|Friday, 6 December 2019|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 00-02-18
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
FRIDAY 18 FEBRUARY 2000
 HEADLINESThe ministers of Trade and Finance are meeting with party leaders today to reach compromise on the fuel price hike issue,
A Lufthansa plane on its way to Frankfurt from Larnaca had to make an emergency landing in Constantinople,
The Bank of Cyprus has posted impressive profits for last year,
President Clerides and Agriculture Ministry officials are discussing ways of heading off the water crisis,
And the Justice Minister reveals that drug addicts are turning to crime to secure their next fix.
 OILTrade Minister Nicos Rolandis and Finance Minister Takis Klerides began a series meetings with party leaders this morning, in a bid to reach a collective decision on the fuel price issue.
The two ministers first met with ruling DISY party President Nicos Anastasiades who explained his party's position on suspending a price hike for three months.
They also discussed alternative solutions to the problem, in an effort to avoid adversely affecting the economy.
Mr. Anastasiades said that besides the proposal of using consumption tax revenue to cover the price increases, another proposal is being discussed that needs the approval of other parties, but avoided revealing that proposal.
Mr. Klerides said he is looking favourably on even the proposals that may have a negative economic impact.
The two ministers also met with left-wing AKEL party leader Dimitris Christofias.
Party leaders will also be presented with the three proposals that were submitted to the Council of Ministers.
According to those proposals, there will either be no price increase, or an increase will cover current prices. Another option is a combination of the previous two proposals.
The Trade Ministry said it is willing to consider any other alternatives.
 PLANEA Lufthansa passenger aircraft on a flight from Larnaca made a forced landing at Constantinople airport this morning.
None of the passengers or crew were in any way hurt.
An airline announcement said the plane lost part of a tire during take-off, which later caused problems to the hydraulic system.
The crew decided to turn the aircraft towards the nearest airport, Constantinople, from where passengers could be flown to their final destination.
Airport authorities however, took all necessary precautions for an emergency landing.
The passengers were taken to hotels in Costantinople, and will later depart on a regular flight, arriving in Frankfurt later this afternoon.
90 passengers and 6 crew were aboard the flight. 61 of the passengers booked their tickets in Cyprus.
Lufthansa said that the passengers' nationality cannot be released, because passports are not checked on departure.
 LEFTThe President of the European Parliament's united left group, Francis Vourts, called on the EU's Portuguese presidency to declare clear and unequivocal support for the principles guiding a Cyprus solution and for UN resolutions.
He also asked that EU executive bodies exercise their influence on Turkey in order for Ankara to demonstrate good will and a conciliatory attitude, without which, a bicommunal dialogue will be for naught.
Mr. Vourts was speaking the the Parliament's Plenum during a discussion on the Cyprus issue.
AKEL representative Andreas Christou attended the Parliament's session, after an invitation by the united left.
 TALATLeader of the Republican Turkish Party in the occupied areas, Mehmet Ali Talat, criticized the occupation regime's so-called foreign minister for defending the prohibition of bicommunal contacts.
According to Turkish Cypriot press reports, Mr. Talat said in an television interview that he feels ashamed about the prohibition.
Mr. Talat said that participation of Turkish Cypriots in such meetings gives them the chance to convey their positions to Greek Cypriots and foreigners.
 MOLDAVIAForeign Minister Ioannis Kassoulides will make official visits to Moldavia and the Ukraine after formal invitations by the foreign ministers of the two countries.
Mr. Kassoulides will hold meetings with government and business leaders in an effort to upgrade bilateral relations in trade, and to brief them on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem.
 BANKThe Bank of Cyprus has posted impressive profits for 1999.
Revenue increased by 103 percent, reaching over 132 million pounds.
Minus tax, the bank's profits reach a 149 percent increase, or over 77 million pounds.
The Bank's Financial Director Yiannis Kypris announced the results this morning on CyBC television.
The Bank will increase the dividend payed out to its shareholders by 20 to 24 percent.
Mr. Kypris said that Bank of Cyprus shares will begin trading at the Athens stock exchange in May and not sooner, due to the upcoming Greek elections.
 EXCHANGEThe index took another eight-point plunge in today's stock market session.
The index closed at just over 641 points, but volume shot up by 10 million pounds compared to yesterday, reaching almost 30 million.
The most highly traded shares today belonged to the Bank of Cyprus, Popular Bank, Hellenic Bank, and the Louis Group.
 WATERA meeting chaired by President Clerides this morning, focused on the island's water situation and the construction of desalination plants.
Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous and officials from his ministry were present at the meeting and briefed President Clerides on these issues.
Meanwhile, the Electricity Authority presented the Trade Minister last night with a draft report on the possible construction and operation of a desalination plant near the Vassilikos power Generating Plant.
 FOODThe Food and Agriculture Organization will finance a 284 thousand dollar assessment study on the island's water situation.
Speaking after a meeting with the organization's representative on the island, Agriculture Minister Kostas Themistocleous described the study as significant.
The study, conducted by foreign experts, is expected to be completed within a year and will assess how water situation has deteriorated to this point, and what can be done about it.
 DRUGSDrug addicts are increasingly committing crimes such as thefts and robberies, to secure their next dose.
This from Justice Minister Nicos Koshis, speaking after a meeting with President Clerides whom he briefed on the drug situation on the island.
Mr. Koshis described the situation as troubling, especially since students and soldiers are among the drug users.
Mr. Koshis said he presented President Clerides with a study by the Drug Enforcement Unit outlining the drug situation.
He also briefed the President on the formation of a ministerial committee, aiming to coordinate action against drug abuse.
Mr. Koshis pointed to the need for a law forging a national anti-drug policy.
He added that he has discussed the issue with the U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus, who offered his country's help to combat the problem with educational and other material.
 POTMeanwhile, President Clerides said the revelations over the extent of the drug problem in the army and in schools will concern a meeting between the ministers of justice, health, defence and education, aiming to hammer out a common policy against the problem.
The President of the Republic also said that legal ammendments are in the works to counter the drug problem.
 WEATHERClouds will increase this afternoon, with the possibility of isolated showers and wet snow over Troodos.
Winds will be southeasterly to southerly moderate, 3 to 4 beaufort, turning gradually fresh, 5 beaufort, on moderate to rough seas.
Tonight will be partly cloudy with isolated showers and more wet snow over Troodos.
Winds will be southerly moderate, 4 beaufort, and at times fresh, 5 beaufort, on moderate to rough seas.
The temperatures will drop to 7 degrees inland, 9 to 11 along the coasts and 1 degree over the highest mountains.
Heavy fog is covering the Troodos mountain range.
Snow depth on Mount Olympus is 40 centimetres and on Troodos square, 35 centimetres.