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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-05-07

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has warned that failure to achieve fiscal consolidation will have knock-on effects on our economy.

    In his welcome address at the opening of the 35th Cyprus International Fair 2010, which was read by Minister for Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalidis, President Christofias congratulated the participants in this year`s Fair which coincides with the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus.

    As he said, the annual institution of the International Fair records with the most vivid way the steps of progress, growth and prosperity of the people of Cyprus, noting that ``the 35th Cyprus International Fair, with its multifaceted role, is the most important commercial event of the year for Cyprus.

    Welcoming the foreign officials and other guests, as well as the representatives of all the participating countries in the Fair, Christofias said that their presence here is a sign of confidence in the economy of the country, as well as an expression of their friendly sentiments towards the people of Cyprus.

    He stressed that ``much of the success achieved by the Cypriot economy is due to the mixed economic system which for many decades now offers and secures a continued progress and growth and prosperity to Cyprus.

    The support and strengthening of this mixed system, which has anthropocentric orientation and clear growth direction, constitutes the cornerstone of all our efforts, he added.

    He stressed that the priority of this government ``is to create conditions of macroeconomic stability, which can be achieved through close cooperation among public, private and cooperative sector.

    He said the Government attaches great importance to ``the maximum utilization of the comparative advantages of Cyprus, such as its strategic geographical location and its status as a member of the European Union and the Eurozone.

    President Christofias noted that ``Cyprus was not directly affected by the financial crisis due to the negligible exposure of the financial sector to toxic products.

    However, he added, ``inevitably, the real economy was indirectly affected because of its small size and its open nature.

    He noted that 2009 has been a year of great challenges for the Cypriot economy, adding that 2010 is expected to be equally difficult as well.

    He said that the Government had reacted promptly and decisively and took early measures amounting to 500 million euro, which alleviate as much as possible the effects of the global financial crisis.

    We consciously adopted an expansionary fiscal policy with the increase of investment and social expenses to be the main axes aiming at stimulating investment and demand, as well as the social cohesion,`` he added.

    He emphasized that ``despite the economic crisis, the government continues and expands its social policy to relieve a large part of the population which has special needs, such as low paid pensioners, recipients of public assistance, disabled and blind people and multi-child families.

    President noted that ``the unprecedented global financial crisis has inevitably affected the small, open economy of Cyprus``, adding that ``the main problems we need to address are the reduction of the economic growth, the increase of the budget deficit and the relatively low competitiveness of our economy``.

    ``The effects of the economic downturn brought to the surface the structural problems of the Cypriot economy, which concern, inter alia, the operation and effectiveness of the state machine and tourism,`` he said.

    He also said that some f the measures we intend to implement include the limitation of spending in the wider state sector, restrictions on public spending and increasing state revenue by combating tax evasion.

    In conclusion, he warned that failure to achieve fiscal consolidation will have knock-on effects on our economy.``


    Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou said on Friday that the issue of Famagusta and the return of the fenced-off town to its legitimate citizens was an issue that was not related to talks to solve the Cyprus problem but was a direct responsibility of Turkey, adding that the government was in close cooperation and contact with the Famagusta Municipality to promote the issue.

    Speaking after a meeting with a delegation from the Famagusta Municipality, headed by Mayor Alexis Galanos, Kyprianou said that, since the issue of Famagusta was the responsibility of Turkey, the change in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community should not change prospects for a settlement of the issue, adding that anywhere the Turkish army is involved there are complications and a negative approach.

    Kyprianou said the government and the Famagusta Municipality are promoting a campaign for the town and that regular meetings facilitate coordination.

    ``The issue of Famagusta and the return of the fenced-off area to its inhabitants is not only a confidence building measure. It is also an issue not related to the talks but a direct responsibility of Turkey,`` he said, pointing out that this has been recorded in UN and European Parliament resolutions and in reports by the UN Secretary General.


    The issue of the proposed regulation for direct trade between the EU and the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus is ``a very difficult case`` and as long as the European Commission promotes this proposal, Cyprus will be finding it along the way, Minister of Foreign Affairs Marcos Kyprianou said on Friday, assuring that efforts were continuing to avert the adoption of the proposed regulation.

    Kyprianou noted that ``the effort is continuing`` and that the government, the MEPs and the political parties have coordinated actions and are promoting the same arguments on all levels.

    He pointed out that ``this is not something that will change from one day to the other,`` adding that the proposed regulation has been around since 2004.

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    The Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) expresses its sincere gratitude to the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for its generous donation of a backhoe digger and loader worth EUR 47,000.

    According to a press release issued in Nicosia Friday, this donation, done through the United Nations Development Program Action for Cooperation and Trust (UNDP-ACT), will enable the CMP to pursue its project on the Exhumation, Identification and Return of Remains of Missing Persons in 2010.

    The CMP is striving to locate as many remains as possible in order to bring an end to the uncertainty which has affected so many families for so many years.

    To date, remains which could belong to over 647 individuals have been exhumed and 217 returned to the families concerned.

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