New Ministers take over their duties
Nicosia, Jun 13 (CNA) ? The new Ministers who were sworn in here Tuesday, took over their respective offices from the outgoing Ministers during special ceremonies at the ministries, pledging to do their utmost to implement President Tassos Papadopoulos?s pre-election programme.
George Iacovou who returned from Luxembourg where he participated at the EU General Affairs Council, will hand over the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to former Commerce Minister George Lillikas on Wednesday morning.
Already Doros Theodorou handed over the ministry of Justice and Public Order to Sofoklis Sofokleous last Friday, as Theodorou had to travel abroad.
New Defence Minister Phivos Klokkaris assured President Papadopoulos that he will make every effort to promote Cyprus? defence capability, so that the National Guard will be a reliable deterrent, contributing to consolidating the people?s feeling of security.
Klokkaris assured that he will respond to the duties of the Minister and will work to enhance the country?s defence.
Outgoing Minister Kyriakos Mavronicolas described Klokkaris as the most capable person that could take over the Ministry and wished him good luck.
New Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environment Photis Photiou said ?our goal is the implementation of the President of the Republic?s pre-election programme during the next 20 months.?
He said that he takes over the ministry feeling moved but also with a feeling of responsibility.
He assured the President of the Republic and the people of Cyprus that he will do his best, work hard and in a professional manner.
Our most important and fundamental goal is to serve the citizens, to serve the farmers, to upgrade the quality of life in the rural areas, and I think all of us here will work hard to achieve this, he added.
Outgoing Minister Timmy Efthymiou welcomed the new Minister and expressed certainty that he will achieve more than those achieved in the past years.
He said that he leaves the Ministry, having in mind only positive things.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Panikos Pouros welcomed the new Minister and assured him that he will have the unreserved support of the Ministry, the departments and all the members of the staff.
New Commerce Industry and Tourism Minister Antonis Michaelides said that the Ministry is very important for the economy of the country, noting that whatever the Ministry achieves is reflected in the country?s economy.
He said that ?everyone?s goal is to work with all the staff and make sure that the government?s programme which concerns the Ministry will be fulfilled successfully, before the end of the current government.?
Outgoing Minister George Lillikas addressing the staff said ?we have paved many ways and new horizons together in important fields that will affect the economy in the long-run? and thanked them.
He noted that Michaelides is well known as a successful businessman, who works hard and methodically.
He said that there are important issues concerning the Ministry which are already are underway such as the issue of oil reserves, research for hydrocarbon deposits in the sea of Cyprus and the field of renewed energy sources.
Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Andreas Petrondas described Lillikas?s term in offices as fruitful and productive.
New Minister of Labour and Social Insurance Antonis Vassiliou underlined that he will make every effort to continue the work of his predecessor and to fulfill the government?s programme.
Outgoing Minister Christos Taliadoros congratulated Vassiliou whom he described as a ?competent scientist, who has succeeded in the political and social field.?
He thanked Alternate Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Heads of Departments and Services of the Ministry and the other members of the staff, as well as the leadership of the trade unions, employer organizations and NGOs as well as the Press and Information Office and members of the media.
He thanked President Papadopoulos, who had appointed him Minister of Labour.
New Health Minister Charis Charalambous said he considers the field of health as a national issue and pledged to work with the Permanent Secretary, high ranking officials and other members of the staff ?to materialize the difficult task we have ahead.?
Speaking at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Health, during which he took over from outgoing Minister Andreas Gavrielides, in the presence of the staff, Charalambous said that the services offered by the Ministry must be in line with the evolution of the society.
Outgoing Minister Andreas Gavrielides congratulated the new Minister and assured him that he will be at his disposal for whatever is necessary.
He also expressed his appreciation to the Permanent Secretary and to the other members of the staff as well as to President Papadopoulos, the members of the cabinet, deputies and the Speaker of the House of Representatives for their cooperation.
Speaking on behalf of the members of the staff, Permanent Secretary Sotitis Sotiriou said ?many and fundamental issues? must still be addressed, noting that some of them are the General Health Scheme, the reform at the Ministry?s structures and giving hospitals the necessary autonomy.
New Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pasiardes who took over his new duties during a special ceremony at the Press and Information Office in the presence of outgoing Spokesman George Lillikas, PIO Director and media representatives, said that Lillikas served at this position with skill and effectively and that he is fully aware of the burden of the additional responsibilities he takes over today.
Lillikas thanked the journalists for their cooperation during the five months he served as a Government Spokesman and expressed his satisfaction ?because with your whole attitude you helped me to fulfill my duties with the best possible way.?
He also thanked the PIO for its help, which he described as invaluable.
Pasiardes assured he will make every possible effort to fulfill his responsibilities and in this effort he would like the support of the media and the PIO staff.
?I fully respect the task of journalists and the unalienable fight of journalists to criticize and evaluate correctly or wrongly the acts or the possible omissions of the government?, he added.
?But it is also an unalienable right of the government to project its work, defend itself when it has a point and publish, mainly as regards our national issue either the whole truth or part of the truth that will not damage the general public interest,? he added.
PIO Director Yiannakis Solomou thanked Lillikas for his support to the PIO and wished him every success with his new duties.
As regards Pasiardes, he expressed certainty that he will carry out his duties with effectiveness and great capability, and assured him that they will give him every help.
Speaking on behalf of journalists, Athens News Agency correspondent Aristides Viketos thanked Lillikas for his cooperation, while referring to Pasiardes he said the news of his appointment as Government Spokesman were good.