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Kasoulides clears up gas fund allocation misunderstanding

Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides has clarified how much of the income generated from the island’s hydrocarbons have been earmarked for the Turkish Cypriot community in a post-solution Cyprus.

In statements to the media, Kasoulides on Sunday explained there will be two funds, one a federal fund for hydrocarbons and a second earmarked for infrastructure.

It is from this second  that 5/6 would go to the Turkish Cypriot constituent state and 1/6 to the Greek Cypriot constituent state.

The Minister had been asked to clarify a statement attributed to him that 5/6 of the development budget would go to the Turkish Cypriot community.

Kasoulides said the reference has nothing to do with the Fund for hydrocarbons and explained that he was referring to the federal development budget after a solution.

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He elaborated that, in the first years following a solution, 5/6 of the budget will go to the Turkish Cypriots until their standard of living reaches that of the Greek Cypriots.

The federal budget, he explained, will be very small compared to the budgets of the constituent states and this idea (5/6 of the budget) has nothing to do with revenue from hydrocarbons exploitation which will be deposited in a special fund and a large part of it will be for the benefit of future generations.

Once the Turkish Cypriots reach a certain level, the budget will be allocated according to the needs of each community, Kasoulides noted.

There had been strong reaction to Kasoulides had made on Saturday and which some had misinterpreted to mean that 5/6 of all the funds gained from the hydocarbons would go to the Turkish Cypriots.

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