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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-09-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The Cabinet has approved unanimously the 2011 state budget which will focus on fiscal consolidation, Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis said after a Cabinet meeting, noting that the governments development and social profile would also be maintained.

    He described next years budget as one of fiscal consolidation, adding that he would expand on the budget at a press conference on Wednesday.

    Stavrakis referred to Cypruss commitment to the EU to reduce public deficit down to at least 4.5% of GDP in 2011 and below 3% in 2012, saying that the budget is aimed in that direction.

    Revenue is estimated to increase by 4.7% while expenditure is set to rise by 1% only, which according to the Minister is the lowest rate of growth (of state expenditure) in the past 30 years.

    If Cyprus were to follow annual expenditure increases of 7% to 8% of previous years, public deficit would rise to 7% during 2011, he said. Our efforts have managed to reduce public deficit by 1.6% thus making it 5.4%, he added.


    President Demetris Christofias has said that he expects Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leadership to react positively to his package of proposals, which he firmly believes can prove helpful in achieving substantial progress and give new impetus to the negotiating process. Receiving the credentials of the new Ambassador of the State of Israel Michael Harari in Cyprus, President Christofias stressed that he expects Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leadership to demonstrate that they share the same political will with the Greek Cypriots to achieve speedy progress and an agreed solution to the Cyprus problem.

    We expect that the public declarations of Ankara and the Turkish Cypriot leadership are not merely a part of a communications game and that they are actively committed to a solution based on the agreed framework, by submitting proposals conducive to creating conditions favourable for reunification, he said.

    Turkey`s role is all-important, as per last December`s Conclusions of the European Council, and has to be constructive, he added, pointing out that Ankaras positions must be based on UN resolutions and the principles and values of the European Union. The President called on Turkey to fulfill all the obligations that it has undertaken, as well as actively and positively contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to Ankaras course to become a member of the EU, he said that it cannot remain unaffected and unhampered, if its intransigence, provocative stance and refusal to meet its obligations vis-a-vis the EU continue.


    US Ambassador to Cyprus Frank Urbancic has outlined the prospects of cooperation between American and Cypriot businessmen, saying that this would be to the benefit of both countries. The Ambassador was speaking at a press conference to announce the convening of a two-day regional franchise conference, to take place in the southern coastal town of Limassol. Urbancic said he believes that the United States and Cyprus can achieve more by working together, if Washington were to invest in the position of Cyprus as the leader of the EU in the Eastern Mediterranean and as a center for international business.

    He added the American embassy is planning to bring to Cyprus at least 50 established companies looking to expand their activities in the region. The aim is to find Cypriot associates in order to achieve that, he said, explaining further that Cyprus can be used as a base for their business ventures from the Middle East, to Egypt and even the Balkans.

    Franchise does not just mean fast food, he pointed out. Franchise is a whole business that comes as a full package, allowing the businessman to multiply his own resources. He added that one part of the franchise business is about funding but that the conference aims to bring face to face contacts for business opportunities, especially women who wish to start their own business or expand existing ventures not only in Cyprus but also in the region.

    The American Ambassador expressed his belief that Cyprus has great possibilities for American businesses. The aim, he said, is to bring in touch American and Cypriot businessmen for the mutual expansion of their businesses to their mutual benefit.


    The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has refused to include in the agenda of this weeks meeting the issue concerning the full implementation of a European Court of Human Rights ruling which condemned Turkey of human rights violations in Cyprus. The decision by the CoM Secretariat, relating to the interstate application Cyprus Vs Turkey, is considered to be a move aiming at blocking Greek Cypriot applications to the ECHR to reclaim their properties in the northern Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

    According to reliable sources, the 26-member Secretariat clarifies in a letter that the CoE Committee of Ministers is responsible for supervising the correct execution of the first part of the Court ruling in the case of Cyprus v Turkey only. This part relates to gross violations of human rights during the 1974 Turkish invasion. The Committee rejects any debate on supervising the execution of the second part of the Court judgment which paved the way for the submission of claims by Greek Cypriots for compensation for the absence of access to and enjoyment of their properties, in Turkish occupied Cyprus.

    In its letter, the Committee concludes that - following a recent Court ruling which called on Greek Cypriot to address themselves to a self-styled property commission, operating in Turkish occupied Cyprus, with regard to property claims - there is no reason to continue the supervision of the execution of this part of the ruling. The decision of the Secretariat is believed to be the result of diplomatic moves by Turkey and other CoE member-states. According to the same sources, the overall understanding among member states, following the Court ruling in March in the Demopoulos v Turkey case, is that the Court no longer has the obligation to try the thousands of applications Greek Cypriots have filed for property claims.

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