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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 03-11-05
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 Iacovou hopes for clear message to Turkey by EU countries
Iacovou hopes for clear message to Turkey by EU countries
London, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister Georgios Iacovou has expressed the wish that the main European powers, including the United Kingdom, will reiterate to Turkey what the EU Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen had said, that it is impossible for Turkey to join the EU without solving the Cyprus problem and that it is impossible for an applicant state to occupy the territory of an EU member state and not legally recognise the existence of a member state.
 49th Lions European Forum to be held in Cyprus
49th Lions European Forum to be held in Cyprus
Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus will host the 49th Lions European Forum to be held in the southern coastal town of Limassol, November 13 - 15, with the participation of 1,000 delegates from 40 countries.
 UCJ denounces prosecution of T/C journalists
UCJ denounces prosecution of T/C journalists
Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- The Union of Cyprus Journalists (UCJ) is protesting to the International Federation of Journalists, the European Federation of Journalists, the International Press Institute, the European Union and the United Nations denouncing the prosecution of Turkish Cypriot journalists, charged by the puppet regime in Cyprus' Turkish-occupied areas with ''libeling''.
 Weather and Temperatures for Cyprus
 Government says Denktash letter to UN a ''repetition''
Government says Denktash letter to UN a repetition
 Cyprus Stock Exchange
 Cyprus Cabinet approves funds for Iraq
Cyprus Cabinet approves funds for Iraq
Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Council of Ministers decided today to increase from 50.000 dollars (approved in August) to 100.000 euros in aid for Iraq.
The funds will be Cyprus contribution for 2004 for the humanitarian needs of the Iraqi people.
 EU Commission report on Cyprus
EU Commission report on Cyprus
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus has reached a high level of alignment with the acquis communautaire in most policy areas, the European Commission has said in its progress report on the country's harmonisation effort, something that ranks the Republic in second place among acceding countries as far as its attempt to align itself with EU norms and regulations are concerned.
The Commission said Cyprus needs to make enhanced efforts in order to complete its preparations for accession in specific sectors and stressed that Cyprus must take immediate and decisive action in the field of agriculture and maritime safety.
The lengthy report, entitled ''Comprehensive monitoring report on Cyprus' preparations for membership'', said the Commission ''strongly believes'' that a political settlement can be found before May 1 next year, when Cyprus joins the Union, but if not the implementation of the acquis communautaire will be suspended in the northern Turkish occupied areas of the Republic.
''The Cyprus economy slowed down in 2002, although remaining resilient, while inflation the current account and the government deficit deteriorated. Structural reform has continued slowly but some long-term issues remain,'' the report said.
Cyprus, the report said, is expected to be in a position to implement the acquis as required in the overwhelming majority of chapters negotiated during membership talks.
The areas that fall under this category relate, among other issues, to company law, competition policy, integrated administration and control system, fisheries, transport policy, taxation, economic and monetary union, statistics, consumer and health protection, most aspects of justice and home affairs, customs union, common foreign and security policy and financial and budgetary provisions.
The second category includes areas in which Cyprus partially meets the commitments and requirements and needs to make increased efforts to complete its preparations for accession.
This includes, among other chapters, legislation relating to the free movement of goods and services, company law, fisheries, transport policy, energy, social policy and employment, telecommunications and information technologies and financial control.
The third category in which Cyprus must take immediate and decisive action to address three issues of serious concern in two chapters of the acquis if it is to be ready by the date of accession.
This concerns the field of agriculture, in particular Cyprus' preparations to put in place its Paying Agency, and to prepare for the application of external trade mechanisms. It also concerns the filed of transport policy, as regards maritime safety.
On the political question, the Commission said it ''strongly believes that a solution to the Cyprus problem can still be found before 1 May 2004 in order to allow the accession of a united Cyprus.''
''However, in case a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem is not reached before the date of accession, Protocol No 10 annexed to the Accession Treaty envisages the suspension of the acquis in the areas of the country which are not under the effective control of the Government of Cyprus,'' it adds.
