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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-06-06
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Wednesday, 6 June 2001
 Cyprus and Slovakia on the same road towards a united EuropeCyprus President Glafcos Clerides had a meeting yesterday with the Deputy Foreign Minister of Slovakia and Chief Negotiator for the EU Mr Jan Figel, who is currently visiting Cyprus.
In a statement after the meeting, Mr Figel said that Cyprus and Slovakia are on the same road towards a united Europe and this is the backbone of the two countries' cooperation.
Mr Figel noted that Cyprus is the "front-runner" among the pre-accession countries while Slovakia has already closed 16 chapters. Relations between the two countries are good but there is room for further cooperation in the economic, cultural and tourism fields, he said.
The Slovak official said that his country supports the negotiations process aimed at the reunification of Cyprus and actively contributes through its Ambassador to the efforts of rapprochement between the two communities.
Mr Figel also said that 280 Slovak troops would arrive in Cyprus shortly to join the UN Peace - Keeping Force in Cyprus.
 The solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for Cyprus' EU accession"The prior solution of the political problem in Cyprus is not a precondition for Cyprus' accession to the European Union", Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh stated on 1 June 2001.
Replying to questions after her speech on the "Swedish EU Presidency" at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London, Mrs Lindh said that everyone in the European Union prefers and hopes for a political solution to the Cyprus issue before the entry of Cyprus to the EU. "As it was reaffirmed by the European Council at Helsinki, the solution of the Cyprus problem is not a precondition for the accession of Cyprus to the EU, even though all factors will be taken into consideration before the final decision is taken", she said.
Replying to a question on whether Turkey can veto Cyprus accession to the European Union, the Swedish Minister said that the Cyprus issue is in principle a very delicate issue requiring careful handling. She expressed the hope that after the recent parliamentary elections in Cyprus, the two sides will return to the negotiating table so that the proximity talks can resume as soon as possible. She also underlined that her country supports the efforts made by all to achieve a solution.
On the question of Turkey's prospects for EU accession, Mrs Lindh said that Turkey should fulfil the accession criteria just as in the case of every other candidate country. Consequently Turkey should fulfil all the criteria set in Copenhagen before the accession negotiations begin, she said.
Mrs Lindh stressed that the European Union has common values for democracy and human rights, which must be embraced by whatever country wishes to accede to the European Union.
 Decisions by the Council of MinistersThe Cyprus Council of Ministers decided at its meeting chaired by the President of the Republic Mr Glafcos Clerides on 1 June, to denounce the Night Work (Women) Convention of the International Labour Organisation No.89 and the Protocol to it.
The Convention prohibits night work for women in any public or private industrial undertaking and the reason for its denunciation is because it is in opposition to the provisions of the Council Directive 76/207/EEC of the European Communities on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion and working conditions, which imposes on the members states the obligation to abolish or review their legislation which is contrary to the principle of equal treatment and which initially had a protective character for women but it is no more justified.
The Cyprus Government has undertaken the commitment to denounce this Convent ion within the framework of the harmonisation with the acquis communautaire by 30th June 2001 and subsequently to abolish the Law on the Employment of Women (During the Night), chapter 180 by 1st January 2002.
The Council of Ministers has authorised the Minister of Labour and Social Insurance to communicate the denunciation to the Director-General of the International Labour Office.
Furthermore, the Council of Ministers, acting within the framework of the harmonisation of the Cyprus legislation with the acquis communautaire, has approved the Security and Health at Work (Chemical Substances) Regulations of 2001. The basic objective of these regulations is the protection of workers from the dangers to their health and security and especially the prevention of dangers, which derive or may derive from exposition to chemical substances existing in the area of work as a result of any labour activity.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/