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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 07-06-21

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos announced that the European Council had approved the proposals of the European Commission and the European Central Bank for the accession of Cyprus and Malta to the Eurozone on 1 January 2008.

    He added that the Council would instruct ECOFIN to set a date for the parity of the Cyprus pound to the Euro next month.

    Regarding Turkey`s EU accession course, he said Cyprus was determining its position chapter by chapter, adding that discussions were ongoing regarding the chapters the German presidency wishes to open and ``we don`t want to be unduly negative.``

    Referring to the areas of Cyprus under Turkish occupation, President Papadopoulos expressed regret that the political conditions did not allow for the introduction of the Euro, so that the Turkish Cypriots could enjoy its advantages, but pointed out that it was impossible to introduce the Euro in the occupied areas for many reasons.

    Speaking at a press conference in Brussels, President Papadopoulos said ``this is a very historical day for Cyprus.``

    ``It has become possible, through the hard work of the government officials, the experts who advise us, the understanding of the European Central Bank and the Commission, and it is proof that the economic policy we have followed in Cyprus has been rewarded by making it possible for us to accomplish the indicators which are very strict and which are demanded by the European Central Bank and the Commission,`` he said.

    He added that ``we managed to reduce our deficit from 6.3% when this government took over to 1.4% this year, with very good prospects`` and noted that ``it will go further down.``

    ``The public debt, which was 72% against the GDP is now 64% with falling inclination and the inflation has been kept within the boundaries of the three best performing members of the EU, and unemployment is very little. All this we have achieved with the help and sacrifices of our people,`` the President said.

    President Papadopoulos noted that Thursday`s decision is ``interpreted as being a confirmation of the sound policies which the government has followed.``

    ``In the case of Cyprus, we are expecting that the rounding up of prices will be downwards, not upwards, because right now our currency is stronger than the euro and a great number of businesses have already declared their policy and are bound to reduce their prices by 1%,`` he pointed out.

    Referring to the Turkish occupied areas, he said ``it is sad that the political conditions do not allow for the introduction of the Euro, so that our Turkish Cypriots compatriots can enjoy its advantages,`` but pointed out that it was impossible to introduce the Euro in the occupied areas for many reasons.

    Replying to questions, President Papadopoulos pointed out that ``it is not possible`` to introduce the euro in the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus ``unless the area is under the control of the Central European Bank and the Commission, which it is not, and if they manage to comply with the requirements, which are very strict, as to the economic indicators.``

    ``That cannot be achieved now when the economy of the occupied areas is completely controlled by Turkey in Turkish lira, not in euros,`` he said.

    Asked if Cyprus would veto the opening of negotiating chapters for Turkey, President Papadopoulos said ``we have stated our position in the working groups.``

    ``There is a further meeting going on. Negotiations are going on. Our position is very clear. We say we raise our objections. There are matters relating to policy, in addition to technical conditions, and also bearing in mind the attitude of Turkey towards Cyprus. It seems really unbelievable that Turkey will in one day exercise its veto in a number of international organisations which we try to join, for example the European Meteorological Agency. Cyprus is vetoed. Now what political impact that would have getting the weather forecast, which we get anyway, published. I don`t understand. Do they expect us the following day to vote for them to open chapters, especially those where there are technical objections, not only from us, from other countries as well,`` he said.

    President Papadopoulos pointed out that ``Cyprus is determining its position chapter by chapter,`` adding that discussions are continuing on the chapters the German presidency of the EU wishes to open and ``we don`t want to be unduly negative.``

    Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third.


    Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos met in Brussels with President of the European Parliament Hans Gert Poettering, with whom he discussed the Cyprus problem, the accession of Cyprus to the Eurozone and the European Council.

    Speaking after the meeting, Poettering said they agreed that Cyprus and the European Parliament should give all its support to the Presidency of the EU so that we get a result during this European Council on the substance of the Constitutional Treaty.

    We have discussed the developments with the introduction of the Euro in Cyprus and, thanks to the European Parliament, I think we solved, more or less, the problems of delaying the accession, so there will be no delays of Cyprus and Malta to introduce the Euro on January 1, 2008, he said.


    Greek Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis inaugurated the new offices of Greece`s Permanent Representation in Brussels, in the presence of Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos.

    In his speech, Karamanlis said that Cyprus` accession to the EU was an important development for the European future of Hellenism.

    He furthermore congratulated Cyprus and President Papadopoulos for Cyprus` accession to the Eurozone.

    Karamanlis noted that Greece was working for a future of safety, prosperity and development, and at the same time strengthening the Mediterranean aspect of the EU.

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