|Wednesday, 21 April 2021|
Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation: News in English, 99-12-29
From: The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation at <http://www.cybc.com.cy/>
WEDNESDAY 29 DECEMBER 1999
 HEADLINESThe House has unanimously passed a taxation law on the Stock Exchange, and most have welcomed it, despite some minor misgivings,
The House also passed a law deregulating interest rates as of January 1st, 2001, despite opposition from AKEL deputies,
Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has said once more that Turkey will not make any concessions over Cyprus,
while, Turkish fighters violated Greece air space yesterday,
Violent storms ripping through Europe continue to claim lives,
Russian forces claim advances on rebel positions within Grozny,
Anti-European sentiment has never been higher in Britain,
AND Cyprus deputies are battening down the hatches on Y2K fears.
 EXCHANGE LAWThe House of Representatives has unanimously passed a law on the Cyprus Stock Exchange after day-long intensive consultations yesterday.
The law foresees that 1999 stock market profits are taxed. The first 35 thousand pounds in profits will remain untaxed, but anything over that amount will be taxed at five percent for private investors and 25 percent for companies.
It also forsees a 0.6 percent levy on private investors and a one percent levy on companies for all transactions made between 2000 and 2001.
 EXCHANGE HAPPYThe Cyprus Stock Exchange, brokers and investors alike, have welcomed the new -law on taxation.
However, brokers and investors remain guarded over certain aspects of the law.
Exchange Chairman Dinos Papadopoulos said he is satisfied with the fact that the law's passing has put an end to the uncertainty beseiging the CSE.
Mr. Papadopoulos said it is more logical for profits to be taxed, rather than having a levy imposed on transactions, adding that this will give the exchange a boost in the coming year.
Despite welcoming the law, Investors' Association President Christodoulos Ellinas did express some concern over the fact that the first 35 thousand pounds in profits will remain untaxed.
Association Vice-President Kypros Protopapas also welcomed the fact that the law has put an end to the uncertainty hanging over the exchange, but disagreed on the tax percentages.
He said taxes for private investors will amount to eight percent in total, since a three percent levy for defence will also be imposed.
 EXCHANGE HIKEThe Cyprus Stock exchange saw another hike in the general price index today, reaching almost 723, compared to 688 yesterday.
Volume reached over 32 million pounds, nine million more than yesterday.
Overall, 35 thousand, four hundred and fourty three transactions took place today.
Tomorrow's CSE session will begin at ten past ten in the morning, rather than the usual ten thirty.
 INTEREST RATESThe House of Representatives has also passed one of the more significant measures needed for harmonization with the European Union's Acquis Communautaire.
Interest rates will be deregulated as of the first of January, 2001.
Thirty deputies voted in favour of the bill, with 17 against.
Left-wing party AKEL voted against the bill, while socialist party EDEK expressed some reservations.
An AKEL proposal for deregulation to take effect in 2002 was rejected.
 VASILIOU RATESThe right thing to do, albeit a little slow in coming was how chief European Union negotiator George Vassiliou described yesterday's decision by the House to deregulate interest rates as of January 1st, 2001.
In statements to CyBC, Mr. Vassiliou said the significance of the decision is based on the fact that Cyprus is now entering the free market system and the move corresponds to the island's obligations to EU regulations.
Ask to comment on the date when the deregulation will come into effect, Mr. Vassiliou said this doesn't create a particular problem.
He said the most significant thing is that the law was passed and that Cyprus has ceased to be the last country with a ceiling on interest rates.
 ECEVIT CYPRUSTurkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit has reiterated that Turkey will not make any concessions over the Cyprus problem.
Speaking during a budget debate, Mr. Ecevit also said that Turkey did not make any concessions on Cyprus or bargain away its national interests at the Helsinki summit, before being declared as an EU candidate country.
He added that he told European leaders that they have to take into consideration the existence of two separate states on Cyprus and that any steps made by the Republic of Cyprus towards EU accession, will be matched by the occupation regime's unification with Turkey.
The Turkish Prime Minister also repeated the Turkish position that a reference in the Helsinki decision to third party views being taken into consideration pertains to the rights of Turkish Cypriots.
 TURKISH VIOLATIONSSix Turkish F-16 fighters violated Greek air space and Athens FIR yesterday, in the area between the islands of Samos and Rhodes.
The unarmed Turkish fighters entered Greek air space between six and ten nautical miles.
Sources within the Greek air force say that statements made by Turkish army chief of staff Hussein Kivrikoglou do not justify Turkey violating Greek air space.
 EUROPE WEATHERViolent storms sweeping across Europe continue to claim lives and sow destruction in their wake.
In Austria, a total of 12 people have lost their lives, while imenetrable fog and continuing snowfall are impeding with rescuers from reaching nine German tourists burried under an avalanche in Tyrell.
Meanwhile, two million people are still without power in France due to gale force winds knocking down power lines.
 SHIP WRECKA Russian tanker was sliced in half and sunk in the Sea of Marmara as a result of rough seas.
According to coast guard officials in Constantinople, all of the tankers' 17 sailors are safe.
The Russian tanker was shipping five thousand tons of oil, and there are reports that there is an oil slick over the sea.
 CHECHNYA TODAYRussian forces in Chechnya have announced that they have taken over strategically important positions in the capital Grozny.
They are preparing for a new attack against the main rebel base of operation in the southern part of the country.
Russian television broadcast pictures yesterday, showing special Russian police units entering Grozny's suburbs.
 ENGLAND EUROPEAnti-European sentiment has reached its highest level in Britain, after a poll indicated that 46 percent of the population wants out of the European Union.
According to the same poll, only 17 percent support Britain's entry into the monetary union.
Oppositely, 59 percent said they want to preserve the British pound.
 MILLENIUM CONCERNSSecurity forces in many countries have been placed on alert to avert terrorist acts that may occur during new year's eve celebrations.
A new year's party has been cancelled, in Seattle, USA, but other cities will carry on with celebrations on a hightened state of alert.
In Britain, as in other countries, large companies have decided to interrupt email services with the coming of the year 2000, concerned over the multitude of viruses that are expected to inundate the Internet by cyber-terrorists.
 MINISTERS Y2KMeanwhile, ministers in Cyprus will be on alert over millenium bug fears.
A Finance Ministry announcement states that ministers will be on guard to counter any problems that may arise with the coming of the new year.
All emergency services have prepared action plans to deal with any problems.
Anti-Y2K preparations were assumed by the Finance Ministry back in April of 1998.
 WEATHERThis afternoon will be mainly fine with cloudy periods that may produce some shower activity, mostly over the mountains.
Winds will be southwesterly moderate to strong, 4 to 5 beaufort on moderate to rough seas in windward areas.
Tonight will remain fine with some cloud. Winds will be northweasterly to northwesterly light, 2 to 3 beaufort, on slight to moderate seas.
The temperature will drop to 9 degrees inland, 13 on the coasts and 5 over the highest reaches of the Troodos mountains.