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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-12-21

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The forthcoming accession of Cyprus to the Economic and Monetary Union has helped the Cypriot economy to sustain a high pace of financial development, which will be further strengthened after the adoption of the euro on January 1st 2008, Finance Minister Michalis Sarris has stressed in an interview with CNA.

    The Minister of Finance said that both the public and the private sectors are ready and prepared to welcome the single currency.

    Sarris also said that eurozone membership would provide the opportunity to further consolidate fiscal policy and reduce public debt. The resources to be released will be used for social purposes, Sarris said and called for caution in order to avoid any negative fallout on the competitiveness of the economy.

    Proper investment should be made and salary increases should be maintained within the productivitys limits with a view to avoid any impact on inflation and the competitiveness of Cypriot products, he pointed out.

    Cyprus will welcome the single currency with special ceremonies on December 31, 23:30 at the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank headquarters in the presence of the President of the Republic Tassos Papadopoulos.

    Eurozone membership will bring important benefits to households, consumers and enterprises since the eurozone is an area of low inflation, low interest rates and a vast market of 400 million people where transparency prevails over prices of goods, Sarris added.

    He also expressed the belief that as result of the euro adoption Cyprus will attract more foreign investment thus encouraging technological advancement, increased productivity rate and more high quality employment opportunities.

    The Governor of the Central Bank of Cyprus Athanasios Ophfanides in statements to CNA described the adoption of euro as a landmark in the financial history of Cyprus and outlined the multiply benefits from the financial, political and social point of view. The level of success will depend on the choices we make, Orphanides said.

    Orphanides added that now the main goals of Cyprus financial policy are to increase productivity and improve competitiveness and pointed out that eurozone membership secures low inflation, low interest rates and the income of those at work.

    He also mentioned that the Central Bank has already supplied commercial banks and Cooperative Central Bank with euro banknotes and coins and urged enterprises which have not yet made the necessary arrangements in order to receive supplies of euro to contact their bankers.

    The Central Bank estimates that the banking sector will be supplied with approximately 80% in value rather than volume of all euro banknotes needed for the national economy before January 1st and 64% of the necessary coins.

    Recent surveys results indicate that the Cypriot enterprises are well prepared for the change over and have not experienced any significant problems. About 7130 businesses including larger retailers and banks are participating in a fair pricing code, launched by the government in July 2007.

    One Cyprus pound corresponds to 1.71 euro.


    Everyone united should break the deadlock in the Cyprus issue and with a common voice, to aim for the reunification of the island, pledged House President Demetris Christofias.

    In statements after visiting National Guard posts in the Nicosia district area, accompanied by Defence Minister Christodoulos Pashiardis and Commander of the National Guard Lieutenant General Constantinos Bisbikas, he said that even if 33 years have elapsed since the Turkish invasion and occupation of the islands northern third, all this is temporary. You are not guarding borders, he told the soldiers.

    The borders are elsewhere, they are the shores of Cyprus, they are at Kyrenia and we are sincerely working for that blessed day to come when Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will know no borders, will know a common homeland, our Cyprus, the Speaker said.

    Developments in 2007 were not such as to create optimism that we are heading towards a solution because Turkey has a different agenda, Christofias said, the upgrading of the illegal regime, something that was declared by Turkish President Abdullah Gul during his illegal visit to the occupied north, that their aim is division, two states, something completely unacceptable, anachronistic for a country which wants to become a member of the EU.


    Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas dismissed press reports that the European Commission will open negotiating chapters with the Turkish Cypriot community and explained that the discussions between the EU and the Turkish Cypriots aim at facilitating Cyprus reunification.

    In statements during his daily briefing, Palmas said that it is not correct to consider that the discussions (held between the European Commission and the Turkish Cypriots) ``are being interpreted as negotiations or as accession negotiations``.

    ``The only basis of the discussions is the expansion of the European acquis communautaire (to the Turkish Cypriot community) through a Cyprus solution and of course through reunification, he said.

    According to press reports the European Commission has opened up discussion rounds with the Turkish Cypriot community for 12 harmonization chapters.


    The implementation of last years UN agreement between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities is pivotal to the recommencement of efforts to solve the Cyprus issue under UN auspices, Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyianni has stressed.

    Speaking in Athens, the Greek Foreign Minister noted that the July 8 agreement has not yet been implement due to obstructions raised by the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Athens considers of crucial importance for the resumption of efforts to solve Cyprus issue, under UN auspices, the speedy implementation the July, she said and referred to the close cooperation between the Greek and the Cypriot governments to help launch new momentum to pave the way for a new and properly prepared effort towards a Cyprus settlement.

    She expressed the hope that 2008 will signal a new beginning towards the reunification of Cyprus

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