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Cypriot report Cypriot report
by Euro Reporter
2012-03-12 07:56:34
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Cyprus belongs to the Cypriots and to no one else

Cyprus belongs to the Cypriots and to no one else, President Demetris Christofias stressed Thursday commenting on statements by Turkish Minister of EU Affairs and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis statements about the possibility of integrating Cyprus’ Turkish occupied areas to Turkey.  Addressing an event, organized in Nicosia on the occasion of the International Women’s Day, Christofias underlined that the Greek Cypriot side has shown good will for a settlement the soonest possible, adding that this does not however mean that we will grant to anyone the right to impose a settlement. He said that a solution will be accepted only if is functional and viable the settlement and it reunites the country, its people, the institutions and the economy, and it must be based on the international and the European law and must secure the human rights and the fundamental freedoms of Cypriot citizens. “It must be a settlement that will provide for a bizonal, bicommunal federation with political equality as defined by the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, with a single state, a single and undivided sovereignty, a single personality and a single citizenship,” he noted.

Christofias expressed regret and disappointment over the fact that Turkey and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu have distanced themselves from the fundamental principles of the Cyprus problem.  “They are also moving away from the convergences in various chapters achieved in the framework of the current process of direct negotiations. And not only this but also recently both Turkey and Eroglu have been launching threats against us,” Christofias noted. “It is unacceptable and conflicting to attend the negotiations, discuss, and at the same time listen to Eroglu making threatening statements which constitute a major provocation not only for our side but also for the UN and the EU as well,” he stressed.

Christofias said the Turkish side most often refers to B plans for the Cyprus problem, which consolidate division and the pseudo-state and referred to Bagis’ statements about the possibility of integrating Cyprus’ Turkish areas to Turkey. He said these statements humiliate first of all the Turkish Cypriots and sent the message to Bagis and all the Turkish leadership that “Cyprus belongs to the Cypriots – Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Armenians, Maronites and Latins and to no one else.”  Christofias said that with its arrogance Turkey is even threatening the EU. “We firmly believe that the UN cannot follow this behaviour with apathy. The Turkish behaviour constitutes a provocation and an insult for the UN,” he noted. Christofias also made clear once again, that the Greek Cypriot side will not accept any time table and the convening of an international conference on Cyprus if the preconditions set out by the UN in its 2002 UN resolution are not met. He also noted that such a conference must be attended by the UN Security Council permanent members, the guarantor powers, the European Union, the Republic of Cyprus and the two communities to look into the international aspects of the Cyprus problem.


Economy enters into recession

Cyprus economy has entered into recession in the last quarter of 2011, with the country’s GDP recording a decline 0.7%, the Statistical Service of the Republic of Cyprus announced Friday. Growth rate is estimated at -0.7% in the last quarter of 2011, compared to the corresponding period in 2010.

Construction, manufacturing and electricity also declined during the same period, along with trade and transport, while tourism, banks and services presented a positive outlook.

The Statistical Service corrected its February estimate on GDP decline in the last quarter of 2011 from 0.5% to 0.7%.  The economy’s contraction was also corrected to 0.3%, from 0.5% in the February estimate. Moreover, the economy shrank in the last quarter of 2011 by 0.1%, compared to the third quarter of 2011, while the initial estimate said it expected zero growth.


EU promotes sustainable tourism in Cyprus

The villages of Kalopanagiotis, Kato Pyrgos, Agros and the region of Troodos Mountain have in recent years been selected by the European commission as European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) in an effort to boost sustainable tourism. According to a European Commission press release issued here today, about half of Europeans (51%) choose to enjoy their holidays at home rather than abroad.  In Cyprus, 37% of Cypriots were planning to enjoy their holidays in Cyprus in 2011. This tendency is expected to continue and grow.

Through the selection of destinations, EDEN aims to draw attention to the values, diversity and common features of European tourist destinations. It enhances the visibility of emerging European destinations, creates a platform for sharing good practices across Europe and promotes networking between awarded destinations. The key feature of the selected destinations is their commitment to social, cultural and environmental sustainability.  The recipients of the award are emerging, little known European destinations located in the 27 Member States and candidate countries.

Accoding to EU Commissioner for Industry and Enterpreunership Antonia Tajani “EDEN points out sustainable holiday destinations, where tourism coexists in harmony with the local community and its environment”. Within a fast changing global economy, EDEN continues to promote the most inventive and creative tourism spots, he says, adding that at the same time, the local economy and particularly small enterprises will benefit. Therefore, he concludes, EDEN may contribute in the efforts to overcome the current economic crisis. The mountainous village of Kalopanagiotis with its traditional architecture, its spas and its green valley’s was the winner of the 2011 EDEN competition.

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