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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-10-03

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias is responsible for allowing and keeping the Monchegorsk cargo in Cyprus and for approving its storage at the Evangelos Florakis Naval base in Mari, Head of the Commission of Inquiry on the deadly explosion at a naval base last July, lawyer Polis Polyviou has said.

    He also noted that the Ministers of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou and Defence Costas Papacostas, who resigned after the blast, had serious constitutional and personal responsibilities but the major responsibility belonged to President Christofias.

    He noted that President Christofias failed to take elementary measures for the security of Cyprus` citizens in this case I am not referring just to an institutional responsibility. In this case, I apportion serious and very heavy personal responsibility,`` he said.

    Presenting his 643-page report, Polyviou said the way in which the 98 containers had been stored was completely irresponsible and that their proximity to the power station had not been taken into consideration, nor had the danger they posed to people working there.

    Even if the President did not sign a document choosing Mari and even if the National Guard and the Defence Ministry decided to put them there the final decision belongs and is attributable to the president of the Republic, Polyviou said.

    He stressed that the cargo was a time bomb placed in one of the most unsuitable places in Cyprus.

    Polyviou also noted that even though the UN Sanctions Committee offered to send experts to investigate the content of the cargo, the Foreign Minister and other Foreign Ministry officials prevented them from doing so.

    Polyviou said that in a meeting with Syrian President Bashar al Assad, President Christofias has said the cargo would remain in Cyprus until it could be returned to Syria. Later the President said he had no real intention of returning the cargo, Polyviou said, it was just political manouevering.

    That assurance, which I think was completely wrong, contributed in its staying, Polyviou said.

    He also expressed the view that serious penal offences had taken place and that the Attorney General should examine the possibility of such offences being committed by each person involved in this case.

    Following the blast, on July 11, the government appointed a Commission of Inquiry, headed by lawyer Polis Polyviou, to investigate the circumstances that led to the massive explosion of munitions, which killed 13 people and crippled the islands main power station. The Commission was instructed to look into possible political responsibilities.

    The blast occurred in containers full of munitions, which Cyprus stored at the naval base, after confiscating the load from Monchegorsk, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. Cyprus was acting according to UN Security Council resolutions, imposing sanctions on Teheran.


    House President Yiannakis Omirou has said that the House of Representatives bears no responsibility for the events which have led to the deadly blast at a naval base last July.

    He said responsibility is attributed to the Executive Power.

    Speaking on Monday to the press following a meeting he had with the Head of the Commission of Inquiry Polys Polyviou who presented his report on the blast, Omirou said that the Commission has concluded its work regarding the political responsibilities and the outcome is now before the public.

    Political responsibilities are attributed and this is a very first step in addressing the common feeling of justice, following a very long investigative process that was attended by the relatives of the victims and the public, he said.


    Cyprus is considered to be one of the largest ship-management centres in the world and the largest in Europe, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias said Monday, addressing the opening of the Maritime Cyprus 2011 Conference, which takes place in the coastal town of Limassol.

    The President Christofias referred to the continuous hostile attitude and the restrictive measures imposed by Turkey, which adversely affect both our country and the development of our shipping, as well as the private and public interests of the European Union``.

    In his address, the Cypriot President referred to drilling for hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone, saying that once oil or natural gas reserves are located, the government will make every effort to explore and exploit them in a way that will not harm the ecosystem of the country.

    ``Cypriots, as well as visitors of our country enjoy the beautiful and clean beaches of our island. We must ensure that this will continue to happen``, he stressed.


    Revenue from tourism for the first eight months of 2011 recorded an increase of 16% compared to the corresponding period of 2010, according to Cyprus Statistical Service data published here on Monday.

    On the basis of the results of the Passenger Survey, revenue from tourism reached 267 million euro in August 2011 compared to 241.1 million euro in the corresponding month of the previous year, recording an increase of 10.7%.

    For the period January to August 2011, revenue from tourism is estimated to 1,218.4 million euro compared to 1,050.5 million euro in the corresponding period of 2010, up by 16%.

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