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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-03-16

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] EU Commissioner: We will have a good cooperation with Cypriot


  • [02] British MPs to clean up desecrated churches in the occupied areas
  • [03] Tourist arrivals in February show decrease
  • [04] APOEL FC to face mighty Real Madrid in Champions League quarterfinals

  • [01] EU Commissioner: We will have a good cooperation with Cypriot presidency

    European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard has expressed conviction that the European Commission would have a good cooperation with the Cypriot presidency of the Council of Ministers on issues concerning climate action.

    In statements at a press conference in Nicosia, Hedegaard said that “from the conversation with the Minister and the meeting with the parties of the Parliament it seems that awareness is rising in Cyprus because of the water situation and draught situation and the weird weather”.

    “It really seems that there is a will to engage to these issues and that is very good and is very clear from what the Minister said that he will try to help as much as he can”, she added.

    She stressed that “I’m very confident that we will have a good cooperation with the Cypriot Presidency”.

    The Commissioner was also asked whether the EU can press on climate matters in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus.

    “We do everything to urge both parties to try to make more progress. We are very keen on seeing progress there and we are very concerned if things are sort of escalating. It’s extremely important to try to find a solution for these. I know that is very difficult, we wish to see all in the Commission this window of opportunity that the UN SG is talking about” she said.

    She recalled that at her meetings with NGOs in Cyprus there were representatives from both the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Invited to comment on the Cypriot Parliament’s debate to penalize not environmental practices, she said that this would be a good idea for Europe.

    “If you have some wrong environmental practices, how you can get rid of them. One thing is industry regulation but the other thing is to make economic incentives for industry to do thing in a more clean and green way” she noted.

    Hedegaard said that one year ago the Commission presented a law carbon road-map for 2050, adding “we see no contradiction between the economic crisis and what we have to do in the climate and environment field. Things are interlinked”.

    Last year, she said, in EU27 we imported only oil for 350 billion euros.

    “40% increase compare to the year before because 2011 was the first year that we paid for the oil more than 100 per barrel. It’s almost the size of Greek debt. If we can be more energy efficient then we can actually save some of this money that will be good for citizens and the economy”, she added.

    The Commissioner noted that this “makes us invest more money to our own societies instead of purring money into other kind of regimes outside Europe and thus we can create jobs for unemployed Europeans”.

    If we start now, she continued, “it will be cheaper than continue to do the wrong thing for more years and later decide to do something different and undo the wrong things”.

    “We have calculated in the Commission that if we deliver in the energy efficiency target 20% by 2020 then the potential for that is 2 million jobs created in Europe”, she pointed out.

    Replying to questions, she said that instead of supporting building a new highway it would be wiser to use the money for train connections, bus connections.

    “If we need a low carbon development maybe it would be wise also to spend the common EU budget more in line with that priority. In the Commission proposal for the next EU budget we have at least 20% of the whole budget, we think that it should help us to achieve the climate targets”, she continued.

    As regards Poland’s veto on EU carbon roadmap, she said that Poland for the second time blocked the Environment Council conclusions and “that is not making things easier”.

    “Of course it was bad news that Poland chose to block but it was good news that all the other 26 member-states actually agreed to the roadmap and the indicative milestones for 2040 and sent a very strong signal to us that they know that this is the right pass forward for Europe”, she concluded.

    Cyprus, which is occupied by Turkish troops since 1974, will assume the presidency of the EU Council of Ministers in the second half of 2012.

    [02] British MPs to clean up desecrated churches in the occupied areas

    A group of British MPs and volunteers is to take part in a two day clean- up session of desecrated churches and cemeteries in the occupied areas of Cyprus, Conservative MP and Chairman of the British All Party Parliamentary Group on Cyprus David Burrowes has announced.

    The proposed clean up session of a total of 18 churches and cemeteries is scheduled to take place between 9th and 13th May, cleaning days May 10 and May 11. The Cyprus Church will fund the initiative. A drive has already begun in London to recruit volunteers.

    The decision of the clean up session was taken following a visit by British MPs to the occupied areas where they witnessed the destruction of churches, cemeteries and other religious shrines. Cyprus was divided in 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. UN led talks have been underway with a view to reunite the island under a federal roof.

    The occupation regime in an effort to erase all Greek or Christian elements from the occupied areas has, from 1974 destroyed archeological sites, cemeteries and mainly churches.

    [03] Tourist arrivals in February show decrease

    A decrease in tourist arrivals was recorded in February 2012 compared to the corresponding period last year, according to data by Cyprus` Statistical Service.

    On the basis of the results of the Passengers Survey, arrivals of tourists reached 55.420 in February 2012 compared to 62.294 in February 2011, recording a decrease of 11,0%.

    A decrease of 5,7% was recorded in tourist arrivals from the United Kingdom (20.827 in February 2012 compared to 22.095 in February 2011) and 4,6% decrease from Germany (8.427 compared to 8.830 last year).

    For the period January – February 2012 arrivals of tourists totalled 103.030 compared to 106.736 in the corresponding period of 2011, recording a decrease of 3,5%.

    [04] APOEL FC to face mighty Real Madrid in Champions League quarterfinals

    Cypriot APOEL FC will face mighty Real Madrid in the Champions League quarterfinals, following a draw at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland.

    The first match will be held in GSP stadium in Nicosia on March 27 and the second in Santiago Bernabeu on April 4.

    APOEL Chairman Phivos Erotokritou said he did not want APOEL to be drawn with Real, one of favorites to win the Champions League crown, along with fellow Spanish club FC Barcelona.

    ``In any case we are proud. It is fantastic to face one of the biggest clubs in the world. Reaching this far is a dream come true and we have nothing to lose but everything to win. It will be more difficult as he have the second leg in Madrid but we will fight to win and we will give everything in the pitch,`` he said.

    During the draw, Paul Breitner, former German national team member described APOEL as the surprise of the season.

    Along the same lines, Real Madrid`s website notes that ``APOEL are the most surprising team in this season`s Champions League, becoming the first team from Cyprus ever to reach this far in the competition.``

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