Cyprus: ''Paradoxy'' among primary neat contributors to EU budget, says Minister
Nicosia, Jun 13 (CNA) -- Cyprus Foreign Minister George Iacovou has said the fact that Cyprus is among the primary neat contributors to the EU budget consists a ''paradoxy'' of the EU financial perspectives 2007-2013.
Speaking yesterday at the EU Foreign Ministers Conclave in Luxembourg, Iacovou said that Cyprus financial contribution to the EU budget, according to the structure of its economy, is very high taking into consideration its financial potentials and expressed hope and expectation that Cyprus' special circumstances will be recognised ''so to be treated justly, especially in the framework of the Cohesion Policy and not be a neat contributor.''
''Cyprus' financial contribution is approximately 1.5% of its Gross National Income in comparison with approximately 1% of the EU average,'' he said, noting that the member states should contribute according to their financial potentials.
Iacovou said that ''we have always expected that in the framework of the Cohesion Policy Cyprus, as a small island member state, would enjoy during this new period the appropriate aid to its efforts to join the common market and achieve real convergence.''
''Despite that we ascertain that the aid level provided on the base of the negotiating proposals is extremely low and not appropriate in comparison with the country's development needs. The aid per capita to be allocated is not higher than 40 euros per year and consists the one sixth of the aid allocated to new member states with a similar level of economic prosperity,'' he added.
Iacovou said the fact that Cyprus is among the first neat contributors to the EU budget consists a violation of the principles of solidarity and equal treatment and it is not fair.
He noted that the low aid for Cyprus is expected to be ineffective since Cyprus will also have a high Negative Net Balance, which will exceed 0.5% of the Gross National Income with important negative repercussions on its economy.
Furthermore he stressed the fact that member states with a higher per capita income, which will be neat acceptors of the EU funds, will be benefited by Cyprus' neat contribution.
Iacovou said Cyprus asks to be covered by the provision according to which additional funds will be provided to the most distant peripheries and some other regions of Finland and Sweden from the European Regional Development Fund, given the fact that it faces similar territory and geographical disadvantages, due to its peripheral position, its small size and its island character.
He noted that as regards the Cohesion Fund, the way the funds are provided has as a result due to its small size and population Cyprus to receive very low amounts.
Cyprus FM underlined that ''Cyprus continues to support the Presidency's efforts to achieve a balanced agreement and would like to contribute according to its potentials towards that end. We believe that an agreement at this crucial point would be for the enefit of all of us'', he noted.