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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-07-08

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Archbishop of America Demetrios was received Friday by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, who informed him about the Cyprus problem.

    In statements to the press after having been received by the President of the Republic he said that we were given the opportunity to discuss and exchange points of view regarding the ongoing negotiations of the Cyprus issue.

    He added that this way our own continuous effort in America as regards the Cyprus issue to find the right solution and to be vindicated - will be based on the true, substantial and precise facts which only the President may convey fully and correctly.

    Archbishop Demetrios expressed his gratitude towards President Christofias saying that he communicated on a level of substance, objectivity and with a permanent, as he noted, orientation towards a right solution of the Cyprus problem.

    After leaving the Presidential Palace Archbishop of America visited the Memorial of Tymvos Makedonitissas in Nicosia, where he was met by Minister of Defence Costas Papacostas. During his visit he laid a wreath in memory of those who fell during the 1974 invasion.

    He was then briefed by Brigadier Andreas Hadjipavlou of the historic significance of Tymvos an area in which battles were fought during the Turkish invasion of 1974 and where many lost their lives whilst defending the Republic.

    The Memorial of Tymvos contains two hundred and forty one cenotaphs, he said, adding that another 876 cenotaphs are being built, whereas the remains of 85 missing persons which were identified in recent years using DNA methods have been buried at the Makedonitissa cemetery.

    Archbishop Demetrios said that Tymvos is a holly place since the land has received the bodies of heroes. Heroes, he stressed, who did not just sacrifice their lives but also prevented the enemy from advancing and taking over Nicosia.

    He further spoke of 1974 and his memories of it saying the invasion left a bitter taste which continues with the ongoing occupation of the island. He also referred to the illegal settling of the occupied areas by Turkey which he said is a mark of conquering intentions rather than peaceful ones.

    Archbishop Demetrios concluded by wishing that the blood spilt by heroes in this land will make it fertile and that the flowers of freedom and reunification of Cyprus will bloom once again.


    President Demetris Christofias and the leaders of the parliamentary parties will hold a broad meeting to discuss the economy and measures needed to be taken to consolidate public finances.

    During the meeting, they will discuss about the set of economic measures, aiming at rationalizing the public finances, which was agreed by the government and the coalition parties, ruling AKEL and Democratic Party (DIKO) last week.

    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou had said that 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``.

    He also had said that 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.``


    Cypriot EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth Androulla Vassiliou described the Cypriot Presidency of the Council of the EU in the 2nd half of 2012, as a golden opportunity for Cyprus to establish its role as a bridge between East and West.

    She underlined that it is crucial for the Cypriot Presidency to be successful so that Cyprus will be consolidated as an EU member state which manages major issues with success.

    In an interview with the Cyprus News Agency, Vassiliou also pointed out that the Cypriot Presidency constitutes an opportunity for the Cypriot people to come closer to EU and for the Cypriot society to start moving in European mode.

    The Cypriot EU Commissioner underlined though, with regards to the recent developments within the Secretariat of Cyprus Presidency and the subsequent resignation of its Head, that we have delayed and that preparations are not advancing with the appropriate pace. She indicated that the President of the Republic should soon appoint the new Head for the preparations to advance rapidly.


    The challenge of an aging population and the birthrate drop, was among topics focused on during the two-day EU Informal Employment and Social Policy Council, in Sopot, Poland.

    Cypriot Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Soteroulla Charalambous chaired a workshop titled ``Solidarity between generations in the face of demographic challenges``, during which ways to tackle socioeconomic and demographic changes in Europe were discussed, especially the challenge of an aging population and the birthrate drop, which Charalambous said affected the viability of social, pension and health systems.

    Charalambous expressed concern over the ability to financially support those systems, given that fewer workers are called upon to support an increasing number of elderly persons, and pointed out the need to promote measures to tackle the challenges and maintain solidarity among generations.

    In this context, she referred to the necessity to smoothly complete the working life, life-long education, active aging policies, and utilising the knowledge and experience of elderly persons, adding that the EU should invest in the youth, since their success determined the ability of the society to support the elderly.

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