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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-01-22

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] EURO AREA - ECONOMY
  • [02] ELECTION CAMPAIGN

  • [01] EURO AREA - ECONOMY

    The economic situation in the US is continuing to get worse and a downturn of the economy cannot be ruled out, Head of the Eurogroup, Prime Minister of Luxembourg Jean- Claude Junker has said after a meeting of the Eurogroup ministers.

    Cyprus, which officially joined the Eurozone on January 1st, 2008, was represented at the meeting by Finance Minister Michalis Sarris. Sarris and his Maltese counterpart briefed member states of the Eurozone regarding the changeover to the Euro, which according to Junker was absolutely successful. Junker also referred to the good preparation of the two countries and to the immediate combating of profiteering incidences.

    Junker said that if the US economy faces a downturn, this will affect the growth of Eurozone countries, that in any case will be lower than 2,2% that the European Commission had predicted in November.

    Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Almunia said that the growth in the Eurozone will be around 2% in 2008.

    Both Almunia and Junker ruled out the implementation of a plan aiming at boosting consumption in the Eurozone, similar to the one the US government decided through tax reductions up to 140 million dollars.

    Junker said that countries of the Eurozone can use the stability mechanism provided by the Stability and Growth Pact (SGP).

    [02] ELECTION CAMPAIGN

    As election day draws nearer, presidential candidates, their associates and supporters intensify their efforts, with opinion polls, either in the print or the electronic media, announcing results that are too close to call. The purpose of the exercise, for at least the main three candidates, is to secure a ticket for the run off election on February 24, as it seems highly unlikely for any of them to be elected on February 17. Though arguments are put forward against each other, adjectives attributed, discussions turning lively, everybody seems to be on guard not to alienate others, just in case they would have to consult with them and seek their vote in their bid for the presidency.

    The three principal candidates are: incumbent President Tassos Papadopoulos is seeking re-election, for a second term in office. He is backed by the Democratic Party (DIKO), which he led for a number of years, the Social Democrats Movement EDEK, the European Party and the Ecologists. House President, General Secretary of AKEL Demetris Christofias is running for the presidency, the first time AKEL has put forward its own candidate for the presidency. AKEL, a former government coalition partner, announced its decision to contest the elections with Christofias in the summer, after EDEK had made public its support for Papadopoulos re-election bid. Euro MP and former Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides is also one of the main contenders of the Republics highest post. He is backed by the Democratic Rally party and other smaller movements, offshoots of the party.

    Former Agriculture Minister Costas Themistocleous and Euro MP Marios Matsakis have also submitted their bid for the presidential elections. In addition to this, Andreas Efstratiou, Costas Kyriakou (Outopos), Anastasis Michael and Christodoulos Neofytou are contesting these elections.

    There can be little doubt that the main bone of contention in this election campaign is the question of Cyprus, with discussions often reverting to 2004 when the UN launched its most rigorous attempt to reunify the country, which has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.


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