Serious challenges await the economy and households in 2013, Government Spokesman says

The year 2013 will be filled with challenges for the economy, not only for Cyprus but also throughout Europe and worldwide, Government Spokesman Stephanos Stephanou said on Friday in an interview with the London Greek Radio LGR.

In Cyprus, Stephanou said, “will indeed be a year full of challenges, it will be a year during which we will implement the provisions of the Memorandum, that was agreed in principle between the Government with the Troika (European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund). It will be a difficult year for the economy and the households.”

He added that the government’s effort throughout the course of the negotiations with the Troika was, despite the difficulties, to ensure institutional achievements of workers while maintaining the prospect of an open economy and the continuation of the management of natural gas recourses by the Republic of Cyprus.

“We believe,” Stephanou added, “that despite the difficulties we will soon be able to move on the path of development that we need in order to create new jobs, to tackle unemployment, and to see better days,” he said.

Excluded from international capital markets, Cyprus on June 15 applied for financial assistance, after its two largest banks, Bank of Cyprus and Cyprus Popular Bank sought state aid following the haircut on the Greek sovereign debt, as well as to secure capital to refinance its maturing debt.

Cyprus Problem —————– Government Spokesman was also invited to comment on a widespread disappointment as to the Cyprus problem. Stephanou said that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu aimed at a stalemate and they used the assumption of the presidency of the EU Council by Cyprus, as an excuse to interrupt the UN-led negotiations between the leaders of the two communities.

“This shows that Turkey and the Turkish side, are not trying to solve the Cyprus problem on the basis of the resolutions of the United Nations, which will lead to a solution that will end the occupation and reunite Cyprus and its people, but aim to the continuation of the occupation through the maintenance of the status quo,” he said.

He added that for this reason the Republic of Cyprus should continue its efforts aiming at reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

He also said that it is important in view of Turkey’s efforts to change the procedure provided by UN resolutions, that the Republic of Cyprus be consistent regarding the basis of the solution to the Cyprus problem. This basis, he said, is a bi-zonal bi-communal federation, as well as the resolutions of the United Nations. Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-backed negotiations between the two communities began in 2008 with an aim to reunite the island under a federal roof.

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