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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-05

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Limassol Bishop - New allegations
  • [02] US House - Turkish invasion of Cyprus
  • [03] Cyprus - International information centre
  • [04] Parliament - Defence Fund

  • 0940:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Limassol Bishop - New allegations

    Nicosia, Aug 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Attorney General Alecos Markides today confirmed investigations into new allegations against Limassol Bishop Chrysanthos, in a 1.5 million-dollar case.

    Three Portuguese investors lodged a complaint that they had given the Bishop the money to invest in shares and bonds, and it has since disappeared. They say they have documents implicating the Bishop.

    Their Cypriot lawyer, Mamas Hadjitofi, yesterday contacted the Attorney General, whose office is investigating the case along with the island's police economic control squad.

    "The case is already in the hands of the police and we are sure that justice will be done. We have confidence in your police," one of the three Portuguese investors told a local tv station. They demand that their money is returned.

    Confirming the investigations, Markides told a radio station that the Bishop would be treated in the same way as any other citizen of the Republic and could be arrested if necessary.

    Bishop Chrysanthos' name was also involved in a 3.7 million-dollar fraud case investigated by the Cyprus police and the Attorney General's office, in cooperation with British police.

    On Tuesday, the Holy Synod (made up of Bishops and chaired by Archbishop Chrysostomos) appointed a board of inquiry, after it ascertained that the Bishop had undertaken financial commitments and agreements without its approval.

    CNA MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1000:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] US House - Turkish invasion of Cyprus

    Washington, Aug 5 (CNA) -- Members of the US House of Representatives have underlined that their country and the international community at large should act to put an end to the Turkish occupation of part of Cyprus.

    "It is unacceptable that the US and the international community, while publicly denouncing the invasion and occupation, allow it to continue," said Mike Bilirakis, who had the initiative for a special order held Monday to mark the 24th anniversary of the Turkish invasion.

    Over 17 members of Congress took the floor to condemn the Turkish invasion and occupation as well as the violation of human rights in Cyprus.

    They also condemned the presence of over 35 thousand Turkish troops in occupied Cyprus, as opposed to the small Cyprus National Guard, and the influx of around 80 thousand settlers from mainland Turkey.

    The members of Congress backed a proposal by Cyprus President Glafcos Clerides for the demilitarisation of the island and blamed the Turkish Cypriot side for the lack of progress to reunify the island.

    They criticised the preconditions set by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash for recognition of his illegal regime in the occupied areas and the withdrawal of Cyprus' application to join the European Union, in order for him to return to the negotiating table.

    House of Representatives International Relations Committee President, Ben Gilman described the occupation of part of Cyprus as "one of the most vexing problems of the international community".

    "Cyprus cannot be held hostage to problems within Turkey. I think it is imperative for our government to make it crystal clear to both the Turkish civilian government and the military that Turkey's most vital long-term interests cannot be served without Turkey acting effectively to solve the Cyprus dispute," he added.

    CNA DA/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1445:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus - International information centre

    Nicosia, Aug 5 (CNA) -- Finance Minister, Christodoulos Christodoulou, said today that the government is promoting a plan to turn Cyprus into an international information centre and a bridge between Europe and the Middle East.

    Speaking at a press conference, Christodoulou said that the success of the plan will depend on the response of the private sector, which is urged to show "bravery, imagination and dynamism" and to "utilise the opportunities" that arise in the framework of the information society.

    Christodoulou added that the government, following the example of European Union countries, is "proceeding with the implementation of a national strategy to create the information society, in order to utilise the rapid advancements that are evident in the sectors of information and telecommunications".

    The minister said the government is promoting a plan to computerise the whole public sector, a step which will contribute greatly to the "more efficient operation" and "upgrading" of state services.

    Referring to the "Millennium Bomb", Christodoulou said that most public services in Cyprus will not be affected, but stressed the need to create the necessary awareness and provide all possible assistance to enterprises, so that they can deal with the problem in an efficient and painless manner.

    He said a special committee has been set up to assess the size of the problem and deal with it.

    CNA RG/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1450:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Parliament - Defence Fund

    Nicosia, Aug 5 (CNA) -- The House of Representatives plenary today approved by majority vote a one per cent increase in the contribution to the Defence Fund, from four to five per cent.

    The increase runs from the beginning of this month. Thirty one present MPs from the ruling right-wing DISY, the centre- right DIKO and the socialist EDEK voted in favour of the government bill tabled in the 56-member House.

    Left-wing AKEL MPs voted against, while United Democrats MPs abstained. Two separate amendments put forward by AKEL, for the contribution to be levied according to income, and the United Democrats, for a one per cent increase in the Value Added Tax to cover defence needs, were rejected.

    House President Spyros Kyprianou expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the voting.

    "It sends the message that the people of Cyprus and their representatives are determined to back all efforts for the island's defence, for as long as Turkey continues to occupy part of Cyprus and continues its threats and the ethnic cleansing policy," he added.

    Defence Minister Yiannakis Omirou, who watched the House plenary session, said the decision "sends a clear message to friends and foes that the political leadership fully backs the defence effort and the continuous upgrading of our National Guard's capability, increasing our defence ability and reinforcing our position at intercommunal talks."

    He expressed certainty that the political leadership and the people of Cyprus will continue to support the strengthening of the island's defences.

    Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou welcomed the outcome of the voting, noting it will increase the Fund's income by around 40 million pounds (about 80 million US dollars) annually.

    "Defence expenses are increasing not because we are preparing for war, but because of Turkey's expansionist policy," Christodoulou said.

    Turkish troops have been occupying 37 per cent of Cyprus territory since 1974, in violation of repeated UN resolutions calling for their withdrawal.

    CNA SD/MA/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    CNA ENDS
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