NEWS

Nicosia, Brussels spar over Green Line fines

NICOSIA (AFP) – Cyprus and the EU were at odds yesterday over moves to impose fines on European citizens if they enter the island’s south via an unrecognized entry point from the Turkish-occupied north. Nicosia is expected this week to implement new rules on the movement of people and goods across the UN-monitored «Green Line.» But the Commission’s representative in Cyprus, Adriaan van der Meer, said on Sunday Brussels would «not welcome» EU citizens being fined. Commerce and Tourism Minister George Lillikas retorted that Nicosia had every right within EU law to impose fines. «The government alone has the discretion to decide whether this legislation will come into force, how it will be implemented, and what measures will be taken,» Lillikas said. Under new rules, EU citizens can move freely between the north and south, but those entering Cyprus through the north could face on-the-spot fines in the south. Prior to accession, tourists were denied entry into the south from the north, and in some cases were arrested and deported.