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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-03-03

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The government has prepared a set of measures in a bid to consolidate the deteriorating Cypriot economy, due to the financial crisis, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has said, adding that this package will be discussed with parliamentary parties and the social partners. The package aims at saving a total of 500 million euro which would keep Cyprus close to the 3% limit of the area limits with regard to fiscal deficit, avoiding EU supervision.

    Addressing a conference of the Employers and Industrialists Federation (OEV) last night, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis warned that unless steps are taken, Cyprus` fiscal deficit will grow from 6.1% to around 7% in 2010. The deterioration of public finances is mainly attributed to the sharp decrease in public revenue which reached 800 million euro or 10.7% of Cyprus` GDP, due to the financial crisis. ``The government is fully aware of the situation of the economy as well of what needs to be done to tackle effectively the problems and ominous prospects,`` Stephanou said, commenting on concerns voiced by the main opposition party DISY.

    He added that the government has prepared a package containing measures and policies which would tackle immediately a series of problems. ``We are in the final stage of discussions. We will confer with the social partners and political parties because structural problems in particular need consensus and the support of the social partners and the political parties,`` Stephanou said, replying to a comment that the government has delayed implementing new measures, adding that the government aims to implement these measures ``as soon as possible.``


    House President Marios Garoyian has appeared pessimistic regarding the prospects of the ongoing UN-led direct negotiations for an agreed settlement to the Cyprus problem, due to the stance the Turkish Cypriot side maintains at the negotiating table.

    Garoyian had a meeting with Belgian Defense Minister Pieter De Crem, who is currently visiting Cyprus for contacts in view of the assumption of the EU Presidency by Belgium the second half of 2010. The House President briefed the Belgian Minister on the latest developments in the Cyprus problem, noting he is pessimistic regarding the prospects of progress in the talks. He said his pessimism stems from the intransigent stance of the Turkish Cypriot side, evident from the recent proposals it has submitted at the negotiating table which focus on a confederal solution and violate the principles and values of the European Union, as well as UN Security Council resolutions.

    On his part, De Crem said he had always followed developments in Cyprus very carefully and expressed a wish for a solution soon. He pointed out that political will, assurances that the new state to emerge after a solution will function better, as well as the public impression that the new state of affairs will be better than the existing one, are preconditions for a settlement.


    The Ministry of Health has announced that the pandemic of H1N1 virus is in the stage of complete remission in Cyprus. According to international scientific data, as well as information provided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the European Centre for Decease Prevention and Control (ECDC), Influenza A is in remission worldwide. However, it is noted that scientifically it is not sure if there will be a second wave of the Influenza A during the next two months or during the next winter period.

    The Ministry of Health has decided to end all of extra and additional measures that were taken at state hospitals and those adopted by the Health Services in general. According to the Ministry, clinics for the H1N1 which have been operating at state hospitals will close. Vaccination for those who belong to the high risk groups will continue.

    The Ministry has also decided to terminate the operation of the call line that informs people about H1N1 virus.

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