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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-06-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The pre-election period in Cyprus in view of the European elections, to take place on June 6 on the island, ends at midnight on Thursday. A total of 526,060 registered voters are called to elect the six MEPs from Cyprus. The number of voters includes 6,458 community citizens living in Cyprus, as well as 9,628 Cypriots who will be voting abroad. A total of 1,126 polling stations will be set up, including 34 abroad.

    Speaking at a press conference, Chief Returning Officer Lazaros Savvides said the number of voters is the highest ever registered in any elections in the Republic, noting that there is now a 9% increase in the number of voters, compared with the European elections of 2004, with the number of Turkish Cypriots having doubled and the number of EU citizens voting in Cyprus having tripled compared with the 2004 figures.

    The Turkish Cypriots living in the government controlled areas of Cyprus, as well as the EU citizens in Cyprus, will be voting at the same polling stations as the Greek Cypriots, depending on the area they reside in on the island.

    For voting procedures abroad, a total of 166 officers will work at the polling stations, of which 45 are embassy staff and 121 specially trained personnel from Cyprus. In Cyprus, around 10,000 civil servants and police officers will be working to cover all phases of the voting procedure.

    Polling stations will open at 0600 local time (0300 GMT) and close at 2000 local time, with a one-hour break from 1200 to 1300. Polling stations abroad for Cypriot voters will be synchronised to close at the same time as those on the island.

    The counting of ballot papers will be carried out at the polling stations, as soon as they close, and results will be announced on June 7, late at night, when the last polling station in the EU closes.

    The six successful candidates from Cyprus will be proclaimed MEPs at the International Fair grounds in Nicosia, soon after the announcement of the results.

    The cost of the European elections in Cyprus is expected to exceed the budget, which was for 4.5 million EUR, since the calculations had been made before the decision to operate polling stations for Cypriots abroad.


    Cyprus Airways (CY) has announced for a second consequent year after tax profits amounting 1.7 million euro, for 2008, compared to 1.2 million euro in 2007. CY Executive President Kikis Lazarides has said that the profit would have been even higher if the company did not incur additional expenses of 28.7 million euro for fuel.

    Addressing Thursday shareholders at the 62nd Annual General Meeting, Lazarides recalled that Cyprus Airways has been recording losses for four years in the past, which reached 150 million euro and led the company to the edge of total collapse. But for the past two years, our consequent profits come to assure that Cyprus Airways finally stand on their feet, he said.

    Reminding shareholders of the world economic crisis and its impact on other air companies, he said that under those circumstances, Cyprus Airways announces today positive results for 2008, which we consider as a great achievement. According to the CY Annual Report, Cyprus Airways has recorded profit after taxation reaching 1.7 million euro for 2008, compared to 1.2 million euro for 2007.


    Cyprus and Italy have signed an additional protocol on the avoidance of double taxation. The protocol was signed Thursday by Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis and Ambassador of Italy in Nicosia Luigi Napolitano.

    In statements to the press, the Cypriot Minister said that the additional protocol opens a new chapter in the economic and commercial ties of Cyprus and Italy and removes Cyprus from the so-called black list of Italy, thus solving pending tax issues of the past seven years between the two states. Cyprus, Stavrakis said, is now ready to welcome Italian investors who can make their investments in the Russian, Eastern European and other markets through Cyprus.

    The additional protocol of the Convention on the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the two states provides for the exchange of bank and other information based on the Convention on the Avoidance of Double Taxation of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Napolitano noted that the additional protocol further enhances the already excellent bilateral commercial relations.


    The overall profit for the Cypriot tax payer to be gained through the deposit of the 1.5 billion euro, raised during the issue of Cyprus` four-year bonds in international markets, will reach 18 million euro per year, Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis has said. In statements after signing an additional protocol between Cyprus and Italy on the avoidance of double taxation and prevention of tax evasion, Stavrakis said that the government has borrowed with a fixed interest rate of 3.84% which will be used for the payment of public debt which has a cost reaching 5.1%.

    He added that there is a ``favorable interest rate difference for the Cypriot tax payer of 1.2%, which for the amount of 1.5 billion euro, gives the Cypriot citizen a profit of 18 million euro yearly. This profit comes in addition to the other positive consequences, which are a vote of confidence, on behalf of foreigners who absorbed the bonds, towards the Cypriot economy and the economic policy followed by the government, the Minister pointed out. Regarding the written bidding process for the allotment of the 1.5 billion euros, which took place Wednesday, Stavrakis said that the amount was deposited to five commercial banks, the Bank of Cyprus, Marfin Popular Bank, Eurobank, Bank of Piraeus and Alpha Bank.

    ``Because we do not want to lose not even one cent of interest from this issue, we deposited those money in banks through a transparent written bidding process for a short term period until the time comes to pay off the old expensive loans, he noted. The Cypriot Minister said that the interest rate as well as the credibility of each bank was taken into consideration.

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