|Thursday, 5 December 2019|
Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 96-11-05
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
 Cyprus fully meets Maastricht economic criteriaWilly de Clercq, Chairman of the External Economic Relations Committee of the European Parliament is on a 5-day visit to Cyprus at the invitation of the House of Representatives.
After talks on Cyprus' bid to join the EU, de Clercq said that the economy of the island fully meets the Maastricht convergence criteria for economic and monetary union. Membership talks will begin with Cyprus six months after the completion of the Intergovernmental Conference.
The European Parliament official said Cyprus meets all the Maastricht economic criteria, especially those regarding inflation, monetary and prices stability, the rates of interest, funding and the government deficit and debt.
He commented: "It is noteworthy that in 1995 Cyprus, along with Luxembourg, were the only countries to fully satisfy the Maastricht convergence criteria".
On the island's political problem, de Clercq referred to a Europarliament resolution, which rejects any connection between Cyprus' entry into the Union with a prior solution to the Cyprus problem. "Even if the island were not reunited, the people of Cyprus that wish to join the EU should be given this opportunity", he said.
 Turkish occupation "an anachronism in today's Europe""Cyprus is the only European country with part of its territory under foreign occupation. This constitutes a stunning anachronism in today's Europe", Foreign Minister Alecos Michaelides told members of the European Youth Parliament (EYP) meeting in Nicosia.
Mr Michaelides added that Cyprus' road to EU accession offers a unique catalyst in efforts to resolve the Cyprus problem.
"Any statements or actions, casting doubts or reservations (about this catalytic role) are damaging this prospect (of a solution)", he told nearly 300 delegates from 22 European countries and an array of diplomats representing EU member-states at yesterday's opening ceremony of the 23rd session of the European Youth Parliament.
Such statements, the Minister added, may give Turkey, the wrong signal in believing that she can exercise the right of veto on Cyprus' EU application and refrain from efforts to settle the problem.
"We have a responsibility to respect and implement the EU decisions", Michaelides said, reminding participants in the conference that Turkey continues to flout European Parliament resolutions asking for the withdrawal of the turkish occupying troops from Cyprus and for the respect or human rights.
Describing the week-long meeting an "an exercise of democracy", the Minister urged young pupils attending the session to remain committed to the ideals of a united and integrated Europe as they will benefit most from them.
The meeting, organised by a local private school, the Grammar School, will debate various topics, including foreign affairs and security, tourism and travel, development and the environment, civil liberties and internal affairs, education, culture and the media and energy and technology.
 Municipal elections on 15 December 1996Cyprus Minister of the Interior Dinos Michaelides officially announced yesterday that municipal elections will take place on Sunday, December 15, 1996.
They will cover all municipalities including those in the occupied areas. Thousands of refugees will vote for the heads of the Turkish-occupied municipalities in polling stations in the free areas.
Mr Dinos Michaelides also announced the appointment of Interior Ministry Permanent Secretary Thanos Michael as the Chief Returning Officer and his deputies, who will be the respective District Officers.
Elections for mayors and municipal councils will be held in 33 municipalities, nine of which are in the occupied part of the island. Two of the occupied municipalities are situated in the Turkish-occupied areas of Nicosia District, four in the Famagusta District and three in the occupied northern District of Kyrenia.
 Cyprus Speaker of Parliament visits GreeceSpyros Kyprianou, President of the House of Representatives speaking after a meeting in Athens with Greek President of Parliament Apostolos Kaklamanis said "those interested in reaching an early settlement to the Cyprus problem ought to direct their attention towards Turkey and not look for more concessions from the Greek side".
During the meeting it was decided that the two Parliaments continue their cooperation in informing other national Parliaments and the European Parliament about the Cyprus problem and other national issues.
Kyprianou was also received by Greek President Costis Stephanopoulos and later met Greece's Minister of National Defence Akis Tsohantzopoulos.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/