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Cyprus News Agency: News in English, 11-02-04

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From: The Cyprus News Agency at <>




    Fiscal consolidation and the stability of the euro must be secured in the new economic climate, Cyprus President Demetris Christofias has said, noting also that EU member states must be allowed to maintain their own economic development and their social state.

    President Christofias, who attended the EU summit which focused on public debt in the eurozone, told his EU counterparts that Cyprus, because of its geographical location and its close ties with Egypt, is ready to help the situation in any way the Union recommends.

    The Council also discussed energy and innovation issues. On the issue of innovation, it was decided to promote priority action to promote development and implement Europe 2020strategy.

    Regarding energy, an agreement was reached on future directions of the new EU energy policy until 2020, while specific guidelines on the energy infrastructure package have been adopted.

    ``We believe that the overall EU approach should be inclusive so that all EU member states participate in it and can fully benefit, including special cases such as Cyprus, which is isolated from the European network,`` President of the Republic noted.

    ``Therefore, he added, we look forward to achieving the ambitious target set by the EU to ensure energy security through all the necessary energy infrastructure and by lifting the isolation of member states by 2015,`` he said.

    President Christofias referred to the particular characteristics of islands, such as Cyprus, which have to deal with technical difficulties and which feel isolated in terms of energy due to their geographical features. In this respect, he noted, specially designed measures and infrastructure are needed to achieve the proposed objectives.

    In terms of energy savings, he said that during the preparation of the new national action plans and the examination of objectives in 2013, it is important to take into account the peculiarities of the member states, their starting point, together with the cost-effective energy savings potential.

    During the discussion on the situation in Egypt, the President of the Republic expressed concern about the recent events and stressed the need for a smooth transition of the situation so as to safeguard the democratic rights of all citizens, who must themselves decide the future of their country without outside interference.

    He stressed the need for caution because bad moves by third parties could have very negative results on the peace process in the Middle East and the region at large.

    The President also told his counterparts that Cyprus because of its geographical location and its close ties with Egypt is ready to help in any way the Union suggests.

    ``I suggested at the same time to be ready to address the humanitarian dimension of the crisis, including addressing the waves of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers,`` concluded the President.

    The President returns home tonight.


    The Ministry of Education and Culture, together with the Cyprus News Agency, have hosted a seminar entitled Media and Education. The aim of the seminar was to contribute to media efforts to improve, through education, the citizens ability to evaluate, select and reproduce information with stringent criteria and without sensationalism.

    In his speech at the seminar, read by Government Spokesman Stefanos Stefanou, President of the Republic Demetris Christofias highlighted the important role of the media and their responsibility to always serve the truth, saying that the maximum degree of responsibility and objectivity must be exercised. ``Society expects the media to always serve the truth,`` he stressed.

    In his speech, the Minister of Education and Culture Andreas Demetriou referred to the link between the media and powerful political, economic, social and other interests. ``The media are hardly innocent,`` the Minister said, adding that they often use their capabilities to create false realities in favor of the interests they serve.

    Costakis Constantinou, Chairman of the CNA Board of Directors, said that we need journalism to focus on the quest for the truth and spoke about the need for the citizens to be educated in order to be able to assess and judge media reports.


    Interior Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis has said the government is committed to implementing a comprehensive immigration policy, which brings Cyprus closer to the vision for a just, multicultural and tolerant society.

    Sylikiotis was speaking at a press conference here Friday on a project titled Welcome to Cyprus: A multicultural island, undertaken by Larnaka Intercollege and EMS, and co-founded with the European Integration Fund.

    The Minister said that Cyprus, for the first time, has adopted a National Plan of Action for the Integration of immigrants, adding that the Plan concerns the period 2010-2012 and explaining that it was formed with the contribution of Local Administration officials, trade unions and employers organizations


    Next week Cyprus becomes once again a transit point for evacuees from Egypt, this time for Polish citizens abandoning the country as the political crisis in Egypt, with huge demonstrations against President Mubarak, continues for the 11th day.

    According to Public Relations and Communications Manager of Hermes Airports Adamos Aspris, a transport aircraft will create an air bridge between Larnaka and Cairo in order to transfer Polish citizens. The operation is expected to be launched next Wednesday and to be completed on Friday.

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