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Cyprus, Greece and Malta to promote common interests inside and outside the EU

14 January, 2014

Cyprus, Greece and Malta will intensify their cooperation to promote common interests both within and outside the EU, stated Monday Communications and Works Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos.

He made the remark after he and his counterparts from Greece and Malta, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis and Josephon Mizzi, respectively were received by President of the Republic, Nicos Anastasiades.

Earlier a Trilateral ministerial meeting on shipping between Cyprus, Greece and Malta took place.

In his statements, Mitsopoulos said that during the morning meeting, the Ministers agreed “to intensify cooperation and promote coordination to promote our common interests through the EU and outside the Union".

He said maritime is a powerful sector for all three countries, as it is an element of development and creates job openings, adding it is of vital interest to secure the competitiveness of our fleet and registry".

Mitsopoulos expressed the hope that Greece, which now chairs the six month rotating presidency of the European Council, will exercise its influence to achieve our common interests and promote them better at a European level. Our aim is to expand our cooperation with the participation of other countries which have large fleets and registries".

President Anastasiades said he was ready to support these issues and will raise them during his meeting with British Prime Minister David Cameron during their meeting this week at 10 Downing Street.

On his part, Greek Minister of Shipping and the Aegean, Miltiades Varvitsiotis said the EU sea maritime policy is one of the main priorities of the Greek presidency.

We believe, he said that it is important to maintain the competitive advantage of Europe`s maritime and not to adopt regulations that make the EU market non-competitive.

In addition, Varvitsiotis said that what needs to become clear is the number of people working in the Maritime sector in the EU can expand from 5.5 million to seven million by 2020, if the proper policies are adopted. "We will try to achieve this during the mid term review at the informal ministers` council on EU maritime policy in May", he added.

Imposing taxes in the maritime sector, he stressed, will only result in the Union losing its competitive advantage. "We do not want to lose maritime companies that have offices in the EU and add to the wealth, prestige and power of the EU", he said.

Josephon Mizzi, Maltese Minister for Transport and the Infrastructure said that this was the second tripartite meeting, the first meeting took place in Greece and the third will follow in Malta.

"It is our pleasure as well to note the Greek Presidency is giving emphasis as one of the main objectives to maritime affairs and to the shipping industry. The three countries, he said, "have a common interest, the protection of our competitiveness in the shipping industry and sea and port trade and other maritime efforts".

He further said they discussed certain areas for further collaboration intend to make the third meeting this year to further this cooperation both on a political and on a technical level.