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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 97-12-12

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [02] One EU negotiation process but different pace
  • [03] Women tackle pivotal human rights issues
  • [04] EU reaffirms decision to open talks with Cyprus
  • [05] Accession talks to assist Cyprus peace effort

  • 1600:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Dec 12 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    76.72 (-0.03)
    Highest: 82.46 (2/1/97)
    Lowest : 73.90 (30/1/97)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  87.48 (-0.28)
    Approved Investment Companies          59.43 (-0.93)
    Insurance Companies                    58.56 (+0.57)
    Industrial Companies                   74.70 (+0.61)
    Tourist Industries                     62.51 (+0.14)
    Commercial Companies                   42.16 (-1.03)
    Other Companies                        63.41 (+2.04)
    Trading Volume                         CYP 427360.430
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MM/1997

    [02] One EU negotiation process but different pace

    Nicosia, Dec 12 (CNA) -- Any difficulties in getting the European Union enlargement negotiations underway can be overcome, according to British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, who was asked whether the unpopular desire of Turkey to gain admission makes enlargement negotiations difficult.

    Speaking on BBC World Service, Blair said "what is essential, is to realise that we want a process, in which a whole range of countries are involved, but, of course, there will be important, substantive negotiations that will occur with those countries, where it is already envisaged that they will come in within a shorter timescale than others".

    He also pointed out that what is sought is "one process that envelopes everybody, but you want to make it clear that obviously there are going be differences in the readiness and state of preparation between individual countries".

    Furthermore, British Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, said that "we have an historic opportunity now to open the doors of Europe to the new democracies of Central and Eastern Europe and that is why we are determined that under the British Presidency (of the EU) we will get the enlargement negotiations off to a flying start with those countries that are ready for negotiation".

    Concerning Turkey, Cook told "Today" programme that "there are very formidable obstacles that Turkey must itself get right before it can be considered as a credible candidate for membership".

    He added that "we do want to have political dialogue with Turkey, because we do want to encourage Turkey to make sure that it does put right its failings on human rights, on the control of its borders, on its respect for ethnic minorities".

    Cook said Britain is "not going to concede any kind of veto to Turkey over the application for Cyprus, which should be judged on its own merits and which we warmly support".

    CNA RG/MM/1997

    [03] Women tackle pivotal human rights issues

    by Myria Antoniadou

    London, Dec 12 (CNA) -- Women from around the world, conferring here over the past week, dealt with human rights as women's rights, international human rights institutions, governance and democratisation and networks and support campaigns.

    Over 30 delegates from 26 countries, including Cyprus, participated in a British Council-sponsored international seminar on "Women, human rights, culture and tradition" which aimed to identify, analyse and better understand the parametres that affect practical application of human rights for women.

    "One of the conclusions from the seminar, which ended today, is that civil, cultural and religious values influence the manner and level of the application of women's human rights," Kalliopi Agapiou Iossiphidou, lecturer at the University of Cyprus, told CNA in London.

    "Cyprus is no exception to this assertion," she said and explained that traditional values seem to be responsible for the absence of Cypriot women in decision-making bodies and in the Parliament, despite the fact that Cypriot women are well qualified for that.

    She did, however, point out that Cyprus does not face the serious problems Islamic countries have to deal with, but noted that religious and cultural factors appear, at times, to be at odds with Cyprus' legal obligations emanating from international treaties the country has signed or ratified.

    Professor of international law, Christine Chinkin, of the London School of Economics, told the seminar women's rights are not fully protected by international law for reasons such as the acceptance of state reservations to specific articles of conventions.

    "One of the major drawbacks of human rights protection for women is that they are directed towards public state action," she said.

    She also noted that "many abuses occur within the private arena and are committed or instigated by family members and by other private individuals such as employers or community leaders rather than public officials."

    Maria Regina Tavares de Silva, advisor on the Commission for equality and human rights of the Council of Europe, pointed out that "full human development for women is a prerequisite for the fulfillment of universal human rights in Europe and therefore women's human rights will have to remain on the agenda for a long while."

    Genuine democracy until now has not fully taken into account women's human rights, she added, noting that the Council has been concerned over the years about "balanced participation and representation of women and men in political and public life."

    "In the name of culture and tradition, violations of universal rights can and do occur, not only in less developed societies, as some people often think, considering our European society free from that sin," she acknowledged.

    Another speaker, Shaheen Sarder Ali, professor of law and fellow of the University of Hull, said that "customs get validation from us" and noted it is "difficult to strategise unless you get your own thoughts into perspective."

    Baroness Valerie Amas called on Non-Governmental organisations to be "very active" and stressed that "rights are not just about inequality."

    CNA MA/MM/1997

    [04] EU reaffirms decision to open talks with Cyprus

    by Emilia Christofi

    Luxembourg, Dec 12 (CNA) -- The European Council decided to open accession talks with Cyprus and another five Central and Eastern European countries, Greek premier Costas Simitis said here today.

    Speaking at a press conference, he said the process, set to start on March 30, will eventually lead to full EU membership but each country will move along at its own pace.

    "As far as Cyprus is concerned, the general consensus is that accession negotiations should proceed. Nobody raised the issue of linking membership talks with efforts to settle the Cyprus question," the Greek premier said.

    As for another five European countries, candidates for accession, the Council decided to have contact at Foreign Ministerial level to help them prepare for participation in an intergovernmental conference, Simitis told the press.

    "The process will last a long time," he explained.

    Simitis welcomed the Council decision and described it as "particularly significant because it indicates that the EU has decided not to restrict itself to a close circle of developed countries but to expand and embrace as many European states as possible."

    Replying to questions, he said on March 30, EU Foreign Ministers will meet their counterparts from candidate countries. He also explained that each country will follow a different timetable.

    Simitis reiterated that he does not consider Turkey as a candidate country.

    "Turkey has told the EU presidency she is not interested in participating in a European conference," he said, hinting that such a conference may take on an altogether different format.

    CNA MM/RG/1997

    [05] Accession talks to assist Cyprus peace effort

    By Emilia Christofi

    Nicosia, Dec 12 (CNA) -- Greek Deputy Foreign Minister, George Papandreou, said that the start of European Union accession negotiations with Cyprus gives a push to form "the prerequisites for a viable and just solution to the Cyprus problem".

    Speaking to Cypriot journalists after today's meeting of EU heads of state and governments on enlargement, Papandreou said "it is a challenge for the Turkish Cypriots and a challenge to Turkey herself, who at the end of the day, has the basic responsibility for the Cypriot tragedy".

    He explained that Turkey has two alternatives, "either to conform and contribute towards a just solution to the Cyprus problem, thus assisting the participation of Turkish Cypriots in Cyprus and possibly in the negotiations, or to keep up its rigid stance on the division of Cyprus".

    Papandreou said that at the end of the day, "Turkey will miss an historic chance for the Turkish Cypriots themselves to become part of this large family".

    He added that the position of Greece is that "Cyprus must proceed, either with one or the other option."

    Papandreou also mentioned that the participation of Turkish Cypriots in EU accession talks was not brought up during today's meeting.

    CNA EC/RG/MM/1997

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