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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-02-28

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The top priority of the new Government and principal concern and duty of his Presidency is the solution of the Cyprus problem, newly elected Demetris Christofias has said, adding that the solution of the Cyprus problem is the main reason he took the decision to run for the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus.

    In his address at the ceremony for his investiture at the special session of the House of Representatives, President Christofias also stated that social sensitivity, solidarity and response to human suffering will constitute the strongest characteristics of his presidency, noting that his personal history as well as that of the political movement where he comes from constitute a guarantee for an anthropocentric policy, which will aim at the continuous improvement of quality of life of the citizens.

    Addressing the Turkish Cypriot compatriots at this solemn hour, the new President assured them he is filled and inspired by the best of intentions for reconciliation and peaceful coexistence. I assure them once again that I will work so that they can enjoy all the rights as equal citizens of a united federal Republic of Cyprus. However, I wish to emphatically reiterate that the restoration of the rights of Turkish Cypriots cannot take place at the expense of the rights of the Greek Cypriot and of our Maronite, Armenian and Latin compatriots. This would doom the solution of the Cyprus problem to failure from the outset, he stressed.

    Referring to the international community he said it is important for Cyprus that the United Nations Secretary General, through the exercise of his good offices mission, contributes to the promotion and support of the dialogue between the two sides and it is also important that the five permanent members of the Security Council collectively handle the Cyprus problem on the basis of the decisions and resolutions of the United Nations Organization on Cyprus.

    The starting point to break the deadlock and create the preconditions for a comprehensive negotiation of the Cyprus problem is the implementation of the 8 July agreement, which is embraced and supported by the five permanent members of the Security Council. We declare our readiness for dialogue for the implementation of the agreement and we hope to have a positive response from the Turkish Cypriot side, President Christofias stressed.

    As regards the role of the European Union he said he is looking forward to the solidarity of the European partners and he expects that they will contribute to break the deadlock and to solve the Cyprus problem.

    However, he noted that it is not easy to achieve a fair, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem, that continuous, persistent and hard work is required and the key to the solution is in the hands of Ankara. It is Turkey that has to decide to cooperate for a solution.

    Stressing the need for unity and collective leadership in the handling of the Cyprus problem, through the upgrading and more effective operation of the National Council, the new President said the political parties will have both a say and a role to play and this opportunity will be realized through their substantial participation in the National Council.

    Unity, consensus and dialogue will be the characteristics of his presidency, Christofias said not only in the handling of the Cyprus problem, but also in the way Cyprus will be governed.

    Unity in our country will be ensured through the socio-economic policy of our government, which aims to upgrade the mixed economy model. It is a model which has been applied in Cyprus since the islands independence and which has proven beneficial for our country. We are convinced that this model has not exhausted its possibilities. We believe that it has still a lot to offer, provided that we upgrade it and strengthen it. The model of a mixed economy is based on the cooperation between the initiatives of the private, the public and the cooperative sectors. It is based on the combination of the spirit of entrepreneurship and social cohesion as well as on the existence of a robust economy and high growth rates. Furthermore, it is based on the existence of a socially developed state that supports working people and meets the reasonable needs of the citizens, said Christofias.

    Cyprus issue ---------------- The new President said he ran for the Presidency of the Republic inspired by a life-long vision: The achievement of a just solution to the Cyprus problem and the building of a fairer society. This vision is evident throughout my government programme, which constitutes the beacon and compass of my presidency. I will do my utmost and work very hard to implement my commitments to the people, along with the Council of Ministers that I will appoint. My government programme is a contract of honour with the people which I will fully honour.

    The principal concern and duty of our Presidency is the solution of the Cyprus problem. I have repeatedly stated during the pre-election period and I state it again now: The solution of the Cyprus problem is the main reason I took the decision to run for the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus. The solution of the Cyprus problem will be the top priority of my government, he said.

    Referring to the solution he said it must be based on the United Nations resolutions on Cyprus and be compatible with international and the EU law as well as with international conventions on human rights, adding that the federal, bizonal, bicommunal Republic of Cyprus must have a single sovereignty and international personality and a single citizenship.

    He expressed his support to the political equality of the two communities in the framework of a federation, as this is defined in the relevant resolutions of the UN Security Council, but added that the Cyprus problem remains unresolved for thirty four years now despite the many efforts that have been made from time to time. The problem has not been solved due to Turkeys refusal to accept a solution that would be to the benefit of the people of Cyprus. I firmly believe that the time has come for the problem to be solved in a just, viable and functional way and for the principles of international law to be restored; principles that Turkey violates through the invasion in carried out in 1974 and through the occupation of a large part of our homeland, the President stressed.

    He pledged once again that his Government will undertake intense efforts towards various directions in the international community in order to achieve a solution to the Cyprus problem and expressed satisfaction, because in the immediate aftermath of the Presidential Elections, the international community has declared its readiness to contribute to the efforts for a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    From this distinguished rostrum, I reaffirm my commitment towards the people that I will be taking constant initiatives towards the international community as well as towards the Turkish Cypriot community, to achieve a solution that will be based on principles, he added, noting that for the fulfillment of his promise we will take steps in the direction of the Secretary General and the Security Council of the United Nations Organization.

    He further welcomed the position of the Security Council, as this is set forth in its latest resolution, which calls upon the two communities to engage constructively in the efforts to find a solution in Cyprus, noting that we will work vigorously to develop this cooperation and rapprochement with our Turkish Cypriot compatriots, building on the long and historical ties that we have developed with them through the years.

    As regards the role of Cyprus, as a member of the European Union, the President said in his address we will participate actively in developments in Europe, with the goal of realising the vision of a socially sensitive Europe. Cyprus can become a bridge between Europe and the countries in our region and also with countries with which our island maintains relations in the ranks of the non-aligned movement.

