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Home >> World
UPDATED: 09:14, December 22, 2005
Cyprus says Turkish north should blame itself for losing EU aid
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Cyprus said on Wednesday that the Turkish Cypriot north should blame itself for losing an EU aid of 120 million euros (about 141.6 million US dollars) designed to improve economy in the north.

The aid is part of a total of 259 million euros (305.62 million dollars) of an EU funding regulation to boost economy for the Turkish Cypriots.

Cypriot government spokesman Kypros Chrysostomides said the Turkish side "bares fully the responsibility for the loss" because it insisted on connecting the aid to EU's direct trade with the Turkish controlled north.

The financial assistance package to the Turkish-populated north of the island was proposed by the European Commission in July 2004.

The money has been stuck in Brussels' coffers ever since due to objections from the Greek Cypriot south to the coupling of the aid to the commission-proposed direct trade between the Turkish Cypriots and the EU.

The north of the island has been under international trade embargo since 1974 when Turkish forces took control of the territory after a coup by the Greek Cypriots seeking union with Greece.

The Greek Cypriot south became an EU member in May 2004 representing the whole island, leaving the north, only recognized by Ankara, outside the 25-member bloc.

Source: Xinhua

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