Ankara watches 3 billion lira assistance to Turkish Cyprus
ANKARA - Hürriyet Daily News
The pipes are to be burried under water for the ‘Turkish Cyprus Water Supply Project’ that foresees 75 million cubic meters of water transferred from Turkey to Turkish Cyprus. AA photo
Protocol surrounding Turkey’s 3 billion Turkish Lira grant to Turkish Cyprus has revealed that Ankara initiates terms for considerable support, which include a close watch on spending.
The three year economic cooperation program scheduled to last until the end of 2015 foresees to cut the current budget gap of the Turkish side of the island to 315 million liras.
The grant will also be handed over to the island’s Turkish side in three years, according to the agreement published on the Turkish Ofiicial Gazzette yesterday. The document was signed by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay, who is in charge of ties with Turkish Cyprus, and Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister İrsen Küçük.
The dues will be determined in Turkey’s annual budget laws.
Turkey may also add 300 million liras in loans to support the budget and reshape public banks in Turkish Cyprus.
Turkey has also promised to send technicians and public employees to lend physical support to the island.
A Turkish Cypriot mission will prepare monthly reports and detailed studies quarterly, which will be submitted to a Turkish mission. The grants will be given to the Turkish Cyprus side after approval is granted by the Turkish mission and Atalay.
Besides aiding the Turkish Cypriot economy, the implementation of the program will also aim to evaluate things in outlook meetings held every six months.
Turkey will also provide support to particular sectors on the island, mainly tourism, via its Development Bank and some other lenders, which were not named in the document.
Turkish Cyprus’ tourism revenues make up a little less than 5 percent of its economy.
The deal shows that Turkey will closely watch its grant to Turkish Cyprus, which started to grow moderately in 2010 after two years of recession.
Greek Cyprus, the other half of the island, does not enjoy such a backup as its traditional backer, Greece, is itself struggling with an economic crisis.
Greek Cyprus’ finance minister earlier this week said the government’s estimates of how much the country’s ailing banks need in rescue money still “differ greatly” from those of international
Vassos Shiarly said Feb. 4 that auditors PIMCO and Deloitte recommend the banks receive enough money to be able to survive a ‘worst-case’ economic crash scenario.
Greek Cyprus deal rush
Nicosia - Agence France-Presse
Greek Cyprus signed an agreement yesterday with French energy major Total to conduct exploratory drilling for gas and oil in two blocks off its southern shore
The deal comes as Greek Cyprus aspires to become a regional energy hub with the prospect of oil as well as natural gas being tapped beneath the sea bed.
With the act the government has completed one of the most crucial aims in its energy policy, that of successfully conducting a second round of licensing, Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis told reporters,.Turkey has protested strongly against Nicosia’s energy search, branding it illegal and beginning its own exploratory drilling off the breakaway north of the island.