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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 99-04-29

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] UN - Special advisor - Replacement
  • [03] Kyprianou - Official visit Iran
  • [04] Clerides - Demirel - Gurel - Denktash
  • [05] Ecevit - Illegal visit - Departure
  • [06] Ship - Damage
  • [07] Spokesman - Brill - Circular
  • [08] Finance Minister - Rotary conference
  • [09] Cyprus Airways - Press conference
  • [10] HSBC Seminar - Money laundering

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Apr 29 CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                         123.88 ( 0.23)
          Traded Value            CYP 5,226,296
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP 2,543,293     159.10 ( 0.22)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP   214,824      72.42 (-1.13)
          Insurance Companies     CYP    90,007      74.97 (-0.93)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP   122,885      89.70 ( 0.06)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   411,895      95.07 ( 1.56)
          Trading Companies       CYP   223,773      48.02 (-0.87)
          Other Companies         CYP   264,166      85.72 ( 1.83)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.

    CNA MCH/1999

    [02] UN - Special advisor - Replacement

    Nicosia, Apr 29 (CNA) -- UN sources "can neither confirm nor deny" press reports that UN resident representative in Cyprus, Dame Ann Hercus, will replace the Secretary-General's special advisor for the Cyprus problem Diego Cordovez.

    Cordovez resigned from his post earlier this month, after serving for about two years.

    The UN sources in Nicosia, which asked to remain anonymous, refrained from replying to any other question on the issue.

    Kofi Annan had appointed Cordovez with the sole mission of having talks with the parties involved in the Cyprus question, in a bid to promote a settlement in Cyprus, divided since Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of its territory in 1974.

    CNA MA/GP/1999

    [03] Kyprianou - Official visit Iran

    Nicosia, Apr 29 (CNA) -- Cyprus House of Representatives President, Spyros Kyprianou, will pay an official visit to Iran between 15-17 May, heading a high level parliamentary delegation.

    The programme of the visit was discussed today during a meeting between Kyprianou and Mohammed Reza Movali Zabeh, member of the presidium of the Iranian Parliament and member of the Parliamentary Committee of Foreign Affairs, and Hassan Fagih, Director of Administration of the Iranian Foreign Ministry.

    During the meeting they exchanged views on issues of mutual interest and examined ways to further promote relations between the two parliaments.

    Kyprianou described the visit as "significant", noting that with the developments in the region, Iran "can play a very crucial role", especially after the crisis in the Balkans.

    The delegation will possibly include business people who are trying to promote trade relations between the two countries.

    The House President said they decided to ask the chambers of commerce and other interested parties to "accompany the official delegation to Iran with an aim to assess the situation in the country either for cooperation, investments or any other relevant purpose".

    Already Kyprianou discussed the issue with Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis.

    CNA MK/EC/GP/1999

    [04] Clerides - Demirel - Gurel - Denktash

    Nicosia, Apr 29 (CNA) -- President Glafcos Clerides said today statements by Turkish President Suleyman Demirel against a bicommunal, bizonal federation in Cyprus aimed at creating tension and stressed the Cyprus government would not follow in Turkey's footsteps.

    The government also declared its intention to continue taking all necessary measures concerning its defence and dismissed claims by Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash that ethnic cleansing was carried out against Turkish Cypriots in the 1960s.

    In a statement read by Government Spokesman, Costas Serezis, Clerides said Demirel's statements "aim at leading us into public confrontation in order to create tension, which is contrary to the aims of the UN Secretary- General and others."

    "This tension does not help in creating a constructive climate for the UN Secretary-General to develop his initiative in the future," Clerides pointed out, stressing that the Cyprus government will not follow the intentions of Turkish officials.

    In a speech in Washington, Demirel had claimed that there are "two nations" in Cyprus which have nothing in common.

    He also claimed that the Turkish army in 1974 restored the situation on the island and since then there have been no killings in Cyprus. He further indirectly warned the US that if it imposes any solution on Cyprus it might lead Greece and Turkey to confrontation.

    The Government Spokesman said that Cyprus will continue to take all necessary measures to protect its defence, bearing in mind that Turkey did not accept the latest UN Security Council resolution calling for a reduction of armaments.

    "Cyprus is free to take all necessary measures for its defence," Serezis remarked, replying to statements made by Turkish State Minister, Sukru Sina Gurel that:

    "Turkey does not intend to let arms which have the potential to upset the balance in Cyprus and eastern Mediterranean to be deployed here."

    Concluding Serezis also dismissed Denktash's claims that the Greek Cypriots carried out ethnic cleansing against Turkish Cypriots in the 1960s, pointing out that it was during Turkey's invasion against the island in 1974 that ethnic cleansing was carried out.

