GCC Press Review 12 Jun 2019

Front Page Headlines


Medical Association (CyMA) under investigation for bullying of doctors

CyMA… under scrutiny for distorting healthy competition within the GESY (National Health Scheme)  framework. The association’s spokesman says this is an attempt to terrorise private doctors. Dr Haris Armeftis (spokesman) reports that GESY doctors are also practicing privately.

  • Indirectly subsidising settlers – More applications, same numbers of enclaved.
  • (DISY) Extroversion under pressure  


The CPC (Commission for the Protection of Competition) was the only thing missing from GESY

Commotion due to CPC’s raid at CyMA. Adjustments to the (GESY) software system every fortnight.

  • Blackmailing dilemmas from Ankara – (They want) a 50-50 natural gas share.
  • Questions raised over the absence of the Republic of Cyprus (from critical ECHR cases on property rights in Famagusta closed off area)
  • Games with subsidies to the enclaved – The applications are exaggerated.
  • Fury by shop owners over Dherynia crossing – Negative effect.
  • Forecast for 525,000 flights in the Nicosia FIR (Flight Information Region)
  • DISY’s plan for what’s next (the party’s future)


Incompetency at the expense of the citizens

Citizens and businesses are in despair over the 11 per cent increase in one year to the EAC bills. The government, AKEL points out, has proven incapable of resolving the issue of cheap gas for electricity generation. It also failed in regulating the electricity market and in (achieving) the RES (renewable energy sources) objective.

  • DISY-ELAM continue to jointly celebrate over the Menendez-Rubio bill
  • They have asked Averof (Neophytou) for an extraordinary (DISY) conference and he promised them studies

Cyprus Mail

Medical Association under investigation

Competition commission starts probe over actions urging members not to join GESY.

  • Services honour founder of Cyprus Church – Archbishop Chrysostomos and all Cyprus bishops at a church service at Apostolos Varnavas church in Nicosia on Tuesday marking the celebration of the saint said to have founded the Church of Cyprus. A church service was also held at the monastery of Apostolos Varnavas in occupied Salamis. (photo caption)


All of a sudden things heated up

Raid by the CPC at CyMA. A probe to find out if there have been decisions or actions or pressure restricting competition in connection with the participation or not of doctors in GESY. Documents have been submitted, the probe continues. Fury by doctors who threaten with legal action. Haris Armeftis: The CPC is the last institution we expected to probe CyMA.

  • Cyprob: Spehar: Don’t give up, hope remains alive
  • The crossings to close, fishermen to be arrested – Counter measures by the Turks unless…
  • JCC credit cards: How much we spend and how much the TCs
  • DISY: The day after – It came out of the storm in one piece and stronger.
  • The US materialise their warnings on the S-400 and terminate training to Turkish pilots on the F35

Main News

Juncker: Non-solution of Cyprob a regret

Cyprus Mail online
Negotiations Process, EU Matters


European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker mentioned the non-resolution of the Cyprus issue as “one of his regrets” concerning his tenure on the helm of the executive branch of the EU, the Cyprus Mail online reported on Wednesday morning.

Juncker said in a televised interview with Politico Brussels, that he regrets not concluding a deal between the Republic of Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot community, the news portal reported.

Regrets not helping RoC and TCs reaching a solution to the Cyprob.

Fatih arrest warrants escalate tension as UN see hope in reaching a solution

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, Energy, Regional/International Relations


UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar called on Cypriots not to give up just yet as there is still hope for a solution, the papers report. Meanwhile, voices from Turkey  suggest counter measures to the arrest warrants issued by the Republic against staff at the Fatih drillship operating within the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ).

Spehar said on Tuesday in her address at an International Conference on the “30 years of dialogue between GC and TC political parties in service of peace in Cyprus” hosted by the embassy of Slovakia in Cyprus that hope remains alive.

She said negotiations have been in hiatus for close to two years now with the UN striving to support the parties to return to viable talks through on-going consultations facilitated by the UNSG’s Special Envoy Jane Holl Lute, warning that time is increasingly not on the side of a solution.

Spehar said political parties could offer strong encouragement and active support to the leaders to redouble their efforts to return to dialogue asking if parties in Cyprus will be part of the solution, or part of sustaining the problem.

She also underlined that more young people as well as women need to be brought into the discussions.

The UN official also said that UN-sponsored polling found that a majority of GCs and TCs want the leaders to return to negotiations and despite increasing scepticism that a solution could be achieved, a majority want to see it happen.

Spehar, citing the results of the polling, said in spite of the disappointment following the events in Crans-Montana, “hope indeed still remains alive” while as per the surveys show, a bizonal, bicommunal federation is still, at the present moment, the ‘most acceptable solution’ across the two largest communities. In this context, “how can the parties assume their responsibility and advance the cause of peace?,” she asked.

