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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-03-24

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    There has been progress in talks aiming to solve the Cyprus problem but not to an extent that would allow bigger optimism that a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem will be achieved soon, Greek Ambassador to Cyprus Vassilis Papaioannou has said.

    Papaioannou assured that the Greek government fully supports the serious and sincere efforts made by Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, with a view to find the soonest possible an agreed, just, viable and functional settlement of the Cyprus problem. He noted that the forthcoming visit of the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou in Cyprus aims at underscoring the common goal of Cyprus and Greece to promote further efforts for a Cyprus settlement.

    As regards the forthcoming so called elections in Cyprus Turkish occupied areas, the Greek Ambassador said that they constitute an opportunity to test in practice the Turkish and the Turkish Cypriot sides` will the ongoing negotiations for a settlement to continue and bear fruit.

    He said that the new Turkish Cypriot leadership has to take over its historic responsibilities and proceed to the negotiating table with different positions and proposals comparing to those the Turkish Cypriot side had submitted in January and prove its confidence for a common future for Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots, without any positions referring to a past full of tensions, distrusts and insincerity.

    Asked about the situation of the Greek economy, Papaioannou said that the Greek government has proved in practice that it has taken painful but indispensable measures to cut down public expenses with a view to boost competitiveness and has been commended for this. That is why it is determined to do its outmost with a view to overcome the current crisis and restore its esteem internationally, he added.


    The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a proposal by the Cypriot government to impose a special reduced tax on companies engaged in international maritime transport, which replaces the corporate tax.

    According to a press release, the Commission found that the scheme, which exists in several other EU countries, will enhance the competitiveness of the Cypriot fleet without unduly distorting competition.

    The Cypriot government has notified a tonnage tax measure for companies engaged in international maritime transport and liable to corporate tax in Cyprus. The scheme allows companies to opt for a tax calculated on the net tonnage of the fleet that they operate (tonnage tax) instead of being taxed on the actual profits of their maritime transport activities. The tonnage tax scheme would also be applicable under certain conditions to tugboats, dredgers and cable-layers.

    The Commission considers that the scheme is in line with the European Union`s Guidelines on state aid to maritime transport. It also found strict ring-fencing measures will avoid any risks of tax evasion or spill-over of the benefits of the scheme to non-shipping activities. Finally, the scheme complies with the aid ceiling provided for in the Guidelines. The government has estimated that the annual cost of the measure would be 1.5 million EUR.

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