GCC Press Review 19 Dec 2019

Front Page Headlines


Odysseas-parties are playing with GESY

The time the Auditor-general picked to make “revelations” is not random. Intervention just two days before the meeting of political leaders. The HIO (Health Insurance Organisation) is on the lookout. It is already investigating 130 ‘suspected’ specialist doctors.

  • Cyprus-Germany: They built defence relations
  • EVKAF lost a trial
  • Dr Ramon: Hard battle at the European Court of Justice


130 doctors under investigation

They are being scrutinized for abuse of the GESY system. Eighty state doctors were found to have received fat allowances. Unbelievable pays given during the first months of GESY.

  • A vakif trustee demands a real estate property in Nicosia – Only the Guardian can file lawsuits, Court ruled. Τhe property is in Ayios Andreas area and is being used by the electricity authority (EAC). The case reached up to the Supreme Court.
  • Excuses by Sassoli over Cavusoglu (meeting)
  • Tatar-Ozersay got a call: They are turning the occupied areas in a war base
  • A pipeline is out of the question for Turkey and Israel – Erdogan doesn’t want to, either.


A €66m-bill for guarantees to Hellenic

The first bill over the guarantees given to Hellenic Bank as part of the agreement on the Coop Bank reaches €65,8m. The agreement was approved by majority in parliament with the votes of DISY, DIKO, EDEK, ELAM while the guarantees have a 12-year duration. Based on the agreement, Hellenic Bank has the right to submit more demands.

  • Many mistakes and stalling did not lead to the registration of halloumi as PDO

Cyprus Mail

Union fury after two work deaths

Labour ministry needs to get far tougher on employers over safety say unions.


Shocking doctor pays

A survey by the Audit-office revealed numbers that cause dizziness. Some specialist doctors received more than €400,000 between June and November. A group of GESY doctors are anonymously collecting information for possible abuse of the system by doctors and is investigating.

  • Supreme Court: TC Hakki will not get the vakif property
  • Cypriot refugee: Insists on claiming compensation from Turkey through the EU to the tune of €585.418,74.
  • Occupied areas: The Republican Turkish Party goes to the elections with Erhurman (as its candidate)

Main News

GC & TC parties pledge to avoid negative rhetoric & help solution effort

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


DISY leader Averof Neophytou called on all parties, GC and TC, to avoid actions or rhetoric that increase distance or mistrust between the two sides, the papers report.

GC and TC parties agreed to assist in the process for a solution to the Cyprus problem by creating a more positive climate.

In his address at the latest meeting between GC and TC parties at the Ledra Palace hotel under the auspices of the Slovak embassy, which was hosted by ruling DISY, Neophytou said it was obvious to everyone that the window of opportunity for a solution would not remain open indefinitely.

Neophytou talked about how political parties could help the process, given also that the level of trust between the two sides was low at present, and the fact that people were sceptical about prospects for successful talks. This, he said, was noted by the UN Secretary-General who had indicated that neither side appeared to be making an effort to rein in the rhetoric.

Finding a solution is not enough, he said, since it must be accepted by both communities in referendums at the same time, and above all, people must believe in the agreed solution in order for it to be lasting.

“Therefore it is imperative that our behaviour in a peace process and our daily rhetoric, when referring to the other community, be such that – even when expressing our disagreement – it does not increase the distance and the distrust between the GCs and the TCs,” he said.

Neophytou also said the time had come to support the establishment of a permanent bicommunal forum for dialogue between the youth organisations of political parties.

After the meeting the parties said in a joint communique, they commit to avoiding actions or rhetoric that increases the distance and mistrust between TCs and GCs and repeat their support for the resumption of meaningful negotiations through the understanding that was reached between the two leaders in Berlin, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General.

They also said they agree that the implementation of new confidence-building measures (CBMs) to facilitate personal contact between ordinary people, political support to the important role and work of the bi-communal Technical Committees, the encouragement of meetings and cooperation between political parties of the two communities, and of participation and interest of the youth, are important steps in their common effort to assist in the peace process.

Neophytou (DISY)
The window of opportunity for a solution will not be open indefinitely & political parties could help by raising the level of trust between the two communities by avoiding rhetoric that increases the distance & distrust between GCs and TCs.
>> Finding a solution is not enough since it must be accepted by both communities in referendums while people must believe in the agreed solution in order for it to be lasting.
>> Calls for the establishment of a permanent bicommunal forum between the youth organisations of political parties.

GC & TC political parties
Commit to avoiding actions or rhetoric that increases the distance and mistrust between TCs and GCs & reaffirm their support for the resumption of meaningful negotiations as per the understanding between the two leaders in Berlin.
>> New CBMs to facilitate personal contact between ordinary people, political support to the Technical Committees, more meetings & cooperation between political parties of the two sides & youth involvement are important steps in efforts to assist in the peace process.

Supreme Court rejects appeal by TC seeking return of property in Nicosia

Alithia, Phileleftheros, Politis
Property, Human Rights


The dailies report that the Supreme Court rejected the appeal filed by a TC woman, stating to be the trustee of vakif property in Ayios Andreas area in Nicosia, and who had asked for the property to be returned to her along with compensation for illegal intervention and rent.

The lawsuit was against the Guardian of TC properties and the state electricity authority (EAC) that is using it.

The court ruled that according to the law the Guardian of TC properties has all the rights and obligations their TC owners would, including the right of possession thus, in this case, it is the Guardian that has the right to possess this property and not the appellant. Therefore, the demand by the appellant to be returned the property is not justified. Court also ruled that the law in question ensures the protection of the properties and rights of TCs by providing the Guardian with the relevant powers and responsibilities, papers report.

