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Europe

Greek Cypriots Oppose Trade Plan with North

The Greek Cypriot government has threatened the EU Commission with legal action over proposals to establish trade links with the Turkish Cypriot north of the island.

The Greek Cypriot government has said that European Commission proposals for direct trade between the EU and the Turkish Cypriots are politically motivated and is threatening to challenge the matter at the European Court of Justice. On Wednesday the EU executive approved a package of "aid and trade" measures aimed at ending Turkish Cypriot isolation following the rejection of a UN peace plan by the majority of Greek Cypriots last April. However, Cypriot Foreign Minister George Iacovou said on Thursday that the Commission's motives were "purely political." His concerns were echoed by the Greek Cypriot government spokesperson who said that although the Cypriot government is in favor of measures strengthening the economic development of the northern part, some aspects of the plan risk cultivating "divisionist tendencies." The Commission’s proposals were also questioned by the Greek and Cypriot commissioners, who raised concerns that direct trade between the EU and the Turkish Cypriot north could lead to a de facto recognition of the breakaway state. Responding to these fears, Enlargement Commissioner Günter Verheugen stressed on Wednesday that trade facilitation with the northern Turkish Cypriot part will not lead to its recognition by the EU. ( EUoberserver.com)

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