Cyprus Government announces additional CBMs
Nicosia, May 21 – The Cyprus Government has announced additional measures to further improve economic development and cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, in a bid to boost the local economy and help the reunification of the country.
The first project, approved by the Cabinet, concerns ways to help set up small business ventures between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, in specific selected regions, for the period 2007-2013, with grants totaling seven million euros. A ceiling of 200,000 euro has been set for each selected small business.
The second project provides grants to businesses, in specific selected areas, to upgrade the technology of joint ventures between the two communities, develop trade and the manufacturing of agricultural products with grants amounting to 27 million euros, for the period of 2007-2013. A ceiling of 500,000 euro has been set for each selected business.
Cyprus Finance Minister Michalis Sarris and Director of the President’s Diplomatic Office Tasos Tzionis, the ones to announce the measures, also expressed hope that Turkish Cypriots will respond and benefit from them.
Mr. Tzionis rejected claims that Turkish Cypriots are “isolated” and that there is an economic war between the two communities, noting that Turkish Cypriots have fallen into a “self-isolation” due to the policy of the Turkish Cypriot leadership, adding that they must decide that they need to cooperate with Greek Cypriots.
“We urge the Turkish Cypriots to cooperate with Greek Cypriots to benefit the reunification of our economy, which eventually will help Cyprus’ reunification”, he also said.
To implement the two projects, a Planning Committee will be set up which will examine applications. At the same time an advisory committee will also be set up, comprising two members, to be appointed by the Planning Committee, preferably two Greek Cypriots and two Turkish Cypriots.
Applications must be submitted by 30 September, 2008. Businesses seeking grants for investment will be examined and approved by the end of 2008.
Mr. Sarris assured that his ministry will examine the applications quickly and will be flexible. He then noted that these projects are an “effort to strengthen the economic and trade relations between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots through two generous programmes with serious incentives which we hope will promote joint ventures and will be the prelude to the economic and territorial reunification of Cyprus.”