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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-01-08

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Friday that it was obvious the proposals submitted by Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat concerning aspects of the Cyprus problem had been prepared in Ankara, and called on Turkey to ``see reason.``

    Commenting on remarks by Talat that he had invited UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to visit Cyprus, President Christofias said it was not Talat who invited the UN chief to visit the island and that Ban Ki Moon was planning to visit Cyprus anyway, if and when there was progress in talks for a Cyprus settlement.

    Referring to Talat`s proposals, President Christofias said he had sent them to the political parties, calling on them to examine the proposals, and that they would be discussed during a meeting with the parties.

    Asked about Turkish press reports that the proposals had been prepared in Ankara, President Christofias wondered if there was anything that was prepared in Nicosia on behalf of the Turkish Cypriot side, without Ankara`s approval, adding that this was obvious.

    Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.

    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus have been engaged in UN-led direct negotiations since September 2008, with an aim to reunify the island.


    Spanish Minister of Foreign Affairs Miguel Angel Moratinos, whose country currently holds the EU rotating presidency, has said that the Spanish EU Presidency aspires to open four chapters with Turkey in the framework of the later`s EU accession negotiations. Moratinos also expressed hope that the ongoing UN-led talks aiming at a settlement of the Cyprus problem will bear fruit.

    Turkey`s denial to recognize Cyprus, an EU member-state divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion, has resulted in the freeze of eight chapters, while during the December 2009 General Affairs and External Relations Council Cypriot Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou announced that Cyprus reserves the right to block six additional chapters from the total 35 that a candidate state must successfully negotiate prior to membership.

    ``We have four chapters in mind and we hope to open them,`` Moratinos was quoted as saying speaking to reporters in Madrid. As regards the Cyprus problem, Moratinos said ``we are trying to get some progress in the talks.``


    Unemployment in Cyprus reached 6.2% in November 2009, according to figures released today by Eurostat, the EU`s statistical service.

    Unemployment increased in November 2009 by 0.1% compared to October 2009. Despite the slight increase, Cyprus presents the fourth best unemployment rate in the EU. Cyprus unemployment was mainly affected by job cuts in the tourist and construction sectors due to the financial crisis.

    Unemployment among men in Cyprus reached 6.2% in November (6.0% in October) and 6.3% among women (6.2% in October), while unemployment for young people under 25 years old reached 14.7% in September.

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