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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-07-01

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] GOVERNMENT PARTIES ECONOMIC PACKAGE
  • [02] OMIROU PETSALNIKOS MEETING
  • [03] BUSINESS FORUM UKRAINE - CYPRUS
  • [04] CYPRUS UNEMPLOYMENT

  • [01] GOVERNMENT PARTIES ECONOMIC PACKAGE

    The Cypriot government and the coalition parties, ruling AKEL and Democratic Party (DIKO) have agreed on a set of measures aiming at rationalizing the public finances, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou announced on Friday.

    The measures will be submitted to the meeting between the President of Republic and the President of the parliamentary parties for the economy, scheduled for July 8.

    ``The aim is to achieve consensus and agreement for the assumption of a joint responsibility to tackle the consequences of the global financial crisis and the consolidation of the Cypriot economy,`` Stephanou said, announcing the measures.

    According to Stephanou, the fiscal targets include the drafting of a three-year programme for the reduction of the budget deficit, with a focal point the control of public spending on the basis on Cyprus` obligations to the EU. He added that ``the medium-term fiscal framework will be submitted for approval along with the 2012 state budget.``

    As regards the containment of public expenditure, Stephanou said the agreement will expedite the abolishment of semi-governmental organizations that have fulfilled their life cycle, the abolishment of vacant job positions in the civil service that are not considered as necessary.

    The agreement also includes the reduction of the civil service employees, with the adoption of a policy providing for only one employment for every four retirements, aiming at reducing the number of civil servants by 5,000 within the next five years, as well as the notion of interchangeability in the civil service.

    Furthermore, the plan envisages a 5% reduction of overtime payments in 2011 compared to the overtime expenditures provided for in the 2011 budged and a 20% reduction in 2012 compared to 2011.

    The government and the coalition parties also agreed on the reduction of the salaries of the newly employed in the civil service, as well for the commencement of the dialogue for the fairer distribution of the Cost of Living Allowance (COLA).

    With regard to the pension system, the agreement includes the inclusion of newly employed civil servants in the Social Security pension fund instead of the Government Employees pension scheme, as well as the calculation of the retirement benefit and the pension according to the average of the salaries of the last thirty months instead of the final salary.

    The proposed measures on the pension scheme also include a civil servants contribution to the pension scheme, the readjustment of the contribution rate to the fund for widows and orphans, as well the abolition of the pensions` automatic adjustment for employees who benefit from general increase to the civil servants salaries.

    Stephanou noted that the Government and the coalition parties will reach common agreement by September concerning the targeting of social transfers and allowances and the modernization of the public allowances system.

    In relation to the measures for the increase of public revenues, Stephanou said the agreement includes the completion of the discussion of the bills pending for the tackling of tax-evasion, the review of a tax on real estate for the next three years, the introduction of a levy for all registered companies and the introduction of a tax levy on the benefits from the town planning zone changes for commercial development.

    Stephanou said the measures requiring legislative approval will be submitted to the Parliament whereas the other measures will be discussed with the social partners.

    [02] OMIROU PETSALNIKOS MEETING

    The Hellenic Parliament has expressed its support to the efforts made by President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias to reach a solution in Cyprus and reunify the island, 37% of which is occupied by Turkey since 1974.

    President of the Hellenic Parliament Philipos Petsalnikos has reassured that one of Greece`s top priorities is the achievement of a just solution in Cyprus adding that ``the struggle of the people of Cyprus is a struggle for Greece as well``.

    His statements were made during a meeting he held in Athens with President of the House of Representatives Yiannakis Omirou, who is currently paying a working visit to Greece.

    Omirou expressed the gratitude of the people and the government of Cyprus towards Greece for its long lasting support and reassured of Cyprus` support to Greece so that the country successfully overcomes the economic difficulties it faces.

    During their meeting, they agreed to further enhance the protocol of cooperation between the two Parliaments and to have a more effective coordination in European and international fora.

    [03] BUSINESS FORUM UKRAINE - CYPRUS

    A Business Forum will be held in Kiev on July 4, in the framework of an official visit to the Ukraine by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias.

    The Forum, which will be addressed by President Christofias, is organised by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism, in cooperation with the Cyprus-Ukraine Business Association and the Ukrainian Chamber, with an aim to promote Cyprus as a regional business service centre and an attractive destination for investments.

    Over 70 Cypriot businesspeople will be participating in the mission, dealing mainly in services, trade, industry, joint ventures, and in general business activities between Cyprus and the Ukraine. The Forum`s agenda has been prepared in cooperation with the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce, with an aim to attract businesspeople, so that business meetings can take place to promote mutual investments.

    [04] CYPRUS UNEMPLOYMENT

    Unemployment rate in Cyprus reached 7.4% in May 2011, compared to 7.2% in April 2011, according to data published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Union.

    The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.9% in May 2011, unchanged compared with April. It was 10.2% in May 2010. The EU unemployment rate was 9.3% in May 2011, unchanged compared with April. It was 9.7% in May 2010.

    The unemployment rate for males in Cyprus was 7.2% compared to 6.9% in April, for females was 7.6% compared to 7.5% and the youth unemployment rate stood at 18.9% in March 2011.


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