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Statement by President Barroso following his meeting with Mr Anastasiades, President of the Republic of Cyprus

23.05.2013 Good morning ladies and gentlemen, I am very happy to welcome President Anastasiades at the European Commission today. We see each other very often in the European Council, but it was important now to have a meeting dedicated mainly to the Cyprus issues.

We have discussed some of the most important challenges Cyprus is facing.

The progress we made yesterday on energy and taxation issues at the European Council is of course important for the economy of Cyprus.

In our discussion today, we have focused on the very important challenges that Cyprus is facing and I would like to once again express my gratitude for the strong European commitment of Cyprus and President Anastasiades. Cyprus is, and stays, firmly anchored in the European Union. And the European Union is determined to stand by Cyprus and the Cypriots in these extremely difficult times.

In March an adjustment programme for Cyprus. This programme is the key vehicle for a new departure for the Cypriot economy. It provides remedies that will enable Cyprus to move away from the previous situation that was proven to be unsustainable. It will help Cyprus to revise its growth model and address the vulnerability of an oversized and under-capitalised banking system.

The situation in Cyprus proved that delays are very costly and those who suffer most from this are of course the citizens. For that, it is essential not to waste more time.

Stability and broad political consensus are vital preconditions for adopting and implementing the right policies that will help the country recover from the crisis. I praise the Cypriot authorities for the agreement on the adjustment programme and for the adoption of all prior actions. This is a very good sign which allows us to look ahead to the future with confidence.

The recovery will necessarily take time. We know it is important to help Cyprus to face the social consequences of the economic shock. Therefore, the available EU resources for Cyprus have to be mobilised as quickly and as effectively as possible. The dedicated Support Group that I have established will work with the Cypriot authorities to ensure that funding can be channelled where it is most effective. It will also provide Cyprus with technical expertise to support the achievement of the adjustment programme objectives. We are currently working with Cyprus to agree on the priorities for this assistance.

We have also discussed the Cyprus settlement process. I have listened to President Anastasiades intentions and I know how deeply he feels about this vital issue for Cyprus. I have reiterated the importance to move forward on the discussions in order to reach a final agreement, so much awaited by the Cypriot people and so important also for us in the European Union.

I have also assured President Anastasiades of my full support to the process and of my availability to upgrade and reinforce this support from the European Union, should the two parties request it.

I thank you for your attention.

 

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