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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-09-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The President of the Republic will be treated on an equal footing during his appearance before the independent commission of inquiry, which has been set up to investigate last months huge blast at a naval base, Head of the commission Polys Polyviou has said.

    Following the conclusion of Thursdays public hearings, Polyviou said that the commissions report on the incident will be concluded by September 30 and will then be made public.

    He added that the commission has to make sure that it will not impair in any way the criminal investigation, which runs in parallel with commission testimonies by the authorities.

    Polyviou noted that he is more flexible in investigating the political responsibilities concerning the incident, which, he said, is the central part of his job.

    He added that when it comes to the part of the criminal investigation, he needs to be more careful, by stating the facts, highlighting the legal aspects and making recommendations to the Attorney General.

    Concerning the presence of the President of the Republic at the commissions hearings, Polyviou said that the President will respond to questions on Monday, after reading a brief statement.

    Asked whether the President will eventually appear before the commission for a second time, Polyviou said that all will depend on how the procedure develops, adding that a person is invited for a second time only in extraordinary circumstances.

    Following the blast, at the naval base Evaggelos Florakis, near Limassol, on July 11, the government appointed a commission of inquiry, headed by lawyer Polis Polyviou.

    The commission investigates the circumstances that have led to last months massive explosion of munitions, which killed 13 people and destroyed the islands main power station. The commission will also look into possible political responsibilities.

    The blast occurred in containers, full of munitions, which Cyprus stored at the naval base, after confiscating the load from Monchegorsk, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. Cyprus was acting according to UN Security Council resolutions.


    Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot trade unions have issued a joint statement denouncing the refusal of UNFICYP to grant them permission to organize a bicommunal event in the UN buffer zone. The statement was read out both in Greek and Turkish by representatives of various organizations, during a press conference organized at the Cyprus Community Media Centre, in Nicosia, on the occasion of September 1st, established by the World Federation of Trade Unions as International Trade Union Day of Action for Peace.

    Reading the statement on behalf of the Greek Cypriot organizations, General Secretary of the Pancyprian Federation of Labour (PEO) Pambis Kyritsis said they express their disappointment and protest over the fact that military authorities of the UN Peacekeeping Forces have refused to allow the organisations to celebrate the International Trade Union Day of Action for Peace by holding a bicommunal event in the UN controlled buffer zone area.

    ``We consider this decision to be inconsistent and incompatible with the role and purpose of the Peacekeeping Forces since it is putting obstacles in the way of organizing a peaceful, bicommunal activity, having as its sole purpose the rapprochement between the workers of our homeland and the support of the peace process currently underway under the auspices of the UN Secretary General,`` he added. He said that the alleged practical difficulties and safety reasons put forward by UNFCYP officials are not justified and we consider them to be just an excuse.``

    Kiritsis announced that the organizations are planning to organize a big bicommunal event, under the title Festival of Peace and Reunification, to be held late September or early October. He expressed the hope that UNFCYP will change its decision and attitude and create the conditions to hold this festival in the buffer zone area.


    Inflation rate declined 2,9% in August, compared to 3,7% in July 2011. According to Cyprus Statistical Service data published Thursday, the rate of increase of the Consumer Price Index, and therefore the rate of inflation for August 2011 dropped to 2,9% compared to 3,7% in July 2011 and 3,2% in August 2010.

    The Consumer Price Index for August 2011 increased by 0,06 units or 0,05% to 115,95 units compared to 115,89 in July 2011. This is mainly due to increases in the prices of certain fresh vegetables, electricity, petroleum products and package holidays. Decreases have been recorded in the prices of certain fresh fruit and certain clothing items.

    For the period January-August 2011, the CPI recorded an increase of 3,3% compared to the corresponding period of 2010.


    Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos ╔╔ has attended a gathering of the Primates of the four Patriarchates and the ┴utocephalous Church of Cyprus, at the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Constantinople (Istanbul), speaking about the dangers which Christians face in Middle Eastern countries, due to potential prevalence of extremist elements. The Archbishop referred to raids in places of worship, killings of innocent people, acts against Christian property and violations of even the most basic human rights, which Christians in the Middle East face today.

    He added that we personally experience the tragedy of violent displacement of our people from their ancestral homes. We watch, without being able to react, the colonization of our land with settlers and the destruction of our holy sites. The objective of extreme elements is to force Christians out of these lands, the Archbishop continued and noted that the prestige of the Ecumenical Patriarch needs to be utilized in order to protest these acts to the UN, the EU and other organisations.

    Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. The islands cultural and religious heritage, in northern Turkish occupied Cyprus, has been badly pillaged over the years and many religious and other artifacts have found their way in the black market abroad.

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