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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-05-11

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

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


CONTENTS

  • [01] Applications for the second licensing round announced
  • [02] FinMin on Commission`s forecasts
  • [03] FM to participate in EU Council
  • [04] World Anti-doping code in Cyprus

  • [01] Applications for the second licensing round announced

    Five companies and ten joint ventures have submitted applications for the second licensing round for hydrocarbon exploration, in Cyprus' exclusive economic zone.

    The number of companies which have applied either through joint ventures or by themselves is 29 and hail from 15 countries, including Cyprus.

    The Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoclis Sylikiotis, speaking at a ceremony on the second licensing round, said the results far exceeded expectations and talked about a new era of progress and prosperity for the people of Cyprus and the people of the region.

    He also thanked the companies that showed an interest which, as he said, is something that shows their confidence and respect for the Republic of Cyprus and the fair procedures followed.

    In December 2011, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias announced that the results of the exploratory drilling in Cyprus` block 12 were positive, describing the discovery of hydrocarbons as historic for the island.

    US company Noble Energy, which carried out the drilling, discovered 310 feet of net natural gas pay. The drilling reached a depth of 19,225 feet in water depth of about 5,540 feet.

    The initial data that emerged from the exploratory drilling and the evaluation checks carried out indicate the existence of a natural gas reservoir ranging from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a gross mean of 7 tcf.

    [02] FinMin on Commission`s forecasts

    The economic forecasts released by the European Commission for 2012 converge with the Cypriot projections, the Ministry of Finance has said. In a press release issued following the publication of the European Spring 2011 economic forecasts, the Cypriot Ministry reiterated that it will enter an intensive dialogue with the political parties and the social partners aiming at correcting a 0.9% slippage and keep Cyprus on track with regard to its 2012 fiscal target for a 2.5% deficit.

    The Spring 2012 forecasts show that in the wake of faltering domestic demand and weaker external environment, the Cypriot economy will contract by 0.8% in 2012 leading to a budget deficit of 3.4% GDP, 0.9% higher than the target of 2.5% GDP set out by the Cypriot Ministry. ``The Commission`s forecasts for the public finances converge to a large extend with the government`s projections, taking into account a divergence of one percentage point observed in the first quarter of 2012,`` the Ministry said, adding that the forecasts take into account only the fiscal consolidation measures taken so far.

    The Ministry also noted that ``the revised forecasts of the European Commission for the EU economy show that in 2012 significant challenges for the Cypriot economy will persist due to the negative external environment.`` It also noted that according to its projections the Cypriot economy will contract by 0.5% and the budget deficit will be contained at the region of 2.5% GDP.

    Concluding, the Ministry noted it ``aims to implement the necessary measures mainly in the field of expenditure to secure the fulfillment of the target for a deficit of 2.5% GDP through an intensive dialogue with political parties and social partners.

    [03] FM to participate in EU Council

    Minister of Foreign Affairs Erato Kozakou Markoullis is traveling to Brussels on Sunday to take part in the External Affairs Council which will convene on Monday. EU Foreign Ministers will discuss the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East peace process and the Southern neighborhood, especially Libya, Syria and Algeria. The Council will discuss Mexico and Russia in view of the EU-Russia (3 June) and EU-Mexico (17 June) summits.

    In addition, the Council will also discuss the EU-Ukraine association agreement, in view of the EU-Ukraine cooperation Council to take place on 15 May. The Council is due to adopt conclusions on some of the above subjects. Ministers for development cooperation, meeting within the Foreign Affairs Council, are due to discuss Europe's support against poverty in developing nations, the situation in Burma/Myanmar and Rio+20 and adopt conclusions on each of these issues.

    On Tuesday, Foreign Minister is traveling to Luxemburg where she will pay a working visit. She will be returning to Cyprus on Wednesday.

    [04] World Anti-doping code in Cyprus

    Cyprus has harmonised its legislation with the WADA`s World Anti-Doping Code, penalizing doping and the distribution of forbidden substances, Cyprus Sports Organization Chairman Pambos Stylianou has said. Speaking during a meeting of the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport (EYCS) Council, Stylianou said that Cyprus has no dilemma as to which sector should be given special priority in the fight against doping, which takes place on two fronts.

    He noted that in the field of performance sport ``we need to look into the relationship of sport and athletes with doping to understand the environment that has been created, which pushes athletes and trainers to steroids and forbidden substances.`` ``The answer is not simple as the commercial aspect of sport, coupled with a big increase of financial incentives to achieve results, is a serious reason which leads to the rise in the use of forbidden substances,`` he added.

    He called for cooperation by all national Olympic Committees and Sport Authorities with Anti-Doping Authorities, noting that this is a prerequisite for the fight against doping. On his part, Minister of Education, Giorgos Demosthenous, who is responsible for sport, said that in the fight against doping EU member states have significant weapons such as cooperation, exchange of experiences and good practices.

    He referred to checks and marking food supplements to ensure that they do not include doping substances, noting that educating people against the use of performance-enhancing substances during training is also important.


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