GCC Press Review 27 Apr 2020

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Step-by-step exit from quarantine

The key points of the countdown. Interministerial committee meets today to finalise its suggestions to the President. The aim is for the economy to fully function internally by the end of June.

  • Group of 1,525 T/C workers: They ask for facilitation
  • Turkey: Erdogan faces difficulties
  • Kosher: Voices against withdrawal

Phileleftheros

Heavy fallout on GeSY

Budget at zero – Serious needs of patients up in the air – Hospitals not ready. Postponment of second phase implementation to be decided today.

  • Concern over provocations

Haravgi

Countdown for lifting of measures

Road for return to normalcy is opening. Complete lift with timeframe. Situation to be assessed every fortnight.

Alithia

Towards swift loosening

Epidemiological data and downwards trend in cases allow speeding up. It seems that reducing the intermediate period between stages to 7 days is being considered. List of shops – businesses that will open on May 4th is being expanded. Airports reopen after May 17th, kindergartens and elementary schools reopen.

Main News

Possibility of loosening measures in the next week increases, experts say

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Internal Security, Human Rights, CBMs

OVERVIEW

The government is considering loosening up measures against coronavirus in the next months and weeks due to the dramatic reaction in new cases. However, experts point out, citizens should continue being careful in order to maintain the gains made in the past few weeks.

Phileleftheros reporta that only 7 new cases were reported on Sunday as a result of 2,415 tests, bringing the total number of cases in the government controlled areas up to 817.

Professor Leontios Kostrikkis told journalists that the science advisory team to the government cannot officially announce how the measures will be loosened before submitting its poroposals to the Cabinet of Ministers which will be taking the decisions.

For yet another day, no new cases have been detected in the occupied areas foro the ninth day in a row, the dailies also report.

Newspapers also report that T/C leader Mustafa Akinci has sent a letter to the World Health Organisation asking that the organisation include the north in its statistics, and that the T/C community needs to be able to communicate the WHO directly.


T/Cs who work in south ask President Anastasiades to consider their case

Alithia, Politis
Internal Security, Human Rights, CBMs, Economy

OVERVIEW

A group of 1,525 T/Cs that live in the occupied areas but work in the government controlled areas have sent a letter to President Anastasiades asking the government to allow them to return to their workplaces if they open on May 4th. The story was first reported on Saturday by Haravgi.

In the letter, which is signed by Serkan Yavas on bahalf of all the workers, it is pointed out that many of them could lose their job if they cannot return due to the fact that checkpoints remain closed. The letter adds that they have not been able to receive assistance from the RoC due to the fact that they are paid in cash, despite the fact that they are registered for social insurance in the government controlled areas and have hence no income or social protection in the north.

The T/C workers ask for an exception in their case in case their workplaces reopen since they have no other means to maintain their income.

Government sources told Politis that so far the authorities have not discussed how or when checkpoints and airports can be reopened. However, the newspaper points out that based on information being made public on both sides, the lifting of measures will be gradual which means that the full reopening of the checkpoints will be delayed for several months.

The same sources told Politis that the government had not yet received the letter by the T/C workers but that the issue is complicated and that the priority is to protect public health. A diplomatic source told the newspaper that it would be normal for these people to have priority to cross once the epidemiological situation allows it.