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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 98-08-11

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] British base - Huge fire
  • [02] Kazakhstan plane - Paphos Airport
  • [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [04] Cyprus - Russia - double taxation agreement
  • [05] Kyprianou - Turkish intransigence

  • 1045:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] British base - Huge fire

    Nicosia, Aug 11 (CNA) -- A total of 13 houses were destroyed in a blaze which broke out early afternoon yesterday in the area of Episkopi Garrison causing damage estimated at two million Cyprus pounds (approx. four million US dollars).

    Mervyn Jones, Chief Public Relations Officer at the British Bases, told CNA Tuesday that among the houses destroyed was that of British Forces Commander, Major General Angus Ramsey. A number of other houses were damaged in the blaze but there were no injuries.

    The fire began near "Happy Valley", at the western edge of the British sovereign base at Akrotiri - Episkopi, and spread rapidly because of high winds coming off the sea.

    About 300 firefighters, including firemen and soldiers, were tackling the blaze on the ground and a Wessex helicopter based at RAF Akrotiri used a water bucket to help put out the blaze, while another helicopter was acting in an observation capacity.

    Jones said the winds died down eventually yesterday evening and the fire was brought under control, although isolated pockets of fire were still being fought this morning.

    About two square kilometres of scrub land went up in smoke, he added. He said the cost in terms of property will approach two million pounds.

    Jones said about 700 people staying in 300 military houses were evacuated. Most of them were evacuated as a precautionary measure. They were put in temporary accommodation at RAF Akrotiri.

    "It is hoped that the majority of those people who were evacuated yesterday will return to their houses later today", the spokesman said.

    Those whose houses were destroyed, there are plans in hand to accommodate them either in hotels or if they wish they can stay with other families on the Base.

    Jones said the Cyprus Republic assisted in combatting the blaze in terms of both police and fire support while the villagers of Paramali, west of "Happy Valley", provided food and water to those who were evacuated.

    Jones said three soldiers suffered from smoke inhalation and one soldier suffered from heat stroke.

    Britain has retained two sovereign military bases in Cyprus under the 1960 Treaty of Establishment of the Cyprus Republic.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1055:CYPPRESS:02

    [02] Kazakhstan plane - Paphos Airport

    Paphos, Aug 11 (CNA) -- A Kazakhstan plane, which landed in Paphos coming from Athens, was not allowed to take off yesterday for its final destination.

    The Nicosia District Court issued an order preventing it to leave the island, pending investigations with regard to complaints by a Cypriot company, that "Sayakhat" airline company owed it a total of three hundred thousand dollars and would not pay up.

    The lawyers of the Cypriot company "United Perlite" obtained a court order yesterday, preventing the plane from flying to Kazakhstan.

    They said that if "Sayakhat" refused to pay "United Perlite", then it would face a court appearance on Thursday.

    Aboard the plane, apart from the 14-member crew, were 87 passengers, waiting for a new flights to take them to Kazakhstan.

    CNA RG/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1405:CYPPRESS:03

    [03] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Aug 11 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
       CSE General Index                          85.10 ( 0.54)
    
       Traded Value            CYP 889,031
    
       Sectural Indices
    
       Banks                   CYP   711,076     100.83 ( 0.72)
       Approved Investment
       Companies               CYP     4,116      58.06 ( 0.14)
       Insurance Companies     CYP    27,172      58.59 ( 0.19)
       Manufacturing Companies CYP     4,867      76.29 ( 0.42)
       Tourism Companies       CYP    17,600      69.63 ( 0.19)
       Trading Companies       CYP     2,657      40.85 ( 0.07)
       Other Companies         CYP    26,456      71.71 ( 0.21)
    
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MCH/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1455:CYPPRESS:04

    [04] Cyprus - Russia - double taxation agreement

    Nicosia, Aug 11 (CNA) -- Cyprus and Russia today expressed optimism that a new agreement to avoid double taxation between the two countries will be achieved before the end of the year.

    Cyprus Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou and Charge d' Affaires of the Russian Federation to Cyprus Sergei Rokov met this morning to discuss the issue.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Christodoulou said "there has been substantial progress towards finding a mutually accepted settlement" on a new double taxation agreement.

    The only issue which remains to be settled is the taxation of profit from interest on investment moving to Russia through Cyprus, Christodoulou said.

    Differences over that specific issue have been reduced, but not enough to produce an agreement, he added.

    He pointed out 20 billion US dollars are invested in Russia through Cyprus yearly.

    Finance Minister said he gave Rokov a letter for the Russian Vice Minister of Finance, Alexei Kutrin, inviting him to visit Cyprus in September to review relations between the two countries.

    On his part, Rokov said he was "very optimistic" about a new double taxation agreement, adding the Russian side will cooperate "in promoting the joint goal".

    Christodoulou described relations between Cyprus and Russia as "excellent", noting however that a fair double taxation agreement is of great importance to the island's government.

    An agreement which would put Cyprus in the same position as other competitive countries such the US and certain European states, is essential, he pointed out.

    "We do not seek special treatment. We only seek equal treatment", Christodoulou noted.

    Asked about the consequences of a possible stalemate in the negotiations for a double taxation agreement, he said both countries will suffer a negative economic impact.

    He pointed out, however, that the impact on Russia would be greater as the country is very vulnerable to a lack of investment from abroad.

    The existing double taxation agreement between Cyprus and Russia favours the establishment of Russian offshore companies on the island and the movement of funds to Russia through Cyprus in the form of investment.

    The Russian Federation is pressing for a revision of the agreement.

    CNA GG/GP/1998
    ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY
    1445:CYPPRESS:05

    [05] Kyprianou - Turkish intransigence

    Nicosia, Aug 11 (CNA) -- Acting President, House of Representatives President Spyros Kyprianou, stressed here today that the government decision to boost the island's defences is not to blame for the deadlock in the Cyprus peace process.

    He put the responsibility on the Turkish side's intransigence and the international community's attitude towards Turkey.

    Kyprianou said at a meeting yesterday in Nicosia, Greece's Foreign Under Secretary, Yiannos Kranidiotis assured him that Athens backs the preconditions set by Nicosia regarding Cyprus' defences.

    "It has been spelled out to the Americans and the Europeans that the strengthening of our defence is not to blame for the situation, but the Turkish occupation and Turkey's provocative and expansionist policy," the House President said.

    He added that "the international community's weakness in forcing Turkey to comply with the principles of international law" is also to blame.

    Efforts to restart Cyprus peace talks failed after Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash announced he will not participate unless the illegal regime in the Turkish-occupied areas is recognised and Cyprus withdraws its application to join the European Union.

    Denktash has also demanded that the Cyprus government does not deploy the Russian-made S300 surface-to-air missile system, later this year.

    The government has said it would reconsider the deployment of the S300 if there is sufficient progress towards a settlement or the island's demilitarisation, within a set timetable.

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