GCC Press Review 30 June 2020

Front Page Headlines

Politis

Increasing… decrease in EAC bills

Use of cheaper batches of fuel began and will continue. Decrease reached 18% during period between January – June, along with 10% reduction imposed by RAEK (energy regulatory authority). More reductions expected in July and following months due to depletion of expensive reserves.

  • End to intolerance

Phileleftheros

Strict recommendations for spending

Finance Ministry sets a ceiling on ministry expenditures in order to avoid derailing public funds. Preparation of 2021 budget influenced by coronavirus.

  • Support from Commissioner for Children: In a tangle over student’s article on Religious Instruction
  • They brought another 4,000 Attilas to the occupied areas

Haravgi

Opening loopholes instead of closing holes

“Golden” passports: Favour interests of a small group of developers. Internal affairs committee finds complexities and loopholes. Programme’s investment capability not broadened.

  • AKEL SG asks President to take initiative for restart of dialogue
  • Famagusta Municipality unable to launch mass appeal without support

Cyprus Mail

Change at the top focuses on reform

Attorney-general, deputy and two new ministers sworn in, pledge judicial reform.

Alithia

Lamaris beheaded

When you don’t give money to AKEL… AKEL removed all party positions/titles from its leading official because he refused to give the party the lump-sum payment he received when he left parliament. In the past AKEL beheaded for the same reason Yiorgos Christodoulides, Thasos Michaelides, Kyriakos Tyrimos, Y. Hadjigeorgiou and others. Double standards: Other MPs that didn’t give their lump-sum to AKEL were not punished (D. Kontides) – Others also have private employment.

  • Coronavirus: Two cases yesterday, one imported, the other with travel history
  • Regulation before Parliament: Naturalisation legislation changes

Main News

Borrell spokesperson underlines EU seeking dialogue with Turkey

Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters, External Security, Energy, Regional/ International Relations, Negotiations Process

OVERVIEW

The dailies report that Josep Borrel’s spokesperson avoided commenting on information that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu had rejected a proposal by the EU High Representative that he meet with his Cypriot counterpart, Nicos Christodoulides.

Peter Stano told the Cyprus News Agency that during his visit in Cyprus, Borrell reiterated the EU’s position on Turkey’s actions in the Eastern Mediterranean, adding that these issues need to be solved through dialogue.

Stano noted that he wouldn’t say anything beyond what Borrell said in Nicosia, and pointed out that relations with Turkey will be on the agenda of the next Foreign Affairs Council and the next European Council.

The spokesperson also noted that the EU will continue its discussion with Turkey in order to achieve a change in the country’s behaviour and rhetoric.

The dailies also report that Cavusoglu is expected to visit Berlin on Thursday along with Turkey’s tourism minister, to discuss travel restrictions that have been imposed by Germany. However, as Haravgi notes, the meeting is expected to play into the overall discussion on Turkey-EU relations, especially since Germany will be taking over the six-month EU Council Presidency on Wednesday.

Haravgi writes, citing agency reports, that German Chancellor Angela Merkel met with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday ahead of the change-over in the Council Presidency. The agenda reportedly included EU-Turkey relations and the situation in Libya.

Meanwhile, AKEL secretary general Andros Kyprianou has called on President Anastasiades to take initiatives towards restarting the peace process as soon as the elections for T/C leader are over. Kyprianou was speaking after a meeting with representatives of the Leftist Wing movement.

Kyprianou said that Anastasiades should push for a resumption of negotiations based on the joint declaration issued by the two leaders after their Berlin meeting with UNSG Antonio Guterres. The AKEL leader also pointed out that it is just as important that Anastasiades prepare public opinion and inform people of the need of a solution and the dangers of the status quo.

The dailies report on how diverging decisions by the T/C “government” and the RoC have caused uncertainty at crossing points, after the north’s decision to open some checkpoints that were not opened by the RoC and to keep others closed.


Famagusta Municipality asks FM to help launch Varosha appeal

Haravgi
Territory, Property, Negotiations Process, EU Matters

OVERVIEW

Haravgi reports that Famagusta Mayor Simos Ioannou and members of the municipal council met with Foreign Minister Nicos Christodoulides on Monday to discuss the issue of the T/C and Turkish intention to gradually reopen the fenced-off city of Varosha.

Ioannou pointed out that without the RoC’s assistance, the Famagusta Municipality would not be able to launch a mass lawsuit on behalf of owners of properties in the fenced-off city. The mass appeal is a suggestion first formulated and promoted by prominent lawyer Achilleas Demetriades.

According to the newspaper, the Foreign Ministry seems to agree with the opinion of the former Attorney-general that this issue is political and not legal. The Famagusta Municipality has requested a meeting with the new Attorney-general, Haravgi reports.

Haravgi recalls that in February, the head of Turkey’s bar association had said during an event regarding the reopening of Varosha that 281 applications have been lodged at the Immovable Property Commission regarding properties in the fenced-off city. The beach front of the city is estimated to be made up of about 425 properties.

Demetriades’ argument was that the best way to stop the process of reopening Varosha under T/C administration would be to launch mass appeals in court over the beach front properties.

The counter-argument, according to the newspaper, is that such a move might lead to the Turkish side abolishing the Immovable Property Commission and calling owners to return under T/C administration.