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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-08-29

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Public hearings into the responsibility politicians and state officials have in the circumstances that led to the explosion of confiscated munitions last month at Evangelos Florakis naval base in Mari, which killed 13 and destroyed the islands main power station at Vassilikos, started on Monday.

    Polys Polyviou, who was appointed by the cabinet to investigate the incident, ruled out that the hearings will be televised.

    He said that he has been appointed to investigate the circumstances as they happened, all relevant developments, the responsibility or responsibilities for the tragic events of Mari and their repercussions.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has dismissed allegations that a long session of tripartite meetings would be taking place at the end of October on the Cyprus issue.

    ``Regarding information that tripartite meetings would be taking place over several days at the end of October along with Camp David type negotiations, I would like to say that nothing has been said and no specific proposal has been made in this direction,`` Stephanou said.

    He added that ``the aim set during the last meeting in Geneva, between the UN Secretary General and the leaders of the two Cypriot communities, was for new convergences to be found, through intensified discussions on the core issues of the Cyprus problem, within the framework of the agreed basis of a solution, which is a bizonal bicommunal federation.``

    ``The Greek Cypriot side is focusing and working on this through the intensified negotiations,`` he said.


    The Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) has marked International Day of the Disappeared by releasing information about its work and the continuous efforts to locate and return to the next of kin remains of persons missing in Cyprus.

    As of 1 August 2011 the CMP visited 542 alleged burial sites (130 more than in August 2010), exhumed bones relating to 798 individuals (108 more than in August 2010).

    A press release, issued by the Committee on the occasion of the International Day of the Disappeared on 30 August 2011, said that as of 1 August 2011 the CMP conducted 472 osteological analyses at the Anthropological Laboratory, had 1,443 DNA analysis performed by the Laboratory of Forensic Genetics of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics (CING) (256 more than in August 2010), and returned to their families remains of 297 missing individuals for a proper burial (49 more than in 2010).

    The efforts of the CMP, the press release says, while it is Cypriot owned and led, are facilitated by the United Nations, supported by the international community, and enjoy robust endorsement by the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus.


    Cyprus` new tonnage tax system is currently the most advanced in Europe and compares favourably with similar systems of leading maritime centres outside Europe, Minister of Communications and Works Efthymios Flourentzou said on Monday.

    Speaking at the presentation of the new tonnage tax system for Cyprus` merchant shipping, in Leer, Germany, Flourentzou said Cyprus` efforts are focused now on the presentation of the tonnage tax system to the shipping industry worldwide and that ``our aim is to make the system available to every eligible owner, manager and charterer.``

    Flourentzou noted that ``traditionally Cyprus and Germany have shared an excellent political and trade relationship, which became even closer following the accession of Cyprus to the European Union,`` adding that furthermore ``one can easily notice the steep growth of our commercial relations.``

    ``Germany has become one of the largest trading partners of Cyprus. Our imports from Germany have doubled in the past decade and their value reached the amount of 576 million EUR in 2010. During the same period the value of our exports to Germany has tripled and reached 106 million EUR. Economic relations between the two countries are expected to expand even further, facilitated by the new treaty on the avoidance of double taxation which was signed in February this year,`` he said.

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