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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-04-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 27 April 2001
 Government Spokesman: So-called sentence against on Panicos Tsiakourmas is contrary to every sense of legality and moral order"The Government considers the so-called sentence against Panicos Tsiakourmas non-existent, illegal and contrary to every sense of legality and moral order", Government Spokesman Michalis Papapetrou stated yesterday.
In a written statement, after the illegal court passed a six-month "sentence" on Mr Tsiakourmas, the Government Spokesman said that Mr Denktash's regime has for a long time turned a deaf ear both to the international outcry and international pressure and by various pretexts has put off releasing Panicos on time to see his mother when she was still alive.
He stressed that the postponement of Tsiakourmas' release shows the callousness of the Turkish Cypriot leader Mr Denktash, who knew that Tsiakourmas' mother had suffered a stroke last week.
"Mr Denktash's procedural pretences for postponing Panicos Tsiakourma's release, when he was well aware that his mother was dying, portray an insensitiveness, which I wholeheartedly condemn on behalf of the Cyprus Government" Mr Papapetrou said.
"Tsiakourma's case which in essence has developed into a modern tragedy, underlines the huge responsibilities of international public opinion to put an end to this anachronism which has existed in Cyprus for 27 whole years" he added.
Mr Tsiakourmas, who was abducted on 13 December by the Turkish Cypriot Forces within the British Base area, was "charged and sentenced" for drug possession. The illegal court in occupied Famagusta said he had "served his six month sentence" and set him free to join his family yesterday afternoon. Ironically, his mother died only a few hours before his release.
 European Commission releases forecast on Cyprus economyThe European Commission has released 25th April, a report that gives economic forecasts for the candidate countries for European Union accession for the period 2001-2002.
According to the Commission's Spring 2001 forecast, economic growth is likely to remain robust in 2001 and 2002 after having been strong in 2000, despite a weaker international environment. It is further noted that the major exception is Turkey, where the outlook has become gloomy, after the two recent financial crises of November 2000 and February 2001
As far as Cyprus is concerned, the report says that due to domestic factors, economic growth is expected to be more restrained in 2001 compared to recent years, while fiscal policy will remain tight, as the authorities strive to reach their medium term fiscal deficit objectives.
As the Cypriot economy is becoming increasingly dependant upon tourism, external vulnerability is growing, the report says.
The report also notes that the medium term prospects for the economy are good: "Growth in 2002 is expected to recover to the levels enjoyed in recent years. Private consumption should bounce back to the growth rate enjoyed in 2000, while the recovery in fixed investment is expected to gather pace. The long run growth potential depends crucially upon whether or not Cyprus will be able to limit its dependence upon tourism and diversify into other service-related activities".
 US President submits to Congress his bi-monthly report on CyprusUS President George Bush submitted on April 17 2001, his first bimonthly report on progress toward a negotiated settlement of the Cyprus question, which covers the period February 1 through March 31, 2001.
In his covering letter addressed to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, President Bush notes: "The United Nations continued in its efforts to sustain the proximity talks that started in December 1999. The United States remains committed to the United Nations' effort to find a just and lasting settlement to the Cyprus problem."
 France is committed to the continuation of the UN led peace talks on CyprusThe Minister of Foreign Affairs of France, Mr Hubert Vedrine, stated on 23 April that France always supported the UN-led proximity talks on Cyprus and as a permanent Member of the Security Council participated actively in the preparation and voting of the Security Council Resolution 1250 (29 June 1999), requesting the UN Secretary General to call on the two sides to commit themselves to the talks without preconditions.
Replying to a question on Cyprus at the French National Assembly, Mr Vedrine said that both on a national level and during its presidency of the European Union in the second part of 2000, France has never neglected to demonstrate its support for the efforts of the UN Secretary General and his Special Representative Mr Alvaro de Soto. France is committed to the continuation of the process of the talks, which would actively contribute to a political settlement of the Cyprus problem, he added.
In conclusion, Mr Vedrine said that France expresses its complete trust to the Secretary General of the United Nations, to whom it expresses its compete support for the resumption of the process, which will lead to a comprehensive just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus problem for the benefit of all Cypriots, and for stability in the Eastern Mediterranean. France will continue to unreservedly support the actions of the UN Secretary General in this direction, he added.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/