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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-11-02

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, has said that the negotiation, which began in September aiming at reunifying Cyprus, will not be an easy process.

    We will face difficulties and we knew that. Otherwise, the Cyprus issue would have been solved until today, he said, answering to questions on the sidelines of an event to mark 100 years of the Akanthous Municipality, one of the nine Turkish occupied municipalities in Cyprus.

    President Christofias stressed he will continue the negotiation, in order to reach a common language with the Turkish Cypriot community.

    I would like to clarify that I will not interrupt the talks. We did not start the process to interrupt it. The Turkish Cypriot side should be aware of that. We will insist on reaching a solution, on reaching a common language, to jointly support principles for the benefit of our country. Because our country belongs to both communities, the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot community alike, he added.

    He reassured the people of Cyprus that he would continue his efforts in reaching a solution of the Cyprus problem, with flexibility, adding that at the same time he will defend principles.

    President Christofias, who will meet again Monday with Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, said they would continue discussion on the chapter of governance.

    He also clarified that any delays in the negotiation process are caused by both leaders.

    But I would like to stress that I will not abrogate my duties as President of the Republic of Cyprus concerning the international and European responsibilities of the Republic of Cyprus, he underlined.

    Asked about the world economic crisis and its impact on the Cyprus economy, President Christofias said that panic is not the best counselor at this stage, adding that the government is following a social and economic policy to the best interest of the Cypriot citizens.

    People are in the focus of our policy, middle class and whoever is in need, without causing panic to the people, he said.

    President Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat began last September direct negotiations with a view to reunify Cyprus, which has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied one third of the islands territory.


    President of the House of Representatives and President of the Democratic Party (DIKO) Marios Garoyian believes the Greek Cypriot side should move in a preemptive manner so that, in the event efforts to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem fail, it is clear which side is responsible, and furthermore prevent efforts to upgrade the puppet regime in the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic.

    In an interview with CNA, Garoyian referred to a ``plan B`` proposed by DIKO to the National Council, the top advisory body to the President of the Republic on the Cyprus problem. According to Garoyian, ``plan B`` contains measures to make sure it is clear to the world that the Greek Cypriot side made every possible effort to reach a settlement of the Cyprus problem.

    ``Despite the earnest efforts of our side and the President of the Republic, so far there is no proof that Turkey has abandoned its well known intransigent and implacable stance. Of course, it is too soon to assess and prejudge the course of events. However, with the facts we have today, it appears that the Turkish side is not behaving or giving prospects or possibilities for results in this dialogue. Hopefully things will change. When we say we want a solution of the Cyprus problem that will be functional, viable and just, the soonest possible, we mean it and all our proposals, approaches and behaviour comply with what we say,`` Garoyian pointed out.


    Unemployment in Cyprus reached 3.8% in September.

    According to Eurostat, the Statistical Service of the European Communities, the unemployment rate in Cyprus in September (3.8%) recorded a slight increase in comparison to August (3.7%).

    Cyprus recorded the fourth best performance in the EU area. Unemployment rate among women in Cyprus was 4.6% in September (Eurozone 8.2%) and among men 3.2% (Eurozone 6.9%). Youth unemployment in Cyprus (under 25) reached in September 9.7% (Eurozone 15.3%).

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