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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-04-12

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou has urged the EU to engage in a dialogue with Libya, Syria, Yemen and Bahrain to assist their smooth transition to democracy through a process which will remain in the hands the people.

    Speaking Tuesday at the EU Ministers of Foreign Affairs Council in Luxembourg, Kyprianou pointed out that the Mediterranean EU Member States can promote the actions of the Union since they are closer to the culture of these countries.

    The Foreign Minister stressed the role that Cyprus can play, as a bridge between the EU and the southern region. Kyprianou has also informed the Council about his visit to Syria on March 28, where he transferred the EU positions for the situation in the country. Kyprianou called on the EU to be ready to help the implementation of reforms in the country, which, as he noted, will benefit the Syrian people.

    Regarding the current developments in Libya, the Foreign Minister reiterated that the main consideration should be given to an immediate ceasefire by all sides and to the protection of the civilian population. He also stressed that the EU should make every effort to provide effective humanitarian assistance.


    International Monetary Fund estimates, as presented in the World Economic Outlook for 2011, are a vote of confidence for the Cypriot economy, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis said Tuesday. Speaking during a press conference in Nicosia, Stavrakis said that IMF estimates on the growth of the global economy are falling back, mainly due to rising oil prices and the subsequent downward pressure on potential growth, the uncertain situation in the countries of the Middle East and Africa, as well as the natural disaster that hit Japan.

    IMF predictions on the growth rate of the Cypriot economy forecast a slightly lower growth rate of 1,7% for 2011, compared to 1,8% predicted last October. He said that the government`s goal was 1,5%. The most important issue is that estimates concerning public finances are significantly improved Stavrakis noted and referred to the new IMF debt forecast, which stands at 63,7% by 2014, compared to 70% before.

    In particular, the IMF data predicts a budget deficit of around 4,5% of GDP in 2011 (the forecast was for 5,6% in October 2010), and of 3,7% in 2012 (5,4% in the October forecast). The IMF also predicts that public debt in 2011 will reach 63,4% of GDP (64% in the October forecast), 63,9% in 2012 (66,4% in the October forecast), 64,2% in 2013 (68,4% in October), before retreating to 63,7% in 2014 (70,02% in the October forecast).

    This is a vote of confidence by the IMF to the Cypriot economy Stavrakis noted and added that the Fund provides a positive outlook for growth rates, a reduction in the budget deficit and the stabilization of public debt at a very low percentage in comparison to other Eurozone Member States.

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