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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-01-26

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Cyprus, Greece Ministers discuss energy sector issues
  • [02] Finance Ministry to complete stimulus package by Friday
  • [03] Iceland supports efforts for Cyprus settlement

  • [01] Cyprus, Greece Ministers discuss energy sector issues

    Cyprus Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Praxoula Antoniadou held a meeting with Deputy Minister of Environment, Energy and Climate Change of Greece Yannis Maniatis on the occasion of his visit to Cyprus at the invitation of the Institute of Energy for Southeastern Europe (IENE). Speaking to the media after the meeting which was held at the Ministry of Commerce, Antoniadou said that they had briefed each other on the course and planning of the two countries regarding issues of exploitation of each country`s natural wealth.

    She said that they both expressed the need to exchange knowledge and experiences on these issues more systematically, adding that ``we had an interesting and productive discussion.`` The Minister of Commerce noted that the hydrocarbon sector is an area of particular importance for the entire Eastern Mediterranean region and offers the prospect to the countries of the region to become a new source of energy, particularly for the EU, enhancing Europes energy security``.

    The Greek Deputy Minister noted that the energy sector and particularly the exploitation of hydrocarbons offer the opportunity to develop a new strategic cooperation between Greece and Cyprus. He said the discovery of hydrocarbons creates new prospects for both countries adding that it is essential to take advantage of natural gas opportunities. He also said that this is an historic opportunity to overcome many of the problems of the past. Maniatis said that groups of experts on the natural gas issue of Cyprus and Greece could exchange expertise and exchange views to help us in achieving our common purpose which is to upgrade the role of both countries in Europe`s energy security.``

    [02] Finance Ministry to complete stimulus package by Friday

    The Finance Ministry completes on Friday the drafting of a set of measures aiming at boosting growth, Minister of Finance.

    Speaking during a press conference, Kazamias said the Ministry will complete the drafting of a stimulus package and will submit a proposal to the Council of Ministers. He said the Ministry has already held contacts with other Ministries as well as with the social partners and that he will hold contacts with the political parties before the proposal is submitted to the Council of Ministers.

    Furthermore, Kazamias clarified that the Russian loan of 2.5 billion EUR in combination with some renewals of current treasury bills will enable Cyprus to cover its refinancing needs for 2012. He also clarified that the Russian loan will assist Cyprus to finance its 2011 fiscal deficit as well as that of 2012. The Finance Minister said that a debt worth 1.3 billion will expire by February 3, adding that the Finance Ministry will sell bonds and treasury bills worth of 800 million, that is 500 million less than the expiring debt. He explained that these sum concerns foreign bond holders who, given the current financial circumstances, do not wish to refinance their bonds.

    ``This half a billion will be covered by the long-term loan which we have secured and as we announced today, its second installment has been received,`` he added. In his statements, Kazamias appeared certain that the Cypriot Banks, (Marfin Laiki Bank and Bank of Cyprus) will be able to secure the necessary funds to achieve their recapitalization without state support. Following the European Summit decision for a 50% haircut of the Greek debt, the two Cypriot banks must secure funds worth 3.53 billion euro to achieve a 9% Core Tier capital as stipulated by the capitalization exercise of the European Banking Authority.

    ``I believe that as things stand, the banks are in position to tackle any demands and issues might arise with regard to the Greek bonds,`` Kazamias said. He added that during the Eurogroup (the Euro area Finance Ministers meeting) and the ECOFIN (the EU Finance Minister Council) meeting he along with his counterparts from Portugal and Malta pointed out that ``the issue of the Greek haircut is too serious to be left pending, because it creates problems.``

    [03] Iceland supports efforts for Cyprus settlement

    Minister of Foreign Affairs of Iceland Ossur Skarphedinsson expressed his country`s steadfast support to efforts to solve the Cyprus problem, on the basis of international and European law, during a meeting in Nicosia with President of the House of Representatives and Acting President of the Republic Yiannakis Omirou.

    Skarphedinsson, who is on an official visit to Cyprus at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou Markoullis, asked for Cyprus` support towards Iceland`s application to join the EU, especially during the second half of 2012, when Cyprus will be holding the EU Presidency.

    Omirou referred to current developments in the Cyprus problem and the lack of substantive progress in talks to reach a settlement. Other topics discussed were Turkey`s EU accession course, Turkey`s threats against Cyprus` sovereign rights in the island`s exclusive economic zone, and bilateral relations between Cyprus and Iceland.


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