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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-08-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The work of the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) is progressing in a satisfactory manner, Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas has said and called on the Turkish Cypriot side to reinforce this effort.

    Responding to a question about the financing of CMP, the Spokesman said the government had already allocated funds to the Committee and that there was funding from other states too.

    ``What we expect and would like to see is for the Turkish Cypriot community to follow suit, in this clearly humanitarian and sensitive issue``, he told his press briefing.

    He said that the government considers that the work of the CMP is progressing in a satisfactory manner and we hope it will continue in the same rhythm so that this aspect of the Cypriot tragedy will end the soonest possible.

    The CMP, a tripartite committee set up in the early 80s, has been engaged in a process of exhumation and identification of remains of missing persons, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, with the help of forensic experts from the islands both communities.

    In the recent spade of exhumations, 38 Greek Cypriots and 19 Turkish Cypriots, who were listed as missing, have been identified through the DNA method. Greek Cypriots went missing during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus and Turkish Cypriots went missing during intercommunal strife in the early 60s.


    Scores of candles will be lit in all towns of the government controlled part of Cyprus on Saturday, in memory of the 121 victims, killed in an air crash, near Athens in August 2005. A press release issued by the Committee of relatives of the victims says that candles will be lit in Nicosia, Limassol, Larnaca and Paralimni at 2000 (1700 GMT).

    We call on everybody to light a candle for those who died in such unfair circumstances. For us the relatives, it will be a comfort to see that you too are keeping their memory alive by lighting a candle, the press release said in its appeal.

    A memorial service will be held on Sunday, officiated by Archbishop Chrysostomos II, and attended by Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    On August 14, an Helios Boeing flying to Prague via Athens crashed into the mountain side of Grammatiko, north of the Greek capital. All passengers and crew on board perished. Most of the victims were Cypriots. A report by the Greek commission of inquiry into the cause of the crash suggested that human error coupled with mechanical problems led the aircraft to crash.


    Expenditure for research and development in Cyprus in 2005 has increased compared with previous years but continues to be low compared to other European Union members. The Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus has announced that total expenditure in Cyprus in 2005 is estimated at 31,9 mn which corresponds to 0,41% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to 27,2 mn or 0,37% of the GDP in 2004 and 23,9 mn or 0,35% in 2003. Despite the increase of 17,0% recorded in R & D expenditure in 2005 relative to 2004, the share of the GDP of Cyprus devoted to R & D activities continues to be low compared to other countries.

    The share of R & D expenditure to the GDP of the member states of the European Union stands at 1,84% on average. By sector of performance, the higher education institutions accounted for 12,4 mn or 38,9% of total R & D expenditure, the government for 10,1 mn or 31,8%, the business enterprises for 7,0 mn or 22,0% and the private non-profit institutions for 2,3 mn or 7,2%. In the business enterprise sector, computer and related activities constituted the principal source of R & D activity, with a total R & D expenditure of 2,6 mn, while of particular importance was also the contribution of the manufacturing industry (and particularly the manufacturers of chemicals and chemical products) with 2,3 mn.

    The biggest part of R & D expenditure was devoted to the natural sciences (11,0 mn), while the agricultural sciences absorbed 5,9 mn, engineering and technology 5,8 mn, the social sciences 5,2 mn, the humanities 2,5 mn and the medical sciences 1,5 mn. About 45,3% of R & D activity in 2005 was financed from government funds (14,4 mn), as compared with 11,9 mn or 43,8% in 2004, while 6,9 mn was drawn from the budget of the University of Cyprus and 3,5 mn from sources from abroad (including 2,7 mn from European Union funds). An amount of 7,0 mn constituted the contribution of the private sector, compared to 6,6 mn in 2004.


    Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas has condemned the expulsion of the Abbot of the Turkish occupied Monastery of Apostle Varnavas from the monastery, during a church service. Last Monday, the Turkish occupation army and so-called police ordered the Abbot and his entourage to leave the Monastery, in Turkish occupied Cyprus, while a church service was underway.

    Unfortunately this is not the first time that such phenomena take place. Needless to say that we condemn such behaviour which does not contribute to the creation of a positive climate between the two communities, Palmas said. On the contrary, he pointed out, it creates tension and raises suspicion, sentiments which do not help at all the effort to build a positive climate with regard to the Cyprus problem.

    Apostle Varnavas is the founder of the autocephalous Church of Cyprus. The Monastery bearing his name is situated outside Famagusta, in the areas of the Republic where the legal government of Cyprus does not exercise its jurisdiction because of the continuing Turkish occupation.

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