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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-05-29

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    If Turkey does not change its stance and does not fulfill its obligations, by recognising the Republic of Cyprus and withdrawing its troops from the island, it will never join the EU, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias said on Saturday, speaking at the Cypriot community premises in Sydney, Australia.

    President Christofias, who attended a dinner hosted by the Cypriot community in Sydney, expressed the conviction that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will be the winner of the forthcoming elections in Turkey, noting that he hopes that elections will give Erdogan the chance to change his stance, respect the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cypriots.

    The President noted that there is an expectation both from the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots for a settlement of the Cyprus problem soon but the illegal settling which continues is detrimental first of all for the Turkish Cypriots.

    ``There is a major change of the demographic character of the Turkish Cypriot community. This is a war crime and we must denounce the presence of thousands of Turks that occupy the properties of Greek Cypriot refugees. This is illegal, a crime and I thank you for taking such a clear position on these illegal actions from the Turkish authorities,`` he noted.

    He noted that Erdogan behaved arrogantly, with cynicism and in an offensive way against Turkish Cypriots who demonstrated against illegal settling and the oppressive financial measures of Turkey against them.

    President Christofias noted that if Turkey wants to become a more civilized and democratic state, to be able to join the EU as a full member, it needs to implement reforms in the country and change radically its policy and show this in practice with its neighbours, as the Republic of Cyprus, which it ignores.

    ``If they don`t change their stance and fulfill their obligations, by recognising the Republic of Cyprus, withdrawing their troops, they will never join the EU. And they are getting this message not only from outside but also from many other EU member states. We support Turkey`s full membership to the EU, but this is not a blank cheque,`` he added.

    President Christofias reiterated his commitment for the evolution of the united state to a bizonal, bicommunal federal state, in the framework of a settlement of the Cyprus problem, noting that he has undertaken initiatives to convince Turkey that for the Cypriot government Turkish Cypriots are equal citizens of the Republic of Cyprus as are the Greek Cypriots, the Maronites, the Armenians and the Latins.

    ``I tried to convince (Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis) Eroglu but he has a different vision. My vision is for a federal state with political equality as described by UN resolutions, with a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single personality and with the effective participation of both communities in the power institutions,`` he noted.

    ``Unfortunately I must say that Eroglu`s vision is the same as (Rauf) Denktash`s vision for the division of Cyprus, for two states with a loose central government, like a confederation, something which is absolutely unacceptable for us. But the key is not in Nicosia, it is in Turkey`s hands. I hope that after the elections we will have a new Turkish policy for a neighbourhood of friendship with Cyprus,`` he concluded.


    Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nicos Emiliou and UN Under-Secretary-General Lynn Pascoe discussed the course of negotiations on the Cyprus problem, in view of the meeting to take place in Geneva between UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    Diplomatic sources said Emiliou expressed the concerns of the Cypriot government because the positions expressed by the Turkish side cannot be described as constructive and are not in line with the agreed basis for a Cyprus settlement and this limits possibilities to achieve substantive progress.

    According to the same sources, Pascoe said it is time to intensify the process and for the negotiations to move from secondary to core issues. The UN official noted that there needs to be a substantive give-and-take to show if the sides can reach a settlement soon. This seems to be the goal of the meeting between Ban, Christofias and Eroglu, where Ban would like to set up an action plan.

    UN Secretariat sources assured that the UN will not impose their plan on the two sides but will encourage them to go there with their own plans that will not include maximalistic positions. The UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer has been given instructions to prepare the Geneva meeting and discuss with the two sides what the action plan should include.


    Cypriot Minister of Finance Charilaos Stavrakis has said that Cyprus must safeguard its banking system and improve public finances to address the dangers and challenges for the economy.

    Speaking during a press conference in Limassol, in the framework of the annual meeting of Finance Ministers and Governors of the group of countries represented at the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank by the Netherlands, held in Limassol from May 27 to 29, Stavrakis said Fitch international rating agency is expected to evaluate Cyprus` economy soon.

    ``Fitch agency has put Cyprus on notice of review for a possible downgrade, so it is a matter of time to have the final evaluation, but there is nothing final so far,`` he said, adding that if Fitch downgrades Cyprus two or three notches, then Cyprus will be in the same position as it is in two other rating agencies.

    Referring to the meeting, Stavrakis said that such meetings help the economy and tourism as well as Cyprus` reputation, in view of the fact that the country will undertake the EU Presidency during the second half of 2012.


    Safeguarding the financial sector and improving public finances are two sectors on which Cyprus must concentrate with a view to achieve fiscal consolidation, Central Bank Governor Athanasios Orphanides told the annual meeting of Finance Ministers and Governors of the group of countries represented at the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank by the Netherlands, held in Limassol from May 27 to 29.

    Invited to comment on information for a triple notch downgrade of Cyprus` economy by Fitch international ratings agency, Orphanides said he was not aware of this information and that when the Central Banks becomes aware of a public announcement it looks into them and then comments on them.

    Asked how Cyprus should address the financial crisis, Orphanides said that ``we are facing great challenges, as the international economy and the Eurozone in specific`` that have to do with pressures on public finances and have a negative impact on banking systems.

    ``We are a small country with an extended, developed financial system, which we want to maintain, because it brings great wealth to our country, and we have to try to safeguard our economy and financial sector as much as we can,`` he added.

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