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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-06-20

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has described as very significant Cyprus entry into the euro area in January next year, saying that this confirms that the government fiscal policy has been a success and the local economy sound enough to meet EU criteria for the euro area.

    This is an important landmark for Cyprus and I believe that once we adopt the euro, prices will be rounded up downwards as opposed to upwards, he said on departure for the European Council meeting which will deal with Cyprus and Malas accession to the euro area.

    He reiterated that this was achieved with the concerted effort of all the social partners, adding that government services will monitor the change of currency to ensure that there is no exploitation of prices.

    Papadopoulos recalled that the Cyprus pound will be locked to the euro in early July and the exchange rate will not be known before that.

    Referring to the EU summit that starts Thursday, he said this was very important as it will review reforms in the European Treaties.

    We hope that it will be possible to reach an agreement that will facilitate the smoother running of the EU, which so far has been governed by the provisions of the Treaty of Nice, he said.

    Papadopoulos also said that the current trend among the 27 members seems to indicate that existing Treaties are set to be promoted but no new treaty is likely to be approved.

    There are several differences and everybody understands that if the current German EU presidency does not succeed in clinching such an agreement, then things will be more difficult in the future, he concluded.

    Earlier today the European Parliament approved by an overwhelming majority (585 in favour, 14 against and 90 abstentions) a report by a German Euro MP which gives the green light to Cyprus entry into the euro area.

    Speaking during the debate at the Parliament, German Minister of State for Europe Gunter Gloser and EU Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs Joaquin Almunia welcomed Cyprus and Malta, saying both countries meet the criteria set out by the Union.


    The Cyprus government believes that the fluid political situation in Turkey and existing instability in that country make efforts to achieve progress towards a negotiated settlement in Cyprus difficult. We are ready, any time, to begin a dialogue and discussions with a view to achieve progress towards a solution. However we think that the current instability in Turkey and the political fluidity create problems as far as progress is concerned, Government Spokesman Vasilis Palmas has said.

    Speaking at his daily briefing, he said unfortunately there is no development that could break the current impasse. He noted though that aides to Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos and the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Mehmet Ali Talat continue their weekly meetings to try and make headway. They discuss certain issues but unfortunately there is no development and no move that could create the preconditions for progress, he added.

    Palmas comments come at a time when there is intense political debate with regard to Februarys presidential elections. Asked if the peace effort must freeze because of this, the spokesman replied: as far as we are concerned, at least, we do not look at things from this perspective.


    Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has said that the government has made available all necessary means to the Law Office of the Republic to facilitate and expedite its investigation into an air crash in 2005 that killed all 121 persons on board, most of them Cypriots. He also indicated that early publication of a report by the one-man Cypriot investigative commission into the cause of the air crash, in Grammatikos in Greece, could jeopardise the inquire and will not serve anybodys interest.

    I fully subscribe to what I have said in public. The government made sure that the report by the Greek commission of inquiry was made public at a record time, compared to similar air crashes, Papadopoulos said, replying to questions on departure for Brussels to attend the European Council meeting. The Police, he added, continue their inquiries in earnest with a view to prepare a file for consideration by the Attorney General who will decide whether anybody will be brought before the courts.

    I do not think there is anybody who wishes to expedite this investigation and jeopardise the validity and integrity of cases that may be brought to justice, the President stressed. He said the material police investigators have to go through is massive and the government has made available all necessary funds and personnel requested by the Law Office for this purpose.


    Cyprus` Council of Ministers has decided to amend the law governing military service in the Republics armed forces, the National Guard, in an effort to ensure equal treatment for all male Cypriot citizens who are drafted in for a two-year service. The proposed bill, to go to the House for consideration, provides for the drafting of Maronites, Latins and Armenians who belong to the Greek Cypriot community, as of 2008 for compulsory military service.

    The bill also deals with the military service of those who declare themselves to be conscientious objectors, and recommends amendments to the existing legislation. The government bill also proposes alternative compulsory service for those who say they are facing health problems and cannot serve in the military but are considered capable of serving in alternative services.

    Furthermore, the government proposes amendments to the military service of males who come from large families. It provides for reduced (14 months instead of 25) military service for the third male in a family, provided that the two older siblings have served a full term.

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