COREPER agrees on financial regulation for Turkish Cypriots
by Nicos Bellos
Brussels, Feb 24 (CNA) - The EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (COREPER) reached a decision today in Brussels on the financial regulation for the Turkish Cypriots and the terms under which the regulation for direct trade with the Turkish occupied areas of Cyprus could be achieved.
Today's agreement will be sent to the General Affairs Council, to convene on Monday. It will be approved as a Point A without discussion.
With the decision, the demands of the Republic of Cyprus are met, namely the decoupling of the two regulations and changing the legal basis for the direct trade regulation, which now comes under protocol 10, meaning that for approval there must be consensus and that Famagusta port opens under European Commission administration, Varosha is opened for resettlement by its legal inhabitants, and there is a moratorium on the further development of Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas.
Cyprus' Permanent Representative to the EU Ambassador Nicos Emiliou described the decision as ''the first result of the visit by President Tassos Papadopoulos to Vienna and the meetings he had with the Austrian presidency of the EU.''
Emiliou pointed out that the decision was positive for the Turkish Cypriots, as it released the amount of 139 million euros.
The initial amount was 259 million euros, of which 120 million were lost as the date up to which it could be allocated had expired.
The direct trade regulation will be sent for further discussions with the changes agreed on unanimously by the 25 member states.
Sources said the European Commission welcomes today's decision but will be awaiting the approval from the General Affairs Council on Monday before making an official statement.