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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 12-05-15

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

From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [01] President inaugurates ``Filoxenia`` premises ahead of EU presidency
  • [02] Eurostat: GDP drops in Cyprus during the first quarter of 2012
  • [03] Discussions on natural gas planning on track, Minister says
  • [04] Tourist arrivals from Russia increase

  • [01] President inaugurates ``Filoxenia`` premises ahead of EU presidency

    President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias inaugurated the modern facilities of the "Filoxenia" conference centre in Nicosia, where the main events will take place during the Cypriot presidency of the Council of the EU, in the second half of 2012.

    Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, President Christofias underlined that a successful Cypriot Presidency is a national target for Cyprus, and called upon all political parties, organised groups and ordinary citizens to cooperate towards that goal.

    ``It gives me great pleasure to be here to inaugurate the renovated Conference Center ``Filoxenia`` and the Press Center ``CyPress``. The heart of the Cypriot Presidency of the EU will be beating on the premises of this modern Conference Centre", he said.

    Over 100 meetings will be organized at the "Filoxenia", (which is the Greek word for hospitality) with the participation of more than 20.000 people from all over Europe.

    The President stressed that there was always a political will and determination to address the major challenge of perfectly conducting a successful EU presidency.

    ``I firmly believe that achieving this national goal will further highlight and confirm the role that Cyprus can play in European affairs,`` he said.

    President Christofias noted that the presiding country of the Council of the EU is responsible for the overall organization and functioning of the work of the Council, is responsible for managing the Council agenda and undertakes to organize and chair all ministerial meetings and meetings of various working groups of the Council.

    In this context, he continued, the Presidency promotes the legislative initiatives that originate primarily from the European Commission and negotiates compromising solutions between the EU member states and on behalf of the member states, in co-decision with the European Parliament.

    ``Undoubtedly, for the completion of these activities, the current presiding country is required to have the necessary infrastructure, that can accommodate various meetings and also provide appropriate working conditions and hospitality to both participants and officials of the press", he continued.

    The President said that Cyprus began its preparations already in 2007 with the organization of different working groups, which cover a wide range of issues.

    The preparation of suitable building facilities that can accommodate the Cypriot presidency was one of the first issues that were to be implemented, he added.

    President Christofias said that under the coordinating role of the Department of Public Works of the Ministry of Communications and Works a series of visits abroad have taken place to gather information from the experiences of other EU countries that recently held the EU presidency. Next, he said, they studied and evaluated potential sites in Cyprus that could be used for the presidency's purposes.

    In 2009, he continued, the Council of Ministers decided to use former facilities of the "Filoxenia" hotel as the main premises to host the Cypriot EU presidency.

    ``The successful and timely completion of this ambitious project we inaugurate today is an important step in the completion of an effort that began in 2007,`` he added.

    Referring to the premises, the President said they have the necessary infrastructure for hosting all meetings required. They also have modern conference equipment, as well as infrastructure for interpretation in the required number of languages. There are also areas suitable for delegation members, equipped with the necessary infrastructure.

    The press center ``CyPress`` includes a pressroom, briefing rooms and well designed and equipped workplaces for the media.

    President Christofias said that another important part of the project is the facilities for the host broadcaster (The Cyprus Broadcasting Corporation) which is responsible for the production and distribution of television coverage. He also said that the premises are under the constant surveillance of the police.

    "We inaugurate today modern conference facilities that can meet the conference needs of the country for many years to come,`` he pointed out.

    Concluding, he congratulated all who contributed in the successful completion of the "Filoxenia".

    The Republic of Cyprus will assume the six monthly rotating presidency of the Council of the EU in July.

    [02] Eurostat: GDP drops in Cyprus during the first quarter of 2012

    GDP dropped in Cyprus by 0.3% during the first quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

    GDP remained stable in both the euro area1 (EA17) and the EU27 during the first quarter of 2012, compared with the previous quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2011, growth rates were -0.3% in both zones.

    Compared with the same quarter of the previous year, seasonally adjusted GDP remained stable in the euro area and increased by 0.1% in the EU27 in the first quarter of 2012, after +0.7% and +0.8% respectively in the previous quarter.

    [03] Discussions on natural gas planning on track, Minister says

    Discussions with "Noble Energy" concerning the planning for the transfer of natural gas from gas reserves, discovered in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone, enters its final stage, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoklis Sylikiotis said. The Minister noted that the process is going according to schedule and decisions are imminent by the end of May.

    "Noble", a Houston-based company, received concessions for research drilling on "block 12" in Cyprus' EEZ and started drilling on September 2011.

    The Minister said that the government and the company established a "structured dialogue" and added that he would be meeting with the company's Director in Cyprus, John Tomic, on Thursday.

    Commenting on reports, the Minister also said that the company's spokesperson has already stated that Noble did not place a bid during the second licensing round for Cyprus' hydrocarbons, since it preferred to focus on its existing investment.

    On his meeting with Tomic, Sylikiotis said that the government has already sent its remarks concerning the company's development plan and his Ministry was waiting for a reply.

    [04] Tourist arrivals from Russia increase

    Tourist arrivals from Russia record an increase and at the same time Ukraine appears to be a new promising market, the President of the Association of Cyprus Travel Agents (ACTA) Viktor Mantovanis said after a meeting he had with the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoklis Sylikiotis.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Mantovanis said that there is a decrease in bookings from Britain, Germany and Holland, however there is an increase from Russia as well as other markets, expressing hope that by the end of the year the tourist arrivals will record a small rise.

    According to Mantovanis, the increase from Russia is around 20-25%, whereas the bookings from Britain record decrease of 10% while there is a drop in bookings from Germany and Holland around 15% respectively.

    The ACTA President said that the meeting was very fruitful and that they exchanged views on various issues, expressing the hope that many of these issues, such as the visa procedures from third countries, competition from other markets and the opening of new flight destinations will soon be resolved.

    He also referred to the issue of the employment of foreigners in the tourism market, noting that we must find a way for Cypriots to get back in the labor market.

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