GCC Press Review 29 July 2019

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Seeking president’s backing to remain as municipalities

Behind the scenes efforts to avoid merging of municipalities. Mayors of small municipalities brag about securing presidential promise that they will not be merging with bigger ones. Members of the Union of Municipalities’ leadership warn that any exceptions will open Pandora’s box.

  • Cyprob: Informal… deadline
  • Strategic coordination – The Greek Prime Minister in Cyprus.

Phileleftheros

Setting a response framework

Kyriacos Mitsotakis’ first visit to Cyprus is under the shadow of provocations. A response will be given to the Turks, said (Greek FM Nikos) Dendias.

  • The Turks are proud of (Boris) Johnson

Haravgi

Thousands of evictions on the way

Hundreds of citizens are expected to gather today at 10.30am outside parliament to protest over President Nikos Anastasiades’ referral of bills concerning foreclosures. According to the Movement against Foreclosures, the price will be paid by primary homes and small business establishments.

  • Today the first visit by Kyriacos Mitsotakis
  • Either BBF solution or partition of Cyprus, warns Andros Kyprianou

Alithia

Setting up a prevailing (climate)

An ‘operation’ has been launched to avert possible positive developments on the Cyprus problem. The DISY chairman and AKEL are the targets of the ‘usual’ circles. Prodromos Prodromou: The period from August 9 until the meeting of the two leaders, as well as up to the UN General Assembly in New York will be decisive. He indirectly confirmed Lute’s arrival at the beginning of September.

  • Kyriacos Mitsotakis: First visit in a critical period

Main News

Nicosia-Athens coordination against Turkish provocations on the cards

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

OVERVIEW

Developments on the Cyprus problem and the first visit of Kyriacos Mitsotakis since his election as Prime Minister of Greece are among the main items in all dailies on Monday.

The Greek PM will be accompanied by the foreign and energy ministers, and the government spokesman.

According to the papers, Government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said the focus of the visit would be reaffirming Nicosia and Athens’ common course on the Cyprus problem, adding that it is particularly important as Mitsotakis’ first visit as PM coincides with a critical period when it comes to the challenges Cyprus and Greece are both facing.

“Greece’s position like that of the GC side, is in favour of a solution of the Cyprus problem through negotiations, in accordance with UN resolutions and on the basis of EU principles and international law,” he said.

The focus now would be how to handle the daily actions and approaches of the Turkish side, he said.

Prodromou said it was no coincidence that President Nicos Anastasiades was seeking to resume the talks, unfortunately without any response from the Turkish side, for two years now.

Asked about possible timetables for a new process, the spokesman said it was not an issue of timetables but of political will. If there is a political will from Turkey, the time will be shortened. What is constantly lacking is Turkey’s political will, he said.

Prodromou said the period from August 9 until the UN General Assembly in September in New York, when the leaders are expected to meet UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, “will be decisive”.

Asked whether Guterres’ special envoy Jane Holl Lute would visit Cyprus during this period, Prodromou said “most likely”.

Phileleftheros reports that the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Sunday that a clear message needs to be sent out to the Turks: “That violation of the sovereignty and rights of the Republic of Cyprus is unacceptable”. He said Mitsotakis’ message while in Nicosia will be along the same lines.

The daily also reported that Athens and Nicosia will set a framework of reactions against Turkey’s provocations. The Cypriot side expects to hear the new Greek government’s positions both on the Cyprus problem and the future of trilateral cooperation agreements and on what measures can be taken to tackle Turkish provocations, Phileleftheros reported.

Phileleftheros and Alithia also report Prodromou saying that relations with Russia remain as is, as reaffirmed during Anastasiades’ meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

“Statements by Russia on the substance of the Cyprus problem recently were in favour of a solution according to UN resolutions and decisions, regardless of Russia’s relations with Turkey,” he said.

Alithia also said in its main article that the usual suspects, who choose the current deadlock over the prospect of any mobility on the Cyprus problem, revive their old tried and tested methods applied during the Annan plan period and prior to the Mont Pelerin talks. They attempt to set up again a prevailing climate targeting those who strive against permanent partition of the island and in favour of its reunification. Within this framework, defamatory and terrorising ‘articles’ and ‘analyses’ are making their appearance in part of the press while the well-known slander and rumour-spreading industry is beginning to oil its engines. 

President Anastasiades was among the first to be attacked in an effort to prevent him from either taking initiative to break the deadlock or agreeing to initiatives that might be taken by third parties, the daily said.

KEY ACTORS
Prodromou
>>
Greece, like the GC side, is in favour of a solution to the Cyprob through negotiations, in accordance with UN resolutions and on the basis of EU principles and international law.
>> Anastasiades has been trying to resume the talks for two years now without any response from the Turkish side.
>> If there is political will from Turkey the new process on the Cyprob will be completed fast but unfortunately, Turkey has not shown any such signs as yet.
>> The period between the leaders’ meeting until the UNGA when they will meet Guterres will be decisive.
>> There has been no change in Cyprus’ relations with Russia whereas recent statements by Russian officials on the substance of the Cyprob were in favour of a solution according to UN resolutions and decisions, regardless of Russia’s relations with Turkey.

Dendias (Greek FM)
>> The Turks need to realise that their actions that violate the sovereignty and rights of the RoC are unacceptable.


DIKO: National Council decided on 2003 Varosha proposal

Alithia
Negotiations Process, Territory

OVERVIEW

Alithia reports that DIKO has accused daily Politis of acting as the mouthpiece of Turkish propaganda in reaction to an article in the paper’s Sunday edition where it reported that former President Tassos Papadopoulos had twice refused an offer by the TCs to give the closed-off town of Varosha to the GC side.

One was in 2003 that is not well-known, while the other one was in 2004 with the rejection of the Annan plan, Politis had reported.

DIKO said Politis’ article was full of bile against the late Papadopoulos over his rejection of the so-called ‘proposal’ by Denktash on Varosha, while ‘forgetting’ to report that Denktash’s “firework” on Varosha was unanimously rejected at the time by the National Council.

Politis also ‘forgets’ that Papadopoulos’ proposal on the opening of the Famagusta port was accepted and adopted by the EU and was, of course, turned down by the Turkish side because it was not convenient to Turkish plans, DIKO said.

The party said it humbly confirms that it is obliged by its history, its positions and duty to the Cypriot people to carry on Tassos Papadopoulos’ policy and fight for a viable, functional, democratic and European solution, Alithia reported.

[Reviewer’s note: Politis on Sunday reported that a date that is not mentioned as a missed opportunity is a forgotten proposal by Rauf Denktash to Tassos Papadopoulos on April 2, 2003, to return Varosha to the GCs in return, among other things, for the GC side to allow TCs to trade with the free areas. Papadopoulos, stating that he wanted negotiations based on the Annan Plan for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem, responded negatively the same day to the Denktash proposal, and 14 months later he signed the Green Line Regulation, which partly provided for what the TC side was requesting a year earlier the paper reported].

KEY ACTORS
DIKO
>>
The 2003 so-called proposal by Denktash was unanimously rejected by the National Council.
>> Reaffirms its obligation to the Cypriot people to carry on Papadopoulos’ policy on the Cyprob and fight for a viable, functional, democratic and European solution