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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-12-13

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Downer: We need productive meetings for process to go forward
  • [02] House begins debate on state budget
  • [03] Cyprus and Israel to cooperate on flight safety
  • [04] Public sector in Cyprus goes on strike

  • [01] Downer: We need productive meetings for process to go forward

    The UN Secretary Generals Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer has said the leaders meeting on Monday was unsuccessful and unproductive, and urged all involved to work harder to make sure the meetings are more productive and the process goes forward a bit better than it is at the moment.

    He was speaking after being received by President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, an official statement said.

    In his remarks Downer said that in the afternoon he would be meeting with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dervis Eroglu.

    Referring to yesterdays meeting between the leaders of the two communities, he said that it was an unsuccessful meeting, it was unproductive and we need to be working hard to make sure that not just the leaders meetings are more productive but that the whole process goes forward a bit better than it is at the moment. Obviously President Christofias and I had a good opportunity to compare notes about that and I think we have ideas and plans and lets hope that we can make it happen a bit better than it did yesterday.

    Asked about the ideas he mentioned and how will those speed up the process, Downer said that it is not a question of speed, it is a question of success, isnt it? It doesnt matter whether it is fast or slow, it matters that there are gradual convergences. We had discussed some things that the two sides will be doing over the next few weeks, and hopefully by the time we get to Greentree we will have a lot more to show than what we have at the moment.

    Invited to comment on Britains position with regard to the resolution on UNFICYP by the Security Council, Downer said that I dont have any opinion at all about this. This is entirely a matter for the Security Council, it is not a matter for the Secretary General or for me and we are not part of the negotiation. This is entirely a matter that is negotiated between members of the Security Council and also, of course, the Cypriot Delegation in New York which is making its position very clear.

    He said he understands the different positions of the different players in this, but this doesnt really have any bearing on my work at all, it doesnt affect the good offices. This is a resolution that relates to UNFICYP and this is a matter that is being negotiated between the members of the Security Council. So we just do what the Security Council asks us to do, we dont tell the Security Council what they should put in their resolutions.

    The Security Council is expected to adopt a report on the renewal of the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) Wednesday, December 14.

    Asked which side is responsible for the result of yesterdays meeting between the two leaders, Downer said we are not getting into that. That is not appropriate for us to start getting into all of that. We just hope that there will be more productive meetings in the future. But yesterdays meeting was an unsuccessful meeting and between now and the Greentree meeting on the 22nd to the 24th (of January, 2012) we need better meetings than yesterdays meeting. But we are not going to comment on the details of the meeting, he concluded.

    [02] House begins debate on state budget

    The debate over the state budget for 2012 began on Tuesday afternoon. In statements he made to the press after a meeting with all parliamentary parties` leaders or representatives prior to the plenary, House of Representatives President Yiannakis Omirou said that the debate over the state budget for 2012 will start normally at four in the afternoon today with the speeches of party leaders or parliamentary spokesmen.

    He added that on Wednesday morning the house will debate and vote on the package of measures which have been submitted by the government for the fiscal consolidation of the Cypriot economy. The debate over the state budget is due to continue on Wednesday afternoon, he noted.

    Omirou further said that every effort will be made so as to ensure that the debate and vote over the state budget is over by Thursday evening, adding however that if that is not possible then it will conclude on Friday morning.

    The state budget for 2012 foresees income, excluding loans, of 6,220 million euros compared to 2011 revised income of 5,648 million euros. The total expenses provided for in the budget, excluding loan payments, come to 7,541 million euros compared to 8,016 million euros budgeted for 2011.

    [03] Cyprus and Israel to cooperate on flight safety

    The development of cooperation between Cyprus and Israel in the field of training and education on flight safety issues, as well as joint seminars for crisis management and emergencies in aviation, were decided during the recent visit to Israel of a delegation of the Flight Safety Foundation / South east Europe-Middle East- Cyprus ( FSF-SEC).

    Further development of cooperation between the two countries in civil aviation is now even more necessary, given the geopolitical changes in Eastern Mediterranean and the fact that the extraction of hydrocarbons in the maritime region of Cyprus and Israel, will increase air traffic and create increased needs of operational coordination between the two countries,`` explained the Executive Director of FSF-SEC Christos Petrou, speaking to CNA.

    The first seminar that will join together Cypriot and Israeli air traffic controllers, pilots and airport operations human factors is to be held on March 1, 2012.

    [04] Public sector in Cyprus goes on strike

    The public sector in Cyprus froze for three hours on Tuesday, due to a work stoppage, which had been agreed at an all trade union meeting, in view of the three-day discussion of the state budget for 2012 at the House of Representatives, ending on Thursday.

    All workers in the public and semi-governmental sector gathered outside the House of Representatives from 0900 till 1200 local time, to express their disagreement with the fiscal consolidation measures agreed between the government and the political parties.

    The strikers held banners with slogans calling for the tax evaders to be uncovered and for measures not to further burden the workers. They were also chanting slogans calling for the government to keep its hands off COLA, among others. They furthermore shouted their disapproval at the MPs as they entered the House, which was surrounded by a strong police force.

    In a resolution presented to President of the House Yiannakis Omirou and Minister of Finance Kikis Kazamias, the trade union movement expresses its displeasure over the fact that the government and political parties decided on measures that affect vital terms of employment and provisions of collective agreements, without prior discussion with the social partners.


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