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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-05-31

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [04] EU - CYPRUS SEAS


    The government believes that the behaviour of the Turkish Cypriot side and that of Turkey indicate that their only consideration is to give credence and status to the illegal regime in Turkish occupied Cyprus and not to display the political will that would create prospects for progress towards a solution.

    Outlining the governments positions, Spokesman Vasilis Palmas said that the Greek Cypriot side is ready to contribute to the implementation of a UN-brokered agreement, last July, to pave the way towards a political settlement.

    Commenting on remarks by the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community that it is impossible to solve the Cyprus problem at present, the Spokesman replied judging by statements from the Turkish side, it is obvious that their sole concern at this stage is to try and upgrade the status of the Turkish Cypriot regime and not to have the political will to create prospects for progress towards a solution.

    Any objective observer, looking at things with good will, can understand that, he added.

    He expressed the governments readiness to help reactivate the provisions of the July agreement to make headway and help to reach a negotiated comprehensive settlement.

    Responding to questions about direct flights to and from the occupied areas, Palmas said he believed such attempts will not yield any results.

    What such moves offer is to create divisive factors in Cyprus, and we strongly disagree with such ideas. We shall continue to strive against any such designs, which aim at the division of the country, he stressed.

    Replying to other questions, he said the government is monitoring developments in the Organisation of Islamic Conference, a forum where, as he acknowledged, is difficult for Cyprus.

    Nonetheless, we cannot concede defeat in any outcome of any conference, we always fight back but if there is a clear disposition on the part of the member states of the OIC, then we have limited capabilities to have a decisive intervention to avert some adverse developments, he concluded.

    The reference was to attempts within the OIC, whose Secretary General is a Turk, to give an additional status to the Turkish Cypriot regime, which at present is an observer.


    The Cabinet is likely to decide next week on a proposal about providing the country with natural gas, in the short term through a floating platform and in the long term through a land terminal, Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas said here today. Meanwhile the Cyprus Electricity Authority (AHK) has expressed grave reservations regarding government plans and projections about the estimated cost of a delay in the arrival of natural gas and other aspects of government planning.

    The proposal of a ministerial committee on the subject is ready and will be given to Cabinet members for consideration before next weeks meeting when the final decisions are likely to be taken, he said at his daily press briefing. He said that everybodys views on this matter are respected but the final decision rests with the Cabinet, noting that all interested parties in this project have been invited to repeat meetings on the issue.

    AHK Chairman Harilaos Stavrakis has described as unrealistic and extreme the estimated cost of 607,9 up to 780,1 million pounds from a delay in bringing natural gas to Cyprus between 2009-2015. He said AHK will act accordingly, once the government decision is known. Stavrakis said the estimated cost is based on extreme assumptions, such as import of very expensive equipment by AHK which will burn natural gas while the land terminal is being built.


    A property case, brought before the European Court of Human Rights against Turkey by a Greek Cypriot refugee, has concluded with a call on Ankara to pay compensation amounting to 885,000 euro by August 22 this year. A five-member chamber of the Court has decided not to refer the case before the plenary of the Court, as requested by Turkey and Greek Cypriot Myra Xenidi Aresti, who claimed her property in the fenced area of the Turkish occupied town of Famagusta.

    The decision of the chamber is final and confirms violation of Arestis right to property, as noted down in the Court decision of December 2006, in addition to making it clear that the issue of return and restoration of the said property is no longer a political matter but a court ruling which Turkey cannot but comply with. The chambers decision also means that Turkeys attempt to lay claim on property within the fenced area of Famagusta has been rejected and that the damages awarded are high.

    The Court notified the two parties in writing about the chamber decision. Aresti had asked the Court to examine the legality, the effectiveness and the compatibility, if any, of a self-styled property commission in Turkish occupied Cyprus with the European Convention of Human Rights. Turkey has asked, according to all indications, the Court to examine a claim on Famagusta property.

    [04] EU - CYPRUS SEAS

    Cyprus bathing sites meet the stringent hygiene standards, set out by the European Union, according to the 2006 Commission report. The report said that compliance in Cyprus in 2006 with mandatory values and the more stringent guide values stood at 99 per cent, noting that 100 coastal bathing areas were monitored. This is the third year that Cyprus has reported data on bathing water quality in coastal areas. This is a remarkable effort, considering that Cyprus joined the EU only in 2004, the report said. The bathing water quality was very good during the 2006 bathing season from May 15 to October 31 each year, it added.

    The results from the monitoring of the water quality demonstrated that 99% of the bathing areas met the more stringent guide values. Contrary to 2005 one bathing area was non-compliant, the report said. Every year EU member states are obliged to report on the quality of coastal and freshwater bathing areas located within their territory. In 2006, a total of 21,094 bathing areas were monitored.

    Cyprus topped the list of members that comply with EU hygiene standards with 99 per cent, followed by Greece with 96,9 per cent, Spain with 92,7 per cent, Italy with 91,1 per cent and Ireland with 91 per cent.

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