GCC Press Review 28 May 2021

Front Page Headlines


They all placed their bets and on Sunday they are cashing in

The curtain of the election campaign period is closing with many lines, few proposals and high tones. People are called to send their own messages and decide whether to turn their backs on parties but choosing abstention or if they will go to the ballot box and define with their vote parliament’s new composition. Logistically, the biggest part of the parties’ ‘job’ has been completed. Attention is now on voters who appear hesitant in voting, while it is expected that that party patriotism will now be used.

  • Nicos Roalndis: Our patriot politician “is gone”
  • Andros Kyprianou to Politis: the presidential election goal is a powerful AKEL
  • We are relaxing with our minds… on AstraZeneca – Unfortunately, the reassurances do not convince people.


Last vote hunt

The curtain of the election campaign is closing but the scene remains unclear. Raid by the election campaigners on the undecided.

  • They did not tolerate the ‘trnc’ as a state and left the exercise
  • The minister who put the first signature on the Cypriot EEZ has died
  • Yiannakis’ date of hiring reveals the truth – The election campaign has peaked over the scandal.


Dozens of small & medium size businesses are in a difficult situation

Evictions due to delayed rent payments are already taking place while more than 10% has closed their businesses. Full indifference by the central state and absence of the competent ministries. Bankruptcies and foreclosures.

  • Toumazos Tselepis – Cyprus problem: Danger for land borders with Turkey
  • Parliamentary elections: Social & political life people support AKEL
  • New relaxations (of measures) a day before the parliamentary elections – Announcements also for later.

Cyprus Mail

‘The time is now right to open up’

Curfew scrapped from June 10, nighclubs to reopen, SafePass remains in force.

  • ‘Servant of truth’ Nicos Rolandis dies at 86
  • President blasts ‘cheap political point-scoring’ in furore over commissioner’s qualifications


Elections-thriller for nerves of steel

Anticipation – with the heart in our mouth until the last minute. Inability to predict the final percentages and how the distribution of the seats will be made. Will we see great twists or the balances in parliament will not be disturbed?

  • Ersin Tatar: “Bottom-up” is the new approach of the TCs with Britain’s contribution
  • Anastasiades: It is unthinkable to consent to positive agenda for Turkey
  • Nicos Rolandis: He left for the great journey at 86
  • Tatar: The time has come for the crossings to open – Pressure is mounting.

Main News

Tatar explained to UNSG his Cyprob positions

Alithia, Haravgi
Negotiations Process, EU Matters


Alithia reports that TC leader Ersin Tatar said he sent last week a letter to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and EU members explaining his positions on the Cyprus problem.

Tatar said his proposal on sovereign equality concerns a “bottom-up” approach, the existence of a common structure between two sovereign states and under it, other responsibilities such as external relations etc. The fact that Britain may have played a role in this approach has upset the GC side, he reportedly said. He reiterated that the key to a viable, permanent and just solution was two equal sovereign states on the island.

Alithia and Haravgi also report, that President Nicos Anastasiades, commenting on his statements earlier in the week about Nicosia’s possible veto to an EU-Turkey positive agenda, said that one cannot characterise as positive behaviour the ongoing preparations for the settlement of Famagusta or the proposal for a two-state solution that blatantly violates UN resolutions and overturns the basis for a solution.

“Therefore, I find it inconceivable on my part to agree on a positive agenda, which would include the modernization of the Customs Union, which would include visa-free travel for Turkish nationals or whatever else Turkey claims,” he said, the dailies report.

The key to a just, viable Cyprob solution is two equal sovereign states with the existence of a common structure but each will be dealing with their own affairs.

Nicosia will not agree to a positive EU-Turkey agenda while Ankara continues to work toward the settlement of Famagusta & insists on a two-state solution.

AKEL: Cyprus risks having a land border with Turkey

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Negotiations Process, EU Matters, Governance & Power Sharing


The dailies report that as parties’ election campaigns are about to end ahead of Sunday’s parliamentary elections, accusations and spats continue on the Cyprus problem and other issues.

Haravgi reports that head of AKEL’s Cyprus problem office, Toumazos Tselepis warned that the erratic way the president and ruling DISY are handling the Cyprus problem would lead to Cyprus ending up with a land border with Turkey.

Tselepis asked how did things end up the way they are, with Turkey bringing back the two-state solution and replied that this was due to Anastasiades’ and DISY’s erratic and dangerous policy, experimentations and questioning of main convergences of the Guterres Framework, and casting shadows over the solution basis.