    "Numbers speak for themselves," Serezis remarked, noting that the casualties, prisoners of war, wounded and refugees during the 1974 Turkish invasion amounted for almost a third of the population of the island.

    Turkey still continues to occupy 37 per cent of the Republic's territory since it invaded the island in 1974.

    CNA MA/EC/MCH/1999

    [05] Ecevit - Illegal visit - Departure

    Nicosia, Apr 29 (CNA) -- Caretaker Turkish Prime Minister, Bulent Ecevit, left from the Turkish occupied areas of the island today after an illegal six-day private visit. Before his departure, Ecevit held a thirty-minute meeting with Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, and told the press the break-away puppet regime in the Turkish-occupied areas should be recognised.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, is expected to depart for Constantinople (Istanbul) later this afternoon.

    According to reports from the Turkish occupied areas he will visit a Kosovo refugee camp on the Turkish-Bulgarian borders.

    Denktash had recently provocatively stated he intended to invite Kosovo refugees to settle in Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, (Varosha).

    Security Council resolution 550 "considers attempts to settle any part of Varosha by people other than its inhabitants as inadmissible and calls for the transfer of this area to the administration of the UN".

    The UN also deplored the unilateral declaration of the puppet regime in the Turkish occupied northern part of Cyprus and considers it as "legally invalid".

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    CNA SA/EC/MCH/1999

    [06] Ship - Damage

    Paphos, Apr 29 (CNA) -- A commercial Maltese-flagged ship was extensively damaged in the early hours Thursday after a fire raged in its engines off the western coastal town of Paphos.

    The "Efxinos Pontos" ship was heading to the Greek port city of Piraeus when a Mayday signal alerted the Cypriot authorities.

    Police coast guard vessels approached the ship to offer help to the crew which had managed in the meantime to put out the fire.

    None of the Greek and Filipino crew were injured but the ship suffered extensive damage.

    CNA SS/EC/MCH/1999

    [07] Spokesman - Brill - Circular

    Nicosia, Apr 29 (CNA) -- The government does not consider "reprehensible" clarifications given yesterday by US Ambassador to Cyprus, Kenneth Brill over a circular asking American nationals to report problems to the US Embassy.

    Government Spokesman, Costas Serezis said the government is not aware of the circular, which according to state television, CyBC, was asking US nationals in Cyprus to collect information about anti-American activities.

    "The government has no reason to question the clarifications provided by the US Ambassador", Serezis added.

    Referring to Brill's remarks that the US Embassy is very satisfied with the cooperation of the local security authorities and the police, Serezis said "we are a responsible, hospitable country and the diplomats and nationals of any country face no danger in Cyprus".

    The US Ambassador yesterday denied the CyBC report that American nationals here have been instructed to report any anti-american activities.

    He clarified that the embassy has asked its nationals to report any problems they might have so that the embassy can help them.

    CNA EC/MCH/1999

    [08] Finance Minister - Rotary conference

    Nicosia, Apr 29 (CNA) -- Cyprus believes that its role as a bridge between Europe, the Middle East and Africa will be further "enhanced with membership in the European Union (EU)."

    Finance Minister, Takis Klerides in a speech at the 63rd Rotary International District Conference in the southern coastal town of Limassol, said accession negotiations between Cyprus and the EU are "carried out at an intensive pace, as planned."

    However, he pointed out, the most difficult negotiation issues "concern the adoption of the common agricultural policy, the implementation of the EU technical standards and the harmonisation of direct and indirect taxation."

    Noting that Cyprus has emerged as an important regional services centre, Klerides said that our "strategic objective is to maintain as far as possible the favourable tax regime" Cyprus is offering to offshore enterprises keen on exploiting market opportunities in the region.

    The Minister said Cyprus is particularly sensitive as regards offshore companies since "its income from offshore enterprises which numbered 36.585 at the end of 1998, is of the order of 200 million CYP (some 400 million US dollars) and constitutes the second largest source of foreign exchange earnings after tourism."

    Referring to the harmonisation of Cyprus with the acquis communautaire, the Finance Minister described the task as "difficult, voluminous and laborious", adding that the economic cost is very high from the point of view of the public finance and the private sector.

    Stressing that "Cyprus is at the geographical and commercial crossroads connecting Europe, Middle East and Africa", Klerides said that the neighbouring countries of the Middle East are major trading partners.

    The economic expansion of "Europe up to the borders of the Middle East opens up new opportunities for further development of the economic ties between Middle East countries and Cyprus," Klerides said.

    In this context, he added, "we firmly believe that Cyprus will not maintain but strengthen its role as a stepping stone for operations in the Middle East" and that "investors, from the Middle East, wishing to acquire access to the European markets can achieve this by investing in Cyprus.

