GCC Press Review 1 June 2021

Front Page Headlines


They are looking into what went wrong for the election loss

AKEL and DIKO were taken by surprise by the result and their failure to convince (voters). The result of the elections froze AKEL, which, within the week is launching developments both in relation to the party congress as well as the presidency of the parliament. A leadership change, members say, is now imperative. The final result leaves no room for celebration or complacency for DISY with Averof Neophytou already referring to a consensus (with other parties) for the next day. The first important milestone is the election of the Speaker of Parliament. In DIKO, the 11.3% is a message that constant conflict with strong characterisations is not the solution that the citizens are looking for. Nicolas Papadopoulos, however, did not leave anyone within the party who could challenge him.

  • House elections: The anthropography of the new parliament
  • Greece-Turkey: The Mitsotakis-Erdogan meeting has been finalised
  • MPs’ conflict of interest: Their businesses under the microscope
  • Coronavirus: We say goodbye to the measures and masks soon


Post-election tremors for AKEL

The issue of the leadership has been raised over the continuing downslope, Andros keeps his cards close to his chest. Fermentations have started for the House Presidency.

  • Everything about Sunday’s House elections in a free, 32-page insert
  • A 10-member team of investigators (was appointed) for the naturalisations
  • With SafePass in restaurants’ indoors areas from today – The aim is the opening of the crossings on Friday.


A dialogue was initiated within AKEL for the elections result

Meeting of the Political Bureau on Wednesday and of the Central Committee on Saturday.

  • If everything goes well, the crossings open on Friday
  • EU-Turkish relations: Cavusoglu-Dendias agreed for non-stop continuation of the dialogue
  • Tourism: €2.7 billion was lost while the picture remains blurry

Cyprus Mail

Elections: ‘we’re close to a shift’

Since 2011 big parties have haemorrhaged votes to small parties, apathy.

  • Crossing points could reopen on Friday government, spokesman says
  • Small parties of up to 20 finally allowed with further relaxations


And now, the battle for the House presidency

Scenarios and name-dropping have started. The plenary will hold a session on Thursday, 10 June. The result of the elections knocked out Andros Kyprianou’s candidacy (for House president).

  • How Tatar comments on the election results: He sees no solution
  • Erdogan will inaugurate a drones base in Lefkoniko on July 20
  • Sotiris Ioannou, ELAM: The youngest MP in the history of Cyprus
  • Mitsotakis-Erdogan will meet at the NATO summit on June 14

Main News

Crossings expected to open Friday

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis


The dailies report that it is expected that the crossing points will reopen on Friday.

Citing statements by Government Spokesman Kyriacos Koushos, the papers report that an agreement has been reached in principle over the reopening of crossing points, which could open on Friday. Koushos said that more details as to what type of Covid-19 test certificates people would be announced on Wednesday.

On Monday, GC negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis, the TC leader’s special representative Ergun Olgun and the UN’s special representative Elizabeth Spehar, discussed the matter in a teleconference. Koushos told Cyprus News Agency that all the rules will be laid out and made public by Wednesday, including what certificates will be needed when crossing.

“With the reopening of the crossing points we aim to be in the same situation we were before the Coronavirus pandemic, with the only difference being the presentation of the necessary certificates for Covid-19,” Koushos said. Mavroyiannis, Olgun and Spehar are scheduled to meet via teleconference again on Wednesday, he added. “The decision to reopen the crossings will be taken on the basis of the epidemiological data we have, but it will still be a political decision,” Koushos said.

Politis recalls that TC ‘prime minister’ Ersan Saner had announced last week that the TC side was ready to open the crossing points on May 31 if the GC side wished to but something like that was not agreed by the two sides. The GC side was not fully informed of Saner’s intentions, who makes announcements that contradict what is being discussed between the two negotiators in a bid to show he has a role in this but to also win over TC public opinion since he has been under pressure on this matter, Politis reports.

Haravgi cites TC English language daily Cyprus Today that reports that British tourists who want to cross to the north are forced to lie about their final destination so that they are not barred entry to the Republic.

 The TC daily reported that now that UK nationals are no longer EU citizens they are given a 90-day visa upon entry while, after their country placed Turkey in the red category, they cannot fly from Tymbou airport through Turkey. Thus, many declare as their final destination an address in the free areas so that they can get the CyprusFlightPass to enter Cyprus because they fear that if they give an address in the occupied areas they will not be allowed to enter the Republic or, could be deported.

