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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-11

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] Finance Minister addresses EBRD meeting
  • [02] Turkey the destabilising factor in Cyprus, says Government
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] President Clerides: Economic prospects encouraging
  • [05] Austrian Federal Council President to visit Cyprus
  • [06] BFC Commander receives Bosnia award
  • [07] EU accession would help Cyprus settlement, says Kasoulides

  • 1430:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Finance Minister addresses EBRD meeting

    Nicosia, May 11 (CNA) -- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) should now focus its attention on the enhancement of banking services in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and in former Soviet Republics, a Cypriot Minister stated today.

    Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou was addressing Monday the EBRD annual general meeting in Kiev, The Ukraine, attended by delegates from 60 countries and international organisations.

    Christodoulou stressed the need for EBRD efforts to be directed towards improving banking services in these countries, so they can reach the western levels and avoid possible banking crises.

    Cyprus is a founding member of EBRD, which finances development projects in Central and Eastern European countries and in former Soviet Republics.

    Christodoulou referred to the "catalytic role" EBRD has to play for Cyprus and the rest 10 applicant countries for European Union membership.

    Cyprus, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovenia and Estonia started accession talks with the EU on March 31, 1998 while a second group will include Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria.

    Christodoulou expressed satisfaction with EBRD's 1997 financial results, which tripled the 1996 profit reaching 16,1 million ECU.

    Approved loans to eligible countries were increased by 42 percent, Christodoulou added.

    The Finance Minister also referred to EBRD contribution to the field of atomic energy, through the management of special funds aimed at the improvement of atomic energy production methods.

    CNA AP/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1545:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Turkey the destabilising factor in Cyprus, says Government

    Nicosia, May 11 (CNA) -- Those expressing concern for destabilisation in Cyprus should look to the direction of Turkey, Government Spokesman, Christos Stylianides, stressed today.

    "Turkish threats with regard to the government decision to deploy the Russian defence missile system S-300 on the island, are well known and so is the reaction of certain circles of the international community," Stylianides said and added:

    "The Cyprus government has clearly expressed its views on the issue to those expressing concern about destabilisation and those who advise against the deployment of the S-300."

    The Spokesman repeated the government position that the S-300 will not be deployed if there is an agreement for demilitarisation of the island or if there is substantial progress towards a comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Stylianides pointed out that "those expressing concern should look to the direction of the Turkish government and not to the government of Cyprus."

    He also expressed disappointment because there has been no reaction to claims by second in command of Turkey's armed forces, Celik Bir, who is illegally visiting the Turkish-occupied areas of the Republic, that the Turkish occupation troops constitute a factor of stability in Cyprus and they will not withdraw.

    Turkish troops invaded the island in 1974 and have since been occupying 37 per cent of its territory.

    Asked to comment on discussions between State Department Special Co- ordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, and Greek Foreign Minister, Theodoros Pangalos, concerning overflights in Cyprus, the Spokesman pointed out to coordination between the Nicosia and Athens governments.

    He added that Pangalos "always acts within the joint strategy between Greece and Cyprus, concerning issues relating to the Cyprus problem."

    In an interview with Greek daily "Kathimerini" yesterday, Miller expressed serious concern with the possibility of a "hot summer" in Cyprus and the Aegean.

    Turkey has threatened no to allow the S-300 to be deployed in Cyprus, later this year.

    Miller noted that to avoid any negative developments US diplomacy is studying a recent suggestion by Pangalos for the creation of a no-fly zone of Greek and Turkish military planes over Cyprus, with US and NATO guarantees.

    CNA GG/MCH/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1615:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, May 11 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    89,81 (-1,23)
    
    Sectural Indices
    
    Banks                                 104,94 (-1,19)
    Approved Investment Companies          65,62 (-0,95)
    Insurance Companies                    65,79 (-1,31)
    Industrial Companies                   77,95 (-1,59)
    Tourist Industries                     70,45 (-1,29)
    Commercial Companies                   52,68 (-3,07)
    Other Companies                        75,84 ( 0,44)
    
    Trading Volume                 1.880.933,52
    
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1650:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] President Clerides: Economic prospects encouraging

    Nicosia, May 11 (CNA) -- Growth rate this year is expected to reach 4,5 per cent compared to 2,5 per cent in 1997, while the prospects for Cyprus' economy are encouraging, President of the Republic Glafcos Clerides said today.

    Addressing the Employers and Industrialists Federation's (OEV) annual meeting in Nicosia, President Clerides said that if the social partners exercise the necessary restraint, unemployment and inflation are expected to fall to 3,0 per cent.

    The fiscal deficit reached 5,0 per cent in 1997, a development of concern to the government, Clerides noted, adding that the deficit is expected to fall in 1998.

    Clerides stressed that the government's goal is to fulfill the Maastricht criteria, pointing out however that its economic policy has a number of wider goals.

