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Cypriot report Cypriot report
by Euro Reporter
2012-05-16 07:49:33
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Cyprus president Christofias says he won’t run for second term, cites stalled peace talks

Cyprus President Dimitris Christofias says he will not seek re-election for a second term because there is little hope that long-running talks with breakaway Turkish Cypriots to reunify the ethnically split island will succeed when his tenure expires in February next year.

Christofias said in a nationally televised address on Monday that his decision fulfils an earlier promise not to run for a second term if the peace talks weren’t close to an accord.

The 66-year-old, Soviet-educated Christofias is the first incumbent president not to seek re-election since the island gained independence from British colonial rule in 1960.

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Bank in talks for government help

Cyprus' second-largest bank says that it is in talks with the island's finance ministry and central bank on a possible recapitalization. Cyprus Popular Bank said in a statement Monday that it is discussing the possibility of a government guarantee on a capital issue to help attract private investors and minimize the amount that the state would have to cover.

Cyprus Popular was the most exposed to Greek debt of the country's top three banks. It posted record losses for 2011 of around (EURO)3.6 billion ($4.66 billion) after taking a 76 percent write-down on its Greek government bond holdings. The bank had said it would need (EURO)1.35 billion ($1.75 billion) to meet EU capital buffer requirements.

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Turkish aggression towards Cyprus’ sovereign rights should be denounced

House President Yiannakis Omirou has said that Turkish aggression towards Cyprus’ sovereign rights in its Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), should quickly and efficiently be denounced with political and diplomatic efforts and representations to the Security Council of the UN.  “Turkish provocations in terms of challenging the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus within its EEZ have reached their peak with the publication in the Official Gazette of the Turkish Government that maritime plots of Cyprus belong to Turkey, in complete and flagrant violation of the Marine Law, as enshrined in the UN Convention of 1982”, he said speaking during the conference of Cyprus's Bank Workers’ Union ETYK. Omirou added that the discovery of significant gas reserves in Cyprus’ EEZ is a development with many significant dimensions.

'' This fact apart from its big economic importance, creates big opportunities for an active geopolitical upgrading of Cyprus’s strategic position and its role in the field of energy, '' he added. Pointing out that Cyprus, for the first time in its history can take advantage of its significant and competitive geographical position, he said that this will strengthen the struggle of people of Cyprus for freedom and justice.  In December 2011, President of the Republic of Cyprus Demetris Christofias announced that the results of the exploratory drilling in Cyprus' block 12 were positive, describing the discovery of hydrocarbons as historic for the island. US company Noble Energy, which carried out the drilling, discovered 310 feet of net natural gas pay. The drilling reached a depth of 19,225 feet in water depth of about 5,540 feet.

The initial data that emerged from the exploratory drilling and the evaluation checks carried out indicate the existence of a natural gas reservoir ranging from 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (tcf) with a gross mean of 7 tcf. Cyprus has also launched a second licensing round for the 12 remaining blocks of its Exclusive Economic Zone. Turkey announce in its official gazette that areas spanning from Rhodes to the south west of Cyprus are given out for hydrocarbons studies and drilling. Maps published in the official gazette show that the permits stretch as far as he Greek island of Rhodes as well as plots 1, 4, 5, 6 and 7 delineated by the Republic of Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean. Referring to global economic crisis, Omirou said that the only way out is the way of social market economy.  He added that the market should serve society and the peoples’ needs, should be a subject to supervision, control and regulatory mechanisms, contributing to strong economic growth, the creation of more and better jobs, social justice and a clean and healthy environment.


         
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