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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President Demetris Christofias has congratulated Loucas Papadimos on his appointment to the post of Prime Minister of Greece, and has wished him every success in the task ahead.

    President Christofias received on Friday a phone call from Papadimos, who informed him that he was the first state leader with whom he has communicated since he took over from George Papandreou, as proof of the fraternal and close links between Greece and Cyprus.

    According to an official announcement, President Christofias communicated on Thursday with former Prime Minister of Greece George Papandreou, whom he thanked for the assistance and support that he and his government had offered to Cyprus during his term. Christofias wished Papandreou all the best in his political career.

    In addition, Christofias called the President of the Hellenic Republic Carolos Papoulias, expressing Cyprus support to the people of Greece wishing the country to handle the economic crisis.

    Meanwhile Cyprus Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou Marcoullis had a telephone conversation with her newly appointed Greek counterpart Stavros Dimas. Marcoullis wished Dimas every success in his new post.


    The European Commission will not impose any penalties on Cyprus, if government measures and the 2012 state budget are approved by the House of Representatives, Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias has said. If the state budget is approved, and a 2% VAT increase (from 15% to 17%) in addition to a government proposal to reduce social benefits by 200 million euro are also approved, then EU Commissioner Olli Rehn will have no reason to apply any sanctions on us, the Minister said after a Cabinet meeting.

    European Commission Vice President for Economic and Monetary Affairs Olli Rehn has sent a letter to Kazamias and other EU Finance Ministers, warning that sanctions might be imposed if measures are not put in place to lower the budget deficit. Kazamias said that he has had a telephone conversation with Rehn on public finances, adding that he explained to the EU official that the government presented to the House of Representatives in August a bill that is pending and if approved, it would bring the budget deficit to 2,8% in 2012.

    The European Commission requests that 2012 state budget must be adopted by December 15. If the deficit is brought below 3%, then Cyprus will not incur the penalty of 0,2% of the GDP (36 million euro). Kazamias said that ten out of 17 states of Eurozone were deemed to have problems with their budget deficit. The Finance Minister stated the Commission has predicted that the Cyprus budget deficit for 2012 would reach 4,8%. What has been requested, he said, is to approve the budget by December 15.


    Australia only recognizes the Republic of Cyprus as the legal government of Cyprus and supports UN efforts for solution to the Cyprus problem, Australian Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has said. According to Athens News Agency, Rudd outlined this position speaking during a forum organized by the Labour Member of the Parliament Steve Georganas in Adelaide.

    Replying to a question on Cyprus, Rudd stated that Australia only recognizes the Republic of Cyprus as the legal government of Cyprus. He added that his country supports UN efforts and encourages the two sides in Cyprus to work for a just and viable solution.

    Australia maintains a contingent in Cyprus since 1964 (serving with the UN peace-keeping force) and will continue to provide it as long as necessary, he concluded.

    UN-led peace talks are currently underway to find a negotiated settlement that will reunify the country, divided since Turkish invasion in 1974, under a federal roof. The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus met on October 30-31, at Greentree, Long Island, with the UN Secretary General, in an effort to make headway towards a political settlement. The UN peace-keeping force (UNFICYP) arrived on the island in March 1964 after intercommunal fighting broke out. It is one of the longest-serving UN peace-keeping forces.


    The prospects of the Cyprus economy during 2012, are not favourable, said here Friday Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias.

    In a speech at a conference on the Cypriot Economy, Kazamias further said that Cyprus is expected to be negatively affected by developments in the Greek economy.

    He also said that resorting to the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) should be a last option and every effort should be made to avoid that.

    In his speech, Kazamias said that we all acknowledge the difficult time the economy of Cyprus is undergoing``, noting that Cyprus is facing very serious challenges.

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