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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-05-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Kyprianou in team to monitor Montenegro elections
  • [02] Themistocleous vice-chairman of FAO meeting
  • [03] Cyprus, Belarus seeking ways of strengthening relations
  • [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [05] Belarus Premier meets Archbishop
  • [06] Danish drug suspect returns home
  • [07] Seychelles reaffirm support to Cyprus
  • [08] Foreign Minister concludes Dublin visit
  • [09] US Congressmen call for resumption of talks
  • [10] House rejects government tax package

  • 1510:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Kyprianou in team to monitor Montenegro elections

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- Cypriot deputy Markos Kyprianou left today for Montenegro to participate in a team that will monitor parliamentary elections to take place in the country on Sunday, May 31.

    Kyprianou is the head of the Cyprus delegation in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

    During their stay in Montenegro the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly team will have separate meetings with political party officials.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [02] Themistocleous vice-chairman of FAO meeting

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister, Costas Themistocleous, was elected today one of the four vice- chairmen of the 21st Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) regional meeting for Europe.

    The three other vice-chairmen are the Agriculture Ministers of Britain, Rumania and Finland.

    The three-day meeting taking place in Tallinn, Estonia, will tackle issues such as agricultural problems in European countries and programmes implemented by FAO in 1996-97.

    It will also formulate the policy and working programmes for the years 2000-2001.

    On the sidelines of the conference Themistocleous will have private meetings with FAO Director-General Jacques Diouf and other officials to discuss the island's agricultural development and technical aid to Cyprus.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [03] Cyprus, Belarus seeking ways of strengthening relations

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) --The governments of Cyprus and Belarus and the heads of the two countries' Chambers of Commerce and Industry today stressed their determination to strengthen bilateral relations.

    Speaking after a meeting with the Executive Committee of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE), attended by Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Nicos Rolandis, Belarus Prime Minister Sergei Ling said his country is "very interested" in strengthening relations between the two countries.

    On his part, Rolandis expressed confidence that the former soviet republic will become one of Cyprus' important trade partners, noting the government will "encourage two-way relations" in trade, investment and tourism.

    Vassilis Rologis, President of KEVE, Cyprus' largest employers' association, said Cyprus can serve as a bridge to Belarus for its trade and business expansion to regions such as the Middle East, the Gulf and Europe.

    Rologis pointed out many Cypriots want to do business with Belarus and reassured the former soviet republic's Premier that in the framework of KEVE's missions abroad, its members promote investment opportunities offered in Belarus.

    He also said KEVE will seek simplification of the procedures for people willing to do business with Belarus.

    His counterpart, Vladimir Liasun, stressed the need for the establishment of a legal basis regulating relations between the two countries.

    Liasun revealed that the two countries' Chambers of Commerce and Industry are envisaging the establishment of a Cyprus-Belarus trade house.

    After the meeting with KEVE's Executive Committee, the Belarus Premier presented to some thirty Cypriot business people the opportunities for investment and business in his country.

    CNA GG/MA/1998

    [04] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
    CSE All Share Index                    83,72 ( 0,42)
    Sectural Indices
    Banks                                  96,98 ( 0,33)
    Approved Investment Companies          60,83 ( 0,75)
    Insurance Companies                    61,89 ( 0,02)
    Industrial Companies                   75,58 ( 0,19)
    Tourist Industries                     68,70 ( 0,87)
    Commercial Companies                   47,22 (-0,86)
    Other Companies                        70,44 ( 2,91)
    Trading Volume                        1.367.217.48
    * The difference in brackets represents the percentage increase (+) or decrease (-) of the index from the previous stock exchange meeting.
    CNA MA/1998

    [05] Belarus Premier meets Archbishop

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- A Cyprus settlement should be based on UN resolutions, Prime Minister of Belarus, Sergei Ling stressed today, after a meeting with Primate of the Cyprus Greek Orthodox Church, Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    "In order to do away with division, the settlement of the Cyprus problem should be in accordance with UN resolutions and should observe human rights," the Belarus Premier pointed out.