Cyprus-Germany reaffirm defence cooperation

Phileleftheros, Politis
External Security, Regional/International Relations, EU Matters


The dailies report that Defence Minister Savvas Angelides met on Wednesday with his German counterpart Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer who was on the island on an official visit.

The two ministers met at the Cyprus Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Larnaca. 
In statements after the meeting, Angelides said they discussed ways to further deepen and upgrade the bilateral relations between the two countries on the level of defence and security as well as the cooperation through the EU global strategy in the fields of defence and security.
He said he briefed his German counterpart on the latest developments after Turkey’s escalating provocations in the Cypriot exclusive economic zone.
Angelides said apart from Germany’s solidarity to Cyprus, the German minister said she will assume initiatives in the context of her responsibilities and on an EU level so that the EU Summit decisions will be implemented giving the right messages with regard to Turkey’s behaviour.

The defence ministry said later in the day in a press release that the two ministers discussed the cooperation between the two countries in the context of joint programmes of the EU Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) with special emphasis on the programmes “Network of logistic Hubs in Europe and support to Operations” and “Military Mobility”, the papers report.

EP President defends meeting with Cavusoglu

EU Matters


According to the paper, President of the European Parliament David Sassoli said the aim of his meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu was to convey to him the message of the condemnation by the EU of Turkey’s illegal actions in Cyprus’ maritime areas.

Sassoli said this in a reply letter to DISY MEPs Loucas Fourlas and Lefteris Christoforou who, in a letter, had expressed their “strong dissatisfaction” over the EP President’s meeting with Cavusoglu a few weeks ago despite the unanimous decision by the EU28 to suspend all high-level meetings with Turkish officials as part of measures against Turkey for her illegal activities off Cyprus.

In his letter, Sassoli also said he had consulted with the European External Action Service prior to the meeting while argued that it is through an open dialogue with Turkey that the EU can achieve some influence over the decisions taken by the Turkish authorities.

The daily said that Sassoli was trying to justify the unjustifiable while fails to realise that he would have exhibited actual support for Cyprus not just through statements but by implementing the decision on the suspension of all political high-level dialogue with Turkey.

GC refugee continues legal battle on compensation through EU funds to Turkey

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Property, EU Matters, Human Rights


The dailies report that GC refugee Dinos Ramon continues efforts to claim compensation for his property in Bogazi from Turkey’s EU accession funds.

On Wednesday he filed his reply to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) after been given until December 19 to do so, after the European Commission filed its opposition to the waiver of its immunities, to allow the Court to examine the conditional garnishee order issued last summer by the Famagusta District Court. He hopes that an oral hearing will take place before next summer.

Ramon had filed a case in 1995, at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), as part of the Xenides-Arestis group of cases and won. Ankara, however, has yet to pay the damages awarded by the Court, to the tune of €450,000.
His lawyer, Achilleas Demetriades, secured on June 26 an interim judgment for a garnishee order from the Famagusta District Court, claiming for his client the amount of €585,418.74 (the amount of the damages awarded by the European Court plus expenses and interest) from Turkey’s pre-accession funds relating to the protection and promotion of human rights.

Demetriades told Politis that this is a very complicated case. Based on the arguments of the case filed by Demetriades, the European Commission has earmarked €4.5bn for accession aid to Turkey, of which, €625m is for safeguarding and promoting human rights and the rule of law.

 The lawyer argues that it would be odd for Turkey to receive aid to defend human rights and at the same time violate the rights of EU citizens by refusing to comply with a court decision.

Haravgi and Alithia also report that the Famagusta Chamber of Commerce and Industry called on refugees to register the ownership of their properties in the occupied town with the land registry.

Following an event it organised where key speaker Demetriades gave legal advice to property owners on ways to deal with the Turkish actions in Famagusta, the chamber urged refugees from the occupied town to register their properties with the land registry. It said the ownerships of around 20 per cent of these properties are not registered.

The Chamber said that given threats for the opening of the closed-off town and claims that most of it belongs to EVKAF,  it was imperative that all properties were registered with the authorities.

In the case the properties’ ownership is not registered, they risk being claimed by EVKAF, the Chamber said according to the papers.

MEPs raise issues of Maronites, direct flights

Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters, Property, Human Rights


The dailies report that AKEL MEP Niyazi Kizilyurek raised the issue of the return of Maronites to their villages in the north before the European Commission.

In a question to the EU Commission, Kizilyurek said that Maronites had received reassurances from the Turkish foreign minister and other officials that they would be allowed to return to their homes that today stand empty. Until now, there have been no positive measures towards that direction, he said, and asked the European Commission what initiatives was willing to take to help Maronites return to their villages.

Phileleftheros also reports that EDEK MEP Demetris Papadakis said in his question to the EC that travel agent First-Voyages organizes travel packages to Cyprus with direct flights to the illegal airport of occupied Tympou.

He is asking the Committee what it aims doing for this illegal campaign to stop. He said this campaign is abusing the right to do business and is exploiting the occupied by Turkey properties of Cypriot citizens by advertising them, the paper reports.

Cyprus to nominate ECHR for Nobel Peace Prize

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Human Rights


The government on Wednesday announced its intention of nominating the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) for next year’s Nobel Peace Prize.

Deputy government spokesman, Panayiotis Sentonas announced that the Cabinet authorised the Minister of Justice to submit a proposal to the Nobel Prize Laureate for the European Court of Human Rights.

He added that the reasoning behind this proposal was that the ECHR “is an important institution in particular in terms of defending human rights but also in safeguarding international justice. It contributes to the realisation and promotion of world peace and coexistence.”

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