|Wednesday, 29 November 2023|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 97-03-26
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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Cyprus shares European vision for peace and securityA Foreign Ministry statement issued yesterday on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome, said Cyprus looks forward to its fully-fledged membership of the European Union which provides a "unique opportunity" for a solution of the protracted Cyprus question.
The statement noted that today the people of Europe wish to share the vision of "peace, co-operation and continuing progress" through their integration into the European family, the EU.
This anniversary "proves beyond any doubt that co-operation, mutual acceptance and firm faith in common visions can safeguard not only peace and security but also continuous economic and social progress in an increasingly changing world," the statement added.
 Proximity talks continueProximity talks conducted in Nicosia by the UN Secretary General's resident representative in Cyprus Gustave Feissel, continue today with a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides.
Replying to press questions yesterday, President Clerides said he believes the talks could last six to seven weeks and noted that discussions have not touched upon substantive issues.
"One has to be patient and wait and see whether we reach common ground, " he explained.
He also said that confidence building measures are not part of the discussions and added that both sides have accepted to exchange views on what could be done to create a better atmosphere to facilitate UN efforts.
 Pessimism about economy is unfounded, says Finance MinisterFinance Minister, Christodoulos Christodoulou said that pessimistic evaluations and disappointing forecasts for the Cyprus economy do not correspond with reality and are not supported by facts.
Speaking at a press conference, Christodoulou said the 1997 rate of growth is expected to range between 3 and 3.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product, higher than that of the European Union, expected to be about 2.5 and 3 per cent. He said the GDP estimates for 1996 is 2.5 per cent.
Encouraging signs from the tourism, services and other sectors of the economy lead to the assumption that economic figures for this year will be much more favourable than 1996, he said, adding this was largely due to government measures aimed at improving the island's economy.
In the manufacturing sector, for example, the Minister said there have been encouraging signs since the incentives and the financing of export projects started being implemented.
He noted, however, that the agricultural sector has been affected by bad weather conditions, which has led to millions of Cyprus pounds worth of losses.
 Greek Independence Day celebrationsA parade which included war veterans and pupils and students marked Greek Independence Day in Nicosia yesterday.
Similar celebrations were also held in the other major towns of the island .
After taking the salute of the parade outside the Greek Embassy, President Clerides said that Cypriot Hellenism draws "courage and strength" from this anniversary to continue resolutely its struggle for justice.
In his remarks, the Head of the Church of Cyprus, Archbishop Chrysostomos, said "We must struggle for our freedom and we must defend our ancestral homes".
Government Spokesman Yiannakis Cassoulides gave an eulogy about the significance of the 25th March anniversary during a special commemorative church service in the morning.
Cassoulides said March 25 "is a source of patience and courage and strengthens our desire to return to our land, which has been under Turkish occupation for over twenty years".
He said that the Turkish troops and settlers should withdraw from Cyprus and stressed that a peaceful diplomatic procedure should be followed in search for a viable solution safeguarding human rights for all Cypriots.
In congratulatory messages to Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos and Prime Minister Costas Simitis, President Clerides thanked them for Greece's support in efforts to reach a settlement of the protracted Cyprus question.
 Cyprus guest of honour at tourism exhibition in StrasbourgCyprus is the guest of honour at the Franco-German tourism exhibition "Tourissimo" in Strasbourg.
The opening was held last week by Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Thalia Petrides, together with the Chairman of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Alsace, Mr Claude Danner.
In her address Mrs Petrides referred to the close ties between Cyprus and the greater Alsace region, underlining that Cyprus offers many opportunities for commercial development and economic co-operation to all European regions because of its geographic position. She added that the island is an important tourist destination because of its rich historical and cultural heritage.
Mrs Petrides also hailed Cyprus Airways' decision to launch weekly direct flights between Larnaca and Strasbourg as from 15 April 1997.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/