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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-05-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has said he has always been in favour and remains committed to a solution of the Cyprus problem providing for a bizonal, bicommunal federation, adding that this solution must be workable, functional and fair.

    Speaking at a reception organized by the European Commission Representation in Cyprus and the European Parliament Office in Cyprus on the occasion of Europe Day, President Papadopoulos said ``the EU has to play a role in whatever solution we find.``

    He said the EU ``has to advise us and monitor that any arrangements to be met would be compatible with the acquis communitaire``.

    ``At the same time it is universally accepted, also accepted by us - maybe this is one of the few common points with our Turkish compatriots - that the Cyprus problem must remain under the umbrella of the United Nations. Neither EU nor any country wants the Cyprus problem to be removed from under the aegis of the UN into another forum``, President Papadopoulos added.

    Commenting an article in a newspaper saying that he rejects a federal solution of the Cyprus problem, President Papadopoulos said ``I say firmly and again that the solution we are aiming at is a bizonal, bicommunal federation of Cyprus``.

    Everything else, he noted, is just a line aimed at serving other purposes from the reunification of Cyprus.

    He also said that ``by our accession in the EU automatically the lawful citizens of Cyprus, T/C and G/C, are automatically citizens of Europe and we intend to see that both communities make use of the benefits which our accession to the EU provided and at the same time we must both comply with the obligations towards the EU``.

    Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus Themis Themistocleous said ``the EU is associated with security: social security; security against terrorism and crime; security in health, living and environmental contidions; job security``.

    He also said ``the EU is expected to harness globalization, bring solutions in terms of peace, democracy, living standards as well as research, innovation and economic performance``.

    Head of the European Parliament Office in Cyprus Tasos Georgiou said it is unfortunate that the accession of Cyprus was not followed by the re-unification of the island so that all people of Cyprus, Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots would jointly enjoy the benefits of accession in a unified country. However, he noted, I am convinced that this time will come soon.

    Ambassador of Austria in Cyprus Eva Hager referred to a meeting of Turkish-Cypriots and Greek-Cypriots young people earlier and said they have the same questions about their future, the same wishes and expectations for their country.

    The students met at a coffee shop in Nicosia and expressed their views about Europe. They also wrote stories about Europe, fifty of which will be issued later in an anthology book.


    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos described Turkey`s insistence not to allow the participation of the Republic of Cyprus in international organisations as ``a hostile action.``

    Asked how the Cypriot government is dealing with the continuing Turkish refusal to allow Cyprus to participate in international organisations, President Papadopoulos said Cyprus continues to make representations, calling on the European Union to implement the relevant article of the EU-Turkey negotiating framework that calls on Ankara to cease such hostile actions against the Republic of Cyprus.

    President Papadopoulos` comments came after Cypriot daily newspaper ``Phileftheros" reported on Sunday that Turkey is vetoing the participation of Cyprus in a PSCI exercise named ``Anatolian Deer`` scheduled to be held in Turkey, from May 24 to 26.

    The EU-Turkey negotiating framework notes that "in the period up to accession, Turkey will be required to progressively align its policies towards third countries and its positions within international organisations (including in relation to the membership by all EU Member States of those organisations and arrangements) with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.``


    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos said the British action to withhold armaments belonging to the Republic of Cyprus caused surprise, adding that various representations have been made.

    Asked if withholding these weapons, which are not British-made, was tantamount to a hostile action, President Papadopoulos said "it is an action which surprised me."

    "Various representations have been made," he added.

    "Initially, I believe, we had a response. I do not know if after the reports London has changed its stance," President Papadopoulos noted.


    The European Commission`s projections for the course of the Cypriot economy in 2006 and 2007 are especially positive, since the island`s economy is projected to continue growing solidly at 3.8% over the forecast horizon and Cyprus will continue to meet the criteria to join the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

    According to the Commission`s spring economic forecasts for 2006-2007, published Monday, it appears that the public deficit will be around 2.1% compared to 2.8% at the end of 2005. This means that Cyprus meets the main criterion for EMU accession, which is that the deficit is below 3% of GDP. At the end of 2003, the deficit was 6.3% of GDP.

    GDP is projected to reach 3.8% this year, with a similar increase in 2007. These growth rates are significantly higher than the average in the EU.

    Public debt reached its highest point at the end of 2004 with 71.7% of GDP, and will be around 70.5% in 2006 and 70.1% of GDP in 2007. Although the criterion for EMU accession provides that the debt must not be higher than 60% of GDP, it stipulates that the debt can be higher as long as it is following a declining path, as in the case of Cyprus.

    Inflation is foreseen to be under control in 2006 and 2007, and will be lower than the criterion for EMU accession. In 2006 it is expected to reach 2.4% and in 2007 2.2%. The criterion provides for an inflation rate of 2.6% and is calculated based on the average of the three best performances in the Eurozone, adding 1.5 units.

    Furthermore, the Commission projects that unemployment will be around 5.4% both in 2006 and 2007.

    The Commission says that despite posting a slight deceleration compared with 2004, real GDP growth in Cyprus remained buoyant last year at 3.8%. This seems to confirm that the Cypriot economy has recovered the strength it enjoyed prior to the deceleration cycle in 2002-2003, in spite of the recent oil price hike, which does not seem to have had a significant impact on activity.

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