    Bearing in mind that the vision of a socially sensitive Europe is founded on unity through acceptance and respect of diversity and not on the leveling and alienation of peoples and cultures we shall utilize our education, cultural values, traditions and sports in order to reinforce our resistance to injurious influences, he added.

    Society ---------

    The new President stressed that he attaches particular importance to information technology and new technologies and his Government shall work hand in hand with the citizens and give a new impetus to IT in Cyprus, as information technology is closely associated with progress.

    Research and development and the adoption of new technologies in the industrial sector will give a great impetus to the Cyprus economy. They will increase productivity and improve the competitiveness of Cyprus` industries. These parameters are of decisive importance if the Cypriot economy is to be able to cope with the new conditions created by our participation in the great European family, he said.

    In the tourist and other sectors, he noted the need to speed up the execution of necessary projects and infrastructure and put in place effective mechanisms for the implementation of decisions and projects, adding that cooperation between the Government and local administration will also be further strengthened for the benefit of the citizens.

    Cyprus can do better. That is why I will give emphasis and ensure that the island will be turned into a centre for education, health and provision of services, in line with the commitments I have undertaken in my programme. Our care and concern for all social groups should be taken for granted. However, I would like to make special reference to the youth of Cyprus. The younger generation deserves to have its own dynamic role in the civic life of our country. Through all our policies we have a duty to give opportunities to young people to show their capabilities and ensure their substantial participation in our society. Our vision for a secure Cyprus in the European family of peace and cooperation is the vision of young people, the President said.

    President Christofias thanked the citizens who honoured him with their vote, the political forces that supported his candidacy from the beginning, his party AKEL and the Popular Movement, the United Democrats, the Epalxi Political Movement, the Socialists Initiative, the Free Citizens Initiative and the Support Movements for his candidacy, as well as the Democratic Party, the Social Democrats Movement EDEK and the Cyprus Green Party for their support during the second round of the elections.

    He also noted that Democracy is a people`s victory that all of us should protect and preserve at all costs.

    He further stressed that he honours and respects his opponent in the Presidential Elections Ioannis Kasoulides and expressed respect and boundless appreciation to President Tassos Papadopoulos, noting that despite the disagreements and different approaches that appeared in the course of their cooperation, we can certify that during Mr. Tassos Papadopoulos term in office a great lot has been accomplished.

    Christofias also referred to his tenure in the House of Representatives that started in May 2001 and singled out the bodys contribution in the collective and gigantic effort of the state and of the political leadership, of the organized groups and of the people to bring about the harmonization of the Republic of Cyprus with the European acquis and to make Cyprus a member state of the European Union, on 1 May 2004.

    My presidency will be a presidency for all Cypriots. The ultimate judge is the common man and the sovereign people before whom I bow, the new President concluded.


    The new President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has announced the members of the new Council of Ministers, as follows:

    Minister of Foreign Affairs - Markos Kyprianou

    Minister of Finance - Charilaos Stavrakis

    Minister of Interior - Neoclis Sylikiotis

    Minister of Defence - Costas Papacostas

    Minster of Education and Culture - Andreas Demetriou

    Minister of Communications and Works - Nikos Nikolaides

    Minister of Trade, Industry and Tourism - Antonis Paschalides

    Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment - Michalis Polinikis

    Minister of Labour and Social Insurance - Sotiroula Charalambous

    Minister of Justice and Public Order - Kypros Chrysostomides

    Minister of Health - Christos Patsalides

    The new President has also made the following appointments:

    Undersecretary to the President: Titos Christofides

    Government Spokesman - Stephanos Stephanou

    Commissioner of the Presidency: George Iacovou

    Director of the Presidents Office - Vassos Georgiou

    Commissioner for the Environment - Charalambos Theopemptou


    European Union Commissioner for Health Markos Kyprianou has submitted his resignation to join the Cypriot government as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    A press release issued in Brussels says ``the member of the Commission responsible for Health, Markos Kyprianou, has today submitted his resignation to the Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso. Mr Kyprianou resigns to accept the invitation by the President of the Republic of Cyprus to join the Cypriot government as Minister of Foreign Affairs.

    The EU Commission also announced that that the resignation will be effective as soon as a successor has been nominated by the Republic of Cyprus and appointed by the Council pursuant to Article 215 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. President Barroso is consulting with the President of the Republic of Cyprus over the nomination of the successor.

    According to the press release, until his resignation becomes effective, Mr Kyprianou continues to exercise his mandate as member of the European Commission, in the full respect of the treaties.


    The European Commission has asked EU leaders to confirm, at next months summit, the guiding principles on financial stability both within and outside the Union.

    A Commission press release said the ECOFIN Council agreed in October 2007 a road map for reinforcing European and global financial regulation and supervision to fill the gaps revealed by recent financial turmoil in the wake of the US sub-prime crisis.

    The road map is based on four key areas of work: improving transparency; valuation of financial products, strengthening prudential requirements and making markets function better.

    The Commission also wants the European Council to endorse a series of lines of action both in terms of internal policy and in international fora, including improving information provided by credit ratings agencies, by taking regulatory measures if the agencies do not act voluntarily, updating accounting and valuation rules, so that full information on the exposure of banks and other financial institutions to off-balance sheet vehicles is made available and encouraging prompt and full disclosure of losses by financial institutions.

    The action also includes improving early warning systems on financial stability, fostering the effectiveness of EU networks of financial supervisors and ensuring strong and effective supervision of cross-border groups and working on a common framework for assessing the systemic implications of a potential crisis.

    The Commission wants a political agreement with the Council and the European Parliament to deliver the necessary legislative changes before April 2009.

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