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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-12-06

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] FinMin: immediate consolidation measures a must
  • [02] FM addresses OSCE Council
  • [03] Archbishop and Chief Israeli Rabbi sign Joint Declaration
  • [04] Cyprus calls for ecumenical immigration policy

  • [01] FinMin: immediate consolidation measures a must

    Cyprus Finance Ministry has stressed the need for immediate adoption of financial consolidation measures in order to ease the consequences from a potential credit rating lowering by Standard & Poors due to Eurozone crisis.

    According to an official announcement, issued by Finance Ministry, Standard & Poors Rating Services have announced on Monday that it maintain the long-term sovereign credit rating on the Republic of Cyprus to BBB. In addition, S&Ps have also maintained the CreditWatch negative status of the long-term rating on Cyprus and placed its short-term ratings on CreditWatch with negative implications.

    According to S&Ps the reason for that decision, except from the need for financial consolidation measures and the Cypriot banking systems exposure to Greek bonds, is the deepening of the political and financial crisis in Eurozone.

    S&Ps conceive that this crisis in Eurozone works restrictively to the lending capability of the Republic of Cyprus and reduces the prospects for economic growth.

    In addition, S&Ps believe that the weakness of the European political leaders to monitor the financial crisis reflects structural weaknesses on decision making process within the Eurozone and the EU with negative consequences on the effectiveness of Cyprus economic policy.

    Standard & Poors CreditWatch review of Eurozone sovereign ratings will focus on political and monetary scores that S&Ps assign to the governments in the Eurozone. S&Ps will conclude a review of Eurozone sovereign ratings as soon as possible following the EU summit scheduled for December 9, 2011.

    The Ministry of Finance noted that Cyprus sovereign credit rating is possible to lower by two credits, something that is linked with the S&Ps review.

    Standard & Poors Rating Services lowered on October 27, 2011 its long-term sovereign credit rating on the Republic of Cyprus to BBB from BBB+. In addition, S&Ps lowered the short-term sovereign credit rating on Cyprus to A-3 from A-2.

    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.

    [02] FM addresses OSCE Council

    As a country that continues to suffer from the effects of the use of force, Cyprus is well aware that creating security and confidence is a painful and long process, Foreign Minister Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis said speaking before the 18th OSCE Ministerial Council, in Vilnius, Lithuania.

    Marcoullis said that ``our collective security is intimately linked to that in adjacent regions of the OSCE,`` noting that ``we have followed very closely the unfolding monumental developments in the Southern Mediterranean and the Middle East.``

    She underlined that as a participating State neighbouring these regions, Cyprus is committed to supporting democratic transition and overall stability both bilaterally and through the coordinated efforts of the international community under the leadership of the United Nations. The contribution of the OSCE, where it has added value, must come as a response to the wishes of our partners, she noted.

    Marcoullis said that the OSCEs role does not pertain only to conflicts that the organization is already seized of. ``If the OSCE is to live up to our expectations as a conflict prevention and mediation tool, it must be provided with the necessary means and political will. We must also ensure that its involvement in the conflict cycle conforms to the norms and principles of international law, including the Charter of the United Nations,`` she noted.

    Marcoullis said that one of the strongest potential of the organization is in the field of confidence- and security-building measures; this is why my country has submitted its application, pending for almost ten years now, to accede to the Open Skies Treaty.

    [03] Archbishop and Chief Israeli Rabbi sign Joint Declaration

    Cyprus Archbishop Chrysostomos II and Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Yona Metzger, have affirmed their commitment to advancing the excellent relations between Cyprus and Israel and pledged to work together to promote peace and reconciliation among all peoples.

    They also called on all religious leaders as well as all men and women of goodwill to join them in this pledge.

    In a joint declaration they signed here on Tuesday, Archbishop Chrysostomos and Rabbi Yona Metzger noted that the thousands of years of historical connections between the People of Cyprus and the Jewish People have assumed a new modern fraternity since the establishment of the State of Israel. At the same time, new relationships of mutual respect have developed between Christian and Jewish communities, they added.

    ``We, the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Yona Metzger and the Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos, give thanks to God for the blessed increase of this mutual respect and affirm our commitment to advancing these excellent relations between Cyprus and Israel,`` the declaration noted.

    ``We acknowledge with regret that such relations were not always the case everywhere in the past, and we thus condemn all acts of disrespect towards any other religious community, its integrity and its Holy sites``, it added.

    [04] Cyprus calls for ecumenical immigration policy

    The International Organisation of Migration can prove to be a power of cooperation in providing the international society with a complete framework and tools to develop an ecumenical immigration approach, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has said.

    In a speech at the 100th Council Session on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the organization, held in Geneva, Sylikiotis said that this approach should take into consideration all relevant policies such as policies concerning the reception and employment of immigrants, securing their human rights and social cohesion and reinforcing the positive repercussions of immigration at every level.

    He said the effort for a successful handling of the challenges of immigration exceeds by far the capabilities of any state, however large and strong that state may be.

    For this reason, he said, our aim should be to exchange information and experiences, through cooperation and substantial and practical participation in international organizations which deal with these issues such as the International Labour Organisation and the United Nations, adding that todays meeting is a useful example of this effort.

    Sylikiotis said the great challenge for a fair, human and viable management of immigration should handle effectively the negative repercussions of the trend. To face this challenge, there should be an organized, collective action both in countries of origin and countries of destination, and this action should be supplemented by the work of organizations such as IOM and other organizations.

    Referring to Cyprus, he said it is a country which has received a strong mixture of immigration flows, noting that the countrys close proximity to the Middle East, an area which is facing serious political problems and conflicts as well as economic instability, results in Cyprus receiving disproportionate numbers of immigrants and political asylum seekers.

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