    He said he discussed with Archbishop Chrysostomos issues relating to the "difficult" Cyprus problem and said he was saddened by the fact that the island "still remains divided".

    Ling expressed the hope "human rights will triumph in the end and the Cyprus state will retain its integrity and the refugees will return to their homes."

    Referring to relations between the Churches of Belarus an Cyprus, Ling described them as "very good" and said he was honoured to meet with Archbishop Chrysostomos.

    On his part the Primate of the Cyprus Church said he briefed the Prime Minister of Belarus on the Cyprus problem and asked for his country's support, pointing out that both countries are Christian Orthodox.

    Ling, who is on a three-day official visit to Cyprus, will return to Belarus tomorrow.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [06] Danish drug suspect returns home

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- A Dane held in Cyprus on suspicion of drug trafficking voluntarily returned to his country this afternoon.

    Kurt Nielsen, 32, was arrested by the Cyprus police on May 22 after receiving an Interpol Copenhagen warrant seeking his arrest.

    According to Interpol, in November 1995, Nielsen with other associates had in their possession 100 kilos of cannabis which they intended to sell.

    Two Danish Drug Squad officers escorted Nielsen to Copenhagen.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [07] Seychelles reaffirm support to Cyprus

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- Seychelles stand by the side of the Cypriot people and the Republic of Cyprus, the only one they recognise, President Albert Rene has stressed.

    In a meeting with Cyprus High Commissioner to Seychelles, Costas Papadimas, who had earlier presented his credentials, President Rene also described Turkish demands for recognition of the illegal entity in the Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus as a separate state as unacceptable.

    He made special reference to the stay of late Archbishop Makarios in the islands, in 1956, during his exile by the British colonial regime ruling Cyprus at the time.

    Cyprus gained its independence from Britain in 1960 and Archbishop Makarios was its first President.

    Pointing out that Makarios is part of the history of the Seychelles, President Rene did not rule out the possibility of the allotment of land for the construction of an Orthodox church and a monument in honour of Makarios.

    President Rene and Papadimas also discussed bilateral issues and the signing of bilateral agreements for the promotion and protection of investments, scientific, technical and industrial cooperation, and for the evasion of double taxation.

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [08] Foreign Minister concludes Dublin visit

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides today spoke on "Cyprus and the European Union" at an event organised at the Dublin Institute on European Affairs.

    A round table discussion followed the Minister's speech, attended by Irish Attorney General David Byrne, ambassadors and members of the diplomatic service.

    Kasoulides, who was on a two-day working visit to Ireland, also met the Chairman of Joint Committee of Foreign Affairs Committee Desmond O' Malley with whom he discussed relations between the two countries, the Northern Ireland problem and Cyprus' accession to the European Union.

    The Foreign Minister was scheduled to leave Dublin for London, later today, and from there he will fly to Athens for a meeting with Greek government officials on Saturday.

    CNA MA/MCH/1998

    [09] US Congressmen call for resumption of talks

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- Two US Congressmen today called for the resumption of bi-communal talks as the only way for a Cyprus settlement, pointing out that demilitarisation should be the ultimate goal.

    Speaking after a meeting with President Glafcos Clerides, which they described as "very good, frank and informative", Republican Don Nickles and Democrat, Joe Lieberman, pointed to their country's friendly relations with Cyprus, Greece and Turkey and expressed the wish "to see the animosities and the Cyprus problem resolved".

    The two Congressmen refrained from talking directly of the Turkish invasion against Cyprus, claiming that there was a significant intercommunal conflict.

    "I accept the fact that there is a very significant conflict," Nickles said, asked whether he acknowledged the fact that there was a Turkish invasion in 1974.

    On his part, Lieberman said that "unfortunately there has been intercommunal conflict here for a long period of time", agreeing, however, that "in 1974 there was an invasion and the island is divided".

    He also said "it is a tragedy to see not only an island divided, as a result of the events of 1974, but also a great city like Nicosia" adding that "no other city in the world is divided like this".

