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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-12-29

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [02] CYPRUS - EURO


    President Tassos Papadopoulos has described a UN-brokered agreement in July last year, between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides, as a powerful weapon in our hands, with regard to efforts to reunite Cyprus, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    I believe that today we are in a much better position, at our initiative the July agreement of last year was achieved and we shall insist that it is implemented, he said, responding to questions, pointing out that Cyprus has also built the premise and alliances with its accession to the euro-area.

    The agreement has the support of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council. The refusal of the Turkish side to implement the agreement is no reason for us to abandon a powerful weapon in our hands, he added.

    Commenting on British confidential papers for 1977, made public, suggesting that the Turkish side had sought recognition of two separate administrations in Cyprus, Papadopoulos said that this has always been Turkeys long-standing policy.

    Turkey wants, one way or another, either through military presence or through a subordinate authority, to govern a large part of Cyprus but at the same time it also seeks to have control over the rest part of the island. This has been Turkeys long-standing policy and remains so, the President stressed.

    The President was speaking during New Year celebrations, hosted by the Presidential guard at the Presidential Palace.

    He thanked everybody for their dedication to the job they do for very long hours and wished them personal happiness.

    The July 8th agreement provides for working groups and technical committees to discuss substantive issues and issues that affect the day to day life of the people. This would in turn lead to substantive negotiations towards a political settlement that would reunite the country.

    [02] CYPRUS - EURO

    As Cyprus edges closer to the change of its legal tender from the pound to the euro government officials and other independent authorities are stepping up their efforts to ease the change-over for ordinary people as well as the business world. The Cyprus pound will become obsolete as of January 1st, 2008, as the legal tender of the Republic of Cyprus. Malta will also adopt the euro at the same time. Near midnight on December 31st, the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank are hosting special events to mark the occasion. Cyprus pounds can be used by the public for payments in cash until the end of January 2008 but all other transactions will be in euro. Cheques in pounds can be cashed, in euro, until the end of June next year, the Central Bank has announced.

    President Tassos Papadopoulos has welcomed the introduction of the euro, saying it will have a positive fallout on efforts to reunite the country, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. We are optimistic that the adoption of the euro will create more favorable conditions leading to a solution that will actually reunite Cyprus, its economy, territory, institutions and society at large. Any solution cannot but provide for a unified economy, he said. He did acknowledge however that there will be problems during a transitional period from the pound to the euro but pointed out that progress comes with reform.

    On Friday, Cypriots scrambled to obtain euro from commercial banks, with long queues of people wanting to secure coins and banknotes before they start using them. Shops, businesses and banks have been displaying their prices in pounds and euro for the past three months to help consumers get used to the new scale of values while the Ministries of Finance and Commerce are monitoring price developments. The Central Bank has said that after January 1st, businesses must give change exclusively in euro. Banks have supplied Cypriots with 40,000 pre-packed euro coin starter-kits for business, worth 172 euro each, and 250,000 mini-kits for the general public worth 17.09 euro each. The exchange rate of the Cyprus pound to the euro has been set at 0.585274. One Cyprus pounds corresponds to 1.71 euro.

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