GCC Press Review | 21 Feb 2019 |

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Difference of opinion within PIS (medical association)

Despite the image of unity, information says otherwise. Two-hundred-and-fifty general practitioners for adults on the GESY lists. Increased registrations of paediatricians following Papadouris’ resignation.

  • United Nations No comment on (July 4) minutes.

Phileleftheros

Wrong diagnosis on the infant?

“It doesn’t seem to have been raped,” the director of Makarios hospital tells Phileleftheros. Parents to give second testimony. Police also investigating other possibilities.

  • Operation to cover the July 4 vacuum – The Cypriot government will present all data relating to what happened on July 4, 2017 which affect the Guterres Framework. It says that the issues of security, troops and territory cannot be absent from the terms of reference.
  • Gaps in the report on Turkey – Nicosia finds negative elements recorded in the report on Turkey, adopted by the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament yesterday. However, it is balanced to some degree by the usual recommendations to Ankara.

Haravgi

The doors for GESY (National Health Scheme) participation remain open

The leadership of PIS (medical association) continues to press and reject GESY, insisting on legal amendments leading to a multi-insurance scheme. However, the chairman of OAY (Health Insurance Organisation) left open the door to dialogue with PIS, within the framework of the law passed unanimously by the House and the GESY philosophy. Support for GESY by Europa Donna Cyprus.

  • Anastasiades’ responsibilities over halloumi – The European Commission refers to the  Anastasiades-Akinci agreement on halloumi, with the person responsible for the matter, Daniel Rosario, recalling the “understanding achieved after the relevant meetings with the President and the Turkish Cypriot leadership.”
  • Regressions that facilitate Turkey –AKEL General Secretary Andros Kyprianou urges President Anastasiades to ask UN Secretary-General to explain to him his Framework. Jane Holl Lute had a series of contacts at the Foreign Office. Turkish drill ships arrive south of Cyprus.
  • The European Parliament report favours special EU-Turkey partnership – References to the Cyprus problem.

Cyprus Mail

Father in custody after abuse claim

Doctors say baby girl, five months old, shows signs of sexual abuse.

  • President asks Brussels to speed up halloumi PDO

Alithia

Double shock

Shock from the sexual abuse of a child. First shock: Five-month-old baby in hospital with ruptured hymen. The father was arrested. Second shock: Anastasia Papadopoulou, “Unfortunately, this is not the first such incident or the last.

  • Don’t trust Lute – Advice from Kotzias.
  • Cabinet: After two months, investigating official for halloumi (appointed)

Main News

‘If in doubt, Anastasiades may seek clarifications from UNSG’

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou urged President Anastasiades on Wednesday to call UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and ask him why everyone refers to the document of June 30 as the Framework prepared by him during the talks in Crans-Montana and not that of July 4.

He was replying to a question addressed to AKEL by Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou on whether the party supports efforts for the inclusion of the Guterres Framework in the terms of reference to be prepared by UN envoy Jane Holl Lute for the resumption of talks. The question follows an ongoing public spat between AKEL and the government over the latter’s insistence that another document, dated July 4, that contains clarifications on the Guterres Framework, ought to be taken into consideration before the terms of reference are drafted.  

“Mr Prodromou must be joking,” Kyprianou said. AKEL has been declaring since the beginning that the talks ought to resume based on the Guterres Framework, he said.

Kyprianou said the debate on the two documents was unnecessary and unproductive and an attempt to disorientate members of the public from the essence, which is the resumption of talks with the aim to reach an agreement the soonest possible.

He hit back at Prodromou, who had accused AKEL of serving Turkey’s interests with its criticism of the government, by saying that Turkey is rather being facilitated by regressions, contradictions and by attempting to put other forms of a solution on the table.

The country will either reunite based on a federation or be partitioned, he said.

“We have made a choice. We say that this country must be reunited and the only way to do that is through a bicommunal bizonal federation.”

He called on the two leaders to go to next Tuesday’s meeting having in mind how to best serve the interests of Cyprus and its people.

Lute was last week at the UK Foreign Office where she briefed officials on the results of her latest contacts on the Cyprus problem.

