NEWS

Green Line open to flow of goods

NICOSIA (AFP) – Formal trade across the Green Line on war-divided Cyprus resumed after 30 years yesterday when new European Union regulations came into force. It is the first time since the 1974 Turkish invasion that goods from the Turkish-occupied north can now be legally sold or exported in the south. «Today is a very important day because the legal framework has come into force,» said European Commission representative Adriaan van der Meer. He said at least eight Turkish Cypriots had applied to the north’s chamber of commerce to sell clothing and produce in the south. All goods and products are governed by EU health and safety standards and must be of Turkish-Cypriot origin. However, van der Meer said consultations were continuing with Turkish-Cypriot officials to allow Greek-Cypriot goods to go the other way. The Cypriot government says it is «completely ready» to handle goods coming in but could not rule out «minor problems» under the new scheme. No trade was reported yesterday, and Commerce and Tourism Minister George Lillikas said it would take time for the procedures to kick in.