 He said when Anastasiades’ interlocutor was Mustafa Akinci, AKEL was the only party to warn of the consequences of the president and DISY’s way of handling things. He said AKEL, consistent to its patriotic duty, will continue to struggle to prevent the island’s final partition which, in time, will lead to a land border with Turkey. Tselepis called on people to vote for AKEL to reinforce this struggle.

Alithia reports that Tselepis accused the president and ruling DISY of contradictory and dangerous policies with head of the president’s press office, Victors Papadopoulos hitting back that the Cyprus problem should be left out of petty party expediencies.

All dailies also report that the public spat over the case of former Volunteerism Commissioner Yiannakis Yiannaki, who resigned this week after it emergedhe forged his high school diploma and had a presented a seemingly fake university diploma back in 1996 when he was hired to the Youth Board of Cyprus (Onek) continued also on Thursday. In 2013 Anastasiades appointed him Volunteerism Commissioner.

Accusations by opposition prompted Anastasiades to take a stand on Thursday and recalled that Yiannaki was first appointed to Onek in 1996, during the administration of Tassos Papadopoulos. On Yiannaki’s appointment as commissioner, Anastasiades said the responsibility for checking an appointee’s qualifications does not lie with the President of the Republic.

Kyprianou: Anastasiades must give TCs-Turkey incentives to return to agreed solution basis

Negotiations Process


AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou, called on people, in an interview with Politis, to realise that the stakes of Sunday’s parliamentary elections concerns themselves and the improvement of their lives or not.

Kyprianou also said he believes that Sunday’s results are also linked with the 2023 presidential elections because a powerful AKEL will be the pole around which powers will mobilise to achieve the great change in the country’s administration.

To the question on which powers he is referring to since AKEL does not agree with anyone among opposition on the Cyprus problem, he said, there are social movements but also political parties that may be ready to back an independent candidate who will announce his positions, also on the Cyprus problem and other issues. He said he did not wish to name any possible cooperation with other parties or others for now, and that this is an issue to be discussed after Sunday’s parliamentary elections. “We know who is interested in claiming the presidency of the Republic of Cyprus, we also have names in mind,” he said.

Kyprianou also reiterated his position that the Cyprus problem is at a critical juncture and a step before the island’s final partition.

It is obvious Turkey will proceed with new fait accompli in Varosha, he said, recalling that the Turkish president has announced he will be in Cyprus on July 20 to make important statements while he warned of a ‘hot summer’. “All this is worrying and I am saddened to say that some do not seem to be concerned, and I mean the president and DISY,” he added.

He said many people said President Nicos Anastasiades spoke to them at some point about a two-state solution, which was obvious that, at some point, he had reflected on the possibility of two states.

Kyprianou said, to prevent the worst, the GC side must do something that will curb Turkey’s plans such as offer incentives so that all sides go back to the agreed framework.

Anastasiades, he said, repeatedly states that while Turkey continues to have unacceptable claims he will not take actions that will lead to resumption of negotiations while all he does is complain about the Turkish provocations and unacceptable claims. Though it is good to protest against these, it is not enough to solve the problem, he added.

He said AKEL has submitted to Anastasiades his proposal that he first needs to restore his credibility which has taken a huge hit after the talks in Crans-Montana and then take actions which will give Turkey and the TC leadership incentives to cooperate on the agreed solution framework and so that they do not stray from these principles.

Kypranou said the president needs to make it clear that he accepts political equality not in words, but in actions, and he must say that if and when the negotiations resume, he is ready to submit bridging proposals on the issues that remain open regarding the six points of the UN Secretary-General and with regard to natural gas. He should also say that he accepts the Christofias-Talat convergence that it is about federal responsibility and that the fund in which the potential gas revenues will be deposited and distributed proportionally to the two communities by 70:30, will be done.

“And if we come to the six points of the Secretary-General’s framework, then, say he is ready to discuss the possibility of the participation of the TCs in the committee that manages the gas issues. In addition to tell Turkey that if it helps to resolve the Cyprus issue properly and normalise relations between us then he is ready to discuss possible trade cooperation on gas issues,” he added.

That way he said, Anastasiades does not make any concessions before the start of the negotiations and does not give in to issues of principle “as he falsely tells the Cypriot people that we propose him to do and at the same time he convinces of his readiness this time to seriously discuss in order to go to the end.”

The AKEL leader also expressed his position that if Anastasiades insists on doing nothing while Turkey has these unacceptable claims it would lead with mathematical precision to the final partition of the island. He also wondered whether the president thinks that Cyprus, such a small country, could actually take on Turkey and win, given that the US and Russia had not succeeded in making Ankara change its stance on disputes between them.

