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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-10-27

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The property issue will be solved in the framework of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem and the proposal of the Greek Cypriot side on this issue focuses on securing the right of the owner to make his own choice, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said.

    Asked about recent decisions of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) concerning applications by Greek Cypriots against Turkey, Stephanou said that these decisions about compensation do not respond to the real value of the properties, adding that compensation that will be given in the framework of a settlement must not be just for the show of it.

    It is clear that the ECHR has taken decisions in which the value of the properties does not respond to the compensation awarded to those who have applied to the ECHR and whose case has been addressed by the Court, he added.

    He also stressed that the issue of properties will be settled in the framework of a comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus problem and ``it is on this we are working at the negotiations.``

    Responding to a question, Stephanou said that our own proposal which is at the negotiating table focuses on securing the right of the owner to make his choice.

    He added that the issue of properties cannot be solved through court decisions or by awarding compensation either through ECHR decisions or through the so called compensations committee that was set up in the occupied areas of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974.


    Germany position on the recognition of Cyprus is clear, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Wednesday, adding that Cyprus is not expecting a challenge to place in the agenda the illegality of the puppet regime and prevent any actions aiming to upgrade it.

    In a remark that Eroglu has met German Foreign Minister, Stephanou said that such meetings always take place without any symbols that may give the impression that there is a meeting with a head of state.

    Regarding Eroglus statement about ``borders`` in Cyprus, Spokesman said that this is fully harmonized with the approach of Eroglu, as was the approach of Bagis and unfortunately Turkeys, that there are supposedly two states in Cyprus and that no occupying line exists, but only borders.

    Stephanou noted that there are decisions of the international community, the UN, the EU itself on the matter, and for this reason such statements are unacceptable.

    UN-led direct negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side in Cyprus have been going on since September 2008, with a view to solve the problem of Cyprus, divided since the Turkish invasion of the island in 1974. Turkey which aspires to become an EU member does not recognize the Republic of Cyprus, an EU member since May 2004.


    Cyprus Finance Ministry forecast for 2011 is that growth will reach 1.5% while the IMF being even more optimistic is expecting a growth of 1,8%, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said on Wednesday speaking during a Ministerial Round Table Discussion at an Economic Forum held here with the participation of Greek Minister of Finance George Papaconstantinou.

    Stavrakis also said that this year we expect positive growth rates, anything between 0,5% and 1%., noting that growth mainly comes from the service sector.

    He noted that we are an open economy, we have been affected by what has happened globally, but we have done reasonably better compared to the rest of the Eurozone with growth last year falling to 1,7% compared to 4% drop in the Eurozone.

    Stavrakis said Cyprus is a European country with the lowest tax rates in Europe, 10% corporate tax rate, a maximum 30% personal tax rate, 0% heritage tax, 0% capital gains tax, 15% VAT the lowest in Europe.

    So we are the country with the lowest taxes in Europe but at the same time with large number of important double taxation treaties with major trading partners throughout the world. Within the last two months we have signed and concluded 4-5 new treaties, with Denmark, Slovenia, Kuwait, UAE and most important with Russia, he said.

    Stavrakis said Russia is Cyprus` most important trading and economic partner and what we have now with Russia is probably the best double taxation treaty which in simple words means that any foreign investor whether American, British or European who wants to invest in Russia, most probably he will be advised to do it through Cyprus.

    He also noted that Cyprus has a good legal and accounting system, a solid banking system which fortunately did not require direct or indirect government support, and a reasonably stable economy.


    An agreement was reached here on Wednesday between the Cypriot Minister of Health Christos Patsalides and his Greek counterpart Andreas Loverdos, currently in Cyprus on a two day visit, regarding the overseeing of Cypriot doctors doing their specialization in Greece.

    So far the programme has been overseen by the Greek Central Health Board, however once the agreement of the two Ministers is ratified by both Greece and Cyprus it will open the way for an equivalent Board to be established in Cyprus.

    Patsalides noted that among other issues the Greek Minister relayed twinning requests from two Greek hospitals to their Cypriot equivalents, something which will provide the opportunity for exchanges of views, experiences, activities and doctors and will foster the further development of the health sector.

    Greek Minister of Health extended an invitation to Patsalides to visit Athens at the end of November and during that visit put into play the implementation of the agreement, adding that he intends to sign the relevant decision on Friday morning and see to it that ratification procedures by the Greek House of Representatives take place during Patsalides visit in Athens.

    That way we will prove we are men of action and not words, he said.

    He also announced the twinning request of two Greek hospitals namely the Attikon hospital of Athens and the University General Hospital of Heraklion, Crete, referring to the latter as the pride of the Greek health system.

    Loverdos said that among others the subject of Greek doctors practicing around the world was discussed and Greeces intention to organize a Medical Conference in 2011.

    Referring to the co-operation of the two countries within the EU framework, he said that Greece places great emphasis on the co-operation of Ministers of Health within the framework of the EU Health Council, adding that it is very important to discuss issues before European Council sessions take place for co-ordination purposes.

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