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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-07-11

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The main goal of the Greek Cypriot side is the reunification of Cyprus in the framework of a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality, as defined in the relevant UNSC resolutions, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has reiterated .

    President Christofias was addressing Friday evening the festival organized by the left-wing youth organization EDON in Nicosia.

    We realize that the continuation of the current situation encompasses huge risks, Christofias said and warned that the division of Cyprus threatens the future of its people, every achievement and success. Therefore, he said, we will never compromise with the division of the island. Christofias also pointed out that the future of Cyprus is connected with the prospect of reunification.

    President Christofias stressed that he shares the vision EDON promoted as the festivals main slogan, namely For Cyprus reunification in a peaceful world, and stressed that he continuously and intensively works for the achievement of a Cyprus solution.

    Christofias referred to the ongoing direct negotiations between the leaders of the two communities and pointed out that this process proves difficult but the effort will continue since there is no other way to reach a solution.

    Therefore, he said, we will continue the negotiations with determination, flexibility and consistency on the principles set for a Cyprus solution.

    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been engaged in direct negotiations under UN auspices since September 2008 with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of 1974.


    The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Cyprus three biggest banks, Bank of Cyprus (BOC), Marfin Popular Bank (MPB) and Hellenic Bank (HB), signed Friday a 228 million euros loan agreements aiming to offer cheap and long term loans to the islands small and medium size enterprises (SMEs) as part of a broader policy to boost liquidity of European SMEs.

    The agreements were signed in the presence of Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis by EIB Vice President, Plutarchos Sakellaris, responsible for operations in the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACPs) and chief executives of the three Cypriot commercial banks.

    As part of the deal, 120 million euros will go to the Bank of Cyprus, Marfin Popular Bank will draw 50 mln euros and Hellenic Bank another 58 mln euros. The three banks will also have to match the EIB facility with their own funds. Access to the funding will be given to SMEs in the sectors of agriculture, industry, commercial services and tourism. Additionally, MPB will offer 80 miln euros loans to Greek SMEs, having signed a separate agreement with EIB through Marfin Egnatia Bank.

    Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis described the signing of the agreements as extremely important and underlined the significance of cheap funding and liquidity for the Cypriot enterprises and especially the small and medium size enterprises which are the backbone of the Cyprus economy.

    Stavrakis referred to the impact of the global financial crisis on the Cypriot economy, noting however that Cyprus still is the best performer in the EU and the only member state to record positive growth rate, the second best unemployment rate and healthy public finance.


    Thirty-two new cases of H1N1 flu have been confirmed in Cyprus during the past 24 hours, increasing the total number of confirmed cases to 250, the Health Ministry announced on Thursday.

    According to the announcement, twenty-three of the new cases concern Cypriots. Forty-eight persons with flu symptoms were subjected to laboratory tests on Wednesday.

    So far, 500 persons with flu symptoms have been subjected to laboratory tests and 250 have been diagnosed with the virus. A number of 159 of the affected persons have recovered.


    Cypriot No 2 tennis player Photos Kallias had a difficult start in the Davis Cup Euro/Africa Zone II second round clash, against Ireland. The Cypriot champion who had to retire in the third set with a shoulder injury was defeated by Irish Conor Niland 5-7 6-3 5-0, who leveled the tie at 1-1 between Cyprus and Ireland.

    Meanwhile, Cypriot No 1 Marcos Baghdatis, after a dramatic game, continued the tradition that wants him to win Davis Cup matches and won 3-2 sets at the first game of the day (6-7, 6-4, 3-6, 7-5, 6-4).

    Baghdatis who suffered from knee pain, lost the first set tiebreak against Irish Luke Sorensen. The second set ended in favor of Baghdatis with 6-4. Sorensen took the third set with 6-3 after a very good performance, however in the fourth and the fifth set Baghdatis got his game together and prevailed with 7-5 and 6-4.

    Speaking after the game, Baghdatis said he had not played the best game of his career because of his knee problem that did not allow him to play fast. He also mentioned that Sorensen had played well so it was even more difficult to defeat him.

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