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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-12-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Central Bank Governor Athanasios Orphanides said here Monday that undoubtedly the Cyprus economy will be affected in 2009 by the worldwide economic developments adding that the range in which GDP will increase will be around two percent while for 2008, it will be around 3.5-3.75%.

    Briefing the House of Representatives Finance Committee on the current economic situation and the Central Banks views on the possible repercussions of the crisis on the Cyprus economy, Orphanides assured members of the House that the Cyprus banking system is robust, adding however that for precautionary reasons, the banks must maintain their cash flows to satisfy their current needs.

    Despite the adverse economic developments worldwide, said Orphanides, our banks remain healthy and this is proven by their capital competence and their profits which are at satisfactory levels.

    He said that in Cyprus what has become evident lately is the decrease in lending noting that under normal circumstances, the rate of loans should comply with the rate of deposits.

    Orphanides said that 2009 is expected to be a more difficult year.

    I don`t have the ability to make a prediction on when there will be an exit from the crisis. I hope that the worst is behind us. We cannot rule out a further worsening of the situation but I would place a smaller probability on this. I hope that there will be a gradual improvement of the situation,`` he said.

    The Central Bank Governor said that the economic crisis will affect mainly the areas of construction, tourism and will make consumers exhibit restraint, something which is expected to be completely reversed by 2010.


    The UN Secretary-Generals report on the renewal of UNFICYPs mandate will be released here Monday at the UN headquarters.

    The final draft was presented to interested parties late Friday and according to diplomatic sources, the Greek Cypriot side is partially satisfied with the contents of the report.

    In the report, one of the positive elements is a reference, considered to be an improvement, to the issue of the so-called isolation of Turkish Cypriots. On the other hand, however, the Turkish side seems to be satisfied with a general reference to the type of a solution for the Cyprus issue while the July 8 2006 agreement, between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities, is undermined.

    The report also refers to the 23rd May joint statement between President of the Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat for a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, without however mentioning the remaining part of the phrase which says as (the political equality is) defined by relevant Security Council resolutions.


    British MP Lord Corbett said on Monday that there are difficulties on the road to a settlement of the Cyprus problem but with goodwill a solution can be found.

    Speaking on behalf of a parliamentary delegation of the Friends of Cyprus Committee, after a meeting of the delegation with President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, Lord Corbett said the leaders of both communities expressed their determination to reach a settlement.

    ``We had a very good meeting with the President. He has repeated again, we were glad to hear, his determination to do his best to reach a settlement. Not an hour ago, Mr. Talat said the same thing to us, so that is a good sign, we hope,`` Lord Corbett said.

    He added that ``of course there are difficulties on the road to a settlement but it is our view that, if there is goodwill, this can be settled, and this is the best time to do it, and we have been giving this message to everyone we have met here these four or five days.``

    Asked what the main problems were, Lord Corbett clarified that ``I am not in the business of negotiating,`` noting that this ``is down to the President and Mr. Talat and others.``


    Cyprus Airways fleet was grounded until midday on Monday due to a four-hour work stoppage, announced by the pilots trade union PASIPY on Friday. CY Spokesman Kyriakos Kyriakou told CNA on Monday that the national carrier rescheduled its flights, noting however that a total of 2400 passengers and 30 flights have been affected by this unjustified strike.

    Kyriakou said CY was anticipating the result of a meeting the Cyprus Airways unions were holding on Monday to see whether the pilots will decide to intensify their action.

    According to press reports, PASIPY had called for the four-hour strike to convene members of the union to a general assembly meeting to decide future action with regards to their collective agreement. The union says CY is not complying with the collective agreements signed between the two sides.

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