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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-02-18

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus has protested to the UN new violations of its national airspace by Turkey.

    An official press release issued on Wednesday said that Cyprus Permanent Representative to the UN, Ambassador Minas Hadzimichael, in a letter dated 6th February 2009 to the UN Secretary General, protested over new violations of international air traffic regulations and Cyprus national airspace by Turkey that took place from 2 December 2008 until 28 January 2009.

    In his letter, the Permanent Representative expresses the Cyprus governments strong protest and calls for the immediate ending to the violations.

    He stresses that the Turkish policy of non-complying with international rules and regulations governing international air traffic, jeopardizes aviation safety and prolongs the lack of safety and tension on the island.

    In addition, in his letter Hadzimichael notes that the continued provocations on the part of Turkey aim at consolidating the de facto division of Cyprus, further strengthen the illegal secessionist entity in the occupied areas and seriously undermine all efforts towards reunification and reconciliation.

    The Cypriot Permanent Representative notes that Turkish government should listen to the appeals of the international community and comply with the UN charter, respect the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the Republic of Cyprus, thus contributing to the creation of the necessary conditions to achieve a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus issue.

    The letter was circulated as a UN document yesterday, Tuesday, 17 February 2009.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkish troops invaded and occupied the islands northern third. Turkey has refused to implement numerous UN resolutions calling for the immediate withdrawal of its occupation troops from Cyprus.


    Cyprus has so far weathered the storm, but the 2009 outlook is more uncertain, it is noted in Cyprus` Stability Programme (SP) for the period 2008-2012 which has been submitted to the European Commission. The Stability Programme for the Period 2008-2012 which has been approved by the Council of Ministers on December 17, 2008 and subsequently amended on February 3rd, 2009, takes into account the European Commissions recent proposal for a coordinated recovery plan to address the current economic downturn, and the joint conclusion adopted by the European Council in December 2008.

    A key policy aim of the government is to promote growth and strengthen social cohesion. In this regard, the government aims at re-directing resources in favour of social expenditure and growth-enhancing expenditure categories, improving physical infrastructure in various segments of the economy while, at the same time, safeguarding macroeconomic stability. Another key strategic aim of the government is to boost its social spending in favour of that part of the population that is in greater need and also significantly reduce the public debt to GDP ratio over the medium term allowing thus more flexibility in fiscal policy.

    The ongoing international financial crisis has deepened considerably since September 2008 and the prospects for the world economy have become gloomier in recent weeks, it is mentioned in the SP. The SP says that in the event of a prolonged slowdown, the government has the necessary room to manoeuvre, given the underlying sound fiscal position and is ready to implement additional measures, if required. Nevertheless, and despite the unfolding economic crisis and prospective slowdown of economic activity in the EU and the Euro area -and the need to safeguard the important achievements - this Stability Programme reaffirms its ambitiousMedium-Term Objective of a balanced budget.


    The international mountain biking games ``Cyprus Sunshine Cup 2009`` kick off Sunday, February 22. This year the competition offers four rounds between the 22nd of February and the 15th of March.

    One of the organisers, Michalis Hadjioannou, has told a press conference that renowned cyclists from over 20 European countries and Brazil will participate in this years Cup. ``Most teams to participate this year consist of professionals. The athletes we expect are among the best in the world. These athletes not only have a high level but are the new generation of Mountain biking in the international arena, he noted.

    Participants include German cross - country cyclist Sabine Spitz, who won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympic Games. Other athletes who will participate are 2007 world champion of Marathon Mountain Biking Petra Çenzi, German champion Karl Platt, Austrian champion in men Christoph Soukoup and women Elizabeth Osl who finished 6th and 10th respectively at the Beijing Olympic Games, Czech champion Kulhavy Jaroslav, champion of Norway Lene Byberg, and of Sweden Alexanra Engen.

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