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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-01-03

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Preparations for second licensing round in EEZ proceed, Minister

    says

  • [02] Attorney-General files appeal against Court ruling on ``Helios``
  • [03] Insurance companies start compensating Vassiliko power plant
  • [04] Inflation reaches 3.3% in 2011

  • [01] Preparations for second licensing round in EEZ proceed, Minister says

    The documents concerning the second licensing round in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone will be sent next Monday to the EU, in order to be translated for their publication in the EUs Official Journal, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Praxoula Antoniadou said.

    Antoniadou was speaking after a meeting of the Ministerial Committee, responsible for dealing with the management of hydrocarbons in the EEZ, at the Ministry of Commerce, in Nicosia.

    The drafting of contract documents is being finalized, Antoniadou said, adding that these documents will provide the base for the allocation of blocks in Cyprus EEZ during the second phase of licensing.

    She further said that a group of experts, responsible for advising the President of the Republic on the matter, will visit the island next week and will have contacts with the Ministerial Committee, experts and possibly the President himself.

    Antoniadou said that during these contacts, potential cooperation and infrastructure issues would be also discussed.

    The second licensing round concerns, according to the Minister, all remaining EEZ blocks. She added that interest on acquiring the seismic data, collected from the area, has been demonstrated by many companies. The real extent of interest will become obvious after the official launching of the second round of licensing, Antoniadou noted.

    Asked how the government expects to deal with possible Turkish provocative actions, the Minister of Commerce said that all actions in block 12 and future actions in the remaining blocks enjoy international support and recognition of Cyprus sovereign rights in its EEZ.

    In relation to Turkish moves aiming at weakening the interest of foreign companies to apply in Cyprus second licensing round, Antoniadou responded that these are only scenarios.

    On another question concerning the utilization of natural gas by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC), the Minister said that the issue will also be discussed with the experts next week and added that the EAC is committed to produce energy by using natural gas by 2015. We will see how this goal materializes, Antoniadou said.

    Asked on the energy authority that will handle all relevant issues, Antoniadou responded that it was too early to discuss all aspects at the Ministerial Committee, shortly after the official announcement of the findings of reserves. It would not be wise to say that decisions have been taken within few days concerning all strategic moves, Antoniadou noted.

    She further said that decisions will need to be taken quickly, but not to the expense of quality.

    On a question regarding cooperation with Israel on infrastructure, the Minister said that one couldnt speak of an official demonstration of interest by the state but of companies. She further added that cooperation on the issue of mutually exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves with Israel is advancing.

    Present during the meeting were also the Minister of Interior Neoclis Sylikiotis, Minister of Finance Kikis Kazamias, the Under Secretary to the President Titos Christofides and other officials.

    Turkey, whose troops occupy Cyprus northern part since they invaded in 1974, does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. Following a decision by Nicosia to begin natural gas and oil exploration in its exclusive economic zone, Ankara has deployed warships in the Eastern Mediterranean and has signed an illegal agreement with the Turkish Cypriot regime in occupied Cyprus to delineate what it calls continental shelf.

    Drilling has already begun last September and is being carried out by Houston-based Noble Energy, off Cyprus south-eastern coast.

    The government of Cyprus has protested to the UN and the EU Turkeys moves, saying it has a sovereign right to exploit its natural resources, pointing out that Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will benefit from any benefits that may come from oil drilling.

    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 has been signed with Lebanon but the Lebanese Parliament has not yet ratified it.

    [02] Attorney-General files appeal against Court ruling on ``Helios``

    Attorney-General Petros Clerides lodged on Tuesday an appeal to the Supreme Court against the Assize Court`s majority ruling to acquit the five defendants over a fatal air crash in 2005 in which 121 persons died.

    According to credible sources the appeal is based on two axis, namely that the majority ruling was wrong to decide that the inclusion of the date of the accident in the indictment created problems and that the majority erroneously proceeded to evaluate part of the testimony presented, claiming instead that no testimony should have been evaluated at that stage of the process.

    The Attorney Generals office is also due to submit an application for a speedy process although it remains in the discretion of the Supreme Court to decide upon the matter.

    The Court had ruled on December 21 by majority (two to one) that there was not sufficient evidence linking the defendants to the air crash and as such, they bear no responsibility for the crash.

    [03] Insurance companies start compensating Vassiliko power plant

    Insurance companies have started paying compensation to the Energy Authority of Cyprus (EAC) for the restoration of the Vassiliko power plant, EAC Chairman Harris Thrassou said.

    Speaking to CNA, Thrassou noted that restoration works proceed with a quick pace at the site, especially with regard to the plants units 4 and 5, with the latter expected to be fully operational in the coming summer.

    The Vassiliko power plant suffered a substantial blow following a massive explosion, last July, that occurred at nearby naval base Evaggelos Florakis, near Limassol, on Cyprus southern coast.

    Thirteen people were killed and dozens were injured following the blast in containers, full of munitions, which Cyprus had confiscated from Monchegorsk, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. Nicosia was acting in accordance with UN sanctions against Teheran.

    [04] Inflation reaches 3.3% in 2011

    Inflation recorded a significant rise in December 2011, increasing by 3.9% compared to 3.8% in November 2011, while for the whole year of 2011 the inflation rate recorded an increase of 3.3% compared to 2.4% in 2010.

    According to data published by the Statistical Service, the Consumer Price Index for December 2011 increased by 0,02 units or 0,02% to 118,95 units compared to 118,93 in November 2011.

    This is mainly due to increases in the prices of electricity and diesel for motorcars and central heating, says a press release issued.


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