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

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [02] FinMin ECONOMY


    The Cyprus issue, Turkeys provocative stance, the economy and international developments focusing on the Middle East and North Africa, were discussed during a meeting the Foreign Ministers of Cyprus and Greece held in Athens.

    It was the first visit in Athens of the new Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoulli since taking office last week, and the first meeting with her Greek counterpart Stavros Lambrinides. The visit, as the two Ministers stressed, proves the close relations of the two countries and focuses on the great challenges, which both have to face.

    Welcoming Markoullis, the Greek Foreign Minister said they discussed developments in the Cyprus issue, the European Turkey relations, Cyprus preparation for its EU presidency, as well as issues concerning the wider region, the Middle East, North Africa and economy issues.

    The Greek FM send a message of support to the people of Cyprus after the explosion at the naval base, Evangelos Florakis, near Limassol, on the southern coast, on July 11th, which resulted with the death of 13 people and the destruction of the islands main power plant at Vasiliko.

    Greece stands by you with all its power, until you are able to recover from this tragedy. The people of Cyprus have proven that they are resilient and I am sure that united and determined you will be able to build again what has been destroyed and make the country stronger, he added.

    Furthermore, Lambrinides said that cooperation and coordination between the two countries in all fields is a cornerstone of Greek foreign policy. He also reiterated that achieving a comprehensive and mutually agreed, as well as functional and viable solution to the Cyprus issue in the framework of UN resolutions and taking into consideration Cyprus status as an EU member state remains a top priority for Greece.

    He further assured that Greece will continue to actively support the Republic of Cyprus and the President of the Republic negotiating efforts, noting that the recent provocative statements of the Turkish political leadership, do not allow, unfortunately, special optimism in the next months. They prove once again that the substance of the Cyprus issue is the continue occupation of Cyprus by Turkey. They prove that Turkey continues to refuse to comply with international legality, the UN Secretary-Generals appeals, whose good offices mission Greece supports, and refuses to comply with its EU obligations.

    Lambrinides said that recently, Turkey has climaxed its threats against Cyprus, reacting to its clear and sovereign right to exploit its natural reserves. The Greek Foreign Ministry on both occasions has reacted to these remarks.

    Lambrinides urged Turkey to respect the international legal order and instead of threatening to take action to protect its so called interests, to proceed with adopting the Law of the Sea and set free the negotiations for a Cyprus solution.

    He also said discussion with Markoullis will continue in depth to allow for the best possible handling of actions and to map out a policy that will allow us to reply to the great challenges ahead.

    On her part, Markoullis referred to the great challenges which both countries face, expressing hope that with the very close cooperation we will be able to overcome the many and great problems that we are facing in the next months.

    She expressed the gratitude of the government and people of Cyprus for the Greek governments support following the explosion at Mari, which resulted with fatalities and a great blow to the economy of the island. Despite your difficult economic position, Greece was the first country to offer its help and we are greatly indebted for your help, she said.

    The Cypriot FM said they discussed the provocative statements by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and the Turkish Foreign Ministry, noting it is a very serious issue and we have asked that it is raised during the next informal EU Foreign Ministers meeting in Poland early September, where we expect to have the solidarity of our EU partners, because statements like these are damaging to the interests of the entire EU.

    She also said she hoped Athens; and Nicosias cooperation in the coming weeks to handle the provocative Turkish attitude. Furthermore, she said she is looking forward to the Greek FMs help for Cyprus EU presidency, noting that Greece can contribute in our effort to have a successful presidency.

    Answering questions, Markoullis said President of the Republic Demetris Christofias is the leader of the Greek Cypriot community and during the negotiations (for a Cyprus settlement), puts forward positions that are based on UN resolutions which clearly talk about the framework of a settlement, which is one state with a single international personality and identity, which would be a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as defined in UN resolutions and within this framework, he has tabled proposals during the negotiations.

    These positions, she added, are based on international law and secure the lawful rights of the entirety of the people of Cyprus.

    Markoullis is scheduled to have a series of meetings with the leaders or representatives of the Greek parliamentary parties before returning to Cyprus Thursday evening.

    The Republic of Cyprus has been divided since 1974 after a Turkish military invasion. Cyprus talks, under UN auspices, are currently underway between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, with a view to reach a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    [02] FinMin ECONOMY

    Cyprus will not need a European Union bailout by the European Stability Mechanism, Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias said during a Press conference held in Nicosia, while expressing his disappointment over the rationale of the latest downgrading of Cyprus economy by Fitch ratings agency.

    Fitch downgraded Cyprus` credit rating on Wednesday, saying the island was headed for a European Union bailout despite the austerity package worth 750 million euro announced Wednesday.

    The government of President Christofias would rather solve Cyprus financial problems on its own, instead of implementing measures imposed by third parties, Kazamias noted.

    The Minister of Finance expressed his optimism over the efficiency of the package of financial measures, which the government is forwarding to the House of Representatives for approval.

    With these measures, additional revenues and savings will reach an estimated sum of 125-150 mln euro by the end of 2011 and an additional 600 mln euro by the end of 2012, Kazamias said. Deficit will be reduced to 5.5% by 2011 and to 2.5% next year, with the aim of elimination by 2013, the Minister continued.

    The package, which was adopted on Wednesday by the cabinet, includes seven draft legislations that need the approval of the Houses majority to be implemented. The House plenary is scheduled to convene on August 25 to decide on the legislation. A debate on the measures will take place at the House Committee on Financial and Budgetary Affairs on the 22, 23 and 24 of August.


    President of the Republic of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, welcomed the Armenian sailboat Armenia, which docked at Limassol port Thursday, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Republic of Armenia, in the presence of Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan.

    Addressing the Armenian President, his Cypriot counterpart said he was glad to welcome him and the vessel Armenia to Cyprus as the country celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

    Cyprus is the final port of call for the vessel, which started its world voyage from the Spanish Port of Valencia on May 28, 2009. The vessel has visited any place in the world inhabited even with one Armenian.

    As President Christofias said, the vessel had embarked on its journey with a crew of seven headed by Dr. Zori Balayan, a renowned Armenian author, traveller and human rights activist whose mission is to increase world awareness about the Armenian nation.

    The voyage is dedicated to Saint Mesrob Mashdots, the father of the Armenian alphabet said President Christofias, as well as the 1700th anniversary of Christianity in Armenia. It is a great honour for such trip to end in Cyprus, a symbol of the excellent relations between Cyprus and Armenia, Christofias said.


    The Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) and US company Energy International Ltd signed a contract in Nicosia for the supply, installation, operation and maintenance of temporary production units.

    The contract concerns production units of a total capacity of 95 MW, which are expected to arrive in Cyprus and be operational by the end of August.

    On behalf of the EAC, the contract was signed by Director General Stelios Stylianou and, on behalf of Energy International Inc, by Business Development Manager Javier Barahona.

    EAC main power station at Vassilikos was knocked down when a blast occurred on July 11th, 2011, in containers, full of munitions, which Cyprus had confiscated from ``Monchegorsk``, a vessel sailing from Iran to Syria in 2009. Nicosia was acting in accordance with UN sanctions against Teheran.

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