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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-05-11

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] PAPADOPOULOS - TRADE FAIR - ECONOMY
  • [02] CYPRUS PRESIDENT - UN AGREEMENT
  • [03] PASHIARDIS - NEW DEFENCE MINISTER
  • [04] CYPRUS - EU - EURO

  • [01] PAPADOPOULOS - TRADE FAIR - ECONOMY

    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has praised the economic growth in Cyprus, saying that stability has been achieved through a carefully balanced plan, long strategy and the contribution of the social partners, who displayed self restraint in their demands.

    He also said that the introduction of the euro, expected in January 2008, will not restrict economic development but on the contrary it will secure the stability of the currency and low interest rates and protect the economy from inflation.

    Speaking at the opening of the 32nd Cyprus State Fair on Thursday in Nicosia, Papadopoulos said given the current economic indicators, we believe we shall achieve both goals, namely smooth entry into the euro and extend and improve social grants, especially to low income earners.

    He said that the government has no intention of sacrificing the social state for the sake of entry into the eurozone, but noted also that all indications are that Cyprus economy will allow both objectives to be achieved.

    What we have achieved so far in economic terms is the result of concerted efforts by the employees, the employers and the government, he said and extended sincere thanks for this to the trade unions and all concerned.

    There is full employment, with unemployment rates at 4,5 per cent in 2006, per capita income at 86 per cent of the average in Europe, which is the highest among the ten new EU members.

    Inflation continues to remain at a low rate, around 2 per cent, interest rates have recorded their lowest level since the Republic was established in 1960, fiscal deficit dropped from 6,3 per cent in 2003 to 1,5 per cent of the GDP in 2006 and public debt is decreasing and stands at 65 per cent and continues to drop, Papadopoulos said.

    He also said that all this was achieved without any new taxes, on the contrary social grants and allowances now cover more people than before.

    Public finances are on a stability course and this is due to the people of Cyprus. Now however we have new high goals to achieve for an even better social state, social cohesion and support of low income families, he added.

    He noted that EU projections about the local economy are fully in line with the forecast of the Finance Ministry, adding that the government is well aware of public concern about the introduction of the euro and is taking all necessary measures to either minimize or eliminate them.

    On direct trade between the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus with the European Union, a long standing demand of the Turkish Cypriot community, President Papadopoulos pointed out that it will not have any real and substantive economic outcome.

    Total exports from the Turkish occupied part of Cyprus to Europe amounts to a mere 8 million euro per year. The demand is a clear political claim, aimed at serving political expediencies and not economic benefits for the Turkish Cypriots, he stressed.

    He explained that the fact that the EU directive for financial aid to the Turkish Cypriots has been separated from moves to introduce direct trade certainly contribute to the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community.

    He sent a particularly warm welcome to Turkish Cypriot businessmen participating in the annual trade fair and expressed hope that their participation and the implementation of the Green Line regulation, relating to trade within the island, will contribute significantly to increased trade and financial transactions between the two communities and to conditions that will help reunite the country, divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third.

    On Cyprus trade and commercial relations with other countries, he said the government wants to promote additional trade links, encourage more industrial development and economic cooperation and strengthen research and innovation, as part of its overall policy to develop trade even further.

    [02] CYPRUS PRESIDENT - UN AGREEMENT

    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has reiterated his strong adherence to a UN-brokered agreement to help make headway in efforts to find a political settlement. We insist and work very hard towards this goal. Implementation of the July agreement could secure movement in the question of Cyprus, help find the right basis to reunite the country, leading to a comprehensive settlement, on the basis of UN resolutions and European Union principles, he stressed while addressing the opening of the annual state fair on Thursday.

    The Cypriot President assured the Turkish Cypriots that he remains committed to a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution. This solution should reunite our country, be functional and viable and help the two communities come closer to each other, contribute to the social and economic unification and should ensure that no community will impose its will on the other, he pointed out. Papadopoulos also said that the solution should also safeguard that none of the two communities will be in a position to lead the common state to a permanent deadlock and eventually dissolution.

    This is why we insist and work very hard to implement the July 8, through which we can move things forward and find the right solution that will reunify our country on the basis of UN resolutions and EU principles, he concluded. Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat agreed in July 2006, under UN auspices, to begin talks through their respective representatives with a view to set up technical committees and working groups to discuss concurrently day to day issues as well as substantive aspects of the question of Cyprus.

    [03] PASHIARDIS - NEW DEFENCE MINISTER

    Christodoulos Pashiardis has been appointed as new Defence Minister, an official announcement said.

    The appointment was made by President Tassos Papadopoulos, after the death of the late Defence Minister Nikos Symenonides last week. Pashiardis will be sworn in this coming Monday at 1330 local time (1030 GMT) before President Papadopoulos at a special ceremony at the Presidential Palace.

    Pashiardis, who was Government Spokesman, will be replaced by Vasilis Palmas, Director of the President`s press office at the Presidential Palace.

    [04] CYPRUS - EU - EURO

    European Union Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs Joaquin Almunia is to propose Cyprus entry into the eurozone at next weeks Commission meeting. Almunias suggestion was discussed on Thursday at a special meeting of EU technocrats and today senior officials were due to meet to prepare next Wednesdays meeting in Brussels. The Commission draft proposal to the EU finance ministers points out that Cyprus fulfills the criteria relating to fiscal deficit, public debt, inflation, long-term interest rates and a two-year stay in ERM.

    The European Central Bank will also submit a proposal on Cyprus entry into the eurozone and both documents will be presented to the finance ministers on June 5 and then for a political decision on the matter at the EU summit on June 21-22. Almunia will also suggest the accession of Malta to the eurozone on January next year.

    Public deficit stood at 1,5 per cent of the GDP in 2006, while the ceiling in the EU is 3 per cent. Public debt in 2006 in Cyprus was 65,3 per cent of the GDP with a downward trend, which is expected to continue in 2007. EU regulations stipulate that public debt must not exceed 60 per cent of the GDP. According to EU criteria, inflation must not be higher than 1,5 per cent from the average of the top third better figures in the EU. Inflation in Cyprus stands at 2 per cent and its criterion for entry to the eurozone is 3 per cent.


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