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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-12-09

Cyprus News Agency: News in English Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>


CONTENTS

  • [01] COMMISSION - CYPRUS ISSUE
  • [02] EP - MOTION - CYPRUS
  • [03] PRESIDENT - POLICY
  • [04] STAVRAKIS - FINANCES

  • [01] COMMISSION - CYPRUS ISSUE

    President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso has expressed the Commission`s full support to the ongoing negotiations in Cyprus for a solution of the Cyprus issue, and has encouraged the leaders of the two communities to reach a comprehensive solution soon.

    In a statement after Thursday`s meeting of the Cyprus Steering Group, which assessed the situation in Cyprus, Barroso, who chaired the meeting, assured that the Commission is ready to provide full support for efforts to reach agreement on EU related issues.

    The Group assessed the situation in the ongoing settlement talks following the recent meeting of the UN Secretary General with the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and his report on the Good Offices Mission presented to the UN Security Council on 30 November.

    According to a press release, the Group ``shared the concern expressed by the Secretary General that the window of opportunity to reach a settlement is rapidly closing`` and furthermore ``expressed full support for UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon`s efforts to accelerate the Cyprus settlement process and bring it to a successful end.``

    After the meeting, Barroso said ``the European Commission stands firmly behind the UN Secretary General`s efforts.``

    ``I encourage the leaders of the two communities to respond positively to the UN Secretary General`s call and to reach a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue soon. The Commission is ready to provide full support for efforts to reach agreement on EU related issues, and to strengthen confidence among the two communities. The time is ripe to end the division in Cyprus,`` he added.

    The Cyprus Steering Group was established by Barroso in January 2009 as a means of the European Commission to support the settlement talks and coordinate positions on EU related aspects of a settlement.

    [02] EP - MOTION - CYPRUS

    The European Parliament, in a motion for a resolution on Turkey`s progress report 2010, calls on the Turkish government ``to actively support the ongoing negotiations, to contribute in concrete terms to the comprehensive settlement of the Cyprus issue, and to facilitate a suitable climate for negotiations by immediately starting to withdraw its forces from Cyprus.``

    In the motion for a resolution submitted by MEP Ria Oomen Ruijten, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the European Parliament ``strongly urges the two communities in Cyprus to work intensively, as asked for by the Secretary General of the UN, to capitalise on the progress already made in the negotiations in order to reach a sustainable solution, in line with the relevant UN Security Council resolutions and the principles on which the EU is founded, to the benefit of the Cypriot citizens, the EU and Turkey.``

    It furthermore ``encourages Turkey to intensify its support for the Committee on Missing Persons in Cyprus, in particular by facilitating its access to military zones in the north.``

    The motion for a resolution also contains references concerning fulfilling the Copenhagen criteria, enhancing social cohesion and prosperity, building good neighbourly relations, and advancing EU-Turkey cooperation.

    [03] PRESIDENT - POLICY

    President of the Republic Demetris Christofias assured on Thursday that any difficulties on the way towards a solution of the Cyprus problem would not lead the Greek Cypriot side to abandon the struggle to achieve this goal.

    Addressing the scientific symposium titled ``Republic of Cyprus: Past, present and future``, which was organised by the University of Cyprus, President Christofias referred to the policy that would lead to a solution and pointed out that, marked by the struggle for the termination of the Turkish occupation and the reunification of Cyprus and its people, the recent history of the island offers many important lessons concerning the policy for a solution.

    One of the main aspects of the policy, he said, was insistence on the basis of a solution, which is a bizonal bicommunal federation with political equality, as described by the UN, for a single state with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international identity.

    He said this was the basis the two communities in Cyprus had agreed on and the historical compromise of the Greek Cypriots.

    [04] STAVRAKIS - FINANCES

    2011 will be crucial for Cyprus` public finances, Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis warned on Thursday, as in January the European Commission will assess whether Cyprus has taken effective measures to reduce the budget deficit to 4,5% of GDP in 2011 and below the 3% ceiling set out by the EU in 2 0 1 2.

    ``Possible failure to adjust public finances through effective measures will inevitably lead to the imposition of more painful measures in the near future,`` Stavrakis said, addressing the plenary of the House of Representatives in view of the three-day debate on the 2011 state budget.

    Stavrakis expressed satisfaction over yesterday`s agreement on a deal between coalition parties, ruling left-wing AKEL and centre Democratic Party on a package of measures aiming at consolidating public finances.

    He noted that the importance of the package is two-fold as ``it improves public finances on the one hand and touches upon structural issues of the civil service and the pension system on the other.``


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