EU to revise budget in case of a Cyprus settlement, says European Commission Head in Cyprus [VIDEO]

The European Union is ready to contribute in a Cyprus settlement, Ierotheos Papadopoulos, the Head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus reiterated Tuesday, adding that on such occasion, the EU will revise its budget to meet the needs arising from the island’s reunification.

Papadopoulos was addressing a press conference at the EU House, in Nicosia, presenting the Commission proposal on the new Multiannual Financial Framework for 2021-2027.

This is essentially the first budget for the Union’s 27 member states, since Britain is leaving on March 30, 2019, he said adding that the proposed budget is Euros 1,279 trillion. The final amount for Cyprus has not yet been defined, pending a Commission proposal to be unveiled on June 12.

According to the data presented, Cyprus may disburse funds worth Euros 917 million, until the end of 2017, however, the amount reached only Euros 330 million. From its accession to the EU, in 2004, until 2016, Cyprus received a total of Euros 2.5 billion from the EU budget.

The new budget proposes an allocation of Euros 240 million, as part of the aid program for the Turkish Cypriot community, or Euros 35 mln per year. From 2006 to 2017, Turkish Cypriots benefited from almost half a billion euros from the EU budget.

Papadopoulos also referred to EU support to over 250 businesses in manufacturing in Cyprus and said that Euros 17 million were provided to modernize the agricultural food products and to support the new farmers.

He said moreover that the EU believes that the Turkish Cypriot community needs support in order not to diverge too much from the Republic of Cyprus and the level of its economy.

We not only hope that the Cyprus problem will be solved, but we are always ready to facilitate a Cyprus settlement said the Head of the European Commission in Cyprus and referred to last year’s talks in the Swiss resort of Crans Montana, noting that we came pretty close.

We are ready, in case of a solution to revise this budget he said, adding that aid to the Turkish Cypriot community will continue in the meantime.

Papadopoulos said finally that the new multiannual budget is linked to EU policy priorities, such as migration and security, research and innovation, education and skills, and defence, proposing a significant rise in funding all these sectors.

Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. The latest round of UN-peace talks commenced at Crans Montana on June 28, 2017, but in the early hours of July 7, it was announced that the Conference on Cyprus ended without an agreement. Talks held under the auspices of the UN aim at reunifying Cyprus under a federal roof.

Source: Cyprus News Agency