GCC Press Review 31 Mar 2019

Front Page Headlines

Sunday Mail

Fire the price of heavy rain

Explosion of plant growth caused by wet winter means increased fire risk in summer months.

Simerini

Transparency a la carte

We asked all MPs on their loans. The replies, comments and strong reactions. Joint statement by Ministers in Simerini’s survey.

  • The struggle of Cyprus in Washington
  • Intervention: Theophilos Theophilou, Georgios Arestis and Demetrios Hadjihambis write in Simerini on Famagusta
  • Yiannakis Omirou: Is the EU an incentive for Turkey? (opinion piece)
  • Anastasiades: “Thank God, Trump won” – Revelations in the book of former close associate of the American President, George Papadopoulos. He says he was targeted by (former Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General on Cyprus, Alexander) Downer because he had proposed the replacement of the British bases with American ones.

Politis

Towards a new landscape for Cypriot parties

What exit polls show on the Euro-elections. Suddenly, the… uninteresting Euro-elections become interesting due to open internal issues and the big financial problems. DISY is trying a lot to tackle losses, AKEL is doing good, DIKO is losing to DIPA, ELAM comes fourth, EDEK falls behind. A large part of voters return to the ballots showing in that way they want to send a powerful message to politicians and their policies.

  • Mission: Turkey in a mess – The biggest mosque in the world and how (Turkish President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan and AKP “stood up against western imperialism.”

Phileleftheros

French experts in Mari

Groups of experts examined the data and will submit a proposal to Nicosia. Construction of a port for permanent docking of war ships, but not a base.

  • Turkey in the rhythm of the Sultan: The elections of polarisation and Erdogan’s survival
  • Waiting for Lute: The Cyprob is in the middle of nowhere
  • Turkey downgrades Cyprus in an agreement with the EU
  • He is bluffing so that he can have both the S-400 and the F-35
  • The works of the GC artists were found in 1996
  • Maroula Violari Iacovidou: The Greek women of Cyprus during the EOKA struggle
  • Haris Alexandrou: The war of radio signal jamming in Cyprus of 1957
  • Yiannis Spanos: Dying in the hands of the British torturers

Kathimerini

Risk of ‘golden visas’ becoming a boomerang

Excesses of developers and service companies put Cyprus’ image in the crosshairs.

  • Who are the enemies of DISY-AKEL at the ballot box
  • Elections in Turkey: Erdogan’s bet and expectations
  • Evolvement into a security organisation – Cypriot diplomacy wants to capitalise on participation in regional energy cooperation through the creation of a security organisation.
  • They don’t agree on count results – Mustafa Akinci was left exposed after the announcement of data on the population of the occupied areas. The whole situation and the number change affects also the Cyprob.
  • Intervention: “A simple question on Famagusta”, by Theofilos Theofilou, Georgios Aresti, Demetrios Hadjihambis

Haravgi

Government against the wall over the Co-op

The government and DISY will find themselves with their backs to the wall once more next Thursday during discussion at the House plenum of the findings of the investigation committee (on the demise of the Central Cooperative Bank) which attributed heavy responsibilities to President Anastasiades, the Minister of Finance and the government in general for the closure of the Co-op. The findings place heavy responsibilities on Finance Minister Harris Georgiades and President Anastasiades for not removing him from his position.

  • Occupied areas: Many problems due to heavy rain
  • Turkey goes to the ballot box for the local elections
  • Akinci: “There is no other choice than that of the Bizonal Bicommunal Federation”
  • Trilateral agreements: Realism and disillusion Is every trilateral a geopolitical upgrade of Cyprus with messages sent to Turkey? What is there after the spotlights are off. (US Secretary of State Mike) Pompeo’s presence and disillusions. Energy agenda: Opportunities and challenges.

Alithia

(Government) setting up a blockade

Information indicates the government is politically determined to neutralise or not to apply in any event the decision of the Administrative Court. (Finance Minister Harris )Georgiades: “Firstly, we proceed with legal measures and, secondly, if necessary, to the promotion of new regulations through Parliament that will not concern taxes on the overall population, but exclusively on the state payroll.”

  • Intervention: A simple question on Famagusta by three well-known persons
  • Jane Holl Lute: Signs of life, even through the phone
  • Sener Levent: “We are Cypriots, citizens of the Republic of Cyprus and not a TC ballot paper”
  • Turkish elections: The economic crisis affects the result
  • The Turkish province of northern Cyprus – There has been a lot of discussion over the last few days in the occupied areas on the population and the exact number of TCs and settlers. And if it is difficult to calculate the population of the occupied areas, it is more difficult to figure out who are the Turks and who are the TCs. The sure thing is that occupied Cyprus is being Turkified day by day and the composition of its society is systematically altered, which began to worry also those who used to believe that any harm time could cause to the Cyprob has already caused it.
  • Occupied areas: They flooded again

Main News

Much speculation over Cyprob developments or lack thereof

Alithia, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

In an analysis piece, Phileleftheros’ political reporter Andreas Pimbishis, writes that at the moment, the Cyprus problem is in the middle of nowhere and no one is in a position to give reassurances that there will be a change of scenery or that the key actors will have something different to tell UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in six months when all of them will gather at the UN General Assembly in New York.