Politis, in its daily segment where it comments on quotes by key actors, under Spehar’s photo where she said hope remains alive adds the comment: “It’s been a while since you last spoke to the president eh?”

Meanwhile, Haravgi, Alithia and Phileleftheros report on reactions by Turkish politicians and officials to the arrest warrants Cyprus issued against staff working at the Fatih drillship.

Haravgi reports that in Turkey, they see the arrest warrants as ‘clear provocation’ and talk of “counter measures”.

The three dailies quote statements by the spokesman of ruling AKP party Omer Celik, who said the arrest warrants were a clear provocation and that Turkey would not allow the “GC administration” to usurp the rights of the TCs.

They also cite the suggestions by retired vice admiral Cem Gurdeniz who told Yeni Safak that Turkey could implement counter measures such as closing all crossings in Cyprus, arrests of GC fishermen, send the Yavuz drillship for drillings within blocks of the Republic of Cyprus and suspension of cooperation agreements with EU member states that execute these arrest warrants and call back Turkish ambassadors stationed in those countries.

Phileleftheros reports that Turkey, apparently annoyed by the move of the Republic of Cyprus issues threats and calls for splitting the gas and the revenue so that there is no tension.

Turkey’s Energy Minister Fatih Donmez said that they would continue research activities in the “licensed” areas without making any concessions as regards their rights.

After Ankara’s threats, Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci surfaced  to suggest an “alternative solution”, the daily said.

Akinci argued that the wealth in the Eastern Mediterranean must be shared in a just way. He said they did not wish to see this tension but Turkey and the pseudo state were left with no other option than act the same way as the GCs and this is the result, Phileleftheros reported.

Αccording to Alithia, DISY leader Averof Neophytou, referring to Turkish reactions, called for “wisdom and prudence” arguing that the necessary political moves ought to be made without raising tension through “sharpening our political speech and rhetoric.” He added that the government’s moves were correct and estimated that Erdogan and his government would become even more aggressive as the rerun elections of June 23 in Turkey are approaching.

There is still hope for a solution but leaders must seize the opportunity because as time goes by the chances for that are getting slimmer.
>> GC and TC parties must ask themselves if they want to be part of the solution or help sustain the problem. She believes they could encourage and support the leaders to redouble their efforts to return to dialogue.
>> More young people and women need to be included into the peace process.
>> Asks parties to consider how they can assume their responsibility and advance the cause of peace given that UN-sponsored polling said most of GCs and TCs want the leaders to resume talks based on a BBF solution.

Celik (AKP Turkey)
>>  Issuing arrest warrants is a clear provocation by the GCs.
>> Turkey will not allow GCs  usurp the rights of the TCs.

Suggests an alternative solution, based on which natural wealth in the East Med is shared in a just way.
>> Tension is the least he wanted to see but this situation is due to that the GCs left Turkey and the TCs with no other option than to carry on with their own drillings.

Neophytou (DISY)
Calls for prudence and for the government to carry on with its actions against Turkish provocations but without much fanfare from anyone to avoid raising tensions.
>> Expects more aggression from Turkey as the election rerun approaches.

AKEL: Arms embargo bill affects RoC’s relations with Russia

Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
External Security, Energy, Regional/International Relations


The dailies report on the latest spat between AKEL and DISY on the bill proposed by two US Senators suggesting among other things lifting the arms embargo on Cyprus.

Haravgi also reports that far-right ELAM has lend its support to ruling DISY.

Following criticism by AKEL to government support of the bill, DISY leader Averof Neophytou said AKEL’s attitude had come as an unpleasant surprise, and it was wrong.

After 30 years of struggles mainly by the Cypriot community in the US but also of the Republic of Cyprus, there was finally this bill to lift the arms embargo, he said.

Neophytou said what was important was the political message at this particular time when Turkey was violating the island’s exclusive economic zone.

Cyprus needs the support of powerful countries, he said.

AKEL spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said in response they could not believe that Neophytou and the government did not understand the real implications of the bill. He reiterated AKEL’s position that the bill aims at integrating Cyprus into US foreign policy goals in the region and that damages the vital interests of the country and creates dangers.

Stefanou said the government often declares that the Russian Federation is a very important partner in every respect and wondered “how can they celebrate this bill when it overturns that balance and negatively affecting Cyprus’ relations with Russia.”

Haravgi reported that ELAM rushed to support DISY by accusing the AKEL leadership and by aligning its positions with those of DISY. ELAM also talked about proper and reliable alliances, meaning the US, the paper reported.

