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Papadopoulos: EU funds to be allocated to Turkish Cypriots though Republic
2006-03-24 09:27:24

by Gregory Savva

Brussels, Mar 24 (CNA) – Cyprus President Tassos Papadopoulos has dismissed as “completely unfounded” a report in the Turkish daily “Hurriet” that European Union aid of 139 million euros for the Turkish Cypriots will not be given through the Republic of Cyprus but it will be allocated directly to the Turkish Cypriots by the European Commission.

In statements here, Papadopoulos noted that so far the Turkish Cypriots have not replied whether they accept the EU financial aid, adding that “all indications are that they will accept it.”

Papadopoulos said that the allocation and the control of the funds will be governed by EU regulations, adding that projects must be determined and approved and payment will take place during the implementation of each project.

“The report is completely unfounded. The projects that can be financed through these funds are determined by the regulations of the financial protocol,” Papadopoulos added.

He explained that Greek Cypriot properties in the island's northern Turkish occupied areas must not be affected, the government must be consulted and funds must be allocated in line with EU regulations.

Commenting on a report by the Turkish daily “Milliet” that Turkey has opened its air space to international airlines carrying passengers to Larnaca airport, except Cyprus Airways, Papadopoulos said “this is an allegation made only for domestic consumption and to show that Turkey is doing something.”

“This arrangement has been in place for at least a decade,” the President said and explained that no restrictions were imposed on other airlines in the use of Turkish airspace.

Papadopoulos is in Brussels attending the EU summit.

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