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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-04-01

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Council of Ministers has decided to proceed with cutbacks on operational expenses of the public sector, reaching 150 million euro.

    The Cabinet convened Thursday morning on an extraordinary meeting under President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and discussed about the reduction of operational expenses in addition to the reduction foreseen in the state budget of 2010, on the basis of a plan, prepared by the Ministry of Finance.

    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou told reporters after the meeting that until the end of 2011, 150 million euro will be saved.

    Today we decided further reductions of operational expenses of 150 million euro until 2011. For 2010 we decided to cut operational expenses by 60 million euro, and by 90 million euro in 2011. So, in total, 150 million euro in two years, he said.

    The decision falls within the framework of the governments policy to reduce the cost of the public sector, he said.

    Stephanou noted that all Ministries will do cutbacks and explained that reduction of costs does not include development projects.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said that the government is making all necessary steps to deal with any moves to bring back the issue regarding the direct trade with the Turkish occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    Replying to questions after the meeting of the Cabinet of Ministers, Stephanou said that the government is very active and makes steps on the basis of arguments to deal with any intentions to bring back to the surface the issue of direct trade.

    Our position on the matter is very well known, he went on to say.

    He also said that during its next meeting, the National Council, the top advisory body to the President on the handling to the Cyprus problem, will discuss about the course of the UN led Cyprus talks.

    He added that the National Council, that will convene on April 7, will also discuss about the forthcoming visit of Greek Premier George Papandreou to the island.

    The Spokesman said that the Greek Premier, who is expected to Cyprus April 12, will hold a meeting with President Christofias and leaders of the political parties.

    Replying to questions, he said that the political parties of Cyprus, which participate in the National Council, are fully informed about the course of the Cyprus talks, the convergences and the differences between the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot sides.

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