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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-12-01

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President calls for responsibility for the economy
  • [02] Markoullis at EU Council of Foreign Affairs
  • [03] Minister: Stable growth rates can tackle unemployment
  • [04] Tourism revenue increased in October

  • [01] President calls for responsibility for the economy

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias has called on everyone to behave in a responsible manner in order to pull through the worst and find balanced solutions.

    Speaking in view on a meeting on Friday at the Presidential Palace with the political parties to discuss the economy and the third fiscal consolidation package introduced by Finance Minister on November 18, President Christofias pointed out the urgency of the situation and welcomed the fact that the political parties have expressed willingness for consensus.

    President Christofias expressed certainty that the worst could be avoided if there were sacrifices, which were not unbearable.

    Replying to questions, he said the Minister of Finance would be meeting with the trade unions on Friday and that the political parties would be submitting various proposals.

    To comments that Cyprus could even so enter the support mechanism due to the situation of the banks, President Christofias said that ``we can avoid entering the support mechanism and this is our effort.``

    ``We must enter a channel of optimism with the measures we will take and I would like to believe that in the end they will be balanced and we will avoid social turmoil,`` he added.

    On November 18, the Finance Minister introduced a third fiscal consolidation package aiming at restoring Cyprus` credibility in the international markets. The package provides for the freezing of salary increases in the public sector (including COLA) for two years, with a yield of 355 million EUR, a scaled contribution of high earners in the private sector and the introduction of a 0.5% levy on the turnover of companies with local activities for two years.

    According to the EU` new economic governance provisions, Cyprus must take concrete steps for the correction of its public finances. Otherwise, a fine of 0.2% GDP will be imposed.

    The first fiscal consolidation package with a fiscal impact of 1% GDP or 180 million EUR was approved on August 27, by the House of Representatives, while a bill for the increase of VAT rate to 17% from 15%, which would yield an additional 140 million euro to the state coffers, is pending for approval.

    The Cabinet also approved a second fiscal consolidation package, incorporated in the 2012 state budget, which would reduce the budget deficit below the 3 per cent Euro area benchmark (2.8%) in 2012. The package provides for the abolition of 939 vacant positions in the public sector, a 10% reduction of the starting salary of civil servants, the introduction of income criteria for the better targeting of welfare spending such as child allowance and student allowance (100 million EUR).

    [02] Markoullis at EU Council of Foreign Affairs

    Cypriot Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoullis participated on Thursday in an EU Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, during which views were exchanged over recent developments in Arab countries with the League of Arab States Secretary General Nabil El-Arabi.

    Emphasis was placed on the discussion of recent developments in Syria, whilst other regional issues such as the Middle Eastern problem, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia and Yemen were also discussed.

    Replying to a journalists question after the Council on whether Cyprus prevented the participation of Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmed Davutoglu in the Council, Markoullis noted that El-Arabi was invited after a unanimous decision of the Council due to the specific significant role the League plays in the matters under review.

    Markoullis added that she was informed a few days ago of the intention to invite Davutoglu and that the Republic had expressed the view that no specific decision had been taken on the matter by the Council, noting that neither has there been any EU decision apportioning a specific role to Turkey in particular as far as Syria is concerned.

    [03] Minister: Stable growth rates can tackle unemployment

    The return to stable growth rates constitutes the safest and surest way for a countdown to unemployment during today`s adverse environment, Cypriot Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Soteroulla Charalambous has said.

    Charalambous participated in the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council (EPSCO) meeting in Brussels, which examined the contribution of the Employment Council in the implementation of the Europe 2020 Strategy.

    Speaking during the Council, Charalambous suggested as necessary measures the continuation of special policies for assisting the participation of unemployed persons and youth in the labour market, the adoption of training policies efficiently connected with the needs of companies and the skills of the workforce, the development of targeted social policies for the creation of a balanced social protection framework, as well as combating undeclared employment.

    Charalambous also referred to the measures taken by Cyprus for the access of youth to employment.

    [04] Tourism revenue increased in October

    Revenue from tourism reached 188.8 million euros in October 2011 compared to 175.5 million euros in the corresponding month of the previous year, recording an increase of 7.5%, according to the results of the Passenger Survey announced on Thursday by the Statistical Service.

    The results also show that for the period January-October 2011 revenue from tourism is estimated at 1,642.9 million euros compared to 1,446.5 million euros in the corresponding period of 2010, recording an increase of 13.6%.

    The total tourist arrivals for October 2011 reached 259,863 compared to 241,698 in the corresponding period last year.

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