The only mobility observed on the Cyprus problem is the upcoming dialogue between Greece and Turkey but even in this case, the only thing the two countries’ foreign ministers agreed on, is that they will discuss the issue at a technocratic level and within the framework of wider consultations between them. Therefore, it cannot be said that the two countries will launch a dialogue on April 12 on security and guarantees, Pimbishis said, adding that results, if any, will not come for a while.

It is obvious that unless there is progress in the Greece-Turkey dialogue, then it will not be easy for progress on anything else.

The two countries, as guarantor powers, need to carry out an actual dialogue that would yield results, but the question is whether the GC side would be willing to agree to whatever they decide, he said.

It is logical that the UN will now want to wait for the results of the Greece-Turkey dialogue in hopes of a development and this could be the reason Lute disappeared after her meeting in Turkey earlier in the month.

Nicosia, once more declares ignorance as to the whereabouts of Lute just like after every round of consultations she has had, while it is estimated that she will not convey anything new when she returns to the island, he said.

Not much is expected also in the UNSG report to the Security Council since there was no mobility.

Nicosia was informed that there will be a general reference on the developments and more of a focus on bicommunal relations and the technical committees.

What the government is waiting to see is the next move by the UNSG, Pimbishis said, adding that he is bound at some point to decide on whether or not there can be negotiations.

Pimbishis, citing government sources, said the fact that Anastasiades is focusing on trilateral cooperation does not mean he dropped the ball as regards the Cyprus problem. His close associates gave reassurances that Anastasiades is ready to go to the talks but that he cannot do that alone. There must be reciprocating moves from the other sides as well, the sources aid.

Another analysis also in Phileleftheros, this time by Costas Venizelos on the presence of French experts in Cyprus to do research on the new port to be constructed at Mari naval base for the docking of France’s navy vessels, said that UNSG Antonio Guterres informed Nicosia recently he will not give up on the Cyprus problem.

 A sidebar within the article said that Guterres has recently informed Nicosia through diplomatic circles that despite the fact the current situation does not encourage a new intervention in the Cyprus problem, he will not abandon his efforts. The UN is monitoring also developments in Turkey and estimates there will be no substantive move before June, the daily said.

Alithia reports that Lute is expected to have telephone conversations with the two leaders on Monday but it is not yet known when she is to arrive on the island.

Government sources told Alithia they were expecting some developments regarding Lute within the first 15 days of April, whereas TC leader Mustafa Akinci said during an interview that he might have a telephone conversation with the UN envoy on Monday. The daily also reports on Akinci’s interview on Friday with the Kanal Τ, Geng TV and Kanal Sim television stations where he spoke on the Cyprus issue, natural gas, the bicommunal friendly match in Pyla, internal affairs of the TC community and on his candidacy in next year’s ‘presidential elections’.


GC side ought to utilise UN resolutions for return of Varosha

Alithia, Kathimerini, Simerini
Negotiations Process, Territory, CBMs

OVERVIEW

In a letter published in the three dailies, former Ambassador Theophilos V. Theophilou, former ECHR judge Georgios Aresti and former Supreme Court President Demetrios Hadjiminas, would like to know why the GC side has not taken advantage of the UN resolutions 550 and 789 on the return of Varosha to its residents and why the resettlement of the town, as was provided in the Anglo-American-Canadian plan of 1978 was rejected.

Famagustian refugees want an answer to that question, they said, as their resettlement in Varosha was not linked with the solution of the Cyprus problem. Instead, in the ensuing decades, this enormous CBM that would have been a catalyst for the solution, was marginalised as the issue of the Varosha was linked, as per Turkish wishes, to the solution of the Cyprus problem. This, they said, was a result of linking Famagusta with the notion of ‘either all of us or no one’ but also of big local interests that believed that the return of Varosha would affect them negatively.

The group said that they agree with the position of former House President Yiannakis Omirou who said in an opinion piece last Sunday in Simerini that the GC side should not discuss any confidence-building measures (CBM) or even the resumption of talks unless UN resolutions 550 and 789 are implemented.

The bottom line, they said, is that the Cyprus problem is based on UN resolutions, so it is puzzling  that resolutions 550 and 789 were left on the sidelines with the responsibility of the GC side.

It is unthinkable that the international community and especially the EU provide the GCs with such footholds that remain unutilised, they said, adding that it is the duty of the Republic of Cyprus and of the GC side to promote resolutions 550 and 789.