    He made special reference to harmonisation with the European Union (EU), social justice, economic stability and development, modernisation of the economy and adaptation to the global economy.

    Referring to tourism, which provides 20 per cent of Cyprus' GDP, Clerides said the strategic goal is to enrich the island's tourist product, to attract more middle and upper-class tourists.

    Clerides also said the Cost Of Leaving Allowance (COLA), must be "modernised and adapted to new economic and social conditions".

    The island's employers claim the COLA keeps labour cost high, negatively affecting productivity and competitiveness in all aspects of the economy.

    President Clerides noted Cyprus is preparing for EU accession, expressing confidence that "this vision will be turned into reality".

    On his part, OEV Chairman, Andreas Pittas, said the island's industrialists should play a role and have a say in the accession negotiations.

    Pittas expressed the industrialists' confidence in the way the government handles issues related to the EU and the island's harmonisation process, adding however that an elaborate plan is needed in order "to minimise the negative impact on businesses and the whole economy".

    He also called for immediate measures to curb public expenditure and particularly the incomes of those employed in the public sector, in an effort to cut fiscal deficit, which negatively affects the economy.

    OEV is one the island's two main employers' associations.

    Cyprus, with a per capita income of 12,8 thousand US dollars last year, began accession negotiations with the EU in March.

    CNA GG/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1910:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Austrian Federal Council President to visit Cyprus

    Nicosia, May 11 (CNA) -- President of the Federal Council of Austria, Ludwig Bieringer, arrives here tomorrow for a three-day visit.

    During his stay Bieringer will be received by President Glafcos Clerides and House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou.

    He will also meet with the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Nicosia Mayor, Lellos Demetriades, and Vice Consul for Austria, Christakis Christofides.

    Bieringer will also visit the 300-soldier strong Austrian Contingent (AUSCON) of the UN Peace-keeping force in Cyprus (UNFICYP).

    CNA MCH/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1920:CYPPRESS:06

    [06] BFC Commander receives Bosnia award

    Nicosia, May 11 (CNA) -- Commander British Forces Cyprus, Major General Angus Ramsay CBE, has been awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) for outstanding operational duty in Bosnia.

    Ramsay, who served as Commander of NATO's Multi National Division (South West) based in Banja Luka, last summer, was instrumental in restoring calm to a tense stand-off between Serbian hard-liners and moderates.

    He took command of the British Forces Cyprus earlier this year.

    According to a British Bases press release, receiving the award Major General Ramsay said it came as a great honour, but pointed out that:

    "It is awarded for the collective efforts and courageous individuals under my command in Bosnia."

    Major General Ramsay was in command of 8.500 NATO troops in Bosnia, drawn from several nations, including Britain, the Netherlands, Canada, Malaysia and the Czech Republic.

    He had previously served in Cyprus as Chief of Staff British Forces Cyprus in 1992-93.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    2005:CYPPRESS:07

    [07] EU accession would help Cyprus settlement, says Kasoulides

    Nicosia, May 11 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides briefed today French officials and journalists on developments in the Cyprus problem, particularly after the recent visit of US Presidential Emissary for Cyprus, Richard Holbrooke, to the island.

    Kasoulides, who is on an official visit to Paris, will meet tomorrow his French counterpart Hubert Vedrine.

    The Foreign Minister told the press that Cyprus expects its course of accession to the European Union to have a positive influence on efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Over a lunch for leading personalities hosted by Cyprus' ambassador to France, Andreas Pirishis, Kasoulides stressed that the Cyprus government remains as committed as ever to the re-unification of the island and expressed the wish that a united Cyprus would join the EU.

    He pointed out, however, that Cyprus could not remain a hostage of Turkish intransigence towards efforts for a settlement.

    The Foreign Minister pointed to the unacceptable demand by Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, for recognition of the puppet state unilaterally declared in 1983 in the Turkish-occupied north of Cyprus, if he is to participate in negotiations aiming at a solution.

    Until today UN-led talks for a settlement in Cyprus have been carried out by the leaders of the two communities.

    The illegal regime in the areas of Cyprus occupied by Turkey since 1974 is recognised only by Turkey and numerous UN resolutions call on all states not to facilitate it in any way.

    As a result of Denktash's unacceptable demands, Holbrooke did not manage to achieve the resumption of the bi-communal talks.

    Kasoulides also briefed the French officials on Denktash's rejection of a proposal by President Glafcos Clerides for the Turkish Cypriot side to nominate representatives in the official team to carry out the EU accession talks.

    On their part, they reaffirmed their commitment to the spirit and the letter of EU collective decisions concerning Cyprus' accession course and expressed the hope that bi-communal talks would resume as soon as possible.

    Cyprus' accession negotiations with the EU started officially in March.

    Kasoulides leaves France on May 12 for Argentina. On May 16 he will visit Colombia and on May 20 he will go to New York.

    He returns to Cyprus on may 23.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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