GCC Press Review 11 Jun 2019

Front Page Headlines


Fewer problems with a more (user) friendly software system

They are launching an improved software system for GESY (National Health Scheme) on Friday. Family physicians (GPs) and pharmacists are getting paid for the first 15 days of GESY. Constant procedure of signing of contracts between HIO (Health Insurance Organisation) and specialist doctors.

  • (DISY leader) Averof (Neophytou) had an earful about Anastasiades – DISY in search of its Clerides legacy identity. Criticism over the bad communication between DISY and the Presidential Palace.


Half of the judges have impediments

(Attorney-General) Costas Clerides has asked for their recusal from the appeal on civil servants’ salaries. If all these judges are recused there will be no plenary to try the appeals, said the Court chairman.

  • No to solutions outside of international law – (Slovak Foreign Minister) Miroslav Lajcak told Phileleftheros.
  • It (the occupation regime) wants EVKAF as ‘litigant’ in cases concerning GCs
  • (DISY) Resetting course…


Simple spectators on noise pollution

It is unbelievable what is happening with the relevant departments – ministries, local authorities and police. They point the finger at and blame each other for who has the competence, but are unable to tackle the serious problem of noise pollution. No official, including the two competent  ministers take any responsibility.

  • This is the Menendez-Rubio bill
  • The Slovak FM supports bi-communal GC and TC meetings and a BBF (bizonal, bicommunal federal) solution
  • Attempt by Averof to absorb the shock
  • Demetris Christofias’ health condition remains unchanged – Doctors assessed the next steps.

Cyprus Mail

Some financial aid for Pissouri homes

But this is not compensation for destroyed homes says minister: owners should go after developers.

  • Neophytou says party determined to win back voters’ trust
  • Slovak FM Miroslav Lajcak met representatives of GC and TC parties in Nicosia on Monday to celebrate the 30th anniversary of Slovak embassy-sponsored inter-communal dialogue


We received the message

Averof (Neophytou’s ) speech at DISY’s extended political office meeting. Opportunity “to reaffirm the legacy, principles and values of Glafcos Clerides. But in a very specific and not vague way.”  Message: “We have a glorious past, we have a dynamic present and we have a bright future in this party.”

  • Concerns and uncertainty among refugees over the acts of TCs – Another TC is claiming rights to his property on which 22 refugee houses were built. There are around 400,000 donums of TC land in the free areas. Don’t worry, says the interior ministry.
  • Turks on the Fatih – They are threatening with counter measures to the crew arrest warrants.
  • Dismay/fury by the diaspora against (AKEL leader) Andros Kyprianou – On (criticism on) East Med Act bill.
  • Confrontation: AKEL is looking now at the 2023 elections

Main News

AKEL: Yes to lifting the arms embargo, no to being part of US plans for regional domination

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Energy, Regional/International Relations, External Security


Main opposition AKEL gave to publicity the East Med Act, the bill by US Senators Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio calling among other things for a lift in the arms embargo on Cyprus in a bid to prove that the government is lying about its provisions, the papers report.

Meanwhile criticism by AKEL over PSEKA (International Coordinating Committee ‘Justice for Cyprus’) honouring the two senators caused the ire of the group that took a swipe at the party.

Haravgi reports that AKEL proved the government wrong after giving to publicity the Rubio-Menendez bill with the party reiterating that it does not concern just the arms embargo but it is also about including Cyprus in the broader US plans for their domination in the region over other countries. Haravgi reports that the text clearly concerns turning aggressively against Russian interests in the region.

The party said it published the bill for anyone to read and judge on their own if this is a text concerning support to Cyprus or confrontation with third countries.

According to Haravgi the bill stipulates among other things that it is US policy to support efforts to address the interventions and influence of the Russian  government in the Eastern Mediterranean through increased security cooperation with Greece, Cyprus and Israel, including the exchange of information. In this context, they are seeking to encourage countries in the region to refuse mooring services to ships of the Russian Federation that support the government of Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, the daily reported.

They even promote the CAATSA sanctions mechanism “to prevent the Russian Federation’s government interventions in the region,” the daily said, adding that the text reaffirms AKEL’s reference to armament as an objective of the bill is to support efforts by countries in the region to replace military equipment supplied by Russia with equipment procured by NATO and NATO members.

The bill also proves the government wrong as it explicitly states the willingness of the US for Cyprus to “join the NATO Partnership for Peace programme”. Clearly, priority is given to the militarisation of Cyprus – US relations even through programmes such as the ‘Combating Terrorism Fellowship Program’, the daily said.

