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Trachypedoula Village                                             Photo © CyprusExpat.co.uk

07 October 2017

1. IMF sees "impressive turnaround" of Cypriot economy, warns of downside risks

The International Monetary Fund (IMF), finds that the Cypriot economy has achieved “impressive turnaround” since the 2012 – 13 banking crisis in its Staff Concluding Statement of the 2017 Article IV Mission, released on Friday, but it also warns of sizeable downside risks and proposes series of measures to further consolidate the economic achievements of recent years. According to the staff concluding statement “the economic achievements of recent years should be consolidated and extended by significantly reducing, in a non-disruptive manner, excessive private indebtedness and banks’ NPLs; ensuring that economic growth remains broad-based and avoids undue dependence on external financing; avoiding procyclicality in public spending; speeding up the legal process for enforcement of commercial claims; and enhancing competition and governance.”

2. Limassol Del Mar project foundation stone laid by President

Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades praised the spirit of Cypriot entrepreneurs on Friday evening at a ceremony during which he laid the foundation of the Limassol Del Mar development project.

Addressing the event, President Anastasiades said that the project is indicative of the capability and the dynamism Limassol’s business community is known for, adding that it is also a result of the targeted steps taken by the government to put a stop to recession and to make Cyprus an attractive foreign investment destination. “During its course so far, this administration has had as its foremost concern the exit from the economic crisis and the economy’s return to growth,” Anastasiades pointed out.

3. UN Spokesman says Cyprus solution is up to the parties

The solution of the Cyprus problem is up to the parties, Stéphane Dujarric, Spokesman for the UN Secretary General, has said, noting that the UN have provided their good offices and that the UN chief’s views are well known.  Asked to clarify a response he gave yesterday regarding statements by the so-called foreign minister of the illegal Turkish Cypriot regime in the Turkish-occupied areas of Cyprus calling for recognition, Dujarric said “the settlement in Cyprus is one that is up to the parties.”  “The United Nations has put up its good offices. The Secretary General put up his good offices. His report has gone to the Security Council and will be made public later this month, and I think the Secretary General’s views on this issue are well known,” he said.

4. Less people at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2016 than 2015

Less people were found to be at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2016 (27.7%) compared to 2015 (28.9%) in Cyprus, data released, yesterday, by the Statistical Service of Cyprus show. According to the results of the survey on Income and Living Conditions (SILC), 2016, with income reference period, year 2015, 27.7% of the population or 233,942 persons were at risk of poverty or social exclusion, a Statistical Service press release says. “The percentage of the population that was at-risk-of-poverty, meaning that its disposable income was below the at-risk-of-poverty threshold, exhibited a marginal decrease, reaching 16.1% in respect to 16.2% that was in 2015, which was the highest ever reached,” it notes.

5. €8.2-million donation to build a Technical Education Institute in Limassol

An €8.2-million donation agreement to build a Technical Education Institute in Limassol was signed in Nicosia on Friday between the Republic of Cyprus and Absolute Charitable Trust Organisation.

In his address at the signing ceremony held at the Presidential Palace, President of the Republic Nicos Anastasiades said that donation is the result of the trust Alexandr Svetekov has shown in the country following his presence on the island and his acquaintance with the Cypriots. He further stressed that his government places emphasis on what the country needs, meaning the connection between education and vocational training.

6. Cyprus has become a humanitarian services hub, Defence Minister says

Cypriot Defence Minister Christophoros Fokaides has commended the achievements of the Larnaka Joint Rescue Coordination Centre (JRCC), saying it has promoted Cyprus in its capacity as a humanitarian services and stability hub in the Eastern Mediterranean. Fokaides was addressing an event in honour of the services rendered by the members of search & rescue teams at the JRCC premises in Larnaka, on Friday evening. JRCC, he pointed out, “is now recognised both in Cyprus and abroad having rendered invaluable services in the effort to rescue human lives but also having promoted Cyprus as a humanitarian service;s hub and a cooperation and stability hub in the Eastern Mediterranean.”

7. Polling stations will operate abroad for the 2018 presidential elections

The Central Election Service has announced that polling stations will operate abroad for the presidential elections that will take place next year, at which voters already enrolled in the electoral list or who will enrol by December 18, 2017 will be able to cast their vote.  The elections will take place on January 28, 2018, and if required a second round will take place on February 4.  Electoral centres abroad will operate once a special electoral list is drafted. To this end, the Central Election Service has printed special statement documents which voters, who want to vote abroad, can fill and submit until December 18, 2017.  These documents can be found at the Embassies and Consulates of the Republic abroad, at the District Administration Offices, the Citizens’ Service Centres and the Interior Ministry’s website (www.moi.gov.cy).

8. Famagusta CCI presents vision for return to Turkish-occupied city

The vision of the Famagusta Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) for the day after the return to Famagusta, was presented on Friday evening by President of the Chamber Giorgos Mavroudis, at the Famagusta CCI annual General Meeting.  In his speech, Mavroudis said the aim of the Famagusta CCI was to reconstruct a modern, functional, and environmentally friendly city, maintaining its character while including new developments, promoting its cultural elements, and becoming a point of attraction for former and new residents, who will choose Famagusta as a place to live, work, and create.  

9. Cyprus ranks 22nd in EU in the use of digital tools

Cyprus ranks 22nd out of 28 European Union countries in the use of digital tools, on the basis of the digital economy and society indicator 2017, Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Marios Demetriades has told a press conference marking the launch of an awareness campaign "Connect Digitally! Easy and simple" which aims to raise awareness of the benefits from the use of digital technologies, the development of online culture and a reduction of digital illiteracy.  Compared to the EU average, Cyprus was at a low level in 2016 on the use of digital tools, ranking 19th. In particular, 76% of the Cypriot population uses the internet compared to an EU average of 79%. At the same time, only 43% has basic digital skills compared to an EU average of 53%, Cyprus ranking 26th.

10. Passport checks may be lengthier due to new EU regulation

A new EU regulation on passport checks for EU Citizens will be put in place this coming Sunday at Larnaka and Paphos airports.  The Police said in a press release that citizens should keep in mind that the new procedure may increase the time required for passports checks.  The Police consider it necessary to follow the example adopted in all European countries where technology is being used to replace a dependency on human resources.CNA

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