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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 08-12-27

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus President Demetris Christofias said on Saturday that the only road to a settlement of the Cyprus problem, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, is the continuation of the talks, which started last September, ``despite the difficulties faced in the negotiations.``

    President Christofias after his election to the Presidency of the Republic of Cyprus last February, engaged in UN-led direct talks with the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. So far, 13 meetings have taken place focusing on the issue of Governance and Power-Sharing.

    ``The difficulties we face in the negotiations are regretful but they do not disappoint us and do not lead us to any thoughts about withdrawing from the talks,`` the President said addressing a conference of the Pancyprian Federation of University Student Unions.

    He stressed that ``the response to these difficulties is the continuation of hard and sincere efforts we exert for a just, viable and functional solution and the continuation of our efforts with consistency to the principles for a Cyprus settlement, determination and flexibility,`` he stressed.

    ``There is no road to a solution other than negotiations. Stagnation and the absence of dialogue favour those seeking for division. And, we are adversaries of division,`` the President underlined.

    Christofias also said that a possible withdrawal from the talks would be ``destructive,`` because it would give the impression that the Greek Cypriot side is not interested in a solution to the Cyprus problem as well as ``would destroy everything we achieved with our initiatives to turn the negative international climate for us.``


    The Turkish side shows no will for a solution to the Cyprus problem on the basis of the UN resolutions, the high level agreements and the principles and values of the EU, Cypriot House President Marios Garoyian has said.

    Addressing a conference of the Pancyprian Federation of University Student Unions, Garoyian said the direct negotiations, which started on September 3 between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot Mehmet Ali Talat, will show whether Turkey has the will for a solution on the basis of principles, the UN resolutions, the high level agreements and the principles and values of the EU.

    ``So far the Turkish side has not shown any such sign,`` he said, adding that Turkey remains intransigent seeking a two-state solution and a parthenogenesis (the creation of a new state). The Cypriot House President noted that the Greek Cypriot side, through President Christofias, has proved that it participates in the direct negotiations with a ``clear will for the finding of a functional and viable solution on the basis of principles.``


    Cyprus Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Sotiroula Charalambous said on Saturday that small rise in unemployment is expected in 2009 due to the global financial crisis, noting however that this will not approach the ``dramatic rates`` observed in other European Union member-states. Speaking to CNA, Charalambous said that figures showed that unemployment stood at 3.8% in September 2008 and declined to 3.0% in November.

    ``The figures so far are very good and do not advocate for any drastic change,`` the Minister said, invited to comment on a statement made by Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis that the first aim for 2009 is tackling the threat of unemployment.

    ``It is premature and dangerous to say anything`` about unemployment in 2009 Charalambous added, explaining that traditionally Cyprus shows a small rise in unemployment in the last months of the year due to the seasonal nature of tourism, which leads some hotels to suspend their operations. ``If the implementation of development projects starts on time -and this is the big challenge- we will not face a dramatic change in unemployment,`` she added.

    The Labour Minister also said that a small rise of unemployment in the construction sector has been recorded adding however that ``it is very premature to say that this (rise) is due to the completion of big projects or it constitutes a trend which will continue in the next few months.``

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