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EU shelves aid for north Cyprus

Benefits and problems from the EU membership.

EU shelves aid for north Cyprus

Postby Sotos » Mon Dec 26, 2005 9:12 pm

The European Union has given up an attempt to deliver millions of euros in aid to northern Cyprus – a failure that could spell trouble for Turkey’s EU membership bid and means €120m in funding will be lost for good.

The tensions between Ankara and the internationally recognised Greek Cypriot government of the south of the island are one of the biggest stumbling blocks in Turkey’s negotiations with the EU, which Cyprus joined last year.

“It is the main problem that could bring the negotiations to a halt next year,” said one EU official. “No one can see their way through this issue.”

EU governments had vowed in April 2004 to “put an end to the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community” in north Cyprus and to help its economic development – largely through delivering €259m ($307m, £177m) in aid.

But at a meeting last week, the British presidency of the EU formally gave up the latest attempt to deliver the aid because of continuing resistance by the Cypriot government.

As a result, €120m of the €259m, which had to be allotted this year, will no longer be available. Jack Straw, British foreign secretary, had tried to unblock the impasse by separating the aid measure from a proposal that would permit direct trade between northern Cyprus and the rest of the EU.

Turkish Cypriots say the trade proposal is the more important of the two, since it would do most to end the economic isolation of the north of the island. At present there is no prospect that this proposal will be approved.

But Greek Cypriots demanded additional assurances on the aid measure and it has now been shelved, following a failed attempt by the European Commission to broker a compromise. Nicosia insists that the Commission should focus more on facilitating trade within the island.

“The Commission tried to be constructive and find a solution to unblock this money but unfortunately the time is not ripe and the money is lost,” said a Commission spokeswoman.
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Postby pumpernickle » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:15 pm

Although I fail to detect it in the tone of your thread, I cant help feel you'r being a little smug about that!

oh well.

Anyway, if they want money, they can take up my idea. See my thread on the cyprus prob forum above.

:)
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Postby Sotos » Fri Jan 20, 2006 7:41 pm

I guess it must be too late now already.
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