A NCIIAL MII ROR THIISS WEEK
The European Union was preparing to open its doors to Turkey’s accession ambitions, but Ankara was not sure if the cost of membership was worth the sacrifices it would have to make, the Financial Mirror reported in issue 599, on December 15, 2004.
Ahead of the decision on the start of EU accession talks, Turkey itself is debating the merits not of membership itself, but whether the concessions that need to be made are worth it and whether the Union is indeed sincere, following the discussions about “conditions”, such as the recognition of the Republic of Cyprus, while Turkey has also made it clear it will not accept this, even in a de facto manner.
In the final update to the May 2004 Convergence Programme, the government stuck by its intention to meet the Maastricht euro criterion for the budget in 2005, with a budget deficit of 2.9% of GDP and to adopt the euro “if possible in 2007”. However, since Finance Minister Makis Keravnos has announced that the government does not plan to apply for ERM II until the first or second quarter of 2005, adoption in 2007 is in fact unlikely.
The Health Ministry announced that amounts of contaminated lountza meat, pistachio nuts and dried apricots were being recalled from the market, warning consumers to stay clear. Agriculture Minister Timis Efthymiou slammed the state vet services for “incredible” negligence and delays in tracking down and going public with the problem.
Cyta said it does not plan to rush with the introduction of third generation (3G) mobile phone services, citing the lack of products in the market. Rival newcomer Areeba said it would launch its own 3G service on December 20.
A record number of 5600 Cypriot investors have opened trading accounts in Greece and until the end of November 2004 held EUR 1.8 bln or 5.88% of the market capitalisation of the stocks listed on the Athens Exchange. CSE Chairman Akis Cleanthous said in his appeals to parliament that tax incentives be given to local and foreigners on mutual funds to attract interest.