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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-05-31

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    The government of Cyprus does not agree with the reasoning behind the downgrade of the Cypriot economy by the Fitch rating agency from AA- to A- with negative outlook. According to a press release by the Ministry of Finance, Fitchs main reason for the downgrade is that the restructuring of the Greek debt may affect the Cypriot banking system and as a result, Cyprus public finances. The Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) has also expressed its disagreement on the reasoning of Fitchs decision.

    The government does not agree with the above assessment. The Cypriot banking system is particularly robust with high capital basis and very high cash flow rates and can cope with any theoretical scenario of restructuring the Greek debt, a press release says.

    It is added that even after the new Fitch rating, the Republic of Cyprus continues to remain in the upper middle class category. The government will continue working for the resolution of long term economic problems and the consolidation of public finances, thus further strengthening the economy of Cyprus, the press release concludes.

    ``The Central Bank of Cyprus does not agree with the analysis of the rating agency but in any case it is taking measures to shield the Cypriot banking sector even further as it believes that the authorities of every state should be ahead of developments,`` a CBC release said.


    Developments in Lebanon and the wider Arab world, the Cyprus issue as well as bilateral relations were discussed during separate meetings Foreign Minister Markos Kyprianou had in Beirut with government officials and political leaders of the country.

    According to an official announcement, Kyprianou, who concluded today his two-day visit to Lebanon, met with former President and current leader of the «Free Patriotic Movement» General Michel Aoun, Lebanese Minister of Information Tarek Mitri, Minister without portfolio Mona Offeich and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs William Habib.

    It is added that during the meetings, Kyprianou discussed the latest political developments in Lebanon and the wider Arab world, with particular emphasis on Syria and Libya, and briefed his interlocutors on the progress of negotiations for a settlement in Cyprus.

    In his meeting with Habib, Kyprianou also reviewed bilateral relations and discussed consular matters, the announcement concludes.


    Unemployment rate reached 7.6% in Cyprus, April 2011, compared to 7.3% in March, according to figures published by Eurostat. Unemployment rate among men reached 7.3% in April, compared to 7.0% in March, among women 7.9% in April, compared to 7.6% in March and among men under 25 years old 20.3%, in March 2011.

    The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.9% in April 2011, unchanged compared with March. It was 10.2% in April 2010. The EU27 unemployment rate was 9.4% in April, compared with 9.5% in March. It was 9.7% in April 2010.

    Eurostat estimates that 22.547 million men and women in the EU27, of whom 15.529 million were in the euro area, were unemployed in April 2011. Compared with March 2011, the number of persons unemployed fell by 165 000 in the EU27 and by 115 000 in the euro area. Compared with April 2010, unemployment decreased by 702 000 in the EU27 and by 457 000 in the euro area.

    Among the Member States, the lowest unemployment rates were recorded in the Netherlands and Austria (both 4.2%) and Luxembourg (4.5%), and the highest in Spain (20.7%), Lithuania (17.3% in the fourth quarter of 2010) and Latvia (17.2% in the fourth quarter of 2010).

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