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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 10-02-23

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>


  • [02] EMILIOU - GAERC


    The leaders of the two communities in Cyprus, President Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat, will resume on Wednesday the negotiating process to find a mutually acceptable solution to the Cyprus problem.

    According to an announcement, issued by UNFICYP, the meeting will take place at 10 oclock at the official residence of UNFICYP Chief of Mission.

    As Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou announced on February 12, the next meetings between the two leaders, which will be held on February 24, March 4, 16 and 30, were decided after consultations with the UN and the Turkish Cypriot side.

    At their last meeting, on January 29, Christofias and Talat achieved significant progress in the issue of governance.

    As UN Secretary General`s Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer had stated, significant progress has been made in a series of areas of governance. The leaders have left the meeting feeling positive, he added.

    [02] EMILIOU - GAERC

    International issues and preparations ahead of the EU summit (25-26 March) were discussed at the meetings of the General Affairs and External Relations Councils, in which Cyprus was represented by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Nicholas Emiliou.

    Under the presidency of the High Representative, Baroness Catherine Ashton, the Foreign Affairs Council reviewed the situation in Haiti and examined the EU contribution to address the crisis up to now.

    The Ministers were briefed about the Donors Conference on Haiti which will take place on March 31 in New York under the auspices of the United Nations and about next months visit to the country by the High Representative and European Commissioner designate for International Cooperation Kristalina Georgieva.

    The Council discussed the issue of using forged European passports in the assassination of a senior Hamas commander in Dubai last month.The Ministers condemned the illegal use of European passports and voted for an inquiry into the matter.


    Despite their reservations, the two communities in Cyprus continue to be willing to conduct trade with each other, according to a recent study which has shown that a significant number of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots trade or purchase goods from the other community.

    The study, conducted by the Peace Economics Consortium under the programme of Economic Interdependence implemented by the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, has shown that consumers from both communities continue to purchase products and services from the other community.

    According to the study, the use of credit cards remains limited while most transactions are paid in cash. Greek Cypriots spent on average 50 euro each time they cross to the northern Turkish occupied areas of the Republic while Turkish Cypriots spent 70 euro on average every time they pass to the southern government-controlled part of the country.

    A significant number of businesses is willing to forge bicommunal business ventures but there are reservations as regards opportunities, bureaucracy and taxes, the study says.


    Representatives of the Central Cooperative Bank members approved the Bank`s accounts on Monday, with Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Paschalides calling on the cooperative movement to pioneer in efforts to reduce lending and deposit interest rates, through healthy competition, to the benefit of society and the country at large, in trying times for the island`s economy.

    Director General of the Central Cooperative Bank Erotokritos Chlorakiotis told the 42nd Annual General Meeting, which coincided with the 100th anniversary since the cooperative movement`s establishment, that the Bank`s profit had dropped dramatically during the year 2009, mainly due to the reduction of Euribor, the benchmark rate of the Euro money market, from 5.4% in October 2008 to the current 1%.

    Chlorakiotis said that at the end of 2009, the Bank`s capital was worth 191 million EUR, with an issued stock capital of 78.1 million EUR, and noted that the consequences of the global financial crisis in 2008 had continued in 2009. He said profits reached 33.4 million EUR in 2008, with total assets worth 2,913 million EUR at the end of 2008.

    He pointed out that it was imperative to reduce interest rates and that the cooperative movement was working in that direction.

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