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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-07-09

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The effective collection of unpaid tax from profits and the increase of states revenue in order to implement a social policy, having always in mind the ordinary human in need, is a major priority for the Government, Demetris Christofias, President of the Republic, has said.

    Replying to questions at a press conference for the first 120 days of his governance, President Christofias said that in the framework of the social policy context, he will ensure the effective functioning of a special Committee on the drugs problem.

    On the issue of the increasing prices, President Christofias said that, even if it is mainly due to external factors, the priorities of the Government concentrate on the effective functioning of the Commission for the Protection of Competition (C.P.C) and other departments of consumer protection. Moreover, the implementation of measures to cope with the consequences of drought is on the Governments top priorities, he said.

    Asked about the high cost of living, the high rate of inflation and whether or not the Government is thinking of adjusting its social policy, President Christofias stated that his handlings on those issues will not burden the people with the effects of the rising prices caused by external factors. ``At the same time, he added, We are trying to make the state mechanism as effective as possible.

    President Christofias said that he has already arranged a meeting with the Ministries Director Generals to discuss the issue. In addition, as he said, he will pay visits to the Ministries in order to find ways for the state mechanism to become more effective. Regarding the Cyprus energy problem, President Christofias pointed out that the Government is promoting, by adopting short procedures, the construction of a land-based terminal for the arrival of natural gas in Cyprus.

    President Christofias also called on the people to reduce consumption. At the same time, he pointed out, the Council of Ministers and the Ministry of Communication and Works are intensively work towards a programme for free students transport and an 8 to 10 year-strategic plan for enhancing public transport.

    Replying to a question on the General Health System, President Christofias stressed that the Government will not delay with its implementation. At the same time, the Government will ensure that the Greek Cypriots, who meet the criteria, will have free access to state health services, President Christofias said and added that all the Turkish Cypriots, without any economic criteria, will continue to enjoy free medical care in the public hospitals.

    Cyprus economy is in a good way, President Christofias noted. Replying to a question on the issue of the Central Bank gold reserves, Christofias made it clear that the Government has never announced that gold reserves are for sale.

    A discussion has begun, and the Minister of Finance and other officials interfered. But, the Government has not decided yet on the issue of gold reserves, President Christofias noted.

    He also expressed disappointment about the problems that have recently occurred regarding the passenger handling services at the airports of Cyprus.


    The meeting held on July 1, 2008, between Cyprus President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat has produced deals on crucial demands of the Greek Cypriot side, paving the way for future progress on Greek terms, a report issued by publisher of geopolitical intelligence StratFor (Strategic Forecasting Inc.) said.

    The report entitled Cyprus: A Breakthrough for the Greek Side said that during their meeting Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali agreed to a single Cypriot citizenship and a single sovereign entity -- crucial demands of the Greek Cypriot side. Greek Cypriots wanted assurances that the new unified Cyprus would not be a confederal state and that limits would be placed on citizenship for Turkish migrants- as the report describes the Turkish settlers. The agreement has paved the way for a July 21 meeting between the two leaders to discuss further progress on technical issues, the analysis added.

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