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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-03

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Additional new measures to boost the economys development rate and to maintain unemployment at low levels, amid the continuing global economic crisis, were announced here Tuesday by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.

    Announcing the measures at the end of an extraordinary session of the Council of Ministers, President Christofias said the cost of these measures is estimated at around 300 million euro and geared towards tourism and the construction industry.

    He said that in tourism, the government has decided to abolish the overnight stay fees which the local authorities take from hotels, to lower the landing fees which airlines pay, to reduce the VAT rate from 8 to 5% in overnight hotel stays and to implement a plan to strengthen local tourism. These measures will cost 51 million euro, the President said.

    For the construction industry, President Christofias announced measures totaling 200 million euro which include a new loan plan to couples with low and middle income, the construction of new refugee estates, as well as the construction and repair of school buildings and projects for social care.

    At the same time, the government decided to maintain existing deposits in the banking system totaling 700 million euro for a further three and a half months, in an effort to boost the banks cash flow and repeated a call to banks to lower their interest rates.

    President Christofias told reporters the global economy is facing a very difficult time and forecast for 2009 is grim. The Cyprus economy is expected to be affected to a relatively smaller extent, especially compared to Eurozone countries, the President noted.

    He said the government has effectively and timely drawn up a new plan to handle the crisis.

    Furthermore, Christofias said the new measures took into consideration the suggestions of the political parties, the unions and other organisations as well as the states fiscal capabilities.


    President of the Cyprus House of Representatives Marios Garoyian, heading a six-member parliamentary delegation, left Tuesday for Prague, on a two-day official visit at the invitation of his Czech counterpart Miloslav Vlcek.

    During his stay in Prague, Garoyian will be received by the Czech President Vaclav Klaus and the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic Mirek Topolanek.

    The Cypriot delegation will meet the Chairpeson of the Czech Chamber of Deputies Miroslav Vlcek in the presence of Vojtech Filip, Vice Chairperson of the Czech House and other deputies. Garoyian and the Cypriot delegation will meet the Chairperson and members of the Cyprus - Czech Republic Parliamentary Group.

    During the visit, Garoyian will meet Czech Foreign Minister Karel Schwanzemberg and will attend separate working lunches hosted by Miroslava Nemcova, Vice Chairperson of the Czech Chamber of Deputies and Premysl Sobotka, President of the Czech Senate. Garoyian returns to Cyprus on Friday.


    A project entitled Triptych: Poetry Identity Co-existence with poetry as its central axis will be organised over the next two years in Cyprus and in another three European capitals, Stockholm, Paris and Athens.

    The project, supported by the European Program of Culture 2007 2013, is supported by other forms of art such as music, dance, painting (visual arts) and acting.

    A press release says the objective of the European Program of Culture is to promote inter-country cultural movement and interaction of the populations together with the creation of cross-cultural dialogue between them. For this reason, each event will have its own unique, multicultural character.

    The organisers of the project are two Cypriot cultural institutions NH Atlantis Productions and the non-profit organisation Ideogramma. Participating as co-organisers are the similarly non-profit organisations: Alekton Cultural Organisation from Athens, Biennale International de Poetes en Val-de-Marne from Paris and 00TAL - Stockholm Poetry Festival from Stockholm.

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