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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-18

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <>

News Update

Tuesday, 18/03/97


  • [01] EU decision on accession talks welcomed
  • [02] UN to call direct negotiations before June
  • [03] Bicommunal Trade Union Conference starts
  • [04] Motion on Cyprus tabled in House of Commons
  • [05] Greek Cypriot released by Denktash regime
  • [06] Record number of complaints to Ombudsman
  • [07] Central Bank reduces interest rates

[01] EU decision on accession talks welcomed

FOREIGN Minister Alecos Michaelides yesterday welcomed reaffirmation by the European Union Council that EU negotiations should start six months after the Intergovernmental Conference.

"Sunday's decision in Apeldorn (Holland) to reaffirm an earlier Council decision to start membership talks with Cyprus will facilitate to a significant degree our course to Europe," said Michaelides.

EU ministers also decided to continue the structured dialogue with Cyprus on March 24, to coincide with talks with Central and Eastern European candidate countries.

The Apeldorn summit also urged Turkey to show flexibility on the Cyprus issue to overcome the obstacles for closer ties between Turkey and the EU, as stated in the customs union agreement.

Michaelides said he hoped that the EU member states would draft a text which would not be open to misinterpretation.

[02] UN to call direct negotiations before June

The European Union (EU) presidency representative for Cyprus, Kester Heaslip, believes face-to-face talks between President Glafcos Clerides and Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, to solve the protracted Cyprus problem, could begin before the end of the first half of this year.

Speaking in Nicosia yesterday, after briefing participants in the 11th meeting of the EU-Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee on the Cyprus issue, which starts today, Heaslip revealed that the UN Secretary-General is determined to call a direct meeting before the end of June.

The Euro-MPs taking part in the meeting were later received by President Clerides who briefed them on the latest developments of the protracted Cyprus problem.

[03] Bicommunal Trade Union Conference starts

Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unionists yesterday stressed their willingness to defy the long-standing conflict between their two communities and proceed with efforts aiming to reunite their homeland.

Addressing a three-day "All Cyprus Trade Union Forum," being held in Nicosia, trade union leaders from both sides of the divide together with European colleagues, pointed out the advantages of a reunited island and warned that new conflicts would result only in pain and destruction, for all the people of Cyprus.

The All-Cyprus Trade Union Study Conference will address common concerns on Cyprus' process of accession to the European Union (EU).

The three-day Conference, sponsored by the European Union, is a follow-up of the highly successful 1995 All-Cyprus trade Union Forum, which had focused on labour issues.

Representatives of Greek and Turkish Cypriot trade unions will discuss issues concerning free movement of capital and labour, privatisation and harmonisation of industry with acquis communautaire.

UN Resident Representative, Gustave Feissel, the Ambassadors of the five UN Security Council permanent members, EU Ambassador Gilles Anouil, as well as Euro-MPs Pauline Green and Mechtild Rothe, attended the opening ceremony.

Yesterday's meeting was held at the "Philoxenia" hotel, in the government- controlled part of the capital. The Forum will continue today in the occupied areas of Cyprus, and will end on Wednesday in the free areas.

[04] Motion on Cyprus tabled in House of Commons

A motion entitled "Visit of Cypriot Women" coinciding with the recent visit to London on International Women's Day of 80 Cypriot women, mostly relatives of the 1619 persons missing since the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, was tabled in the House of Commons on 13 March.

The motion, signed by 22 MPs, expresses concern at the plight of those missing since 1974 and calls attention to the report of the European Commission on 4.10.93, which found that the Greek Cypriots missing were unlawfully deprived of their liberty in Turkish custody and that the Turkish government had violated Article 5 of the Convention of Human Rights.

It calls upon the British government to demand of Turkey the immediate provision of all information about the fate of the missing. It deplores the scandalous statement by Turkish Cypriot leader Denktash that the missing persons should be considered dead without any details being given, and urges the world community to press Turkey to co-operate with the UN and international organisations to end the present impasse in the negotiations for a peaceful, just and lasting solution for all Cypriots.

[05] Greek Cypriot released by Denktash regime

A Greek Cypriot, Savvas Loucas Siderenios, who was arrested by the Turkish occupation forces on 21 February 1997 while straying into the Turkish occupied areas in the Achna area, in the eastern part of the island, was released yesterday.

A so-called "military court" in the occupied part of Nicosia "sentenced" the Greek Cypriot youth for 15 days for "illegally entering a military area". Siderenios had allegedly pleaded guilty to the charge and apologised, saying he was drunk at the time.

[06] Record number of complaints to Ombudsman

The annual report by Ombudsman Nicos Charalambous was released yesterday.

It says that his office dealt with a record 928 complaints about the civil service last year, and found 649 of these to be worthy of further investigation. In the majority of cases, the complaints were well- founded.

The 1996 Ombudsman report says that the Departments of Lands and Survey and Health are the most dysfunctional government services.

[07] Central Bank reduces interest rates

The Cyprus Central Bank announced yesterday a decision to lower interest rates by half a percentage point.

As from today, the highest deposit rate falls from 7,0 to 6,5 per cent. The highest lending rate will also be reduced from 8,5 to 8,0 per cent.

The decision provides that for new loans the reduction will be effective as from today, while for existing loans, from 18 July 1997.

From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at

Cyprus Press and Information Office: News Updates in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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