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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 06-07-28

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot Minister of Finance Michalis Sarris said the Republic of Cyprus is paying up to 100,000 pounds on a daily basis on overtime, means of transport and other expenses to serve the foreign citizens evacuating Lebanon, adding however that Cyprus can cope with this cost.

    Speaking at Larnaca Port, where he visited the areas foreign citizens occupy on arrival from Lebanon, Sarris said he wanted to see "the effort Cyprus has made to help out in the tragedy that has hit Lebanon."

    Asked how much it cost the Republic to host the evacuees, he said it was "80,000 to 100,000 pounds a day in overtime, means of transport and other expenses," adding that "the amounts so far are such that we can cope without any great problems."

    "Europe has already decided to allocate to Cyprus an amount of around 3.5 million pounds, about 7 million euros, in the context of a broader aid to those taking part in these initiatives," Sarris pointed out, adding that volunteer work has cut down the state`s expenses.


    A total of 47,000 people, evacuees from Lebanon, have come to Cyprus so far, and 41,000 of them have already departed for their countries of preference, Head of Civil Defence in Cyprus Christos Kyriakides told CNA.

    He added that the Civil Defence is currently putting up 1,700 Europeans and Canadians, while 4,300 are staying in hotels or other accommodation arranged by their embassies.

    Asked if there are any Lebanese refugees in Cyprus at the moment, Kyriakides said there are 245 Lebanese citizens, financially well off, staying in hotels. He noted that many come to Cyprus and then fly to other destinations, and that they have not requested anything. ``When they do, we will look into the matter,`` he said.

    Kyriakides said more Lebanese refugees were expected but could not give specific figures, and pointed out that if the passage for the refugees leaving Lebanon remained open, then the influx would be stable, but if the cut-off areas opened, then ``things will change and there will be many people.``


    Cypriot Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis said that the two sides in Cyprus will be simultaneously exchanging catalogues of issues proposed for discussion at the technical committees for a solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Speaking after a Council of Ministers meeting and asked about the catalogues, Pashiardis said the Greek Cypriot side is ready to submit its list of issues, noting that he was not informed if the Turkish Cypriot side was also ready.

    Asked what the Greek Cypriot side would do if the Turkish Cypriot side did not submit a list of issues for discussion, Pashiardis said ``the agreement of July 8 provides for the simultaneous exchange of catalogues so that the discussion can begin to agree on a catalogue,`` adding that this discussion would be held on a representatives` level.

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