    Commenting on government plans to deploy the S-300 defence missile system on the island later this year, Nickles expressed the hope it will not be deployed, adding: "We are concerned about escalation amongst friends, NATO allies".

    On the same issue, Lieberman described it as "an unfortunate turn of events when escalation occurs militarily and both sides are not talking to one another".

    The congressman said "the escalation of tension here involves not only our friends in Cyprus, but obviously Greece and Turkey and NATO more generally and in that sense involves the vital national security interests of the US."

    He also expressed Congress support to the efforts of US Presidential Emissary, Richard Holbrooke, and State Department Special Coordinator for Cyprus, Thomas Miller, for the resumption of bi-communal talks.

    Agreeing with his colleague, Nickles stressed that the Cyprus problem "won't be resolved unless both sides are talking".

    Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktash is refusing to participate in peace talks unless his illegal regime in the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus is recognised and Cyprus withdraws its application to join the European Union.

    Asked whether the presence of Turkish occupation troops in the northern part of the island contributes to escalation of tension, Lieberman said he personally thought "the ultimate goal here should be demilitarisation of the island, but that is for the parties themselves to decide".

    The Congressmen were scheduled to meet Denktash in the Turkish-occupied part of Nicosia after their meeting with President Clerides.

    "We certainly will appeal to Denktash to at least go back to the table and begin discussions again", Lieberman said, stressing that "there will be no progress here and no hope unless the parties are talking once again".

    CNA MCH/MA/1998

    [10] House rejects government tax package

    Nicosia, May 28 (CNA) -- A 10-point government tax package, aimed at increasing public revenue by 143 million pounds in 1998, was not approved today by the House of Representatives. (One Cyprus pound is about two US dollars)

    The government legislation tabled Thursday provided for an increase in consumer goods taxes, including fuel, cigarettes and car import duties as well as an increase in value added tax (VAT).

    However, the government did not manage to secure a majority vote in the 56-member parliament, as only ruling right-wing Democratic Rally (DISI) voted in favour of the legislation.

    Thirty-three of the MPs present voted against the legislation on consumer goods, while there was one abstention.

    Legislation on VAT, abolition of duty free for semi-official organisations and a levy on mobile phones was referred to the House Finance Committee.

    The MPs of left-wing AKEL, centre-right DIKO, Socialist EDEK and the United Democrats voted against the consumer goods legislation, supporting that before February's presidential elections, President Glafcos Clerides had pledged not to increase taxes.

    The government tax package aimed at reducing fiscal deficit to 5 or 5,5 per cent of gross domestic product in 1998, from a current projection of up to seven per cent

    Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou, who followed the plenary session, expressed deep regret with the House decision, noting that the arguments put forward were not convincing.

    He disagreed with MPs who had supported that the government had backed down from its pre-election promises, describing this view as a "simplification".

    "The essence of the question is whether or not there is a need for more revenue in order to continue government policy, that has a social context and is in line with our European Union course," Christodoulou said.

    The Finance Minister said the island's economy is "very healthy" and noted that the fiscal deficit is not the only criterion on which a country's economy is judged.

    He described the "gloomy picture painted" by MPs as far from reality and said the government "would continue consultations with the House, in the hope that we will find a solution acceptable to all."

    The measures proposed by the government included an increase of four per cent on VAT, from the eight per cent it is today to 12 per cent, as from September 1st, and an increase in car registration fees and road tax by 35 per cent as from January 1999.

    Cigarettes would have increased by 25 cents, per packet of 20, and petrol by 5 cents per litre as from next month.

    They also proposed a change in the tax coefficient on imported second hand vehicles and an increase on import duties on four-wheel drive cars by 20 per cent, in June.

    Earlier today, Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides defended the government policy, noting "it could not ignore specific realities that exist in the economy, in view of the fact that our EU accession course has already began."

    Cyprus' accession talks with the EU got underway in March and the government aims at complying with the EU Maastricht criteria for economic and monetary union.

    CNA SD/MA/MCH/1998
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