Negotiators resume talks, leaders to meet next week
The privatisation of Limassol port services is part of a wider privatisation plan that aims to raise about EUR 1.4 bln by 2018, as part of the EUR 10 bln bailout plan agreed with international lenders.
Next on the privatisation plan are the telecom provider Cyta, with a new framework discussed by the cabinet this week, and the Electricity Authority of Cyprus, that needs to be privatised by 2018.
Meanwhile, the CPA’s Michaelides said that lease agreements are expected to signed next month for 18 of a total 40 facilities at the old port, with tenders re-issued in summer after the preferred bidder for the whole complex withdrew, having submitted an annual bid of EUR 2.58 mln for ten years.
The chief negotiators of the Greek Cypriot and the Turkish Cypriot communities resumed their meetings on Tuesday and Andreas Mavroyiannis and Ozdil Nami continuing their contacts on a daily basis to pave the way for President ¡icos Anastasiades and Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci to meet on September 1.
The UN mission in Cyprus said that negotiations picked up again at the Ledra Palace Hotel after a brief summer break.
In their previous meetings, the negotiators had contacts with the working groups for the economy, the property issue and EU matters.
According to press reports, the Greek Cypriot side insists on using the existing road that leads to the Turkish-occupied town of Famagusta within the framework of confidence building measures.
The Turkish Cypriot side has submitted a counter-proposal on an alternative route avoiding Deryneia, raising security concerns.
Almost three months ago, Anastasiades and Akinci announced the opening of two crossing points, one in Deryneia in the east and one in Lefka, in the west, as part of a series of confidence building measures.
The issue is being discussed by the relevant technical committee which has met twice.
The Cyprus News Agency quoted sources as saying that “we don’t want to create false expectations that everything is going to happen tomorrow.”
The same source noted that “we are still in the beginning” after two meetings and that “these things take time.”
No deadlines for the opening of the crossings have been set, since a number of technical or other issues need to be tackled first.
On the crossing in Deryneia, the Greek Cypriot side disagrees with the alternative route, proposed by the Turkish Cypriot side, while expressing readiness to address possible security concerns the other side may have, within the framework of its proposal, to use the existing road that runs along Varosha, the fenced-off part of Famagusta.
On the Lefka crossing, the same source cited technical issues that need to be tackled, before the opening. The existing road may be used, which needs to be widened as it is very narrow for traffic.
Moreover, the area may need to be cleared of mines by the United Nations first, an issue which has also been raised at the technical committee.