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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-04-02

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] FinMin warns of new measures if financial framework is not


  • [02] Conference addresses energy security issues in Cyprus and the EU
  • [03] Dialogue to begin on bringing natural gas
  • [04] President holds a farewell meeting with French Ambassador

  • [01] FinMin warns of new measures if financial framework is not implemented

    Finance Minister Vasos Siarlis has said that any deviation from the agreed EU financial framework shall be covered by new measures if necessary

    Addressing the House Finance Committee, his first appearance before the Committee since his recent appointment as Finance Minister, he said Cyprus will respect the financial framework set, according to which the Republic is committed to the EU to limit its financial deficit between 2.5% and 2.7%, irrespective of pressures exerted on the economy.

    "Any deviations must be covered by additional measures that will be adopted promptly, in order to fully exploit the time that remains before we achieve our goals," the Minister stressed, without ruling out further cuts or measures to boost growth. Imposing taxes is not the best way to tackle economic problems, he added.

    According to the FinMin, any new measures will be taken after mid-April, when the results of the first quarter of 2012 are expected to be announced.

    Draft legislation on the financial framework already exists and it will be forwarded to the Parliament in the forthcoming weeks, Siarlis said, noting that Cyprus will probably be one of the first EU countries to adopt such legislation.

    Replying to a question on liquidity, the new FinMin pointed out that the economy's needs for 2012 have been met by the Russian loan amounting to 2.5 billion euro, while for 2013 the Ministry of Finance has yet to decide its course of action.

    Furthermore Siarlis noted that the state will exhaust all measures to obtain funds to recapitalize the banks. State participation in the recapitalization of the banks must be the last resort, he pointed out, adding that it is the Central Bank's obligation to look for foreign investors interested to take part. Following the recapitalization of the banks, the Ministry of Finance will deal with the liquidity problem, Siarlis explained.

    The FinMin is expected to decide later in the week whether Triple Five - a multi-national conglomerate and diverse development and finance corporation with offices in the US and Canada - will be able to invest in government bonds issued by Cyprus.

    By the end of the week, the Minister is expected to conclude his meetings with political parties and the social partners starting Wednesday, to discuss the cost-of-living –adjustment.

    [02] Conference addresses energy security issues in Cyprus and the EU

    The Government aims at turning Cyprus into a regional energy hub, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoclis Sylikiotis said on Monday, while referring to actions taken at EU level to secure the bloc's energy supply and set ambitious targets in the fields of energy and climate change.

    Sylikiotis was addressing a conference, in Nicosia, on "Energy Security in the EU", organized by the European Parliament Office in Cyprus and Greece and the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism.

    The Minister said that Cyprus was working towards the goal, set by the EU, to lift the energy isolation of the member states by 2015 and referred to a draft regulation that has been recently adopted by the European Commission, setting out the guidelines on the development of transeuropean energy infrastructure.

    As Sylikiotis said, the draft regulation sets a number of transeuropean energy corridors and priority zones, concerning electricity and gas networks and prioritizes twelve particular infrastructure projects of strategic importance, which need to be completed by 2020.

    Cyprus is included in two of these natural gas corridors and one electricity corridor, along with other member states, the Minister went on. He added that this draft regulation comprises one of the highest priorities of the Cypriot EU Presidency, due in second half of the year.

    "Our goal is the successful conclusion of negotiations, both among member states in the Council of the EU, as well as between the European Council and the European Parliament" Sylikiotis said.

    He noted that the benefits for Cyprus from the adoption and implementation of this regulation are identical with those that will incur for the rest of the EU.

    The Minister finally said that Cyprus and the wider Southeastern Mediterranean region aspires to become an alternative energy source, feeding EU energy demands and noted that energy infrastructure ought to be developed in serving this goal.

    [03] Dialogue to begin on bringing natural gas

    An intensive dialogue begins on Tuesday between Noble Energy and the contact group that has been set up, in order to determine when and how natural gas can be brought to Cyprus, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoclis Sylikiotis said on Monday.

    Speaking after a meeting with Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) Charis Thrasou and EAC officers, Sylikiotis said the discussed the issue of bringing natural gas so that Cyprus can produce electricity at a lower cost.

    He added that when it is determined how and when the natural gas could be brought to Cyprus, ``we will take the final decisions,`` adding that the EAC already has units that can accept natural gas and is planning to set up another unit.

    Replying to questions, Sylikiotis said that the cheapest natural gas would be that extracted from Cyprus` own deposits, without ruling out any intermediate solution.

    Sylikiotis said they also discussed harmonisation with the new EU Directive for electricity, issues concerning the oil terminal, for which the dialogue will continue, and the energy crisis, for which the EAC has assured that several units would be ready by the Summer to ensure energy adequacy.

    Thrasou said the EAC delegation informed the Minister on efforts to secure energy adequacy during the Summer and to repair last year`s damage suffered by the island`s main power plant at Vassiliko, which was hit by the shockwave of a deadly blast at a nearby naval base.

    He pointed out that the damage could not be fully repaired in just a few months but that adequacy could be secured.

    [04] President holds a farewell meeting with French Ambassador

    The President of the Republic Demetris Christofias on Monday held a farewell meeting with the Ambassador of France in Nicosia Jean-Marc Rives.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, the Ambassador said that he had an excellent relation with the Cypriot authorities throughout the years and thanked the President and the people of Cyprus for their hospitality.

    He went on to say that France and Cyprus have excellent relations in political, cultural, bilateral and European level and there is cooperation in the framework of the UN and the EU, regarding the Cyprus problem and other issues.

    Rives also referred to the foundation of the Cypriot-French School to operate this September, noting the determination and the support of the President and the Government.

    According to French Ambassador, the past two years France has hosted museum exhibitions about Cyprus, which have attracted 75.000 people.

    He also said that during Cyprus' EU Presidency, a huge exhibition on Cyprus culture and civilization will take place in Louvre Museum.

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