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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-07-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot member of the European Parliament Panayiotis Demetriou said that a written declaration on the protection and preservation of the religious heritage in the northern part of Cyprus adopted by the European Parliament is important both for cultural and political reasons.

    The written declaration by Demetriou and Italian member of the European Parliament Iles Braghetto which was signed by 407 MEPs, condemned the pillage of Greek Orthodox churches and monasteries and the removal of their ecclesiastical items, called on the Commission and the Council to take the necessary actions to ensure respect for the Treaty and the protection and restoration of the affected churches to their original Greek Orthodox status, called on the Commission and the Council to examine this matter under the relevant chapters of the negotiations with Turkey and instructed its President to forward this declaration, together with the names of the signatories, to the Commission and the Council.

    According to the declaration, more than 133 churches, chapels and monasteries that are located in the northern part of Cyprus controlled by the Turkish army since 1974 have been desecrated, 78 churches have been converted into mosques, 28 are used as military depots and hospitals and 13 are used as stockyards, and their ecclesiastical items, including more than 15,000 icons, have been illegally removed and their location remains unknown.

    Speaking at a press conference here, Demetriou said that the importance of this written declaration is mainly cultural as it aims at the protection of Cyprus religious heritage which is mainly consisted of churches, icons and other ecclesiastical items, but also a political one as it has drawn the attention of the members of the European Parliament towards the invasion and occupation of Cyprus and its consequences.


    The official interest rates of the Central Bank of Cyprus, that is the minimum bid rate on the main refinancing operations, the interest rate on the marginal lending facility and the interest rate on the overnight deposit facility remain unchanged at 3.25%, 4.25% and 2.25%, respectively.

    At a meeting on Friday and following an extensive discussion, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) noted that international and domestic developments have not substantially changed since its last meeting on 19 May 2006 so as to warrant a change in domestic interest rates at this juncture.

    With regard to international developments, the MPC took into consideration the wait-and-see stance adopted by the European Central Bank and the Bank of England at their respective meetings on Thursday, Central Bank of Cyprus Governor Christodoulos Christodoulou said after the MPC meeting.

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