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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (PM), 98-12-11

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Hellenic Bank - Greece
  • [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange
  • [03] European Parliament President - Turkey - Ocalan
  • [04] Women - Hunger strike - Human Rights
  • [05] EU Commissioner - Cyprus
  • [06] Ombudsman - House - Approval
  • [07] Miller - Departure - Cyprus problem

  • 1520:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Hellenic Bank - Greece

    Athens, Dec 11 (CNA) -- The first branch of Cyprus' Hellenic Bank in Greece was inaugurated last night in Athens, paving the way for the Bank's expansion in the country.

    The branch, which is located at the Kolonaki square, was inaugurated by the Greek Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralisation Alecos Papadopoulos.

    The Hellenic Bank is the third bank of Cyprus to operate in Greece as both the Bank of Cyprus and the Cyprus Popular Bank have already expanded in the country.

    Present at the inauguration ceremony were also the Cypriot Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Nicos Rolandis, the Mayor of Athens Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus Afxentis Afxentiou, the Greek Ambassador in Nicosia Kyriacos Rodousakis and the Ambassador of Cyprus in the Greek capital Christodoulos Pashardis.

    Speaking at the ceremony, the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Hellenic Bank Panos Galanos said the inauguration of the branch is just the beginning of a new expansion for the Bank.

    He added that the Bank is examining the establishment of a full network of branches in Athens, Piraeus and Thessaloniki.

    Papadopoulos stressed that Hellenic Bank's expansion to Greece will prove beneficial to both the Bank itself and the Greek economy.

    CNA MK/GG/GP/1998

    [02] Cyprus Stock Exchange

    Nicosia, Dec 11 (CNA) -- The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) All Share Index closed at today's stock exchange meeting as follows:
          CSE General Index                          90.26 (-0.07)
          Traded Value            CYP 1,710,292
          Sectural Indices
          Banks                   CYP   620,425     104.16 (-0.14)
          Approved Investment
          Companies               CYP    45,983      59.54 (-0.03)
          Insurance Companies     CYP   531,581      69.12 (-0.65)
          Manufacturing Companies CYP    62,276      88.07 ( 0.46)
          Tourism Companies       CYP   148,858      67.56 (-0.01)
          Trading Companies       CYP    95,596      43.43 ( 0.56)
          Other Companies         CYP   100,440      82.78 ( 0.50)
    The third column presents the percentage variation of the indices as compared to the last meeting.
    CNA MM/1998

    [03] European Parliament President - Turkey - Ocalan

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Vienna, Dec 11 (CNA) -- The rules for membership to the European club are set and it is up to the ones interested to join to meet them in order to succeed in becoming members, European Parliament President Jose Maria Gil Robles stressed here today, commenting on Turkey's European prospect.

    Replying to questions during a press conference on the first day of the European Council Vienna summit, Robles expressed the Parliament's desire that Turkey progresses towards fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria.

    Robles made special reference to the need for respect of human rights and contribution towards a solution of the Cyprus problem as two of the criteria Turkey has to meet.

    "We want progress to be made rapidly so that negotiations can proceed, " the European Parliament President said, pointing out however that "this does not depend on us, but on Turkey."

    Robles stressed "the rules for joining the club are what they are" and countries wishing to become members should see to them.

    Invited to comment on recent tensions in relations between Turkey and Italy following Ankara's request for the extradition of Kurdish rebel leader Abudllah Ocalan, arrested in Rome, Robles reaffirmed the European Parliament's decision to hold a conference on the Kurdish issue.

    "The Parliament does not change its mind every fortnight, especially if there are no new developments to cause such changes," he added.

    Robles said that "the Ocalan case unfortunately only complicates an already difficult issue."

    CNA MCH/MA/MM /1998


    [04] Women - Hunger strike - Human Rights

    Nicosia, Dec 11 (CNA) -- "I insist and demand to know what happened to my 13 relatives missing since the 1974 invasion of Cyprus," Panayiota Solomi, a refugee from the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta, has told CNA.

    Solomi is one of about 20 women who participated in a three-day hunger strike, which ended today, held at the Ledra Palace checkpoint in Nicosia, near the UN controlled buffer zone dividing the island.

    The women held the hunger strike to commemorate the 50th anniversary since the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

    The Red Cross has listed 1619 persons as missing in the aftermath of the 1974 Turkish invasion and occupation of 37 per cent of the island's territory.

    A specially set up committee on missing persons, made up of representatives from the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides and the UN, has failed so far to yield any results about the fate of the missing.

    Last year's agreement between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot sides to exchange information about the sites of graves has also ended in failure because of the unwillingness of the Turkish Cypriot side to cooperate for its implementation.

    A US investigation into the whereabouts of five missing American citizens located the remains of one of them and concluded that the remaining four did not survive the events in the summer of 1974.

    Harita Mandoles, from the Turkish occupied town of Kyrenia who has six family members missing, told CNA "they (the Turks) have taken my husband and my relatives. I don't know what they've done with them."

    Mandoles took part in the hunger strike and every weekend one finds her holding the pictures of her loved ones at the check-point where a protest aimed at dissuading tourists from visiting the occupied areas is being held for the past 28 months.

    "We will never stop the struggle to return to our homes and to establish the fate of those missing," she said.

    Around 200 thousand Greek Cypriots were forced to leave their homes as Turkish troops launched their offensive in Cyprus.

    "The message of our protest is that the women of Cyprus are trying to keep the memory of the missing persons alive and we demand restoration of our human rights," Eleni Koliou Kirkou, one of the organisers, told CNA.