KEY ACTORS
Kyprianou
>> Anastasiades should call Guterres and ask why everyone refers to June 30 document as the Guterres Framework, and not July 4.
>> Debate on Guterres Framework aims to disorientate the public away from resumption of talks.
>> Backtracking, contradictions & alternative solution proposals are helping Turkey.


Former Greek FM advises caution over UN envoy’s intentions

Alithia, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The government will attempt to fill the vacuum created by the lost minutes of the July 4, 2017 meeting by providing UN envoy Jane Holl Lute with all data on the period in question, Phileleftheros reports.

The daily, citing sources, said that with this move, Nicosia wants to make sure there will be no gap later on due to the disappearance of the minutes in question.

The government may not want to publicly cast a shadow on the whole approach of the UN on the matter, but according to the paper’s information, it is suspicious.

What Nicosia does not want to say, was echoed by former Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias who said during an interview with public broadcaster CyBC that the July 4 minutes exist but the UN do not present them so as not to cause tensions with any side, meaning the Turkish side, said the daily.

Government circles seem to agree with Kotzia’s approach, it added.

According to Politis, Kotzias, who was in Cyprus this week for the launch of his latest book on his experience with the Cyprus problem, urged the government to keep an eye on Lute, just as he had done with former Special Adviser Espen Barth Eide. He said that in Crans-Montana, Eide was expressing his own views and not those of the UN Secretary-General. 

Alithia said Kotzias repeated accusations against Eide, that he was following his own line instead that of the UNSG, and that, more or less, he suggested Lute must be viewed as Turkey’s pawn. The daily recalled that Kotzias had accused Eide in the past of lobbying on behalf of Turkey.


Complaint examination cause of delay in halloumi PDO procedure

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Politis, PhileleftherosS
EU Matters, Economy

OVERVIEW

The government announced on Wednesday that a new investigating officer was appointed by the trade and commerce ministry to look into additional issues raised by the Attorney-General (AG) on the failure to submit documents on time, causing Cyprus to lose the halloumi trademark in the UK late last year.

The probe was launched by the ministry to determine whether officials were derelict in their duties, but its findings were deemed inadequate by the AG who sent them back.

The government also confirmed that President Nicos Anastasiades has written to the European Commission president over the delays in registering halloumi cheese as a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) more than three years after the application was submitted.

Deputy government spokesperson Klelia Vasiliou who confirmed the correspondence, said the file concerning the halloumi PDO must progress, adding that the government is undertaking all necessary actions.

Commission spokesman Daniel Rosario said on Wednesday the case was at the stage of examining objections but he could not say whether procedures would be expedited.

Rosario said that the Commission is in the process of examining complaints filed in relation to the registration of halloumi as a PDO, based on the understanding that was reached on the issue in 2015, following the relevant meetings with the President and the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community.

The European Commission published Cyprus’ official application to designate halloumi as a PDO at the end of July 2015 but there has been little progress since.

On Tuesday, Agriculture Minister Costas Kadis blamed the lack of progress on political reasons, adding that the application had been linked with the Green Line Regulation and the Cyprus problem.

Haravgi, citing the 2015 agreement, argues that Anastasiades bears responsibility for the fact that halloumi is now a political issue.

The daily focused on the proposal to modify the Green Line Regulation, to facilitate trade, on the same day of the publication in the Official Journal of the formal application to get the registration of halloumi/hellim as a PDO and that the Commission would ensure full respect for the relevant European legislation.

Based on the above, it is confirmed that connection of the halloumi with the Cyprus issue was achieved with the consent of President Anastasiades, Haravgi said.


Cypriot MEPs abstain from Turkey report vote

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

The European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the amended report on Turkey, calling on the European Commission and the European Council to terminate Turkey’s candidacy for membership into the EU and instead introduce a special alternative relationship, while maintaining EU funding for civil society.

The report calls upon Turkey to withdraw occupation troops from Cyprus, return Famagusta to the UN and refrain from sources of friction with its neighbours, including the island’s exclusive economic zone.

According to Phileleftheros, Nicosia does not agree with some of the points in the report, such as an upgraded Customs Union with Turkey and continuation of the harmonisation process of the TC community with the acquis in the absence of direct settlement talks, but eyes positively the calls for withdrawal of troops and return of Famagusta fenced-off town, among other things.