Neophytou (DISY)
Surprised by AKEL’s strong reaction to a bill lifting the arms embargo after 30 years of struggles by government and Cypriot diaspora in the US toward this end.
Stresses importance of the political message sent at a time when Turkey violates Cypriot EEZ.
Cyprus needs the support of powerful countries such as the US.

Stefanou (AKEL)
Shocked by that Neophytou and the government fail to see what’s really behind the bill which is integrating Cyprus into US foreign policy goals in the region. This harms Cyprus’ interests and creates dangers.
>> Asks how can the government be happy over a bill when it is negatively affecting Cyprus’ relations with Russia and contrary to declarations that Russia is a very important partner.

>> Backs DISY on the matter against AKEL.
>> Cyprus needs proper and reliable alliances such as the US.

‘Opening the Dherynia crossing a tragic mistake’

Economy, CBMs


The daily reports that an organised group of shop owners in Paralimni plan on meeting with all political parties after seeing their sales drop due to the opening of the Dherynia crossing.

Marcos Posis, a representative of the group, told Phileleftheros that opening the Dherynia crossing was a tragic mistake, citing reduced tourist arrivals and organised efforts in the occupied areas to attract even more tourists in the summer.

He said shops and other businesses in the free Famagusta area are facing closure given that product prices are higher than in the north due to that their costs in running their businesses are much higher too.

Posis said, that according to information, TCs are preparing to receive an increased number of tourists in occupied Famagusta, including GCs, mainly from Nicosia, who will be in the district during July and August. He said shop owners in Paralimni, Dherynia and Ayia Napa are very concerned because it seems Glossa beach in occupied Famagusta has been organised, just as other beaches in the area to attract tourists and visitors from the free areas.

He said due to the close proximity of the Dherynia crossing to Paralimni, Ayia Napa and Sotira, it is much easier for visitors to cross to the occupied areas, arguing that opening it was unnecessary since there was already one in Strovilia.

“We have pushed the GCs and the tourists of Ayia Napa, Protaras and Paralimni to the occupied areas with all the negative consequences this entails,” he told the paper.

He added that with the low salaries GCs now earn and with many still unemployed, it was understandable why they prefer shopping and filling their car fuel tanks in the occupied areas.

The daily also reports that some persons have been systematically causing problems at the Dherynia crossing lately through provocative behaviour. Citing sources, the daily reported that some persons ignore the jurisdiction of GC police and Customs officers at the crossing when they cross from and to both sides.

State unknowingly subsidising settlers’ crops in Karpasia

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Human Rights


The papers report on the support measures to the enclaved that were discussed by the House refugee committee on Tuesday but also suspicion that the state may actually be indirectly subsiding settlers.

Politis reports that the committee discussed the refusal by the community leaders of Rizokarpaso and Ayia Triada to sign the applications by GC enclaved persons as to the size of their agricultural units or land for cultivating crops, for which they receive state subsidies.

The community leaders told MPs they have received complaints that some of their fellow villagers take advantage of the subsidy scheme  and present fake contracts saying settlers leased them their land so that they can get the state funding. As a result the agriculture ministry is in fact subsidising also settlers since they are the owners of the crops, MPs heard.

While there has been during the last few years a 30 per cent increase in applications by enclaved farmers for subsidies, the numbers of the enclaved remained the same, MPs heard.

The increase in the applications meant that the subsidy has been slashed by half, to €12 per donum compared to the €25 farmers used to get. This is due to that the budget earmarked for the subsidies which is €700,000 and covers also the Maronite villages, is being distributed according to the number of applications.

The community leaders told MPs they were not in a position to verify whether the applications of their constituents were valid or not and called for state intervention.

Phileleftheros reports that the same problem is also observed in Maronite villages. The paper also reports that MPs heard there have been complaints that some persons, while they are registered as enclaved and receiving a state allowance, are in fact living in the free areas.

Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said this problem is mainly observed in the Maronite villages, arguing that no one is forcing enclaved persons live in the occupied areas during the entire week, but they must stay there at least four days per week.

Significant air traffic increase in Nicosia FIR



According to Eurocontrol, the Nicosia FIR will serve by 2024 around 525,000 overflights per year, the paper reports.

Between 2019 and 2024 a 28,7 per cent increase is being estimated, although 77 per cent concerns overflights and only 23 per cent flights to and from the Larnaca and Paphos airports.

The increase in overflights is due to a rise in flights between European countries and Israel, the consequences of Brexit, even estimates on petrol prices and the value of the dollar.

Eurocontrol also takes into account a change in flight paths in relation to developments in Turkey but also the financial crisis in the country that could lead to some reductions, since Turkish airplanes are a significant user of the Nicosia FIR, the daily said.

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