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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-03-05

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Cyprus deplores planned conversion of monastery into hotel
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] Popular Bank Group-Results 1998
  • [04] Runner-up takes seat in House of Representatives
  • [05] Van den Broek meets Cyprus' accession talks Head
  • [06] Foreign Minister meets EU Commissioner

  • 1530:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Cyprus deplores planned conversion of monastery into hotel

    Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- Cyprus has denounced to the UN Turkish plans to convert an Armenian monastery in the occupied part of Cyprus into a hotel.

    In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, which circulated yesterday as an official document of the General Assembly, Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the UN, Sotos Zakheos said the Turkish Cypriot press announced plans for the conversion of the Armenian monastery of St. Makar into a 50-bed hotel.

    "This conversion is in violation of the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict and the Declaration of the Principles of International Cultural Cooperation adopted by the General Conference of UNICEF," Zakheos said.

    Furthermore, he noted that the planned illegal conversion of the monastery "will do irreparable damage not only to the Armenian people and the Armenian church but also to the cultural and historical character of Cyprus."

    The monastery was built in the 10th century and is considered one of the most significant places of worship for the Armenian people in general.

    It was looted, vandalised and partly destroyed after the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of the island's northern third.

    The St. Makar monastery is situated in the northern occupied mountain range of Pentadaktylos.

    CNA EC/AP/1998

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Mar 05 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    84,13 ( 1,26)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  97,73 ( 1,05)
    Approved Investment Companies          65,79 ( 0,97)
    Insurance Companies                    60,78 ( 1,76)
    Industrial Companies                   77,57 (-0,36)
    Tourist Industries                     70,62 ( 4,14)
    Commercial Companies                   44,88 ( 6,22)
    Other Companies                        67,09 ( 0,61)
    Trading Voulume                        2,375,070
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA AP/1998
    1830:0CYPPRESS:03 Popular Bank Group-Results 1998

    Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- The Popular Bank Group today announced operating profits of 44,1 million Cyprus pounds for 1997, an increase of 20, 8 per cent compared to that of the previous year (one Cyprus pound is equal to 1,87 US dollars).

    Presenting at a press conference the Group's 1997 results, Chairman Kikis Lazarides warned that unless Cyprus harmonises its financial system with the acquis communautaire, its accession to the European Union (EU) will not be a reality.

    Lazarides described the Group's results as "outstanding" and noted the profit per share increased to 30,1 cents from 25,7 cents in the previous year.

    Referring to the dividend, he said as a result of the Group's policy in recent years it will be high. He revealed that the Group's Board will propose an additional dividend of 12 per cent to the one of 8 per cent already paid.

    Lazarides said the Group's efforts to curb spending have been successful, since its spending/revenues ratio fell in 1997 to 55,1 per cent, from 56,2 per cent in 1996.

    The Group's objectives are based on the three branches of its strategy, which are high-quality service, technological superiority and high profitability.

    Another element of the Group's strategy is the expansion of its activities abroad, and specifically in Greece, the UK, the Balkans and Eastern Europe, he added.

    Referring to the island's economy future prospects, Lazarides was optimistic for 1998, mainly because of a recovery in tourism, particularly from the UK.

    He pointed out however that the structural problems facing the economy, which keep productivity low, must be eliminated.

    Lazarides said Cyprus' economy must be modernised to be in line with international developments such as globalisation, while commenting on the trade unions' role he said they must accept the principle of a flexible labour market.

    CNA GG/AP/1998

    [03] Runner-up takes seat in House of Representatives

    Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- Elias Myrianthous is the new member of the 56-seat House of Representatives, replacing Yiannakis Omirou, who was appointed Minister of Defence.

    Myrianthous, 31, gave this afternoon the prescribed affirmation in the House, which held its first session after the February presidential elections.

    Myrianthous was the runner-up of the Socialist EDEK party in the May 1996 Parliamentary elections, for the western District of Paphos.

    Omirou was appointed as Defence Minister in the new cabinet of re- elected President Glafcos Clerides.

    Myrianthous, who is the father of a son, was born in 1967 in Paphos and studied law in Salonica, Greece.

    CNA AP/GP/1998

    [04] Van den Broek meets Cyprus' accession talks Head

    Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- The further preparation for the negotiating process was discussed here today between the EU Commissioner for External Relations Hans Van den Broek and the Head of Cyprus' delegation for accession talks George Vassiliou.

    "Interests at stake are great and where we can assist we will do that", Van den Broek said.

    He reiterated that he works towards a result where both communities (Greek and Turkish Cypriot) can benefit from it but he avoided "to go into details in the present point of time".

    "We hope again that results will be achieved. We do our best", Van den Broek added.

    Vassiliou noted that the only issue they discussed was the ways of the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the talks.

    "We can agree to proposals which could be accepted by the EU, even though I believe that no one could make any proposals which could be accepted by the Turkish Cypriots", the former Cyprus President remarked.

    Present at the Vassiliou-Van den Broek talks was the representative of the British EU presidency for the Cyprus problem, Sir David Hannay.

    Cyprus' membership talks with the EU are scheduled to start on March 31, 1998.

    CNA AA/GP/1998

    [05] Foreign Minister meets EU Commissioner

    Nicosia, Mar 5 (CNA) -- The Cyprus government is ready to conform with the conclusions of the Luxembourg European Council, regarding the participation of the Turkish Cypriots in the accession negotiations.

    Foreign Minister, Ioannis Kasoulides was commenting on statements made by European External Relations Commissioner, Hans Van den Broek, after a meeting here this evening, during which they discussed technical issues in view of the start of the accession talks in March.

    Van den Broek said he hoped that on the political issue, some progress can be achieved.

    He stressed however "that there we say it needs two to tango as a matter of fact, but I must say the Cypriot government is well prepared".

    Regarding his meeting with Kasoulides, Van den Broek said it is important "that we use the opportunity to hear how preparations are proceeding in Cyprus", given the fact that the negotiating process is going to start on March 31.

    Noting that it was "very useful", Van den Broek stressed that "we are on a long road in fact forward... but I think everything is firmly on track, as far as technical preparations are concerned".

    The Commissioner said he is looking forward to further intensive contact on the 12th of March when the European Conference will be held, on the 30th of March during the official opening of the enlargement process and on the 31st of March, where the official negotiation process will start.

    In his statements, Kasoulides said the government "will prove that it is ready to tango, as long as there is a partner. We will fully conform with the conclusions of the Luxembourg European Council", he said.

    Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktash, has refused to meet Van den Broek and the representative of the British EU presidency, Sir David Hannay.

    Kasoulides emphasised that if the Turkish Cypriots participate in the talks, "so much the better, if not, the talks will proceed. Our political aim is that the talks should anyway be completed", he added.

    The Cyprus government has proposed Turkish Cypriot participation in the accession talks, provided that they accept the principle of Cyprus' accession to the EU and the Turkish Cypriot representatives are part of the Republic's negotiating team.

    The Dutch Commissioner winds up his visit tomorrow with a bicommunal press conference in the UN-controlled buffer zone in Nicosia.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied 37 percent of the island's territory.

    CNA EC/GP/1998
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