    At the same time, he said "European investors can expand to the Middle East markets via Cyprus".

    "I can state without any reservation that the prospective accession of Cyprus to the EU will strengthen the links and the role of Cyprus as a bridge between Europe and the Middle East", the Minister concluded.

    CNA EC/MCH /1999


    [09] Cyprus Airways - Press conference

    Nicosia, Apr 29 (CNA) -- Pre-tax profits for Cyprus Airways in 1998 reached 12,7 million Cyprus pounds, compared to 4,3 million in 1997.

    Announcing the results for 1998 at a press conference here Thursday, chairman of the Board of Directors, Takis Kyriakides said the group's revenue rose by 11 million CYP, which goes beyond the aims of the recovery plan entitled "Take Off 2000".

    (One Cyprus pound trades at around two US dollars). The Group comprises Cyprus Airways Ltd, Eurocypria Airlines Ltd, Cyprair Tours Ltd and a fourth company running the Group's Duty Free Shops.

    Cyprus Airways recorded a pre-tax profit of 5,3 million pounds, Eurocypria 2,2 million and the Duty Free Shops 2,5 million.

    The national carrier, Kyriakides said, has managed to increase the total number of passengers carried last year by 4,5 per cent or 1.350.430. A total of 16.1 per cent of the passengers carried by the national carrier were travelling on Business Class.

    The fact that the passenger load has increased to 70,1 per cent, and 72 per cent on European routes ranks Cyprus Airways second among the 27 members of the Association of European Airline Companies, Kyriakides said.

    He further remarked that these figures were achieved with a reduction of staff in Cyprus Airways offices abroad and a restriction on appointments and other measures.

    "Results for 1998 make us more optimistic about the future of Cyprus Airways and strengthen our determination to continue the same course", said Kyriakides.

    However he added that operational costs continue to concern the Cyprus Airways Group. "We have a long way to go", said Kyriakides, stressing that the Group requires a further increase of revenue, reduction of operational expenses and maintaining a high standard of services.

    He also said that without a complete restructuring of the Group, "it is uncertain whether Cyprus Airways will continue to fly in the 21st century".

    CNA FZ/EC/MCH/1999

    [10] HSBC Seminar - Money laundering

    Nicosia, Apr 29 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Chief Negotiator in European Union (EU) accession talks and the island's Central Bank Governor have praised the Republic's performance in fighting money laundering.

    Chief Negotiator George Vassiliou and Central Bank Governor Afxentis Afxentiou today addressed a seminar on money laundering organised by "HSBC Investment Bank Cyprus Ltd" in Nicosia, which was attended by more than five hundred professionals.

    "We are facing an organised effort to discredit Cyprus", Vassiliou said, pointing out the truth is that the island "was not, is not and will never be a money laundering centre".

    He noted that the Central Bank is supervising and controlling vigorously all offshore banking units (OBUs) operating on the island.

    He added, however, "we cannot exclude the possibility that some individuals may have used Cyprus as an avenue for moving money from here to there".

    Vassiliou said the island has a large number of offshore companies simply because it is attractive to them and not because of a less vigorous legislation on money laundering.

    Referring to Cyprus' performance against money laundering, he said EU officials involved in the screening process relating to the Shengen Agreement last month "were really impressed with our whole system, operations, controls and knowledge of the subject".

    "I can assure you, we are doing everything possible in order to help Cyprus to be as clean as Frankfurt or London or any other major business centre", Vassiliou pointed out.

    On his part, Afxentiou said Cyprus' Central Bank "has been at the forefront of the battle against money laundering and has been active in setting guidelines designed to prevent the use of our financial system by criminals".

    "It is not an exaggeration to state that Cyprus can be a model for many countries in the fight against money laundering", he pointed out.

    "We have ratified the UN and the Council of Europe conventions on money laundering and have complied fully with EU directives", Afxentiou said.

    He added that as from 1996 "Cyprus has a very modern legislation which has enabled us to enhance even further our guidance notes and our vigorous policy against money laundering".

    Central Bank Governor referred to a Financial Action Task Force (FATF) mission here in 1997, noting that as a result, Cyprus "was declassified as a priority country in the FATF External Relations Programme.

    In addition, he added, a report on money laundering adopted by the Council of Europe in June 1998 "was speaking in enthusiastic and laudatory terms about Cyprus' achievements" in fighting money laundering.

    Robert Cooper, Regional Money Laundering Control Officer at HSBC Group, briefed the participants on sophisticated money laundering procedures and ways to face them.

    Cyprus, along with Slovenia, Hungary, Poland, Estonia and the Czech Republic started substantive accession negotiations with the EU in November 1998.

    CNA GG/MCH/1999
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