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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 01-08-27
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Monday, 27 August 2001
 12th World Conference of Overseas Cypriots opens in NicosiaThe 12th World Congress of Overseas Cypriots opened last night at the International Conference Centre in Nicosia. Present at the conference were the Deputy Foreign Minister of Greece Mr Gregoris Niotis, the President of the World Council of Hellenes Abroad Mr Andrew Athens, the President of the International Federation of Overseas Cypriots (POMAK), Mr Harry Sophoclides, the President of the International Co-ordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) Mr Philip Christopher, the Primate of the Church of Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos and other Government officials.
In his message, read by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides at the beginning of the Conference, President Clerides assured that the Government was pursuing a settlement that would ensure the survival of the people of Cyprus, and the reunification of the island in conditions of security and freedom for its inhabitants.
President Clerides underlined that the Greek Cypriot side is always ready to respond to invitations for participation in peace talks on the Cyprus problem, whereas the Turkish Cypriot side remains intransigent.
He stressed however, that this readiness to respond to invitations must not be interpreted as a weakness or as lack of determination to pursue a settlement within the parameters of the United Nations resolutions for "a single country, with a single sovereignty, one international personality and one citizenship".
A settlement of the Cyprus problem should ensure the restoration of human rights and fundamental freedoms and be aligned with the acquis communautaire, international law, the 1977 and 1979 High Level Agreements and the UN resolutions, he said.
In his address, the President of the House of Representatives Mr Demetris Christofias stressed that the settlement of the Cyprus problem should guarantee the independence, territorial integrity and the one and sole sovereignty of the Bicommunal Federal Republic of Cyprus, ruling out any form of union, partition, or cessation.
 Cyprus' tax system to be reformedA three-day Conference "for consideration of tax aspects of Cyprus as an International Business Centre joining the EU and efforts to eliminate harmful taxation", opened in Nicosia on 24 August. The Conference was attended by the Minister of Finance Mr Takis Klerides, the Chief Negotiator and Coordinator of the Harmonisation Process for Cyprus' Accession to the EU, Mr George Vassiliou, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Mr Antis Tryfonides and other officials.
In a statement after the meeting, Mr Vassiliou said that the purpose of the seminar is to examine the issue of reform of business taxation especially regarding the tax status of international business entities in Cyprus. He stressed that the disparity between offshore units and companies operating in Cyprus must be abolished, pointing out that offshore companies "play a highly important role in the country's economy."
For his part, Finance Minister Mr Takis Klerides said the Government's strategic vision is to strengthen and continuously upgrade the role of Cyprus as a centre of excellence for reputable international businesses.
"Our intention is not to lose or gain, but to harmonise our tax system with the acquis communautaire", he said. He also referred to Cyprus' commitment towards the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the EU to "simplify the tax system and provide tax relieves to persons of lower income means."
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/