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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-12-27

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Positive results from oil drilling soon
  • [02] Economic sentiment drops in December
  • [03] The army is on alert for any eventuality, says Minister

  • [01] Positive results from oil drilling soon

    Exploratory drilling for hydrocarbons in Cyprus Exclusive Economic Zone is expected to yield positive results, which are to be announced very soon, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias has said.

    Speaking on the sidelines of the 38th Annual Conference of the Pancyprian Federation of Student Unions, President Christofias announced that results from drilling conducted in block 12 of Cyprus EEZ are to be announced this week.

    Addressing the Conference, he sent a message of hope and optimism for the entire Cypriot people, saying that hydrocarbons exploratory drilling creates the greatest prospects for the Cypriot people. He added that in this effort, which has political, economic and social ramifications, Cyprus has managed to have on its side the UN Security Council and almost the entire international community.

    The prospect of natural gas will result in key changes in both geo-strategic and economic levels, a development which will strengthen Cyprus and its people. Cyprus now has a bigger and stronger foothold internationally, he said.

    The President urged Turkey to respect international law and the Turkish Cypriots, giving the chance to all Cypriots, through a fair under the circumstances, functional and viable solution of the Cyprus problem to jointly exploit natural resources of the country.

    Christofias also referred to the results of the global economic crisis affecting Cyprus, saying that the Government is trying to manage the crisis with the lowest possible social costs, creating opportunities for important foreign investments in Cyprus.

    He also referred to the assumption by Cyprus of the six monthly rotating presidency of the EU Council in July 2012, saying that Cyprus wishes to have its own contribution to a better Europe.

    The assumption of the presidency is for Cyprus, a new member-state of the European Union, a very important event and a historic challenge. Our goal is to help, as the presiding country, with constructive suggestions, proposals and initiatives the planning and implementation of policies that will benefit European citizens, he stressed.

    Referring to the UN-led talks for a Cyprus solution, the President said that despite the efforts and the constructive approach of the Greek Cypriot side, the Turkish side is blocking the solution. He said that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu submits at the negotiating table positions and views deviating from the agreed framework of a solution and in some cases detract from the agreed positions between the parties on critical issues.

    Christofias assured that the government will continue with the same determination the efforts for a comprehensive, viable and functional solution.

    We have secured a procedure without arbitration and no timetables, avoiding in this way huge mistakes of the past, that have brought Cyprus and the Cypriot people in front of terrible deadlocks, he said.

    He also said that the government has developed a multilevel foreign policy and that both the last positive resolution of the UN Security Council to renew the mandate of UNFICYP and the latest conclusions of the Council of the EU were not a coincidence.

    Speaking about student issues, the President assured that despite the recession, the policy of the government concerning higher education will not be suspended.

    He added that the goal of the government is to ensure that economic measures and cuts in social benefits, agreed with the political parties, will not victimize any student family that needs state support in education.

    The government, he continued, is determined to implement the Law on Private Universities, controlling increases in tuition fees at private universities.

    Referring to governmental policy to combat unemployment, he assured that he wont allow the increase of the retirement age, both in the public as well as the private sector.

    He also said that the government aims to bring before the House a bill on the creation of a Body of Assurance and Accreditation of Higher Education and Recognition of Studies, to promote the creation of post-secondary Institutes for Professional Training and to proceed with the Medical School at the University of Cyprus, which in September 2013 will accept its first students.

    [02] Economic sentiment drops in December

    Cyprus economic sentiment decreased in December 2011, mainly due to the deterioration of the business and consumers climate. The business climate in Cyprus deteriorated in December 2011 since the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased by 1.7 points, compared to November 2011.

    According to the Economic Research Centre (ERC) of the University of Cyprus, ESI has decreased mainly due to the deterioration of the climate in manufacturing and the negative prospects of employment in that sector. It is also caused by the deterioration of the climate among the consumers due to their low expectations for their economic situation and the unemployment in Cyprus during the next 12 months. The decrease of the ESI during the past few months forecasts a recession of the change of pace of Cyprus GDP during the next quarters, the research points out.

    Business climate in services sector in December 2011 has slightly fell, compared to November 2011, due to a deterioration of the current situation. Many businesses have negatively evaluated their situation and the demand during the past three months. In addition, most of the businesses have marked a decrease in the employment during the last three months and they expect that their sales would decrease in the next three months. The climate among consumers deteriorated in December 2011. Consumers evaluate even more negatively, compared to November 2011, their economic situation. Their expectations for 2012 remain in negative levels, according to ERC. Contrary to this, the business climate in retail trade improved slightly in December compared to the previous month.

    [03] The army is on alert for any eventuality, says Minister

    Defence Minister Demetris Eliades has assured that despite the difficult conditions, the Ministry of Defence will continue with determination and consistency the struggle to end Turkeys continuing occupation, stop the influx of illegal settlers and prevent the partition of the island. In his message for Christmas and the New Year, Eliades stressed that his Ministrys goal, ``is a free and united Cyprus, an island of peace, creativity and progress for all legal residents.

    He added that as long as the occupation is sustained by the Turkish military, efforts must continue and the Defense Ministry must be on alert for any eventuality. ``This period the National Guard is making serious and responsible efforts to restructure our forces through discipline, modernizing our operations and exploiting to the full all available opportunities, `` he said.

    He added that the National Guard must be a credible defense and deterrent force to defend Cyprus and its people.


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