2012-06-08 Vatican RadioOn July 1st Cyprus will take over the Presidency of the Council of the European Union. During that time many issues concerning the EU will be discussed, in particular the continuing economic crisis in Europe. Cyprus is one of the countries that has been affected by the economic downturn, but says it hasn’t yet decided if it will seek a bailout. Lydia O’Kane spoke to the Foreign Minister of Cyprus, Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis about some of the issues that will be tackled during the country’s presidency.
She says that Cyprus is assuming the Presidency “during a very critical period for the European Union because of the economic crisis.” This is why, the Minister adds, their message for the Presidency is for “a better Europe”, highlighting the need “for more growth, more development, and more jobs”.
On subject of her on country’s economic difficulties, Minister Marcoullis addressed the possibility of Cyprus seeking a bailout.
“…we look at this possibility. Of course, Cyprus has not decided yet whether to seek a bailout, but even under such a possibility this will be only in order to find a way to recapitalize, especially, one of our banks. It will not because of the bad economic situation.”
Two years ago Pope Benedict went to Cyprus on a apostolic visit, a trip the Minister describes as an honour for her nation.
“We were honoured by the visit of His Holiness. For us, it was a historic visit because of the position of Cyprus in Christianity, because of the fact that Cyprus was the first Christian state to be established, and because of the importance of Cyprus in the whole Christian period.”
Minister Marcoullis adds that the relationship with the Holy See is a bond that Cyprus values. Listen to Lydia O’Kane’s interview with Erato Kozakou-Marcoullis