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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-11-28

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Economy is of national significance, President Christofias says
  • [02] UN to attend dinner hosted by community leaders
  • [03] Cyprus Presidency is a test, Spokesman says
  • [04] EU encouraged by Cyprus` austerity measures

  • [01] Economy is of national significance, President Christofias says

    Matters related to fiscal consolidation are of national significance President of the Republic Demetris Christofias said on Monday, calling on everyone to exceed themselves.

    Speaking at the Presidential Palace following a meeting he had with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in the context of the UN-led negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, President Christofias pointed out that the less we say, the better.

    The President today met Nicos Anastasiades, President of Democratic Rally, the main opposition party, with whom he discussed the austerity measures recently announced by the Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias, aiming to constrain public expenditure and consolidate public finances.

    Invited to comment on the meeting, the President described economy as a vital national matter, saying that neither the Government nor the political parties, should try to send the message that they are in control.

    He added that a consensus is needed through public dialogue.

    Decisions will be taken by the government following a discussion with the political parties since these issues will also be presented before the Parliament and a consensus is needed, the President underlined.

    We are not governed by trade unions or employers, everyone should participate in the public dialogue and the final decisions will be taken by the Government, President Christofias said.

    The Cypriot House of Representatives has already approved the first fiscal consolidation package on August 27. A second package of measures is incorporated in the 2012 state budget, including a 200 million euro reduction of social transfers.

    A proposed bill for the increase of the VAT rate from 15 to 17% is pending for approval. If these measures are approved, Cyprus will reduce its budget deficit below the Euro area benchmark and particularly to 2.8% of GDP.

    On Friday, November 18, Kazamias proposed a third set of measures including the freezing of salary increases in the public sector (including COLA) for two years, a measure that will save 355 million, a scaled taxation of private employees with a monthly salary of over 2,500 euro and the introduction on a 0.5% levy on the turnover of companies with Cypriot operations for two years.

    [02] UN to attend dinner hosted by community leaders

    President of the Cyprus Republic Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, made a joint invitation to the United Nations Monday to join them for a dinner on the 5th of January which is to be held in Pyla. The invitation was accepted by the UN General Secretarys Special Adviser on the Cyprus issue Alexander Downer.

    In statements to the press after Monday`s meeting of the two leaders in the framework of the intensified phase of UN led talks which aim to resolve the Cyprus problem, Downer said that Christofias-Eroglu had ``a long and lively discussion about the issue of governance and power sharing``.

    Beyond Thursday, he noted, there will be meetings the following Monday and the pattern will be for the leaders to meet more or less every Monday between now and the middle of January

    Referring to the dinner on the 5th of January which will be held in Pyla, Downer said that ``on behalf of the UN I have warmly accepted the invitation and I actually look forward to attending the diner``.

    [03] Cyprus Presidency is a test, Spokesman says

    The Presidency of the Council of the EU is an important test which Cyprus needs to pass with high marks Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said today. He added that in such an event, Nicosia will raise its prestige among EU member states, as well as internationally.

    Stephanou was speaking here today, during a meeting at EU House, organized by the Press and Information Office of the Republic of Cyprus, in cooperation with the European Parliament Office in Cyprus, concerning the preparation of the Cyprus EU Presidency during the second semester of 2012.

    Present during the meeting was also MEP Ioannis Kasoulides and the Director of the PIO Eleonora Gavrielides.

    Stephanou, while addressing the meeting, refereed to the double challenge the EU Presidency poses for Cyprus. As he said, the Presidency will on the one hand mature the Cypriot society concerning the countrys participation in the EU, on the other hand, though, the country must prove that it is capable of conducting a successful Presidency, by setting attainable goals and adding value to the European integration project.

    [04] EU encouraged by Cyprus` austerity measures

    EU Economic Affairs Commissioners Spokesperson Amadeu Altafaj on Monday described as encouraging the messages from Cyprus, Malta and Belgium regarding the austerity measures to be taken in order to constrain public expenditure and consolidate public finances.

    Last week Commissioner Olli Rehn said that the EU had sent warning letters to five member states, including Cyprus, that risk violating fiscal rules next year.

    He said that he expected the member states to take appropriate measures as they wouldn`t meet their fiscal targets in 2012 without more spending cuts or tax increases.

    According to Altafaj, the latest developments are encouraging, given that Cyprus has already taken action.

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