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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 09-10-08

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] IACOVOU NAMI - GOVERNANCE
  • [02] STATE BUDGET - PARLIAMENT
  • [03] FAMAGUSTA DELEGATION - BRUSSELS
  • [04] EU - CYPRUS - ESTATE AGENTS

  • [01] IACOVOU NAMI - GOVERNANCE

    Presidential Commissioner George Iacovou and Ozdil Nami, advisor to the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community, have reviewed issues regarding external relations, a sub-section of the chapter of governance, which is under discussion in the context of UN-led negotiations. Iacovou and Nami met on Thursday, following the postponement of todays meeting between President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat due to Christofias ill health.

    According to diplomatic sources, close to the negotiating team, Iacovou and Nami began the discussion on the issues on which there is near convergence. We are close, aiming to reach full convergence on these issues, the sources have told CNA. According to the same sources, the discussion on these issues concluded with little progress. On issues where there is serious convergence, progress was not significant, they noted.

    Thursday`s meeting between Christofias and Talat was postponed, because the President was suffering from a wry neck and all his appointments for the day were postponed. According to an official press release, the President`s doctor has prescribed medication and has recommended rest.

    Next scheduled meeting between the leaders of the two communities in the framework of the second round of negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem, is next Wednesday, 14 of October. President Christofias and Talat have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    [02] STATE BUDGET - PARLIAMENT

    Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis submitted on Thursday the 2010 state budget to the President of the House of Representatives Marios Garoyian. Speaking to the press after a meeting with Garoyian, Stavrakis said that the 2010 budget will feature a 14% cut in non-productive state expenditure, in a bid to contain Cyprus` fiscal deficit below the 3% ceiling, defined by the EU.

    The draft budget features revenue, excluding loans, amounting to 5,794 million EUR, compared to the revised revenue of 5,371 million EUR in 2009. Total expenditure, excluding loan payments, is calculated at 7,858 million EUR, compared to 7,627 million EUR in 2009.

    Stavrakis described the drafting of the budget a ``difficult task,`` due to the drastic decline of state revenue, mainly as a result of the reduced income from the tourist and construction sectors, affected the most by the global financial crisis.

    [03] FAMAGUSTA DELEGATION - BRUSSELS

    A delegation of the Turkish occupied Famagusta Municipality, headed by Mayor Alexis Galanos, is currently in Brussels for a series of contacts with Cypriot, Greek and other European MEPs.

    Speaking at a press conference, Galanos referred to the inauguration of the photographic exhibition ``Famagusta - a European city to ransom`` in Luxembourg. The inauguration ceremony was attended by 200 people, including members of the European Court of Auditors, members of the Court of Justice, and foreign diplomats.

    ``People are touched by this issue. Famagusta is a European city destroyed by the Turkish army, which has been left to the elements`` since the 1974 Turkish invasion, Galanos pointed out. He also said that people wonder how Turkey can lay claims on EU accession, when at the same time it holds a European city to ransom.

    [04] EU - CYPRUS - ESTATE AGENTS

    The European Commission has taken action against restrictions on estate agents` activities in Cyprus. According to a press release by the EC, the Commission has taken action to ensure that the internal market principles of free movement of services and freedom of establishment are respected in Cyprus.

    The Commission will send a formal request to Cyprus concerning its national legislation restricting the activities of estate agents. This formal request takes the form of a reasoned opinion, the second stage of the infringement procedure laid down in Article 226 of the EC Treaty.

    If there is no satisfactory reply within two months, the Commission may refer the matter to the European Court of Justice. In May 2008, the Commission sent a complementary letter of formal notice to Cyprus (IP/08/689) after amendments to Law 273/2004 on estate agents introduced by the Law of 27 July 2007.


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