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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-01-29

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Cyprus House of Representatives has called on the international community to exert every possible pressure on Turkey to comply with international law and fulfill its international obligations regarding the right to life, including investigation and establishing the fate of missing persons the soonest possible.

    We have followed with repulsion the public confession by the Turkish former soldier Attila Olgac about his participation in the execution of persons captured by the Turkish troops during the 1974 invasion of Cyprus and we the House of Representatives unequivocally denounce the war crimes of the Turkish invasion troops in Cyprus since 1974, a resolution approved by the House plenary on Thursday said.

    It added that according to international law the execution of prisoners of war constitutes a war crime and noted that confessions of committing a crime, even by one person, reaffirm that the Turkish invasion troops conducted atrocities.

    The Cyprus House expressed its support to the Cyprus government and its moves to use every international political and legal forum provided to denounce Turkey for its continuing crime in Cyprus since 1974, including the perpetration of heinous assassinations of prisoners of war.

    The parliamentary parties unanimously expressed their unwavering support to all the victims of the Turkish invasion and the continuing occupation, but mainly to the relatives of missing persons in their struggle to ascertain the fate of their loved ones and the conditions under which they disappeared.

    The Cyprus House called on the Turkish government to cooperate even now, giving evidence to help establishe the fate of all missing persons and called on national parliaments of UN member states, the EU as well as the European Parliament, the Inter-parliamentary Union, the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly to express their support in practice towards this direction.

    The Cyprus House expressed its disappointment because the humanitarian issue of missing persons, despite any positive steps, has not been resolved yet, due to Turkeys refusal to comply with the European Court of Human Rights decisions and cooperate for the ascertainment of their fate, instead of denying its responsibilities in the issue of missing persons and the Cyprus question in general.


    The government wants Turkey to cooperate fully in determining the fate of missing persons in Cyprus, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Thursday, explaining that Turkey should fully meet its obligations emanating from the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in the Republic of Cyprus` fourth interstate appeal.

    Stephanou was replying to a question whether the government expected a more dynamic reaction on behalf of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan concerning the issue that arose from the confession of Turkish actor Attila Olgac that he killed ten Greek Cypriots during the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus.

    The Spokesman explained that this was the aim of the government decision to raise the issue at the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, which is the watchdog for the implementation of ECHR decisions.

    ``By raising this issue, we want to remind once again, to underline once again, that Turkey must fully implement the ECHR ruling,`` he concluded.

    The Court has asked Turkey to cooperate fully in the investigation into the fate of missing persons in Cyprus. Hundreds of Greek Cypriots have been missing since the 1974 Turkish invasion, many of whom were last seen alive in the hands of the Turkish military.


    Cyprus could not be exempted from the across the board deterioration of the economic outlook, but its economy is doing relatively better than most other economies in the European Union, Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) Athanasios Orphanides said in a speech during a dinner of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants on The International Financial Turmoil and the Economy.

    Noting that according to the Commission Cyprus GDP growth for 2009 is expected to average just 1,1%, compared to the 2,9% forecast presented in the autumn, Orphanides said that however, we cannot overlook the fact that any negative repercussions will be substantially milder as a result of our accession to the euro area and the adoption of the euro which acts as a shield against an exchange rate crisis.

    In addition, the stability of the single currency has been a significant factor in preserving the attractiveness of our banking system for foreign deposits in Cyprus. The biggest risk factor facing the banking system has been avoided and so far no serious problems have been experienced, he said, adding that the euro adoption in combination with the banking supervision by the Central Bank and the conservative lending policies of the commercial banks have contributed to the shield against the crisis.

    Of course, the fact that the UK, one of our major trading partners is one of the countries most affected by the financial crisis continues to be a source of concern. We will have to wait and see whether the expected decline in UK tourist arrivals and British purchases of houses will be as bad as is anticipated. In any event, our economy is doing relatively better than most other economies in the European Union, Orphanides noted.


    European elections will take place on June 6, Cyprus Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis announced on Thursday after a meeting of the Council of Ministers.

    Sylikiotis said that after a meeting of government officials with parliamentary parties it was decided that the European elections will take place on Saturday June 6, instead of June 7, as June 6-8 is a holiday weekend in Cyprus.

    The Interior Minister recalled that the referendum on a UN-proposed solution plan (the Annan plan) also took place on Saturday without any problems. Elections in Cyprus have traditionally taken place on Sundays.

    The Minister also noted that the results of the elections will be announced simultaneously in all EU members on Sunday evening and that it is important that there is no leakage of the results.

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