Kyprianou (AKEL)
Warns that Cyprob is at critical juncture & a step before the island’s final partition unless Anastasiades starts taking action.
>> Though Turkey obviously plans on continuing its fait accompli in Varosha, the government and DISY do not seem to be concerned about it.
>> Anastasiades must offer incentives to TCs & Turkey to cooperate on agreed solution framework: accept political equality in actions, submit bridging proposals on the issues that remain open & state he is ready to discuss the possibility of TC participation in the committee that manages natural gas.
>> The government is fooling itself if it believes it can corner Turkey when the US and Russia failed to do so.

Leaders state willingness to open crossing points

Alithia, Haravgi


Alithia reports that TC leader Ersin Tatar announced it is time to open the crossing points amidst mounting pressure in the north while President Nicos Anastasiades stated the GC side has showed good will towards that direction and now it was up to the TCs to respond.

According to the paper, Tatar said that now the covid cases dropped in the south, it was time to open the crossing points which is also what merchants and the market want.

He also said the TC side has set its terms through the Technical Committee on Health while the GC side was waiting for the elections. Tatar also said the crossings had closed on the GC side’s initiative for political reasons, to stop the money flow to the north.

Alithia also reports that Anastasiades, when asked about the issue of the crossings, said the GC side has submitted the information that would allow for this issue to proceed but it seems there is difference of opinion among the TC leadership.

“Therefore, we are once again demonstrating our goodwill, always based on epidemiological data. It is up to the other side to finally respond to our goodwill,” he said, according to the daily.

Alithia also cites TC daily Diyalog that reports that the terms set by Tatar’s ‘government’ for the reopening of the crossing cause great concern among people and the tourism sector.

Both Alithia and Haravgi report that the travel agents union KITSAB said that the requirements for full vaccination and PCR tests are putting obstacles to their effort to attract tourists to the north through the south part of the island, Turkey and Greece.

It also reports that the TC Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (KTEZO) that held a protest in Famagusta, said that 5,000 businesses will bankrupt if the crossings do not open.

Now that cases have dropped in south, the crossings, that were shut down by the GCs to harm TCs’ economy, can reopen.

GC side has shown its good will for the reopening of the crossings now that the epidemiological situation allows, it is up to TCs to respond.

Slovakia pulls out of Turkish exercise over north’s participation

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Regional/International Relations, EU Matters


Phileleftheros and Haravgi report that Slovakia pulled out of the Turkish military exercise Anadolu Ankasi 2021 which is taking place between May 2 and June 4 after it realised the occupied areas were also participating.

According to Phileleftheros Turkey attempted to use a military exercise with the participation of third countries in order to promote the presence of the pseudo-state. Slovakia, when it realised this, withdrew from the exercise. The organisers also announced the US among the participations, but the American flag never appeared, it added.

The exercise, taking place in Konya, in Turkey, started on Monday and organisers said Slovakia, the US, Azerbaijan and Qatar were to also participate while the Turkish government made sure to present the pseudo-state as one of the participating ‘states’.

Citing information, the daily reports that as soon the Slovak defence minister realised this, he informed the foreign minister and instructions were given for the immediate withdrawal of the Slovak participation from the exercise.

The Slovak Foreign Minister, Ivan Korčok, first informed his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides on the margins of the informal meeting (Gymnich) of EU FMs in Lisbon, and later, Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.

Alithia reports that both Slovakia and the US withdrew opposing that way Ankara’s move to include the pseudo-state.

Both dailies report that Greek foreign ministry said in a statement that the Slovak minister informed Dendias that Slovakia withdrew its participation from the Turkish military exercise Anadolu Ankasi 2021, held from 24.5 to 4.6, due to the participation of the occupied part of Cyprus, emphasizing his country’s commitment to international law and European solidarity.

Dendias welcomed this action and thanked his Slovak counterpart for his swift response. The Greek ministry noted that relevant demarches had been made to Slovakia, in coordination with the Cypriot side.

Nicos Rolandis dies at 86

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Governance & Power Sharing


The dailies report that veteran politician Nicos Rolandis died at the age of 86.

President Nicos Anastasiades said that the loss of Rolandis is a loss for Cyprus, describing him as a “patriot who adorned with his presence parliament and the institutions he served”.

Rolandis served as foreign minister, commerce minister and an MP. He was one of the founding members of DIKO. He had formed his own political party in 1986 – the Liberal Party – and ran as a presidential candidate in the 1998 election but later supported the eventual winner Glafcos Clerides. His funeral will be held on Saturday.

Phileleftheros also reports that he was the one to sign the very first exclusive economic zone agreement (EEZ) signed on the Mediterranean. While Trade and Commerce Minister, in the Glafcos Clerides government, Rolandis signed in 2003 Cyprus’ agreement with Egypt on the delimitation of their EEZs.

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