Only days after becoming the fifth eurozone country to seek a bailout, Cyprus is taking charge of the EU’s rotating council presidency.
But despite its cash and banking woes, the Mediterranean Island’s president insists the request for external aid won’t blow its tenure off course.
Cypriot President Demetris Christofias said: Cyprus’ presidency will do its very best to contribute as far as it possibly can to a better Europe for the benefit of all our citizens. We have six months to do this with the help and support of everyone.’‘
Questions have also been raised as to whether the eurozone minnow is big enough to lead the EU. Such concerns were dismissed outright by the president of the European parliament.
‘‘In Europe, there aren’t big or small presidencies. There are presidencies that are either a success or not. I’m sure the Cypriots have a strong chance of reaching a deal in regard to their finances,’‘ President Martin Shultz said.
Another issue is Turkey, which does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus. It has refused to speak to Nicosia during its EU presidency preferring to deal with the European Commission instead.
To get more on Cyprus’ EU presidency euronews spoke to Marat Terterov, Director of the European Geo-Political Forum based in Brussels. To see the full Close-up and interview, please click on the video link above.