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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Defence Ministry, NG to take on EU presidency duties early ]

Defence Ministry, NG to take on EU presidency duties early

Stefanos Evripidou

THE DEFENCE Ministry and National Guard will take on the duties assigned to them during Cyprus’ EU Presidency six months earlier than other ministries. 

Defence Minister Demetris Eliades said yesterday the ministry and NG were ready to take on duties and responsibilities arising from the Cyprus Presidency of the EU Council from January 1, 2012, as opposed to July 1, 2012, when Cyprus is due to take over. 

The reason being, he explained, is that Denmark will take over the EU Presidency from Poland on January 1, but Denmark does not participate in the pillar of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). 

As a result, Cyprus will undertake many issues and actions, which are included in that pillar, since it is the next in line to take over the six-month Presidency.

Eliades said Cyprus will be dealing with the mechanism for financing military operations, called the Athena Mechanism, as well as chairing the Working Group on Target Settings, which studies the development of the military capabilities of the EU. 

Meanwhile, the 27 EU heads of state and government yesterday urged Turkey to fully respect the role of the Presidency of the EU Council, taking into consideration recent Turkish statements and threats that Ankara would freeze its relations with the EU when Cyprus assumes the six monthly rotating presidency. 

In its final conclusions and under the paragraph ‘Other items’ the European Council expressed “serious concern and calls for full respect of the role of the Presidency of the Council, which is a fundamental institutional feature of the EU provided for in the Treaty”.

The European Council convened yesterday and Thursday in Brussels.  

Representing Cyprus at the summit, President Demetris Christofias said he stressed to his counterparts that Cyprus would run a “European and objective” presidency in the second half of 2012.

According to Cyprus News Agency, Christofias underlined that Cyprus “will function as an objective and just mediator among the EU27 as well as with countries with which the presidency has to contact to promote some issues on behalf of the Union”.

Speaking to the press, Christofias said he wanted to counter rumours doing the rounds that Cyprus was going to use its EU Presidency for its own national causes, specifically, against Turkey. 

“I do not believe that there were any doubts about that among the EU26. But I had been informed that there have been some rumours that Cyprus’ presidency would be a subjective one,” he said.

He noted that Cyprus enjoyed the full support of the Council. 

Christofias also referred to a positive development in the fact that discussion of harmonising taxes within the Union was pushed back to December 2012. Cyprus strongly objects to changing its low corporate tax rate, considered a key incentive for foreign investment. 

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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