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Cyprus News Agency: News in English (AM), 99-01-23

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] Opera "Aida" - Bolshoi
  • [02] Budget - House - Taxes

  • 1320:CYPPRESS:01

    [01] Opera "Aida" - Bolshoi

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- Russia's world acclaimed Bolshoi Opera will stage Verdi's musical opera "Aida" in Cyprus in September this year with the cooperation of "Pafos Aphrodite Festival - Cyprus,", a local cultural institution of international status.

    "Pafos Aphrodite Festival", which is organising the opera, said the decision was confirmed at a meeting between the Company's delegation, under its Chairman Pafos' Mayor, Phedias Sarikas, with Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister, Nicos Rolandis, on Thursday.

    At the meeting, Sarikas presented the Company's proposal to stage "Aida" and the Minister stressed the need to render this performance into a most impressive spectacle, pointing out that it would contribute towards establishing Cyprus as a venue for cultural events of international interest and importance.

    The Festival has a state subsidy of 175.000 Cyprus pounds and gets some 15.000 pounds from the Cyprus Tourism Organization (one Cyprus pound is about two US dollars).

    The Company's secretary, Themis Filippou, told CNA that efforts will be made "to establish the Festival as an institution and seek more government funding for special events to mark the beginning of the new millennium."

    "We would like the festival to become an ambassador of Cypriot culture and promote it, through the media and other means, as the official annual cultural event," he said.

    CNA DG/MM/1999

    [02] Budget - House - Taxes

    Nicosia, Jan 23 (CNA) -- Finance Minister Christodoulos Christodoulou announced here today government plans to raise the Value Added Tax (VAT) to 15 per cent by the year 2002 and introduce tax relief measures to favour the lower income classes.

    The government's intention was announced hours after the House of Representatives approved the three state budgets (Ordinary, Development and Relief Fund).

    The Ordinary and Development budgets were approved with the support of 45 deputies and the Relief Fund for Displaced and Afflicted Persons with the support of the entire House.

    Estimated net revenue for the 1999 budgets is 1.106 million Cyprus pounds and net expenditure is estimated at 1.707 m. pounds (one Cyprus pound is about two US dollars).

    Speaking at a press conference, the Minister said VAT increase will be made in stages and in consultation with the island's political leadership.

    He explained the increase in VAT is necessary as part of Cyprus' alignment with the European Union acquis communautaire.

    "As long as a climate of confidence, calm and political security prevails, the Cypriot economy will continue to develop," he said.

    He described the public deficit as "a serious problem", noting that unless measures at taken this will rise to 5,7 per cent in 1999, compared to 5,4 per cent the year before.

    The increase in the public deficit, he explained, is due to a drop of 300 m. in public revenue as a result of Cyprus' customs union agreement with the EU.

    The Minister said in 1999 there will be a drop in public revenue amounting to 135 m.

    "We intend to propose generous social measures to maintain the existence of a large middle class," he added.

    Christodoulou also acknowledged that the government pay roll affects public finances but noted a slight improvement in that the increase in the pay roll for 1999 is estimated at nine per cent, compared with higher figures in the past.

    On defence spending, he said the Defence Fund has a deficit of 300 m. He also said defence spending will increase by some 25 m.

    CNA MK/MM/1999

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