The Commission notes that such a settlement has not been yet reached, the report monitors the application of the acquis in the government controlled part of Cyprus.
 New Cyprus Ambassador to US meets Powell
New Cyprus Ambassador to US meets Powell
Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus' new Ambassador to the United States Euripides L. Evriviades has had a meeting in Washington with US Secretary of State Colin Powell.
 EU warns Turkey of serious problems, if no Cyprus settlement reached
EU warns Turkey of serious problems, if no Cyprus settlement reached
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Nov 5 (CNA) -- The European Commission has warned Ankara that the absence of a political settlement in Cyprus could spell out serious trouble in Turkey's EU aspirations.
In a report on Turkey's progress in meeting the membership criteria, the Commission said it considers that ''Turkey does not yet fully meet the Copenhagen political criteria'' and expressed concern at Turkey's failure to execute many judgments of the European Court of Human Rights.
The report, entitled Strategy Paper and Report of the EU Commission on the progress towards accession by Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, noted that Turkey's alignment with the acquis has progressed in most areas but remains at an early stage for many chapters.
''The Commission recalls that efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem form part of the enhanced dialogue between the European Union and Turkey,'' the report said.
It reiterated the Council's view that Turkey, together with all parties concerned, ''has a decisive interest in providing determined support for efforts towards a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem.''
''The Commission considers that there are favourable conditions for the two communities to reach a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem between Cyprus' accession to the EU on 1 May 2004,'' it added.
''The absence of a settlement could become a serious obstacle to Turkey's EU aspirations,'' it warned.
The report recalled the EU Council conclusions in Copenhagen and Thessaloniki, it noted that Turkey has taken important steps to ensure effective implementation of the political criteria.
''A clear framework for guaranteeing political, civil, economic, social and cultural rights is not fully established, and more efforts are needed to enhance the coherence of legal provisions and practice,'' the report said.
The Commission recommended that particular attention is paid to the exercise of fundamental freedoms, ''further alignment of civil-military relations with European practice and the situation in the South east.''
It called on Turkey to strengthen the implementation of reforms and noted that responsibility for enforcing reformed legislation related to fundamental freedoms, respect of European Court judgments lies largely with the judges and prosecutors.
''It is of great concern that Turkey has not executed many judgments of the European Court of Human Rights by means of ensuring payment of just satisfaction or reversing decisions made in contravention of the Court.''
With regard to Turkey's alignment with the acquis, the Commission said that further legislative work is required in all areas and Turkey should focus on implementing its National Programme for the adoption of the acquis.
''In many fields implementation is weak,'' it said, adding however that alignment has progressed in most areas.
 Prodi hopes to see a unified Cyprus entering the EU
Prodi hopes to see a unified Cyprus entering the EU
Brussels, Nov 5 (CNA) -- European Commission President Romano Prodi said here Wednesday the Commission hopes to see a unified Cyprus entering the EU.
Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels, where the Commission presented the strategy paper and report of the European Commission on the progress towards accession by Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey, Prodi further said it is in Turkeys interests to find a rapid solution to the Cyprus problem.
In his address, Prodi said next year will be a decisive year for Turkey and this will be one of the last substantive decisions to be taken by his Commission in the course of this mandate, that is to assess to what extent Turkey will respect the political criteria of Copenhagen and will have to make a recommendation as regards the opening of accession negotiations.
Noting there has been clear progress demonstrating a desire and determination of the Turkish government to do everything in its power to respect the political criteria of accession, Prodi said the Commission would be following very closely areas where further progress is necessary.
On Cyprus, he said the Commission hopes to see a unified Cyprus coming in to the EU. We still hope this is possible, he said.
The European Commission said it is also in Turkeys interests to find a rapid solution here because problems here could be an obstacle on the path of its aspirations.
 Coordinator welcomes EU report, stresses need to focus on problems
Coordinator welcomes EU report, stresses need to focus on problems
Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Harmonisation Coordinator Takis Hadjidemetriou welcomed today a European Commission report on the country's preparations for membership and pointed out that now work will have to focus on the problematic areas to ensure Cyprus is ready for full membership in May next year.
