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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-02-22
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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <http://www.cyna.org.cy>
 President addresses plenary session of the College of CommissionersStructural reforms are needed as regards the distribution and redistribution of wealth, President of Cyprus Republic, Demetris Christofias stressed on Wednesday, addressing the plenary session of the College of the Commissioners in Brussels, along with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso.
Christofias said that the current allocation of wealth “leads large groups of people to poverty and social misery”.
As he said Cyprus will spare no effort as an honest mediator, to achieve as much convergences as possible within the Council but also to promote legislative work, as suggested by the Commission and co-decided by the European Parliament and the Council.
President Christofias addressed the plenary session of the College of the Commissioners, accompanied by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoullis, Minister of Communications and Works and Acting Finance Minister Efthimios Flourentzos, Minister of Interior Neoklis Sylikiotis, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Praxoulla Antoniadou, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Sophocles Aletraris, Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Sotiroulla Charalambous, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou and Deputy Minister to the President for European Affairs Andreas Mavrogiannis.
Christofias reiterated before the President of the European Commission and the Commissioners that his government is willing to have continuous cooperation and coordination with the Commission and the rest of the EU’s institutions, particularly with the European Parliament, to achieve the common goal for a better Europe, meaning much more to its citizens, a Europe of growth and innovation, solidarity, social cohesion and prosperity.
Undoubtedly the EU is experiencing a severe socioeconomic crisis, with negative implications on its institutional unity, Christofias indicated, adding that supporting coherence and unity between member states is imperative.
Measures taken in the past few years have proved to be ineffective and it seems that the model of the absolute freedom of the market without social control has failed, he noted.
It is important to proceed to corrective changes as regards the distribution and redistribution of wealth since the current allocation leads large populations to poverty and social misery, he indicated, pointing out that fairer redistribution of the income produced, a more consistent and humanistic social policy, combined with proper support of the small and medium enterprises, would eventually create more jobs and social cohesion.
“Especially lately, and thanks to the European Commission, the EU has promoted actions that will accelerate structural reforms and create better conditions for competitiveness for the European economy and especially the small and medium enterprises, leading to increase of employment, primarily among the youth, and to a greener economy” Christofias added.
The President said that he looked forward to cooperate with the President of the Commission and the European Commission to promote legislative initiatives aiming to reduce the social pressure exerted on many countries of the EU, mostly affecting young generation, Europe’s future, as he said.
“With a sense of pride and yet fully aware of the responsibility we are about to take over, we boldly declare that Cyprus will spare no effort as an honest broker, to achieve as much convergences as possible within the Council, but also to promote legislative work, as suggested by the Commission, and co- decided by the European Parliament and the Council” President of the Republic stressed.
As he said in the next three months Cyprus will conclude the program and the priorities of its EU Presidency, in close cooperation with the Trio Presidency and the current Danish Presidency of the Council. Contacts with the European Commission at all levels will of course play an important role in forming the program of the Cyprus EU Presidency, which is going to focus on achieving a “Better Europe”, he noted.
The priorities of the Cyprus Presidency of the EU will contribute towards a comprehensive treatment of all major challenges faced by the EU, the creation of better prospects, hope and social cohesion, increasing at the same time Europe’s influence in the world, Christofias said, describing the goals of the Presidency as realistic and achievable ones.
Christofias’ address before the College of the Commissioners was followed by the plenary session during which the Ministers accompanying the President gave speeches on matters pertaining to their sphere of competence.
On his part, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso assured that Cyprus can count on the Commission’s full support for a successful Presidency of the EU. He said that the European Commission welcomes and supports the priorities of the Cyprus EU Presidency.
Today’s plenary session of the College of Commissioners with President Christofias and the ministerial delegation focused on the impact of the financial crisis on social cohesion. Barroso said that the Cyprus EU Presidency will promote “Europe 2020” Strategy for growth and will also play a key role on the works for the next multiannual financial framework.
Following the plenary session, President Christofias and European Commission President attended a working lunch accompanied by the College of the Commissioners and the ministerial delegation.
In his short speech President Christofias said that the issue of migration is of high priority for Cyprus due to its experience on the matter.
According to Christofias, Cyprus pays special attention also on the reform of the Common Agriculture Policy, the support of the small and medium enterprises, as well as energy efficiency, infrastructure and internal market of Europe.
The Ministers accompanying the President would hold bilateral meetings with the Commissioners immediately after the lunch.
President of the Republic Demetris Christofias, accompanied by a ministerial delegation is paying a visit to Brussels between Tuesday, February 21 and Thursday, February 23 for contacts with the College of Commissioners towards the Cypriot EU Council presidency at the second half of 2012.
The delegation includes Foreign Minister Erato Kozako Markoullis, Acting Finance Minister and Communications and Works Minister Efthymios Flourentzou, Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis, Commerce, Industry and Tourism Minister Praxoula Antoniadou, Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment Minister Sofoklis Aletraris and Labour, Social Insurance Minister Sotiroula Charalambous, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou and Deputy Minister for European Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis.
 Mavroyiannis: Cooperation to lead to success on MFF during Cyprus’ EU presidencyWith close cooperation and a constructive spirit from all parties involved a successful outcome can be achieved by the end of the year as regards the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), Deputy Minister to the President for European Andreas Mavroyiannis has said.
According to an official press release issued here on Wednesday, Mavroyiannis, who was presenting to the European Commission the Republic of Cyprus’ vision for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the role of the Cyprus EU Council rotating presidency at the second half of 2012, stressed that “a successful conclusion of negotiations on the MFF under our Presidency is a top priority for us”.
“The Union is going through a difficult period”, he said, adding however that “I am convinced that, with close co-operation and a constructive spirit from all parties involved, we can achieve a successful outcome within this year that will contribute towards the achievement of the Union`s vision for the future”.
Mavroyiannis expressed the point of view that “it is imperative that the next budget provides an impetus to investment and economic growth. European policies should create added-value, leverage private investment, be complementary to each other but also create synergies to policies financed by national budgets”, he noted, adding that “only by establishing a Budget promoting growth can we achieve our commonly agreed objectives”.
 G/c-T/c Parties: Failure should not be the destiny of Cyprus talksFailure should not be the destiny of the Cyprus talks, leaders and representatives of Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political parties have stressed.
Political parties, which meet regularly under the auspices of the Slovak Embassy in Nicosia, expressed on Wednesday opinions on the issue: “Is failure unavoidable in Cyprus talks, what will be the consequences of another failure in Cyprus talks?”. The issue was proposed by the hosting party, the Turkish Cypriot Republican Turkish Party.
According to the joint communique, read by Slovak Ambassador Anna Turenikova, “political parties agreed that failure should not be the destiny of Cyprus talks, that the next few months are crucial and all parties should make a concerted effort to make real progress heading towards an early solution”.
 Agreement on the restoration of Apostle Andreas MonasteryThe Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage announced Wednesday that the restoration of the Monastery of Apostle Andreas has been agreed to be undertaken in the framework of its modalities.
According to a press release issued by UNFICYP, the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage, in its previous meeting on 17 February 2012, in the presence of the UN facilitator Jennifer Wright, agreed to proceed with immediate action for the emergency support as a first stage and subsequently the restoration of the monument according to the study prepared by the University of Patras.
The Committee “is taking the responsibility of facilitating and overseeing the restoration of the monastery having the support of all interested parties in accordance with internationally recognized modalities and regulations”, it said.
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