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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 00-01-21
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Friday, 21 January 2000
Addressing the House of Representatives on the occasion of the debate on the budget for 2000, Mr Klerides said that the rate of growth is expected to be around 4,5% in real terms, the rate of unemployment will remain around 3,5%, while inflation may show a slight increase as will the budget deficit.
This year's budget envisages expenditure amounting to 2,007,4 million pounds and revenue amounting to 1.348,1 million compared to 1.607,9 million and 1.088,4 million last year.
Development expenditure is expected to reach 287,7 million with priority given to the construction of large infrastructure projects, such as roads, airport improvements and irrigation and water supply projects.
The public deficit is expected to reach 227,2 million or 4,3% of the GDP and the public debt will rise to 61,3%, deviating from the relevant Maastricht Treaty criterion.
Referring to the performance of the economy during 1999, Mr Klerides said that it was marked by the rapid rise of the stock exchange general index.
In addition he said that the rate of growth reached 4,5 % for the second year running, exceeding the target of the Strategic Development Plan for 1999-2003 which was 4%.
Unemployment slightly increased from 3,4 % to 3,6% and inflation was restricted to 1,7%.
Regarding the island's harmonisation with the acquis communautaire and its accession course to the European Union, Mr Klerides said costs relating to harmonisation will reach 550 million, stressing that the financial assistance which the European Union is giving to Cyprus is very small.
Speaking at a press conference in Ankara yesterday, after signing several cooperation agreements between the two countries, Mr Papandreou, who is on an official four-day visit to Turkey, said that "no-one is hiding the fact that there are differences", but "it is important we are both saying we support the process".
Sweden's Foreign Minister, Ms Anna Lindh, replying to question in the Swedish House, has said that a solution to the Cyprus problem would facilitate the island's entry into the European Union.
She added that Sweden and other EU member states, hope and believe that Cyprus joining the EU would be in the interest of both sides in Cyprus and that the continuing negotiations with the EU will have a positive and catalytic effect of the search for a solution.
She also said that the fact that Turkey is now also an EU candidate, will also have a positive influence on the process.
Three Greek-Cypriot expatriates originally from the village of Lefkoniko but now in the UK, the US and Australia, are suing Turkey for denying them access to and use of their properties, which have been incorporated into a major Turkish military airbase on the outskirts of the village and inaccessible to them since the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus because of the presence of the Turkish armed forces.
The case is based on the decision of the European Court of Human Rights that held Turkey responsible for human rights violations in the area of Cyprus under its military control and ordered it to compensate Kyrenia refugee Titina Loizidou for depriving her of the use of her property.
The team of Australian students from La Trobe University in Melbourne conducting the excavation under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, say the found a series of houses dating between 2, 400 and 2,00 BC and many complete pots used for storing, cooking and serving food,
Amongst the most important individual discoveries is a large pithos or storage jar which was found buried up to its rim in the ground, inside which were the remains of a young child, about 12 to 18 months old.
There are very few examples of the custom of using large jars for burials in Cypriot archaeology, so this new find adds to the evidence concerning important developments which took place on the island about 4,500 years ago.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/