Because of this double reading of the report, Cypriot MEPs AKEL’s Takis Hadjigeorgiou and EDEK’s Demetris Papadakis, abstained from the vote, the daily said.

The amended text welcomes the efforts under the auspices of the UN Secretary-General to resume negotiations on the reunification of Cyprus and asks the EU and its member states to play a more active role in bringing negotiations to a successful conclusion.

It also calls on Turkey to begin withdrawing its troops from Cyprus, to transfer the sealed-off area of Famagusta to the UN, in accordance with UN Security Council Resolution 550, “and to refrain from actions altering the demographic balance on the island through its policy of illegal settlements; stresses the need for the implementation of the EU acquis on the whole island”.

In addition, the report recognises the right of the Republic of Cyprus to enter into bilateral agreements concerning its exclusive economic zone and reiterates its call on Turkey to respect fully the sovereign rights of all member states, including those rights related to the prospecting for and exploitation of natural resources.

Hadjigeorgiou, according to Haravgi, had a meeting on Wednesday with Turkey’s permanent representative to the European Union, Mehmet Kemal Bozay, where they discussed the report, the Cyprus problem and how natural resources in the region could affect the talks. 


Bicommunal UK diaspora group pushes for solutionL

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, Regional/International Relations

OVERVIEW

A Cypriot bicommunal initiative has been launched in the UK aiming at lobbying for the resumption of the settlement talks.

The Bicommunal Initiative said in a written statement that their aim is to create a Cypriot popular movement that would campaign in favour of a just, viable solution to the Cyprus problem based on the agreed principles.

They are to also set up a delegation team which is to visit decision-making centres and promote the demand of the Cypriot people for the reunification of the island.

The group extended a call to all Cypriots to join their effort.

A meeting is to take place on March 14 at the Cypriot Community Centre in Wood Green.


Automatic registration to electoral rolls law referred over logistics concerns

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
EU Matters, Human Rights

OVERVIEW

The House interior committee will discuss on Monday the referral by President Nicos Anastasiades of a law passed by the House Plenum earlier in the month that allows anyone with a Republic identity card living on the island to vote in the upcoming European Parliament elections without having to register on the electoral roll.

Anastasiades sent the law back to parliament earlier in the week saying the change would cause many practical problems because of the disorder in the civil registry that could not be overcome by May 23, plus it would cost the state over €200,000 to implement.

According to the constitution, parliament cannot pass any bill that increases the state budget.

If the bill were to be implemented, the president said, it would mean the automatic addition of some 102,000 people born between 1911 and 2001, or between 18 and 108-years-old. Included in the figure were 17,000 Turkish Cypriots, whose whereabouts could not be confirmed beyond assuming that most were either living in the north or abroad, or have died.

Automatic registration to the electoral roll is to be discussed for future elections.

The majority of the legislature is expected to uphold the referral.


Government defends Anastasiades’ Kyrenia population statements

Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Territory, Migration & Citizenship

OVERVIEW

The government defended on Wednesday comments by President Nicos Anastasiades published in Politis last Sunday over the number of Kyrenia residents in 1974.

Following criticism by Kyrenia municipality that Anastasiades did not know how many residents the district had in 1974, Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said the president inadvertently did not mention the exact number of the town’s residents.

Prodromou said that, by comparing how many residents the town had in 1974 and today, Anastasiades wanted to make a point that there has been a demographic change of enormous dimensions.

It is for this reason that the president, through very difficult circumstances, is constantly making efforts to resume the negotiations and to resolve the Cyprus problem since it is only through an agreed solution that demographic changes and other problems in the occupied areas can be stopped, he said.

Anastasiades in an interview with Politis published last Sunday had said that the Kyrenia district had in 1974, 12,000 inhabitants. The municipality said in response that Kyrenia, Lapithos and Karavas alone had 12,000 residents while the district, according to a 1973 census, numbered 32,586 people, 4,382 of whom were TCs.

The population of the city of Kyrenia was indeed, as the president said, almost 4,000 while the total population of the district was, as the municipality’s statement clarifies, nearly 33,000, Prodromou said.