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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-08-29

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cyprus` new tonnage tax system is currently the most advanced in Europe and compares favourably with similar systems of leading maritime centres outside Europe, Minister of Communications and Works Efthymios Flourentzou said on Monday.

    Speaking at the presentation of the new tonnage tax system for Cyprus` merchant shipping, in Leer, Germany, Flourentzou said Cyprus` efforts are focused now on the presentation of the tonnage tax system to the shipping industry worldwide and that ``our aim is to make the system available to every eligible owner, manager and charterer.``

    Flourentzou noted that ``traditionally Cyprus and Germany have shared an excellent political and trade relationship, which became even closer following the accession of Cyprus to the European Union,`` adding that furthermore ``one can easily notice the steep growth of our commercial relations.``

    ``Germany has become one of the largest trading partners of Cyprus. Our imports from Germany have doubled in the past decade and their value reached the amount of 576 million EUR in 2010. During the same period the value of our exports to Germany has tripled and reached 106 million EUR. Economic relations between the two countries are expected to expand even further, facilitated by the new treaty on the avoidance of double taxation which was signed in February this year,`` he said.

    Flourentzou said the economies of the two countries follow different models, with Germany being an industrialised country and one of the biggest exporters of manufactured goods, and Cyprus orientated towards the provision of services.

    ``When it comes to shipping, Cyprus is an integrated maritime centre. While having one of the largest merchant fleets in the world under its flag, it is firmly the leading third party ship management centre in Europe. Our maritime cluster has an exceptional relation with Germany. Its development is attributed to a large extent to German entrepreneurs, ship owners and ship managers who established their operational base on our island. Even today, Cyprus` maritime cluster consists, by and large, of companies with German interests,`` he said.

    He added that ``Cyprus spends a lot of effort to maintain a qualitative and, at the same time, competitive cluster,`` and that ``in this respect, Cyprus launched, last year, a completely new tonnage tax system, fully aligned with the European acquis and the relevant guidelines on State Aid to Maritime Transport, which has been approved by the European Commission.``

    ``Our new tonnage tax system is currently the most advanced in Europe and compares favourably with similar systems of leading maritime centres outside Europe,`` he pointed out.


    The Electricity Authority of Cyprus is likely not to proceed with power cuts on Monday, as a result of limited demand.

    Power capacity is also expected to be boosted with 60MW from the American generators which arrived last week in the framework of an agreement signed between the Electricity Authority of Cyprus and US company Energy International Ltd.

    Director of the Transmission System Operator (TSO) Christos Christodoulides told CNA that according to all the facts before us at this moment, there is going to be an adequacy in power and therefore it is unlikely to have any power cuts, unless we are faced with an unexpected damage.

    He added however that this would depend on the publics efforts to save energy.


    Chairman of the Defence Parliamentary Committee Giorgos Varnava has said that the report, prepared by the Committee, regarding the deadly blast at Evagelos Florakis naval base, near Limassol, on July 11 will be submitted on Monday, August 29, to the Attorney General Petros Clerides and to the single-member inquiry committee.

    Varnava said that the report will also be submitted to the Plenary of the House of Representatives at its next session on September 15, 2011.

    He noted that the report does not include criminal responsibilities for the incident. At the same time, in the conclusions, one can distinguish the political responsibilities, which are allocated. Surely, apart from the conclusions, the Committee states in the report its own positions and views regarding the tragic incident, he said.

    Replying to a question, Varnava said that the report was adopted by all political parties except ruling left wing AKEL, which submitted its position that the report should not be adopted.


    Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou has expressed the governments satisfaction for the approval, by the House of Representatives, of the first package of austerity measures aiming at fiscal consolidation, despite the amendments made on the package.

    In a written statement, Stephanou notes that the government also expresses satisfaction for the good sense and consensus that prevailed, despite the many discussions and the debates that were preceded.

    The government always underlines the great need for social dialogue in formulating the package of austerity measures. The social dialogue is a factor of stability and indicates responsibility. Throughout the years it has proved to be a factor of social stability and peace, as well as a factor of growth and progress, Stephanou points out.

    At the same time, Stephanou states that the government is determined to proceed with a second package of austerity measures aiming at fiscal consolidation. The House of Representatives, political parties, trade unions and the public opinion have already been informed by the Finance Minister on the outline of the second package, he says.

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