    She said they organised the event "to underline once more that Turkey continues to violate human rights in Cyprus."

    Over the years the women of Cyprus have been in the forefront of the struggle against the Turkish occupation. They formed a human chain along the ceasefire line dividing the island and organised several marches to protest the Turkish occupation.

    CNA MEM/MA/MM/1998

    [05] EU Commissioner - Cyprus

    by Maria Chrysanthou

    Vienna, Dec 11 (CNA) -- European Commissioner responsible for enlargement, Hans Van den Broek, has told President Glafcos Clerides that Cyprus is way ahead of the other candidate countries for accession to the European Union as far as harmonisation issues are concerned.

    President Clerides had a brief meeting Thursday evening with the EU commissioner on the sidelines of an European People's Party summit held here.

    Van den Broek also expressed the view that Cyprus has the ability to overcome any difficulties relating to the Maastricht criteria.

    Meanwhile, replying to questions during a press conference today the Dutch Commisioner said "the Commission has presented an analysis of the state of progress of Turkey in preparing for membership."

    He also expressed the hope for "an intensification of the constructive dialogue with Turkey" in an effort to overcome "step by step the difficulties we have".

    Van den Broek stressed that Turkey remains for the EU "a strategic and important partner."

    The EU told Ankara that it must comply with its criteria, on issues such as human rights, and must help efforts for a settlement to the Cyprus and the Kurdish questions, if its application for membership is to be advanced.

    Invited to comment on Van den Broek's statements, Cyprus Government Spokesman Christos Stylianides said "Cyprus, as well as Greece, have always supported Turkey's European orientation", but pointed out that Ankara should respect the principles upheld by Europe and expressed in Copenhagen.

    The Spokesman cited statements made by European Parliament President Jose Maria Gil Robles that the rules for EU membership are set and it is up to the ones interested to join to meet them.

    "Turkey's European orientation will also benefit the Turkish people", Stylianides said, adding, however, that "no state can enter the European family if it does not fulfil the Copenhagen criteria."

    Stylianides said Van den Broek was urging Turkey to behave towards the Cyprus problem according to the European spirit and the December 1997 Luxembourg conclusions.

    "Turkey has to realise that the Cyprus problem is a thorn in Turkey's relation with the EU", Stylianides said, stressing that Ankara should take this into serious consideration and assist efforts for a solution to the Cyprus question and reducing tension on the island.

    Concluding Stylianides confirmed that President Clerides and Greek Prime Minister Costas Simites will meet tomorrow on the sidelines of the European Council Vienna Summit in an effort to better serve the interests of Hellenism in the framework of the EU.

    CNA MCH/MA/MM/1998

    [06] Ombudsman - House - Approval

    Nicosia, Dec 11 (CNA) -- The House of Representatives has given its consent to the appointment of Iliana Nicolaou as the Republic's second ombudsperson.

    Nicolaou, president of the Family Court, was proposed by President Glafcos Clerides, as part of the government's efforts to promote women in high-ranking positions.

    The President is expected to officially announce her appointment soon. Nicolaou will be taking over from Nicos Charalambous, the Republic's first ombudsman, who has been appointed Deputy Attorney General.

    She will be the second woman to take up an important government post, after Chrystalla Yiorkatzi was appointed Auditor General last month.

    CNA MA/MM/1998

    [07] Miller - Departure - Cyprus problem

    Larnaca, Dec 11 (CNA) -- US State Department Cyprus Coordinator Thomas Miller said there will be some kind of move on the Cyprus issue in the next couple of weeks, which will be the result of a process now underway.

    Referring to his 24-hour trip here, Miller said he had "very useful meetings" with UN resident representative Dame Ann Hercus, US ambassador Kenneth Brill and others.

    Asked if he has specific results from his meetings, the American diplomat said "no, we're in the middle of a process and you'll see the results of that process when that process is over."

    "I would just urge you to wait and see what our efforts turn out to be, it's not going to be that long," Miller added.

    The American diplomat said "there's a number of things that are going to happen in the next couple of weeks, including deliberations at the Security Council so let's just wait and see when they come out."

    He assured that "when there are results, you'll see them, we're not going to keep them private."

    "Let's keep our focus on the outcome and the substance, whether it's a statement or whether it's a resolution, that is something that needs to be determined," Miller said.

    Asked if his discussions focused on security issues, the American diplomat underlined that he discussed "a whole range of issues" as his job is "to work on the Cyprus problem".

    Replying to questions on the Russian made missiles the Cyprus government has ordered to boost its air defence, Miller said "clearly that's an issue, that's a topic for discussion and I'm not going to deny that we discussed that, but there's a much bigger issue out there and not just the missiles."

    He said the US position on the missiles is known and added that "the Cypriot government is well aware of our views on this and we're working very closely with them on this issue."

    Miller said that US Presidential Emissary Richard Holbrooke does not intend to visit Cyprus at this point.

    The American diplomat left for Athens from where he will fly to Constantinople (Istanbul) to attend a meeting of Greek, Turkish and Cypriot (Greek and Turkish) businessmen to be held over the weekend.

    Miller said he and Holbrooke, who will also be in Turkey for the meeting, will not meet with Turkish officials.

    The two US officials will go to Athens on Monday for meetings with the Greek government.

    Replying to questions he said he would not be meeting with Turkish officials while in Constantinople.

    CNA MAN/MA/MM/1998
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