Through the bill the US is seeking a way of increasing its influence in the Cypriot army, while it requires reports “on the detrimental influence of the Russian Federation in Cyprus, Greece and Israel from January 1, 2017”. It also demands “recording the Russian national media ownership in these countries, including the names of the media, audience outreach, and assessing whether they promote supportive views towards the Kremlin,” Haravgi reports.

The daily reported that AKEL spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said the bill does not concern only lifting the arms embargo on Cyprus as per the government has been advertising.

Stefanou said the party agrees with the lift of the arms embargo by the US because the embargo imposed on the Republic is “unjust and unacceptable” but  the problem is that the bill in question  promotes American interests in the region.

What the bill is aiming at is the inclusion of Cyprus in the wider US plan to prevail in the wider region over other countries such as Russia, China and Iran, Stefanou said. He added that this was dangerous “because it is transferring an international conflict to the territory of our country. But also because it jeopardizes the relations of the Republic of Cyprus with other countries that Cyprus needs at least as much as the US.”

Alithia reports that PSEKA said they were dismayed by Kyprianou’s comments on the East Med Act on the recent conference organised by the group .

In a statement, PSEKA said Kyprianou’s statements were ill-informed since he has not been briefed on the bill by anyone involved in its preparation. The group expressed concerns that Kyprianou’s comments could undermine Cyprus’ new geopolitical synergies, its relations with philhellenes in the US Congress and the Cypriot diaspora in the US. They also said Kyprianou misinterprets the origins of the East Med Act and what it does since the bill is not a creation of the government of the Republic of Cyprus but builds on three decades of work that Senator Robert Menendez has done on Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean. It is also the next step in the efforts several congressmen had made forging relations with the American Israeli community and on ending the Cyprus arms embargo. Kyprianou’s criticism ignores all these facts, PSEKA said.

The group said the only reasoning advanced against ending the arms embargo is the lie that this will lead to an ‘arms race’ on the island. It is alarming that Kyprianou uses the same false argument that Mustafa Akinci, Kudret Ozersay, and Turkey’s lobbyists in Washington have used against the East Med Act, PSEKA said, according to Alithia.

Stefanou (AKEL)
The arms embargo on Cyprus is unjust and unacceptable but this does not mean Cyprus must be a part of US plans for domination in the wider region over Russia, China and Iran.
>> The bill is not just about lifting the arms embargo like the government says but is also about transferring an international conflict to the territory of the island which is dangerous and jeopardizes RoC relations with other countries it needs as much as the US.

PSEKA (American-Cypriot diaspora)
Warn that Kyprianou’s criticism over bill and PSEKA conference could undermine Cyprus’ new geopolitical synergies, relations with philhellenes in the US Congress and the US Cypriot diaspora.
>> Kyprianou’s criticism & misinterpretation ignore that the bill builds on 30 years’ of work by Menendez but also a number of  other US officials in forging relations with the US Israeli community and on ending the arms embargo.
>> Find alarming that Kyprianou uses the same false arguments as Akinci, Ozersay, and Turkey’s lobbyists in Washington against the bill.

North warns of counter measures to ‘Fatih’ arrest warrants

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Energy, Regional/International Relations


The dailies report on reactions in the occupied areas on the arrest warrants issued by the Republic against staff working at the Fatih drillship.

Phileleftheros reports that TC ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar threatens with counter-measures.

Alithia reported that Ankara and the occupied areas are warning us with counter- measures on the arrest warrants against the Fatih crew.

They also reported statements by Tatar and ‘foreign minister’ Kudret Ozersay but also the spokesman of the Turkish foreign ministry Hami Aksoy and TC politicians.

Tatar said it is the GC side that acts illegally and unfairly by rejecting the proposals of the TCs and overlooks their rights. He called on the GC side to refrain from such steps warning that unless a just  agreement is reached on natural gas the TC side would reciprocate.

In another, very brief article, Phileleftheros, citing Kibris Postasi, reports that a delegation of the TC ‘football federation’ had meetings with FIFA officials in Paris where they called for a lift of the ‘embargo’ and ‘restrictions’ in the football sector. It is well known that the occupation regime has been trying for quite some time now to achieve recognition through football, the paper said.

Wants a just  agreement on natural gas & feels it is the GCs that are acting illegally and unfairly by rejecting the proposals of the TCs and overlook their rights.
>> Unless GCs refrain from such steps, TCs will take counter measures.

