11 January 2014 17:16

 The way Cypriots have taken their responsibility in implementing the cash-strapped island’s painful bailout agreement with its international lenders is an inspiration to the rest of Europe.
This is what Dutch Foreign Minister Frans Timmermans said yesterday after talks in Nicosia with his Cypriot counterpart Ioannis Kasoulides.
“The Cypriot people are suffering because of this economic crisis but I have to say that the way your government has stuck to the agreement reached with Eurogroup, stuck to the agreement with all its difficult elements and the way, also, that the Cypriot people have taken their responsibility in implementing the agreement which is very difficult and painful, is an inspiration to the rest of Europe,” he said.
Timmermans also said it was possible that Cypriots could come out of it stronger even though in the shortrun the measures taken are extremely harsh. He then argued that although Dutch are in the North of Europe and Cypriots are in the South of Europe the two countries are strong partners.
And he added: “Sometimes we have a different outlook on things but we share the same values in terms of European integration and in terms of solving the crisis in a way that is bearable to the people although it is very difficult, solving the crisis in a way that underlines European solidarity.”
Timmermans also met President Anastasiades and Archbishop Chrysostomos and visited the Byzantine Museum in Nicosia (photo) before his departure.


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