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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-03-13

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Finance Minister says Moody’s evaluation is unjustified
  • [02] Natural gas deposits to be exploited in 2016
  • [03] Archbishop asks EU countries intervention to restore Apostle

    Andrea’s monastery

  • [04] FM of Montenegro to visit Cyprus

  • [01] Finance Minister says Moody’s evaluation is unjustified

    Finance Minister Kikis Kazamias said that the decision of Moody’s to downgrade Cyprus` government bond ratings to “junk” was unjustified, stressing that the decision was not based on current data, but on possible losses of the Cypriot banks in the future.

    Kazamias also stressed that no matter how unjust is the decision “we should keep our composure” and “prove practically to those who judge us that are wrong”.

    “It emerges clearly from the evaluation that what they took into account was not only the current situation in Greece and the presence of the big Cypriot banks in the Greek market, but they also did calculations for the next several years,`` he said. He added that these calculations are on potential losses arising from the involvement of Cypriot banks in the Greek private market.

    ``I believe that this approach is unfair because they can not blame and charge the Cypriot state today for a possible damage that will occur over the next two, three or five years,`` he said.

    He added that the reason for the new evaluation was not the possible involvement of the Cypriot state in the recapitalization efforts of the Cypriot banks, because these funds have already been announced by the banks and were not more than two billions.

    However, the Finance Minister said that the Cypriot state should prove through everyday practice that it has the power to deal with the difficult situation of the economy.

    He reiterated that the Ministry would continue to work in collaboration with the Central Bank of Cyprus to manage the challenges the banking system is facing and that specific plans are ready.

    Moody`s downgraded Tuesday Cyprus` government bond ratings by one notch to Ba1 from Baa3, assigning a negative outlook to the ratings, citing increased risk for the government to provide financial aid to Cypriot banks due to their exposure to Greek bonds and the Greek economy.

    Outlining the rationale behind its decision, Moody`s cites ``the increased risk that the Cypriot government would have to provide renewed financial support to the country`s banks because of their exposure to the Greek government and economy, and the commensurate impact of such measures on the government`s own financial strength.``

    Moody`s is the second rating agency to downgrade Cypriot bonds to junk level after Standard and Poor`s (BB+). Fitch`s ratings has placed Cypriot bonds to BBB-.

    [02] Natural gas deposits to be exploited in 2016

    The Ministry of Commerce is planning to utilise Cyprus` natural gas deposits around the year 2016, and in the meantime is investigating the possibility of proceeding with other options for importing natural gas from other countries, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Praxoula Antoniadou said.

    Antoniadou noted that the indications for the participation of companies in the second round of licensing for the exploration and exploitation of natural gas in Cyprus` exclusive economic zone were very positive, and that in the Ministry`s report for the second round of licensing in London, half of Cyprus` visitors said they had already filled out application forms.

    Speaking on the sidelines of an event to mark the International Consumer Rights Day, and asked about the price of fuel in Cyprus, Antoniadou said the Ministry was closely monitoring the price of oil imported for fuel, adding that ``what we must do in the medium term is to expedite the arrival of natural gas, firstly from our own reserves, so that the cost or producing electricity is permanently and drastically reduced, leading to a drop in prices and thus a more competitive economy.``

    ``In the meantime the possibility of purchasing natural gas, before it becomes available from our own deposits, is being investigated,`` she said.

    Asked if the natural gas could become available before 2015, Antoniadou said that 2015 concerned commitments given by the Electricity Authority to the European Investment Bank regarding natural gas for the production of electricity, and concerned the import of natural gas, which was planned and failed in the past.

    ``The indication we have for the exploitation of our own reserves of natural gas is around 2016. This is the earliest date,`` she pointed out.

    [03] Archbishop asks EU countries intervention to restore Apostle Andrea’s monastery

    Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II called on the European countries to ask Turkey to allow the maintenance of ancient monuments in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

    Speaking during a luncheon with the Ambassadors of the EU countries to Cyprus at the Archbishopric, Chrysostomos II said that it would be a positive step if all the European countries turned to the Turkish Prime Minister to persuade him to allow the Greek-Cypriots the maintenance of ancient monuments and added that watching the monuments collapsing is not pleasant at all.

    Chrysostomos II warned that “we will close the crossing points” if immediate restoration of the apse of Apostle Andreas Monastery in Turkish occupied Cyprus is not allowed. “We do not want to take such an action, but is there any other solution?” he asked. As he explained to the Heads of the diplomatic missions of the EU countries in Cyprus, there is great danger of the apse to collapse along with a large part of the sanctuary.

    No studies or tender bids are needed, the Archbishop pointed out, adding that the maintenance of the apse will only take the builder and the engineer of the Holy Archbishopric one hour.

    The Archbishop repeated that maintenance of the Monastery will proceed with or without the permission of the pseudostate, stressing at the same time that the monuments belong to the humanity.

    During the luncheon, the Archbishop raised the issue of the pseudostate’s refusal to allow Bishop of Karpasia, Christoforos, to visit the enclaved people who live in the occupied areas.

    On behalf of the Ambassadors, the Head of the Slovakian mission, Anna Turenikova, referring to the history of the Monastery of Apostle Andreas and the importance of it to the people of Cyprus, she said that all the Ambassadors would welcome all necessary actions and steps taken for the maintenance and restoration of this priceless monument.

    [04] FM of Montenegro to visit Cyprus

    Foreign Minister of Montenegro Milan Rocen is paying Wednesday a working visit to Cyprus at the invitation of his Cypriot counterpart Erato Kozakou – Marcoullis.

    During a private meeting the two Ministers will hold they will discuss, inter alia, the EU accession course of Montenegro, bilateral issues, the priorities of the Cypriot EU Presidency and the Cyprus issue.

    Extended discussions of representations of the two countries will follow the meeting.

    According to the Cypriot Foreign Ministry, the visit reflects the special importance Cyprus attaches to the promotion of the accession process of Montenegro and the countries of Western Balkans in general, in view of the upcoming Presidency of the EU Council. Cyprus, an EU member since May 2004, will assume the six monthly rotating EU presidency in July 2012.


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