DISY members call for clear Cyprob positions

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process


Ruling DISY’s extended political office convened on Monday to discuss the way forward following the shock from the disappointing results of last month’s Euro-elections, the papers report.

Around 200 DISY members gathered at a Nicosia hotel to discuss the party’s future and called for a clear stance on the Cyprus problem by the leadership.

Leader Averof Neophytou said the party has received the message sent by voters and is determined to win back the trust of those who did not vote for DISY.

The party won the largest share of the votes (29.02 per cent) but still dropped almost nine points compared to its showing in the 2014 European Parliament elections.

Neophytou said DISY was being given the opportunity to correct its mistakes, discuss its future and redefine what kind of party it wants to be, “to reaffirm the principles and values inherited to us by Glafcos Clerides, our political father”.

He said the party must show its determination “to make an honest compromise on our national problem. Our commitment to our national identity, without nationalism and fanaticism.”

Politis reports that some party members criticised President Nicos Anastasiades and his policy on the Cyprus problem arguing it contributes to confusion among the public as to the party’s identity.

The common position of most members was that unless the party clarifies its positions on the Cyprus problem, and its centre-right identity, its downward slope will continue, the paper reported.

According to the Cyprus Mail the party has been under criticism even by many of its own members over Neophytou’s stance during the election campaign especially after his warning a few days before the elections that if GCs were to abstain from the ballot, TCs could determine the outcome.

Anastasiades and government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou too had made comments appearing to disparage TCs voters through references to the “borrowed votes” AKEL was seeking from TCs. DISY’s super-nationalist member and MEP candidate, Eleni Stavrou, did not help the situation after writing a post on Facebook essentially calling AKEL ’s TC candidate Niyazi Kizilyurek, an agent for Turkey, the daily reported.

DISY has the opportunity to reaffirm the legacy of its political father, Glafcos Clerides.
>> DISY must show determination for an honest compromise on Cyprob & commit to a national identity away from nationalism and fanaticism.

Government absent from ECHR cases over IPC ineffectiveness



The paper reports Turkey attempts to introduce EVKAF as a ‘litigant’ in cases before the ‘commission’ in the occupied areas for compensation claims by GC owners of immovable property.
[Reviewer’s note: the paper refers to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC)].

Turkey’s efforts however are not only linked with the ‘commission’ but have wider political dimensions since one such case concerns property within the closed off area of Famagusta, the daily said.

The case is now before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) after the GC property owner filed against the effectiveness of the ‘commission’.

The case in question has been examined by the ‘commission’ in 2012. At the time a representative of the ‘TRNC’ had claimed that the property for which the GC owner was claiming compensation was registered to a foundation managed by EVKAF. The ‘commission’ then ruled that EVKAF was a third interested party in the case and was invited to participate in the procedure. The GC owner filed then to the ECHR citing the ineffectiveness of the ‘commission’.

But despite that the legal and political importance of these cases puts pressure for the presence of the Republic of Cyprus as an interested party, sources told the paper the government has not submitted its positions to the ECHR yet. The deadline to do so is June 18.

In a similar case before the ECHR in the past, the government had chosen not to submit its position as an interested party, the daily reported.

TC man claiming Dromolaxia land has no legal grounds, government says

Alithia, Haravgi


The dailies report that the government gave reassurances there is no reason for concern after a TC man laid claims through his GC lawyer on land in Dromolaxia on which 22 refugee houses are built on.

According to the law, the TC land owner cannot claim any compensation for his property because he lives in the occupied areas and did not migrate abroad prior to 1974, Alithia said.

Alithia reports that the fact that he claims his property has caused great concern
however recalling that there had been several cases in the past where TCs who had been living abroad prior to 1974 claimed and got significant compensations for their properties in the free areas.

There are around 400,000 donums of TC land in the free areas, the daily said.

According to Alithia, the man in question informed the 22 house owners, who they built on land leased to them by the government that he is willing to transfer to them the title deed of the land their houses stand on given that the government pays him an amount to be agreed for the sale of his land.

The permanent secretary of the interior ministry, Kypros Kyprianou gave the house owners reassurances they possess that property legally and told them not to worry.

He said the move by the TC owner to directly send the letters to the owner and not the interior ministry was unacceptable. Kyprianou said the ministry will discuss the matter with the Attorney-General and will ask the opinion of the Commissioner on personal data protection for possible violation of the house owners’ rights. He raised a question on how the lawyer was able to obtain the names and identity card numbers of the house owners.

Haravgi reports the man’s lawyer has not raised an issue on the return of the property but granting the title deed to it in exchange of compensation either by the state or the refugees.

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