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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-09-15

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus Finance Minister presented on Wednesday the 2011 state budget, which provides for total revenues of 5.97 billion euro and total expenditures worth of 8.02 billion.

    Stavrakis said that this budget ``is the most decisive in many years,`` as it aims at consolidating the economy and at fulfilling Cyprus` commitment to the EU for a 4.5% government deficit by 2011 and a further reduction to 3% by 2012.

    He added however that the 2011 budget provides for a deficit of 5.4%, adding that Cyprus is 150 million euro or 0.9% of GDP short of the EU targets for 2011.

    Stavrakis also described the target for a 6% deficit in 2010 as ``ambitious and very difficult.``

    ิhe budget will be submitted to the Parliament for debate and approval and will be assessed by the European Commission the coming January.

    ``The improvement of the public finances is a one-way street and the 2011 state budget was drafted in this framework,`` Stavrakis said presenting the budget to the press, accompanied by Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou.

    The Finance Minister said that the Ministry`s estimates that the economy will present growth of 1.5% GDP in 2011, one percentage point higher than the 2010`s 0.5% forecast, is consistent with the European Commission`s and the International Monetary Fund`s forecasts.

    Stavrakis also said that the government has made a ``huge effort`` to reduce unnecessary public expenditures, to prioritise development projects, while maintaining ``this administration`s social and developmental face.``

    According to the Finance Minister, public revenues will increase by 4.7%, which is close to the nominal GDP growth rates, whereas public expenditures are estimated to increase by 1%, ``the lowest growth rate since 1975 and lower than the estimated inflation of 2011.``

    He also said that the public wage bill will rise by 5% because of the Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) salary increases and the general salary increases, adding that without the government`s target for reducing the public service by 1.000 employees, the state`s wage bill would be 6.5%.

    Furthermore, Stavrakis added that the operational expenditures will decrease by 3%, whereas the social transfers will rise by 1.1%.

    According to Stavrakis, social transfers will reach 1.3 billion euro, increased by 300 million compared to 2008, whereas the developmental budget is increased by 300 million euro compared to 2008.

    Concerning 2010, Stavrakis pointed out that the economy has grown by 0.4% and 0.6% in the first and second quarters respectively, adding that the Ministry estimates that ``we will have a much higher growth rate in the third quarter due to the Tourism`s very good performance.``

    He also said that by the end of 2010 Cyprus hold road shows for foreign investors for ``at least one billion euro,`` for refinancing expiring debt.


    Greece Foreign Minister Demetris Droutsas has stressed that the Cyprus problem constitutes a top priority issue of the Greek foreign policy.

    Presenting the priorities of the Greek Foreign Ministry to the Press, Droutsas expressed his countrys support to the Turkish EU accession course, with the precondition that Turkey will meet the criteria and fulfill its obligations towards EU, something that requires putting an end to the occupation in Cyprus.

    He underlined the close cooperation between the governments of Cyprus and Greece, and the full support of the Greek government to the efforts and initiatives taken by President Christofias.

    Droutsas also pointed out that President Christofias three-tier proposals, can contribute to the speed up of the ongoing UN-led negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem. He stressed that the proposal for the return of the fenced off area of Varosha and the opening of Famagustas port gives the opportunity to the Turkish Cypriot community to respond positively, and to Turkey the opportunity to prove its will for solution.


    Director of the cardiology department at Nicosia General Hospital Evagoras Nikolaides has said that apart from the high quality health care which the department offers, it has conducted many researches that have been presented at international, European, Greek and local conferences and many pablications in the international bibliography.

    Speaking during a press conference, Nicolaides said that the department examines 250 patients every day, while during the first eight months of 2010 cardiologists at the outpatient department examined around 16,500 patients and 1600 were hospitalized at the cardiology department.

    Nicolaides said that waiting time for the examination of new patients had been reduced to four months, and that during the first eight months of 2010, some 544 patients were treated at the intensive cardiology unit and 1067 at the cardiology ward.


    Cyprus and Israel Fire Services signed here on Thursday a Joint Declaration for cooperation. The declaration was signed by Andreas Nicolaou, Chief of the Cyprus Fire Service and Shimon Romach, Israel Fire and Rescue Commissioner and Chief Fire Inspector at the Headquarters of the Fire Service in Nicosia.

    By signing this Joint Declaration, our two services will come closer and will have a major role in providing humanitarian assistance in the region of the Eastern Mediterranean basin, Nicolaou said.

    Romach raised the idea of having the EU, financing a Centre for training simulator for firefighters, something that does not exist in the whole Middle East. This Centre of training can serve all firefighters from Israel and Cyprus and other neighboring countries, Egypt, Palestine, Jordan and others, and this can be a real project for peace, in the humanitarian field, of saving lives in one field that can bring closer the fire services in these countries, he pointed out, expressing hope that in a short time this idea can be fulfilled.

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