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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-05-08

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said that the government considers illegal the Turkish intention to launch tenders for research regarding possible hydrocarbon deposits in the sea area around Cyprus, noting however that this action did not affect the Republic of Cyprus in any way.

    Asked if the Turkish side has launched tenders over the internet for research in the same area as that covered by the Republic of Cyprus` tenders, President Papadopoulos said ``they have made an announcement,`` adding that ``a tender needs a special procedure.``

    ``We do not have full details yet. We consider the action illegal,`` the President pointed out.

    Asked if this action on behalf of the Turkish side could possibly cause any problems, President Papadopoulos said ``it does not affect us at all.``

    To a remark that the Turkish actions could cause a sense of uneasiness among countries wishing to invest in this sector, President Papadopoulos said he did not think it would, adding that ``the interest of foreign companies has not slackened.``


    The Cypriot veteran World War II volunteers, who held a gathering to mark the 62nd anniversary of the antifascist victory of the allied forces in 1945, said they intended to request a pension from the British government for their contribution.

    Speaking at the event in Nicosia, President of the Pancyprian Association of World War II Combatants Loizos Demetriou said veterans in many countries enjoy various benefits for their contribution and that the Cypriot volunteers ``are still waiting for recognition of their efforts.``

    He thanked President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos for a Council of Ministers decision to grant a special pension to the living volunteers, noting that many of them live below the poverty margin and ``it is our intention to demand a pension for the volunteers from the British government.``

    Addressing the event, President Papadopoulos said the Cypriot people are still struggling for the reunification of Cyprus and justice for all legitimate inhabitants of the island, on the basis of human rights, the same rights for which the allied forces fought during World War II.

    He added that the Council of Ministers` decision to grant an honourary pension to the World War II veterans was ``the least gesture of appreciation for their struggles and contribution.``


    Cyprus Airways and the Hellenic Bank signed a loan for 78 million euro, to help the airline pay off previous loans and improve its finances.

    Finance Minister Michalis Sarris who was present at the signing ceremony described the deal the beginning of a long effort to improve the economic results of the airline, pointing out that the government has high expectations of the CY Board of Directors.

    The minister said the European Union demands to be kept continuously informed about the progress of the CY restructuring plan and called on the Board and the staff to focus their attention on this direction.

    Executive Chairman of the Board Kikis Lazarides said this was a very good agreement and expressed hope that in 2008 the airline will reverse the negative trend of the past few years which registered heavy losses and begin a profitable course.

    We shall pay off the previous loan of 51 m. euro and before the end of the year we shall issue new capital worth 14 m. Cyprus pounds, he said.

    The top Executive Manager of the Hellenic Bank Makis Keravnos said the ten-year loan bears an interest of Euribor+0,04 per cent and repayment in 20 six-monthly installments.

    He said Cyprus Airways is important for the local economy and noted that the airline is undergoing an overhaul to help improve its finances and structure.


    Cyprus Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Photis Photiou has described the Management Plan for Akamas Peninsula as a balanced one, noting that as of today the implementation of decisions as regards this Plan gets underway.

    Speaking during a joint press conference with Minister of Interior Neoklis Sylikiotis, Photiou said the plan to develop Akamas now has a concrete timeframe, a realistically estimated cost and it encompasses the two top concepts, environmental cooperation and development.

    Photiou said the government will finance measures to help implement the plan, with many millions of pounds through the state budgets of 2007-2014.

    Ten million will be allocated to incentives for the repair of houses and the construction of new ones with criteria determined by the Town Planning and Housing Department, three million to upgrade the road network and two million for the construction of a road that will connect the communities of Kathikas- Arodes Inia, Drousa with Lara Bay.

    The government, he continued, encourages through various incentives mild tourist development and explained that development of processing and trading of agricultural products, environmentally friendly agricultural methods, retaining the natural value of the agricultural environment are part of the plan and these will be financed through the Agricultural Development Programme 2007-2013.

    Photiou said that the government will proceed with the exchange of privately owned plots, in the forest of Akamas, extending over large areas of land, with state owned land in other parts of the country.

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