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Cyprus PIO: News Update in English, 02-03-19
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>
Tuesday, 19 March 2002
 President Clerides returns from BarcelonaThe President of the Republic Mr Glafcos returned from Barcelona last Saturday, where he represented Cyprus at the Barcelona European Council summit, which was organised by the Spanish Presidency. European Union member states, the candidate countries for EU accession, party leaders and other officials participated in the summit.
Speaking to the press on arrival at Larnaca airport, President Clerides said that the purpose of the Barcelona summit was to examine issues related to the future of Europe and in particular Europe's economy, labour relations and problems, the need for the development of new technology and other issues pertaining Europe's economic future.
President Clerides said that on the sidelines of the summit, he had a meeting with the Greek Premier Mr Costas Simitis and the Greek Foreign Minister Mr George Papandreou, during which he briefed them in detail on the current phase of the Cyprus problem after the conclusion of the first round of the UN-led direct talks on Cyprus and before the beginning of the next round.
The President said that during the meeting, which was also attended by the Cyprus Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Finance, they exchanged views and made common assessments about the situation in Cyprus.
Asked to comment on his brief meeting with the Turkish Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit, President Clerides explained that Mr Ecevit approached him and shook hands with him before entering the conference room where the leaders of the EU member-states and candidate countries met. The President said that he did not discuss the Cyprus problem with Mr Ecevit, adding that Mr Ecevit just expressed the view that it is time for the Cyprus problem to be solved.
President Clerides said that he could not interpret the Turkish Prime Minister's gesture because Turkish officials behave differently in a European environment. He noted that if he got close to him first he would also extend his hand to him, as he had done, because as a matter of courtesy, leaders are expected at least to shake hands when they meet at such European meetings.
Invited to make a comment on the statement made by the Turkish State Minister responsible for Cyprus Affairs, Mr Sukru Sina Gurel, that if the Greek Cypriots proceed with EU accession he could not exclude the possibility of a war in Cyprus, the President said that this statement was made in Ankara and not in Barcelona, where the Turkish officials behave more like Europeans rather than Turks. He also said that if Mr Gurel thinks that with these kinds of statements he can make the Greek Cypriot side make concessions, he is simply mistaken.
 Cyprus will work closely with the EU for the implementation of the goals set out in the Lisbon processCyprus will work closely with the European Union in order to implement fully the goals set out in the Lisbon process, President Glafcos Clerides stated at the meeting of EU leaders and heads of state of candidate countries on 15 March 2002.
The main issue under discussion was the modernisation of economies on the basis of the Lisbon strategy, with the aim of transforming the European Union into the most competitive and dynamic economy in the world, by the year 2010.
President Clerides said that Cyprus fully acknowledges the importance of the current economic challenges and is promoting the required structural reforms and measures to convert these challenges into opportunities for sustainable growth, within the Lisbon strategy.
He pointed out that Cyprus takes seriously into consideration the Lisbon priorities and is preparing a National Development Plan, which aims at fostering a knowledge-based economy through the adoption of measures promoting access and use of information and communication technologies.
Moreover, he underlined that Cyprus endorses fully the completion of the European internal market and is going ahead with the liberalization in the fields of telecommunications, postal services, energy and transport.
On the issue of public finance, the President said that Cyprus is successfully implementing a fiscal consolidation programme, which aims to achieve a balanced budget by 2004.
From the Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office (PIO) Server at http://www.pio.gov.cy/