ECONOMICS > Turkey amenable to Greek Cyprus switching to Turkish Lira: EU minister

ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency

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'If the Greek Cypriots had approved the UN reunification blueprint in 2004, they would have been spared their recent economic woes,' says EU Minister Egemen Bağış, an outspoken critic of Greek Cyprus' membership in the EU. AA photo

'If the Greek Cypriots had approved the UN reunification blueprint in 2004, they would have been spared their recent economic woes,' says EU Minister Egemen Bağış, an outspoken critic of Greek Cyprus' membership in the EU. AA photo

Turkey would support an eventual transition to the use of the Turkish Lira in Greek Cyprus, the currency in the northern part of the island, should the south be forced to exit the eurozone, EU Minister and chief EU negotiator Egemen Bağış said March 22.

The minister, speaking at an event in Istanbul, argued that if the Greek Cypriots had approved the U.N. reunification blueprint in 2004, known as the “Annan Plan," it would have been spared its recent economic woes, in which the bloc has demanded the country implement harsh financial measures in return for a bailout.

“Nicos Anastasiades’s government is paying the price of the [previous] leadership and trying to put the pieces back together. It’s not proper to kick someone when they are down. God save them,” he said, referring to the fact that Anastasiades had supported a reunification plan when it was voted on nine years ago. "We hope that they will reach a solution and the uncertainty will come to an end as soon as possible," he added.

The European Union has given Nicosia until March 25 to raise 5.8 billion euros ($7.47 billion) to unlock loans worth 10 billion euros or face being cut off from the European Central Bank emergency funding in a move that would bankrupt the island. Turkey is also on alert for the long term knock-on effects that such a bailout could entail for Europe.

Meanwhile, the northern part of the island is following closely the developments in Greek Cyprus. Turkish Cyprus Finance Minister Ersin Tatar had said last week that if Greek Cypriot banks went bankrupt, Greek Cypriots could open accounts in Turkish Cypriot banks. 


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Notice on comments

Wiseman oncesaid

3/25/2013 11:29:58 AM

Alon Last time i checked Israel was in the middle east ! when did it move west ?

Alon Staris

3/24/2013 9:25:41 PM

They'll have to use the Israeli shekel then. All the other countries in the region are unstable dictatorships. Israel has a higher GNP than all of them put together and one of the most stable currencies in the West.

cezer "çapulcu" skonore

3/24/2013 6:13:13 PM

Greece and Cyprus (South) had a great opportunity given to them, the EU membership and financial and economic perks coming with it. What did they do with it? Create a big two bankruptcies.

Orhun Y

3/24/2013 4:29:36 PM

At Peter Kypros - oh yes us Turks are dying to enjoy the living standards of the Greek Cypriots. We would love for the banks to close for two weeks straight with limits on our ATM withdrawals. I own a property in the south and am British-Turkish. The standard of living in the south was a bubble, supported first by Greece, and later by the EU. It has to structure a feasible real economy not dependent on anyone else, including, Turkey. And for those attacking Bagis, who cares what you think?

Vargen Vargen

3/24/2013 2:17:39 PM

This man seems determined to make us look like clowns. I can not understand how on earth he could be appointed minister and after that how the rest of AKP can keep him there. Can you imagine what foreigners think of him and indirectly of Turkey when he makes his strange remarks. And it is not once or twice, it is more on a weekly basis and it all deals with foreigners. Why do we allow him to continue to embarrass us abroad?

Faruk Beisser

3/24/2013 12:52:28 PM

Hooray, hooray, hooray for Bagis! My day is made with his wonderful comment I just wonder if he is one of the ''wise men'' that the Great Leader talks about?

Max Power

3/24/2013 12:27:57 PM

@Peter Kypros - its obvious the minister has said it with huge amount of cheek and to have a kick while your down BUT to think the southern Cypriots have a better living standard is even a bigger joke. Wake up mate! What living standards do you think remains?? The EU tricked you into thinking they cared about your voice. At least it took the Greeks decades to go bankrupt, you southerners did it in half a decade. Bravo!

turkic voice

3/24/2013 11:47:29 AM

This guy cannot be serious could he? Is that a Turkish joke that I don’t know of? Just leave the Greeks alone, if they need help they can ask...

Ali Karp

3/24/2013 7:33:41 AM

Greek Cypriots using the TL? Dream on Egemen, this is not FTAA and its sidekicks.

Peter Kypros

3/24/2013 4:07:13 AM

Mr Bagis what you are not telling us is why the vast majority of Turkish citizens do not enjoy and will not enjoy any time soon the standard of living of the Cypriots even under this crises? And there is no Annan plan to blame for this. I hope you look after your own citizens first before you make arrogant statements about others that no one takes seriously any more except for comedians.
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