Fabian Demicoli

Controversy marks beginning of Cyprus’ EU council presidency


Cyprus has taken over the EU's
rotating six-month council presidency only days after it became the fifth
eurozone country to receive a bailout for its ailing financial sector. Cyprus
insists its presidency agenda will not be overshadowed by its request for
financial assistance, despite its banks struggling under the weight of huge
losses on their investments in Greece.

European commission
European Central Bank and International Monetary Fund auditors arrived in
Nicosia yesterday to begin an assessment of the struggling country's needs.

Cyprus' president
Demetris Christofias called for budgetary discipline in the EU to be
complemented by a "strong growth strategy", saying that
"austerity-only policies have not proven successful", says the
broadcaster.

Cypriot government
officials are hopeful that the island would avoid the kind of harsh austerity
measures endured by other bailout countries, with Nicosia very keen to retain
its 10 per cent corporate tax rate.

The Cypriot government is
also sounding out Russia and China over possible bilateral loan deals, as its
junk credit rating status prevents it from trading on international debt
markets.

Meanwhile, the UN and EU
have expressed frustration that Nicosia has announced that it plans to put
reunification talks with northern Cyprus on the "back burner" while
the country concentrates on its presidency duties.

EU enlargement
commissioner Štefan Füle has urged Cyprus to maintain the peace process saying
that there was "no contradiction" between a successful EU council
presidency term and continued reconciliation talks.

What we can do for you

INFORMATION POINT

BUSINESS SERVICES

MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS

LOCAL ISSUES & LEGISLATION

B2B NETWORKING EVENTS

LEGAL ADVICE

FUNDING ASSISTANCE

COURSES

BECOME A MEMBER

The Malta Chamber of SMEs represents over 7,000 members from over 90 different sectors which in their majority are either small or medium sized companies, and such issues like the one we're experiencing right now, it's important to be united. Malta Chamber of SMEs offers a number of different services tailored to its members' individual requirements' and necessities. These range from general services offered to all members to more individual & bespoke services catered for specific requirements.

A membership with Malta Chamber of SMEs will guarantee that you are constantly updated and informed with different opportunities which will directly benefit your business and help you grow. It also entails you to a number of services which in their majority are free of charge and offered exclusively to its members (in their majority all free of charge).