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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-08-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Government`s fiscal policy for the year 2010 will be aimed at maintaining the deficits on reasonable levels and supporting the real economy to the greatest possible extent.

    Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis told a press conference on Thursday that the fiscal policy will be announced officially, along with the state`s budget for 2010, in late September or early October.

    The first axis of the Government`s policy will be to minimise counterproductive state expenditure, and the second to provide town planning amnesty and the speeding up of issuing title deeds.

    Stavrakis said the third axis concerns taxation matters, with the promotion of a series of measures to prevent tax evasion.

    The fourth axis will be to improve social benefits and allowances, and the fifth to gradually reduce the cost of the state payroll, without reducing wages or dismissing civil servants.

    Stavrakis said the Government has so far followed the right fiscal policy, which has been praised by the International Monetary Fund and the European Commission, adding that this policy has reduced the repercussions of the global financial crisis.

    He pointed out that external factors have led to the loss of millions of euros, during a time when the Government had increased public expenditure in order to boost the real economy.

    Replying to questions, Stavrakis said there has been no decision on halting projects in 2010 and that it was up to the Council of Ministers to approve the state budget, which includes funds for projects.

    He added that there were thoughts to postpone some projects, not cancel them, and that priority would be given to projects, which would promote growth and create jobs.


    Any settlement of the Cyprus problem must be from the people of Cyprus, by the people of Cyprus, for the people of Cyprus, without imposed timelines and parameters, Senator Robert Menendez has stressed. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Congress of the World Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) in Nicosia, Menendez noted that thirty-five years is long enough to wait for a solution that ends the divisions on Cyprus. The time has come for the return of refugees to their homes and property, safely, securely, with honour and dignity and with the full expectation of a better future for themselves and their families. The time has come to forge ahead toward a lasting settlement that reflects President Obamas call before the Turkish Parliament for a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, he said.

    He also said that although thirty-five years is long enough, it is not in the best interest of the negotiating process to impose arbitrary deadlines or impose parameters. Such conditions, like what we saw in the Anan Plan, would turn back the clock on the progress we are making, he added.

    Senator Menendez said that he has been encouraged by the determination of Cyprus President Christofias in these talks, and that he strongly supports the continuation of the talks. But I also opposed any artificial deadlines or coercion of the sort that proved to be so counterproductive in 2004, and I believe President Obama and Secretary Clinton share those views, he pointed out. Menendez said that he finds it difficult to believe that Turkey supports the talks. Turkey wants to impose conditions on property occupied by the settlers, and wants to insist on being the guarantor of Turkish Cypriots security. Insisting on terms that undermine the sovereignty of a member state of the EU, that is not being supportive of any talks, he stressed.

    Referring to the policy of the President Obamas Administration, Senator Menendez said that this should be based on principles and values. Let us urge reasonable settlement proposals that are consistent with our principles and values as reflected in the criteria for membership in the European Union. Let us overcome the history of punitive actions taken against the government of Cyprus since Greek Cypriots exercised their democratic right in 2004 to not accept a new foreign drafted constitution for their country, he added.

    The US official expressed optimism about the ongoing negotiation process. Looking at the negotiations moving forward, let no one think Cyprus can afford either error or inaction. Let no one think a solution will come quickly. But let us remain cautiously optimistic as we are today that progress can and will continue to be made. That, ultimately, a solution will be a Cypriot solution, and will be achieved without arbitration, without timelines or time constraints, he stated.


    President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian said on Thursday that the course of negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, the stance of the Turkish side at the talks and the positions expressed by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side do not allow for any optimism regarding the outcome of the talks.

    Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Congress of the World Coordinating Committee Justice for Cyprus (PSEKA) in Nicosia, Garoyian said President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has serious concerns regarding the Turkish stance, adding that Ankara and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat have been provocatively expressing their intransigence and are sending the message that their aim is a solution that will lead to a confederation of two states.

    ``Our struggle is not easy. The path of a struggle has never been easy. However, no one will offer us our freedom and rights if we do not continue to demand them,`` Garoyian said, adding that ``we accepted the bizonal bicommunal federation as an historical and painful compromise, not a confederation, not two separate states.``

    Garoyian said ``our aim is to achieve an agreed solution through peaceful procedures under the auspices of the UN and on the basis of the principles and resolutions of the international organisation, the high level agreements, the principles on which the EU is established and the rules of international law of order.``


    A cooperation agreement between the Republic of Cyprus and the European Space Agency (ESA) was signed in Nicosia on Thursday.

    The agreement was signed on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus by Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Works Makis Constantinides and on behalf of the ESA by Director of Legal Affairs and External Relations Peter Hulsroj, in the presence of Minister of Communications and Works Nicos Nicolaides.

    Nicolaides said the agreement was a very important development for Cyprus in the sector of science and technology, and especially space technology, noting that it was ``a step forward`` and that Cyprus ``is present and participates in the course of major scientific and technological quests.`` Hulsroj expressed optimism regarding the commencement of cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and ESA.

    Nicolaides noted that the five-year agreement establishes the mechanisms and legal framework for facilitating and strengthening cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and ESA for mutually beneficial activities concerning the peaceful use of outer space.

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