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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-03-08

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] EIB multi million loan to EAC
  • [02] FinMin: Cabinet will discuss growth measures on Friday
  • [03] EU Commissioner stresses need to better educate teachers

  • [01] EIB multi million loan to EAC

    The European Investment Bank (EIB) is to finance the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) with 130 million euro for a new production unit to boost electricity supply on the island.

    A finance agreement was signed here on Thursday by Minister of Finance Kikis Kazamias, EIB Vice President Ploutarchos Sakellaris and EAC Board of Directors Chairman Harris Thrassou.

    Speaking after the agreement was signed Kazamias expressed his gratitude to EIB for responding immediately, as he put it “to our calls for financing to reconstruct the power station at Vassiliko”.

    “The approval of the loan will contribute towards improving confidence in the Cypriot economy and will boost EAC’s finances, since the EIB financing terms are comparatively better than those of any other source of internal or external financing,” the Minister pointed out.

    On his part Sakellaris said that “this loan will help to deal with the urgent need for electricity production in the country, after last July’s blast” which all but destroyed the island’s main power plant at Vasiliko.

    He added that “this is the sixth loan we give to the Electricity Authority of Cyprus and we have offered significant support in production, transport and distribution of electricity projects in Cyprus”.

    He said the EIB will continue to support further growth in Cyprus during 2012, adding that the signature of the present agreement is the first one during the year when Cyprus will take over the EU Council rotating presidency, on July 1st this year.

    A series of new initiatives to support the economy will follow, Sakellaris said, adding that the EIB is expected to finance projects worth 250 m. euro in Cyprus during 2012, similar to 2011 financing.

    He also spoke of the creation of a National Fund for the Guarantee of Middle and Small Enterprises which is to initially have an amount in the order of 25 to 50 m. to be given through Cypriot banks by way of guarantee for loans granted to small and medium enterprises.

    On his part, the EAC Chairman said that unit five at the power plant will have the ability to produce 220 mw and function using refined petroleum and natural gas, expressing the hope that it will be operational ‘very soon’ using natural gas based on certain plans which are being discussed with the Ministry of Finance and members of the ministerial committee on energy.

    Referring to the world economic crisis, Kazamias said it is the cause of much upheaval and uncertainty.

    “The challenges were and continue to be particularly grave for the Cypriot economy, including the greatest challenge we have ever had to face after the blast in July 2011”.

    He said that the 130 m. loan to finance the construction of unit five of the power station at Vassiliko was approved by the EIB in December 2011.

    Kazamias said he was certain that “this capital will be invested properly and that EIB’s activity in Cyprus will continue in the years to come with financing both the private and the public sector”.

    He noted that during 2011 the EIB grated Cyprus two loans worth 180 m. which included a loan of 80 m. euro for the road network and 100 m. to improve and build new schools.

    “Our goal and our obligation is to use all available tools such as the ones the EIB provides for European economies”, Kazamias said, adding that the Ministry of Finance in cooperation with other Cypriot ministries “has put together and submitted two new government projects which are mature enough to receive EIB funding”.

    The projects have to do with the second phase of funding of urban development projects and projects which are co-funded by EU structural and cohesion funds.

    In July 2011, 13 persons were killed and dozens injured when a cache of seized Iranian munitions blew up on July 11, at the naval base, on Cyprus’ southern coast. About 100 containers – most packed with gunpowder – had been stacked in an open field at the naval base since 2009. They had been seized from a ship sailing from Iran to Syria in violation of UN sanctions against Teheran.

    The explosion badly damaged Cyprus’ largest power station, at Vasiliko, leading to island wide power cuts until mid August.

    [02] FinMin: Cabinet will discuss growth measures on Friday

    A series of economic growth measures will be submitted for discussion at the Council of Ministers on Friday, Minister of Fianance Kikis Kazamias said on Thursday.

    Replying to a question regarding the establishment of casinos in Cyprus Kazamias said that “our proposal is almost ready, when we think it is pertinent we will present it to the Council of Ministers, we will develop our arguments and the Council will be called upon to take a political decision” on the matter. This, he added, is the procedure followed for all proposals submitted by Ministries to the Council of Ministers.

    As regards the rest of the measures, Kazamias expressed the hope that their legal vetting will be complete by the next Council of Ministers meeting or at the latest the one after that, so that within the next two weeks all political decisions would be taken on all measures and they can then be sent to the House of Representatives.

    [03] EU Commissioner stresses need to better educate teachers

    EU Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism, Sport, Media and Youth, Androulla Vasiliou has highlighted the need to educate teachers to help them improve the educational system.

    Speaking at an event organised by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, Vasiliou said that the teachers` role in shaping a prosperous society is pivotal. She added that among the EU Ministers of Education there is a consensus about the need to upgrade the level of education.

    The Cypriot Commissioner noted that another aspect that has to be taken into consideration is the need to upgrade the quality of the trainers of teachers. The European Commission, she said, will organise this month a conference to address the needs of the trainers of teachers so that proposals are submitted to improve the quality of education that trainers offer.


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