|Thursday, 23 January 2020|
Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-05-18
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 PAPADOPOULOS - OCCUPIED PROPERTIESCyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has warned that those involved in the illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties in Turkish occupied Cyprus run the risk of being subjected to legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic.
He also said that Cyprus enjoys good and friendly bilateral ties with all the countries, noting however that there is always room for improvement.
Receiving the credentials of foreign ambassadors, the President referred to efforts to resume talks towards a political settlement and expressed grave concern that the Turkish Cypriot side has called for the abandonment of a UN process, agreed between the islands two communities in July last year.
We believe the July process can create the dynamic necessary for the solution of the Cyprus problem in accordance with UN resolutions and the principles and values on which the European Union is founded, he said.
The July agreement provides for the concurrent establishment of working groups to address substantive issues and of technical committees to deal with the day to day problems that affect the people as well as confidence building measures.
On the situation in occupied Cyprus, he said the settlers from Turkey in occupied Cyprus outnumber the indigenous Turkish Cypriots by two to one, and in addition in the past few years there is an illegal construction boom involving foreign companies and foreign purchasers of Greek Cypriot properties.
Those who in any way are involved in the illegal exploitation of Greek Cypriot properties run the risk of being subjected to legal proceedings in the courts of the Republic of Cyprus, he warned.
The Ambassador of the Czech Republic Jan Bondy said he would pay special attention to the advancement of bilateral relations, noting that his country and Cyprus share common views on a number of issues on the EU agenda.
Brazils Ambassador Pedro Motta Pinto Coelho said relations have been remarkably strengthened, with trade flow increasing from 12 million in 2003 to 216 million in 2006.
Jordans Ambassador Zaid Zuraikat reaffirmed his support for the unification and sovereignty of Cyprus and UN efforts to achieve a peaceful and lasting solution.
Papadopoulos told Zuraikat that Cyprus continues to seek the support and assistance of friends within the Organisation of the Islamic Conference in rebuffing any efforts by Turkey to upgrade its illegal secessionist entity (in Turkish occupied Cyprus) and safeguarding the OIC decisions will be consistent with the UN Charter and resolutions.
Moldovas Ambassador Larisa Miculet pointed out that both countries share similar concerns regarding separatism and global terrorism and said her country is counting on Cyprus valuable experience, expertise and support in its bid to integrate in the European Union.
The Ambassador of the Republic of Korea Bae Young-han appeared certain that Cyprus accession to the European Economic and Monetary Union and the adoption of the euro will help the countrys international profile and economic development.
All Ambassadors expressed their support for a peaceful and lasting political settlement in Cyprus.
 WATSON - TURKISH CYPRIOTSThe leader of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats at the European Parliament Graham Watson has not excluded the possibility of examining a Turkish Cypriot demand to attend Parliament proceedings as observers, provided this could help them understand better how the EU functions. Watson was received by Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos, with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem and developments in the EU. Describing the meeting as ``very constructive and fruitful,`` Watson said he was pleased ``to hear from the President his views about how to engage Turkey more effectively to help us find a solution to the problems of the island.``
Asked about his position on the Turkish Cypriot demand to be given the status of observer at the EP, Watson told CNA that ``we have to find ways of bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the institutions of the EU so that they understand how those institutions work and how those decisions are taken.`` ``And if that is one of the ways forward, then perhaps we should explore it,`` the British MEP added.
Replying to a question whether such a move would assist efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, Watson said that this is not an issue at all. ``I think we must look at all ways of trying to gain maximum understanding from the island of how the EU works so that the EU can provide a framework to help the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots to find a solution to their difficulties,`` he said.
 FRANCE - CYPRUSFrance has called for the speedy implementation of a UN-brokered agreement last July between the Greek and the Turkish Cypriot communities, saying this could re-launch UN-sponsored search for a comprehensive. Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos reiterated his commitment to a bizonal bicommunal federation and warned all those exploiting Greek Cypriot properties in Turkish occupied Cyprus that they are running the risk of finding themselves before legal proceedings in Cyprus and the European Court of Human Rights.
Presenting his credentials to Papadopoulos, French Ambassador Nicolas Galey also said that Paris wants a global, fair and sustainable solution in Cyprus, noting that a united island would bring peace, freedom and prosperity for everybody. Galey thanked profusely Cyprus outstanding contribution to the repatriation of French citizens from Lebanon in July last year, saying that cooperation between Paris and Nicosia on this issue reflects the good bilateral working relationship.
Expressing Frances concern about the difficulties with regard to the July agreement, he said we fully understand that adequate preparation will be needed before comprehensive negotiations can be opened up to bring about a unified Cyprus within the European Union. France, he said, like the European Union and its member states, wants a global, fair and sustainable solution to this long-lasting conflict and strongly hopes that the coming years will see real progress towards the reunification of Cyprus.
 CENTRAL BANK - INTEREST RATESCyprus Central Bank maintains its main interest rates unchanged, in a bid to protect the Cypriot economy from a possible overheating due to inflation pressures from a possible decrease of its rates and a growth of credit supply. The CB`s Monetary committee decided to maintain its interest rate on the marginal lending facility, the minimum bid rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rate on the deposit facility at 4.75%, 4.50% and 2.75% respectively.
CB`s new Governor Athanasios Orphanides said that the Bank noted EU Commissioner on economic and monetary affairs Joaquin Almunia`s remarks that even the slightest decrease in interest rates and the abolition of the strategic reserves would possibly lead to credit growth and inflation pressures. These two important factors were taken into consideration when deciding to maintained the basic interest rates unchanged, Orphanides said, adding that given these concerns, ``we don`t need to rush and close the gap (between Cypriot rates and those of the Euro zone) earlier than it is necessary.``
Cypriot rates are 75 basis points higher that those of the Euro zone. Cyprus received by the European Commission last Wednesday the green light to join the Euro zone by January 1 next year. Replying to a question, Orphanides referred to economic surveys that show a tendency in the European Central Bank (ECB) to raise the Euro zone interest rates by 50 basis points. ``If this happens, which is the most possible, we will have 25 basis points to go by the end of the year and we will lower it,`` he added.
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