Speaking to CNA from Berlin, Hadjidemetriou called on Turkey to work for a political settlement in Cyprus before May 2004.
 Verheugen: Commission made on purpose link on Cyprus in Turkish report
Verheugen: Commission made on purpose link on Cyprus in Turkish report
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Nov 5 (CNA) -- European Enlargement Commissioner Gunter Verheugen said the Commission wanted to make it clear that they do see a political link between Turkeys EU aspirations and a solution to the Cyprus.
Addressing the European Parliament in Brussels after the Commission presented the strategy paper and report of the European Commission on the progress, Verheugen said the link was necessary because the situation in Cyprus is undignified and Europe must use all opportunities to overcome this anachronistic situation.
He also said the European Parliament could do more than the Commission to monitor the so called elections in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus.
Regarding the note in the Turkish progress report towards accession that ''the absence of a settlement could become a serious obstacle to Turkey's EU aspirations,'' Verheugen said that the Commission took a step which is new, and might lead to controversy, in our strategy paper by making a link between the Turkish request to accede and to the question of Cyprus.
He said that since there might be reaction in Turkey because of the line followed by the Commission, Verheugen explained that this is not a prerequisite as far as the conclusions of Helsinki where it said expressly that this was not a condition. This is simply noting fact, we simply note that if there is no solution to the Cyprus question, then this would be a considerable obstacle to Turkeys aspirations to Europe. Thats all we are saying.
Verheugen said we cannot hide the fact that saying this in a strategy document has some political importance. And it is a political message, it is quite a considerable one, the Commission wanted to make it clear that they do see a political link here and that they are encouraging Turkey to be more active, take more initiatives in order to solve the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN plan.
The EU Commissioner said he is convinced that there will be a window of opportunity after the elections in the Turkish occupied north of Cyprus, and that immediately after that, there must be increased pressure on all sides to move forward in this situation which seems to have got a bit bogged down in recent times.
Verheugen said he believes the present Turkish government will be helped if such a message is coming from Europe.
We must use all opportunities in this area, and I think we must overcome this anachronistic situation whereby there is a kind of fence down the middle of one of our states and whereas there is this UN plan to solve the problem. This is an undignified situation and therefore the Commission decided to take this step, Verheugen added.
To a remark by Mechtild Rothe, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and co-chairperson of the EU - Cyprus Joint Parliamentary Committee, about the number of ''passports'' given by the illegal state in the occupied areas to Turks and if there is any way of influencing Turkey that the Cyprus problem should come to an end, Verheugen said the elections, even not recognised, do have political meaning, political significance.
Verheugen said it was drawn to his attention that an attempt is being made to rig electoral lists so that certain desired election results are achieved, noting this means there is already a shadow falling over these elections.
The Enlargement Commissioner said that the Commissions possibilities of influencing these (elections) are very restricted indeed, and said that there are independent media, and independent NGOs who are monitoring these elections and will be reporting on a regular basis and so the European public opinion will be aware of whats going on and will bring some kind of pressure on them.
 Foreign Ministry welcomes Commission report on Cyprus
Foreign Ministry welcomes Commission report on Cyprus
Nicosia, Nov 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus' Ministry of Foreign Affairs has welcomed a European Commission monitoring report on Cyprus' preparations for membership, noting that it considers positive the level of readiness and the extent of compliance with the acquis communautaire.
A written statement issued here tonight by the Ministry said the government recognises fully its obligations towards the Union and is making all the necessary moves to ensure full and prompt compliance with the acquis.
The Ministry also expressed satisfaction with the contents of the Strategy Paper on Turkey which notes that the absence of a political settlement in Cyprus could become a serious obstacle to Turkey's EU aspirations.
The Ministry described as ''positive'' the Commission's view that a solution to the Cyprus question can still be found before May 1 next year so that a reunited Cyprus joins the Union.
Cyprus, the statement said, had notified the Commission on the very latest developments in the implementation of its commitments in the problematic areas the Commission identifies, which due to lack of time they have not been incorporated in the report.
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