27 February 2014 19:32

The Council of Ministers on Wednesday approved a 'secondary importance' grant of €200,000 to debt-ridden Cyprus State Fair Authority to cover urgent expenses before its imminent shut down, an official announcement said.
Of primary importance to the government is a detailed list of the Authority's  assets - movable and immovable - as well as its obligations before the closure decision is taken, it added.
The announcement also said: "The Minister of Energy, Commerce, Industry and Tourism was authorised to submit - within a short timeframe - a detailed list before the Council of the Authority's obligations and property (movable and immovable) with the goal being its immediate closure, in a matter that all property assets but also the obligations, come under the ownership of the Cyprus Republic."
Minister George Lakkotrypis was also authorised to coordinate action with the Finance Ministry over the transfer within the Public Service of the Authority's employees opting to do so.  
The number of full time employees stands at 24.  
As for the annual international state fair taking place in May, it is cancelled this year.   Earlier in the week, Lakkotrypis had said that over recent years the Authority's budget showed a deficit as high as almost €1.3 million.
In addition, the Authority's obligations towards third parties had risen to €1.2m while its non-performing loans now stand at €6.5m and are under the co-op banking sector.
Mounting debts meant that the Authority was unable to pay the January staff salaries with the Authority's liquidity being at zero level, according to the Minister.
However, the Authority's assets are estimated to exceed €5m.
The first international state fair took place in May 1976 and it was a big step for kick-starting of the island's beleaguered economy after the 1974 Turkish Invasion. Since then, the Fair has become an annual event with foreign participation.


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