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

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] FINANCE MINISTER - MEASURES
  • [02] EXPLOSION - INVESTIGATION
  • [03] CONSTRUCTION - DECREASE
  • [04] DESALINATION - PRODUCTION

  • [01] FINANCE MINISTER - MEASURES

    New Minister of Finance Kikis Kazamias has begun a round of contacts to discuss the first package of fiscal consolidation measures, which has been agreed on with the political parties and has been enriched.

    The purpose of the meetings is to achieve the broadest possible consensus and secure a unanimous vote of relevant laws at the end of the week, so that a positive message for the recovery of the economy is sent abroad.

    Kazamias told CNA today that the top priority of the first package of measures was to defuse the time bomb of the pension scheme.

    He said that he began contacts on Monday and would continue through Tuesday till Wednesday with meetings with the social partners, the trade unions and the parliamentary parties, which he was briefing on the intention of the Government to pass the first package of measures from the Council of Ministers on Wednesday afternoon and from the House of Representatives on Thursday or Friday.

    Replying to questions, Kazamias said he was optimistic that all sides would adopt the measures so that ``we all send the optimistic message for fiscal consolidation and the recovery of the economy.``

    He said that it was ``urgent to conclude the dialogue on the first package, take a breather and then prepare for a second package, which will be relevant to submitting the budget for next year.``

    Last week, EU Commissioner for economic and monetary affairs, Olli Rehn, said the economy of Cyprus has overall sound fundamentals, pointing out that Cyprus needs to make urgent reforms, in particular with regard to the pensions and health-care systems.

    Cyprus has overall sound fundamentals. While the Cypriot banking sector is large in size relative to the economy, Cypriot banks are well-capitalised and supervised, he said, according to the European Voice.

    Ratings agencies Fitch`s, Standard & Poor`s and Moody`s have all downgraded the island`s credit rating this year. Moody`s lowered its growth forecast for the island to zero for this year and 1% next year.

    [02] EXPLOSION - INVESTIGATION

    Lawyer Polis Polyviou, appointed by President Demetris Christofias as a single-member commission of inquiry to investigate events which led to the deadly explosion at the Naval Base ``Evaggelos Florakis``, on July 11th, 2011, has told CNA that by the end of this week it will be decided whether witnesses will begin to give their testimonies on the incident on August 29 instead of August 22, as initially announced.

    He added that such a development would not affect his intention to present the findings of his investigation on September 30. Commission hearings will be open to the public.

    The blast at the Naval Base occurred when a cache of seized Iranian munitions blew up on Monday July 11. About 100 containers most packed with gunpowder had been stacked in an open field at the base since 2009. They had been seized from a ship sailing from Iran to Syria, in violation of UN sanctions against Teheran. Thirteen people were killed and dozens injured. The blast badly damaged the islands main power plant, at Vasiliko, resulting in daily power cuts.

    [03] CONSTRUCTION - DECREASE

    Building permits during the period January May 2011 record a decrease of 13,0% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year. According to the Statistical Service of the Republic, the number of building permits authorized by the municipal authorities and the district administration offices during May 2011 stood at 691.

    The total value of these permits reached 173,5 million euro and the total area 180,8 thousand square metres. These building permits provide for the construction of 686 dwelling units.

    During the period January May 2011, 3.328 building permits were issued, registering a decrease of 13.0% compared to the corresponding period of the previous year.

    The total value of these permits decreased by 24.1% and the total area decreased by 28.8%. ‘he number of dwelling units recorded a decrease of 41.8%.

    [04] DESALINATION - PRODUCTION

    Water production at Cyprus desalination plants has been reduced by one third from Monday to Friday, due to power cuts after the deadly blast at the Naval Base ``Evaggelos Florakis``, on July 11th, which damaged the islands main power plant, at Vasiliko, resulting in daily power cuts.

    The Head of the Water Development Department Division of Operation and Maintenance of Domestic Water Works Zoe Hadjivasiliou has said that in order to cover current needs 1.5 million more cubic meters of water from dams has been used during July, while additional output is estimated to reach 3 million cubic meters of water by the end of the year.


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