STRASBOURG --- There is no money laundering in Cyprus, President Christofias stressed Tuesday at the European Parliament, saying that there is misinformation regarding the ability of Cyprus to implement rules and EU directives against money laundering.
Referring to the economic situation, he said that he handed over a letter to the President of the European Commission, asking for the direct recapitalization of Cypriot banks by the Support Mechanism.
Speaking at a press conference in Strasbourg with the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz, President Christofias said that there is misinformation regarding the ability of Cyprus to implement rules and EU directives regarding money laundering.
"Unfortunately, while we have taken tough measures which other countries have not taken, there is this rumor which is not true. It is unfair," he stressed.
He noted that Cyprus meets almost all requirements against money laundering, saying that “we may meet 45 out of 50 requirements, while other countries, whose representatives accuse us of money laundering, may meet five or eight requirements”.
Referring to Cyprus’ debt, he reiterated that it was due to the exposure of Cypriot banks to Greece and the Greek debt haircut, which cost Cyprus almost 4.5 billion euro.
As said, discussions with the Troika on the rescue of the Cypriot economy began in July, noting that there is already an agreement with the Troika on a memorandum, which has not been signed yet.
What is still pending, he added, is to finalise the amount, pointing out that Cyprus has a different view than the Troika, estimating it to be lower than 10 billion euro.
The Government, he said, took a series of measures in recent years to address the impact of the economic crisis, adding that the problem of the banks has reversed every effort made.
If the Troika, he said, is ready, then the government is ready to sign the memorandum it agreed with the Troika.
If not, he continued, then the discussion will continue with the new government which will be formed after the February 17th presidential elections in Cyprus.
In his statement at the press conference, the EP President congratulated President Christofias and his staff on their “excellent cooperation with the EP”.
"Our cooperation was intensive” he said, referring to the numerous legislative proposals they had before them.
He also thanked Deputy Minister for European Affairs Andreas Mavrogiannis for his “exemplary work" during the past six months.
He stressed Cyprus’ role as mediator and honest broker following the tense relations between the Council and the EP during the Danish Presidency as regards the Schengen Governance.
Referring to President Christofias, Schulz said "if we had more leaders like you in Europe with your spirit of cooperation, Europe would have been even a better Europe”.
Taking the floor, the Cypriot President thanked the EP President for his words, expressing the view that the Cyprus EU Presidency was a reliable one, which managed to achieve concrete and significant results.
The President thanked Schultz for his support on the Cyprus issue and the struggle of the people of Cyprus for justice and liberation from the Turkish military occupation of 37% of Cyprus’ territory since 1974.
President Christofias, who will not seek reelection in February’s presidential elections, said that "I leave the EU Presidency and the Republic of Cyprus proud of our contribution both to the EU and to the Cypriot people”.
He thanked all those who contributed to the success of the first Cyprus EU Presidency, especially Minister for European Affairs Andreas Mavroyiannis and Permanent Representative of Cyprus to the EU, Ambassador Kornelios Korneliou