“All EU countries are by your side”, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said during a joint press conference in Nicosia with President Nicos Anastasiades, noting that they will continue to show solidarity to Cyprus.
Van Rompuy referred to the energy prospects of Cyprus, saying they are “an important factor of hope”.
“The EU is clear on Cyprus’ rights to explore and exploit its natural resources”, he pointed out.
Van Rompuy said that he is “fully aware” of the effects of the economic crisis in Cyprus and the distress for the Cypriots.
“Such a crisis inevitably comes with social and individual hardship and I recognise the sacrifices that many of you have been forced to make in order to achieve an economy of a sounder and more sustainable basis than in the past”, he noted.
At the same time, he said, he has “no illusions about the uncertainty, fear and anger felt by many, who either lost or fear losing their jobs”.
He highlighted the fact that in order to recover from the shock, the priority was and still is to build solid and lasting foundations for the economy, welfare and social fairness.
The European Council President pointed out “that sound fiscal policies and banking and structural reforms are not an aim in themselves”. They are, he said, “a means, and indeed conditions to create growth, jobs and good living-standards on a lasting basis”.
He expressed his conviction that “the reforms that you are ambitiously undertaking will pay off”.
To that effect Van Rompuy referred to the additional 200 mln euros agreed to be granted to Cyprus in 2014 and 2015 apart from the half billion euros it has already been allocated in the context of the European budget for the period 2014 – 2020.
He acknowledged that “economic recovery is not easy and that it is not just a matter of financial aid” but expressed his conviction that “through all these efforts - first and foremost by the people of Cyprus, and with the support of your partners in Europe - Cyprus will steadily build its way to a better future”.
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