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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-05-18

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis begins contacts in London on Monday to attract foreign investors in what is seen as the biggest venture by the government to issue four-year bonds, worth one billion euro to international markets, in a bid to refinance the public debt expiring in 2009.

    The Minister, who is in the British capital, kicks off a road show in which he will present the advantages of the Cyprus economy to investment groups or individual investors. The road show will also take the ╠inister to Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam or Milan in three days.

    The issue of the bonds, the biggest in Cyprus` financial history, will be launched off as part of the Republics Euro Medium Term Note (EMTN) programme and will cover 1.9 billion euro of public debt. Orders for the bonds will close on May 27.

    Coordinating the issue of the bonds are the French banks BNP Paribas and Societe Generale and the British The Royal Bank of Scotland. Also helping in the coordination is the Cypriot Bank of Cyprus, Marfin Popular Bank and Greek Alpha Bank.

    In remarks to the press, Stavrakis said he will stress the very good indicators of the Cypriot economy which show that the island has the highest development rate in Europe, the second lowest unemployment rate in the 27 EU member states, low inflation around 1%, healthy finances, a public debt rate which has shown impressive improvement and a robust bank system which few countries have and which does not require direct government support.

    The Minister also said that the government has significant requirements in drawing capital since it will have to cover the public de4bt which expires in 2009 and 2010 and to also channel 200 million euro annually to the Social Security Fund.

    Public debt was estimated at 3.6 billion euro. Government deposits at commercial banks total 1.7 billion euro and the governments real needs for funding public debt is 1.9 billion euro.

    Stavrakis also told reporters in London that the Ministry estimates the governments tax income from Marfin Popular Banks will not be affected, following the announcement last week that the Bank will merged with Marfin Egnatia Bank (MEB), with headquarters in Greece.

    The proposed merger of MPB into its subsidiary MEB is scheduled to be finalised on 30 June, subject to approval by each banks shareholders and the relevant supervisory bodies.

    Stavrakis said he spoke with MPBs Vice Chairman Andreas Vgenopoulos who assured him that neither the existing staff in Cyprus nor the banks work in Cyprus will be affected.

    The Minister said that these assurances are a positive development. He added that the monitoring of the banking system in Cyprus is the Central Banks responsibility, which is an independent institution and we should all respect.

    I have no doubt that the Central Bank has handled the MPB issue the right way for the good of the Cyprus economy, he concluded.


    The Primate of the Polish Orthodox Church, Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland Savvas, continues his official visit to Cyprus today with a meeting with President Demetris Christofias.

    Savvas was awarded Sunday by the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II the highest honor of the Church of Cyprus, the gold medal of the founder of the church Apostle Barnabas.

    Metropolitan Savvas offered Archbishop Chrysostomos breastplates and a cross, noting that the official medal of the Polish Church will be awarded to him during his visit to Poland.

    In his address, Chrysostomos said that Savvas visit marks the beginning of a new period of closer relations between the two Churches╗.

    He also referred to the history of the Church of Cyprus and to the problem of invasion and occupation of Cyprus northern part by Turkey, with particular reference to the destruction of religious monuments by the occupation regime.

    źFive hundred or more churches in the occupied areas are silent for 35 years. Some have been demolished, some have been converted into mosques, warehouses, animal stables, some have been left to the elements, destroyed as time passes. And all of these with the tolerance of `civilized` humanity, he said.

    Metropolitan of Warsaw Savvas noted, inter alia, that all the Orthodox Churches and all good-willed people advocate the reunification of the island, which is the goal of the Church of Cyprus.


    Cyprus teams, athletes as well as organizers of the XIII Games of the Small States of Europe CYPRUS continue preparations in earnest for the Games, to be held in Cyprus next month.

    According to the Organising Committee, a white dove called Tefkros, wearing sports clothes and carrying a torch will be the mascot of the Games.

    Tefkros was an ancient Greek hero in the Trojan Wars who sailed to Cyprus where he founded and built a great city, which he named Salamis after his homeland.

    As Pericles Christoforides, designer of the mascot said, the white dove symbolising peace is both the emblem of the Republic of Cyprus and Cyprus Olympic Committee.

    We wanted to send our own messages for todays Cyprus which has been trying for 35 to find peace and freedom from the Turkish invasion and continuing occupation of its northern areas, Christoforides explained.

    The islands natural beauties, the sun and the sea will be the dominant features at the opening ceremony of the Games and will be enriched with local musical tradition.

    Famous Greek performer Marios Frangoulis will sing at the opening ceremony. The music of the official anthem of the Games is written by Cypriot composer Vasos Argyrides and the lyrics by Bampis Anayiotos.

    The opening ceremony will take place on Monday 1 June at 21.00 in Nicosia.

    According to the organizers, a main goal of the Games is to highlight the rich history and culture of Cyprus through different events which will take place during the Games.

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