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Greek Cypriots crossings across the Green Line drop significantly

13 June, 2013

Crossings by Greek Cypriots across the Green Line in Cyprus dropped significantly, according to the European Commission report on the Green Line regulation of 29 April 2004 and the situation resulting from its application covering the period 1 January until 31 December 2012

The Commission also notes that there has been substantial decrease as regards the crossing of goods during 2012. According to information, the Green Line report as well as the report concerning the EU financial support to Turkish Cypriots, were presented by the Enlargement Directorate services to the competent working group of the Council.

As noted in the Green Line report, in 2012 481,732 crossings by
Greek Cypriots (compared to 621.406 in 2011) and 154,778 crossings by Greek Cypriot vehicles (compared to 210,877 in 2011) were noted from the government-controlled areas to the northern part of Cyprus and 850,362 (previous:) crossings by Turkish Cypriots (compared to 937,789 in 2011) and 280,358 crossings by Turkish Cypriot
vehicles (compared to 348,225 in 2011) from the northern part of Cyprus to the government-controlled areas.

The total trade value of goods which crossed the Line significantly decreased by 17% from €4,827,454 in 2011 to €4,040,018. According to the Commission, this is mainly due to a decrease in trade of scrap copper, building materials and fresh fish which may be explained by the economic crisis (near interruption of construction and closure of restaurants). The overall decrease in trade could also indicate a decrease in
economic interdependence between the two communities, it is noted.

Furthermore, according to the report, figures for 2012 indicate a slight decrease in irregular migration across the Line from the northern part of Cyprus to the government-controlled areas. The total number of irregular migrants was 1,297 in 2012, compared to 1,330 in 2011. The Commission said that measures taken were satisfying but reiterated its call for increased patrols in the area.

The Commission also noted that it has submitted a proposal with a view to achieve an amendment as regards the crossing of persons and goods from Limnitis crossing point.

It said that the proposal was submitted after fruitful consultations with all concerned parties

In its report as regards the financial support to Turkish Cypriots, the Commission said that between 2006 and the end of 2012, €311 million was programmed for operations under the Aid Regulation. Funds for the development of the 2012 programme reached €28 million, . In 2012, payments were €25.2 million, while commitments reached €14.2 million.

The Commission noted that progress towards meeting the main objective of the Regulation to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus by encouraging the economic development is difficult to achieve, given the operating context in the northern part of the island.