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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-05-13

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Finance Minister Charilaos Stavrakis appeared on Friday satisfied over the forecasts released by the European Commission and on Thursday by the International Monetary Fund especially concerning growth rate, adding that figures concerning Cyprus` budget deficit, which seem to deviate from the target of 4.5% for 2011, are ``fully manageable.``

    The European Commission released Friday its spring forecasts, according to which the Cypriot economy will grow in 2011 with a rate of 1.5% of GDP, whereas the figures released Thursday by the IMF project a growth rate of 1.7%.

    According to Stavrakis, the Commission and the IMF project a further acceleration of the economy in 2012 reaching a growth rate of 2.2% and 2.4% respectively, whereas the Commission projects a reduction of the unemployment in Cyprus.

    According to the EU estimates, unemployment will reach 6.3% in 2011 and decline to 5.6% the following year.

    With regard to Cyprus` budget deficit, Stavrakis said that the forecast of the Commission project a shortfall of 5.1%, which is above of the 4.5% target set out by the Commission, whereas the respective estimate of the IMF projects a 4.5% deficit, which coincides with the target assumed by the Ministry.

    According to the Commission estimates, Cyprus budget deficit in 2012 will decline to 4.9% of GDP as opposed to the 3% target, whereas the IMF figures project a 3.7% deficit.

    ``The figures for the deficit are fully manageable,`` Stavrakis said, adding that ``with the continued effort to contain state expenditure we will achieve our targets this year,``.

    Stavrakis said the forecasts issued both by the Commission and the IMF deny ``the extreme scenarios for the economy projected by the opposition for a 6% deficit and an unemployment of 8%.``

    Concerning the public debt, Stavrakis pointed out the ``extremely fragile`` external environment and the difficulties facing some Euro area member-states to secure the necessary funds for covering their financial needs, stressing that ``as a precaution the government has borrowed from abroad and the local market with very competitive interest rates.``

    ``At present we have created a reserve of 780 million euro in cash and bank deposits, creating a protective shield for the Cypriot economy in the theoretical case of problems in other Euro area member-states,`` he said.

    Concluding, Stavrakis said that the government ``is fully aware of the challenges and continues to work seriously for the support of development and the common welfare of all.``


    Cypriot Minister of Labour Sotiroula Charalambous held a meeting Friday in Nicosia with her Greek counterpart Louka Katseli, with whom she discussed the potential of deepening their cooperation in the field of employment and exchange of practices.

    Katseli, who is on a two-day visit to Cyprus on the occasion of a public discussion that took place on Thursday, concerning the participation of women in politics, said that Greece and Cyprus are facing similar problems and similar challenges, concerning the labour market. Active employment policies need to be developed while dealing with the issue of unemployment, the Greek Minister added.

    The Cypriot Minister noted that the discussion also involved the exchange of experiences gained while dealing with similar problems and added that cooperation between the two sides is constant and steady.


    Minister of Commerce, Industry and Trade Antonis Paschalides referred to the existing framework of cooperation between Romania and Cyprus in the field of Renewable Energy Sources, saying that it will help both countries to achieve their RES targets.

    The Ministers address was read by Constantinos Xichilos, officer at the Ministrys Energy Service, during a seminar organized in Nicosia by the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, under the title Romania Cyprus cooperation in investments in Renewable Energy.

    According to the Minister, Cyprus has to reach the obligatory target of 13% by 2020, while Romanias target is set at 24%, following the binding objectives for each member state by the EU with regards to the contribution of Renewable Energy Sources in the final energy consumption.

    He added that the Memorandum of Understanding that was signed between Romania and Cyprus during the visit of the Romanian Minister of Economy, Commerce and Business Environment, has established a framework for cooperation between the two countries in the field of Renewable Energy Sources that will help both countries to achieve their targets.


    The Council of Ministers appointed Larkos Larkou as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou announced on Friday.

    Larkou replaces Costakis Constantinou, who resigned in order to run for a seat in Cyprus` House of Representatives in the parliamentary elections of May 22.

    ``The Council of Ministers, during today`s meeting decided to appoint Mr Larkos Larkou at the position of Chairman of the Cyprus News Agency Board of Directors for the remainder of the Chairman`s term, that is, until July 31 2012,`` Stephanou notes in a written statement issued after meeting.

    Stephanou adds that Larkou replaces Costakis Constantinou, who submitted his resignation due to his candidacy for the imminent parliamentary elections.

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