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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-04-21

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Finance Minister - ERBD
  • [02] AHEPA - Kyprianou - Meeting

  • 0900:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Finance Minister - ERBD

    Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA) -- Finance Minister, Takis Clerides expressed Cyprus' readiness to continue its contribution and involvement in the transition process of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (ERBD).

    Speaking during the annual meeting of the ERBD in London, in his capacity as governor of the ERBD for Cyprus, Clerides said "1998 was a difficult year for both the countries of Central and Eastern Europe as well as for the ERBD".

    He said the operation results of the bank for the year were "satisfactory" given that it has attained its targets as regards annual commitments of ECU 2,4 billion and actual disbursements in excess of 20 per cent of those for 1997.

    However, the bank has recorded for the first time since 1992 "a substantial loss of ECU 261,2 million".

    This, Clerides said, was due to the high level of provisions that was required in response to the crisis in Russia and elsewhere which led to a negative reserve position for the bank at the end of 1998.

    Clerides said he welcomes a "prudent and positive provisioning" noting he agrees with the need to rebuild adequate reserves through sustainable profitability,

    The Finance Minister also referred to the operational experience and priorities of the ERBD and said the "emphasis in promoting and developing small and medium enterprises" is a correct approach.

    He said the "dynamism of small and medium enterprises has contributed significantly to economic performance and recovery" in Cyprus following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus' northern third in 1974.

    "In supporting therefore the EBRD's agenda for implementing the Operational Priorities... I would reiterate my country's readiness to continue its contribution and involvement in the transition process, especially with regard to consulting services where Cyprus has the relevant expertise", he added.

    Clerides welcomed the appointment of Horst Kohler to the post of EBRD President.

    CNA EC/GP/1999

    [02] AHEPA - Kyprianou - Meeting

    Nicosia, Apr 21 (CNA) -- The American-Hellenic Educational Progressive Association (AHEPA) believes that Americans want to see a Cyprus settlement but the issue has been put aside due to other world affairs.

    AHEPA's Supreme President, Lee Rallis told reporters here Wednesday that the organisation "looks forward to the promise of President (Bill) Clinton to push for a final and compatible solution to the Cyprus problem."

    Speaking on behalf of an AHEPA delegation after meeting House President, Spyros Kyprianou, Rallis expressed support to the Cyprus cause and assured AHEPA is trying to "formulate some kind of a solution to the problem."

    Rallis said that Americans believe in freedom, liberty and democracy and "if you can touch the very essence of the Americans they believe that a Cyprus solution should come" and that this should be a "justified one".

    However, he added "the problem is that with all these other world affairs that come up, sometimes they put the Cyprus question at the back burner".

    The AHEPA Supreme President said the State Department acknowledges that a solution lies with the Turkish army "and there cannot be a solution until the Turkish army is made to move."

    Regarding the Yugoslav crisis, Rallis expressed the view that most Americans oppose the NATO bombings.

    He said AHEPA believes that the bombings should stop and that the UN should take up the issue, since Yugoslavia is a "sovereign state".

    He expressed the view that it is a matter which affects Europe, which includes Cyprus. "And as Americans, we hope that the bombing will stop," he added.

    Rallis also said that if the Albanians in Kosovo gain independence, "that will have a detrimental effect on the situation in Cyprus."

    The AHEPA leader described his meeting with Kyprianou as "very fine" adding they applaud his efforts to try to free the three US servicemen held by the Yugoslav army.

    Kyprianou's mission to Belgrade earlier this month failed after Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic would not hand over the three Americans.

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

    CNA MK/EC/MA/1999
    Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article
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