greek-owned banks in Cyprus has also been foreseen in the new programme for Greece.


    Relatives of the victims of an air crash, in 2005, that killed all 121 persons on board, will light on Saturday night candles in memory of their beloved ones, while they are still waiting for a courts decision on the Helios Airways flight 522 tragedy in Greece on 14 August 2005.

    The ceremonies in Nicosia, Limassol and Larnaka will mark the sixth anniversary of the fatal airplane crash.

    However, six years after the tragic incident, the relatives are still waiting for the courts final decision, casting doubts on whether the ones carrying the responsibility for the plane crash will be punished.

    President of Relatives Commission Nicolas Yiasoumis, told CNA that justice should be done and called for the vindication of those people who ``where killed on the air.

    ``We have been waiting for six years, we follow the processes in court but we are not happy, we`re not optimistic,`` he said.


    Electricity demand in Cyprus has dropped and the competent authorities are making efforts not to proceed with the usual daily power cuts, as a result of the limited power capacity on the island after the destruction of its main power plant in Vassilikos.

    Director of the Transmission System Operator (TSO), Christos Christodoulides, told CNA that the competent authorities are making efforts not to proceed with any power cuts Saturday adding that this would depend on the publics efforts to save energy.

    He added that the most important aspect is that the public has responded to the continuous appeals of the authorities to save energy.

    Christodoulides pointed out that the wind park in Pafos is contributing to the production of energy, which, depending on the wind, produces between 5-50 MW.

    Concluding, he said that power supply from the occupied areas continues without any problems.

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