Haravgi, in a comment, said that now that the elections are over discussions started on the opening of the crossings since now DISY will not fear loss of votes to ELAM. It seems there is a preliminary agreement for the reopening the crossings, something that could have taken place a lot earlier but it seems there was no political will either by the TC or the GC side, the paper said. We hope that things will move forward and that there will be no new obstacles with the approval of the political authorities, the daily said.

Tatar: ELAM’s rise justifies two-state solution

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


The papers report on the reaction by TC leader Ersin Tatar to the rise of far-right ELAM’s percentages and the doubling of its MPs to four.

Citing Tatar’s statements to Turkish news agency Anadolu, the dailies report that the TC leader said the election results and the increase of the percentages of “racist” ELAM confirmed his own position that there can no longer be a federal solution in Cyprus.

Tatar also said that ELAM and its supporters back the view of a single state in the whole of Cyprus, arguing that a mentality was rising that does not even consider that the TCs deserve the right to be a minority.

He also said he was concerned by the fact that ELAM gets its votes from the youth and called on the EU and others to assess situation. The TC leader also said that the reason for this was the fact that the GC education system included extremist nationalism, admiration of Greece, the view that Cyprus is a Greek island and must be united with Greece, and admiration of EOKA.

Cyprus Mail reports that Tatar but also ‘prime minister’ Ersan Saner said the election results in the Republic confirmed the Turkish position that there could no longer be a federal solution in Cyprus. Tatar argued that nationalist extremism was on the rise in the south while left wing AKEL, which supports a federal solution has retreated, which was a negative development as regards a just lasting and viable agreement.

Haravgi reports that Tatar jumped at the opportunity.

ELAM’s rising & AKEL’s declining popularity justifies the TC side’s position for two states as there can no longer be a federal solution when ELAM & its supporters back the view of a single state in the whole of Cyprus, while the mentality is rising that TCs do not even have the right to be a minority.
>> Concerned by that ELAM gets its votes from the youth and lambasts the GC education system for brainwashing children into admiring Greece, that Cyprus is a Greek island & must be united with Greece & to admire EOKA.

Greek-Turkish FMs also discuss Cyprob during Athens meeting

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


The dailies report that the Greek and Turkish foreign ministers continued the dialogue between their two countries on Monday in a meeting in Athens.

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said after a meeting with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu the aim was to attempt an initial negotiation process and if possible, a gradual normalisation of the situation over time.

Cavusoglu said Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis were planning to meet at the NATO summit in Brussels on June 14.

Phileleftheros also reports that the two ministers also discussed the Cyprus problem. According to diplomatic sources, the daily reported, the Greek FM made extensive references to various international and regional issues, starting with the Cyprus issue. He stressed that the only framework for resolving the Cyprus issue is that of the bizonal bicommunal federation as defined by the relevant decisions of the Security Council. Obsession with proposals outside this framework is a violation of international law, of the relevant decisions and the relevant Conclusions of the European Council, Dendias told his Turkish counterpart, Phileleftheros reported.

Dendias also referred to the concern caused by the continuation of the construction of the nuclear power plant at Akkuyu in a highly seismic area. He stressed the need for information to the other countries in the region, including Greece and Cyprus, the daily reported.

Haravgi reports that Cavusoglu said that both GCs and TCs must participate in the natural gas exploratory activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. He added that Turkey has started surveys in the region to defend the rights of the TCs and based on the permit issued by northern Cyprus, after the GC side’s unilateral surveys.

Reflection over Sunday’s election results

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


Sunday’s election results are the main item in all dailies on Tuesday, with a number of issues discussed on who lost, who own, who will be House president and what parties will do from now on.

DISY garnered 27.77 % (-2.9%), AKEL 22.34% (-3.3%), DIKO 11.29% (-3.2%), ELAM 6.78% (+ 3%), EDEK 6.72 % (+ 0.5%), DIPA 6.10% (first House election), Greens 4.41% (-0.4%). The Solidarity and the Citizens Alliance were unable to secure the 3.6 per cent threshold required to gain seats in the House.

Among the issues raised was that fewer women have made it into parliament this time compared to 2016 as only eight gained one of the 56 seats (14%). In 2016, it was 17% while the figure later rose to 12 women, or 21.4 per cent, after reshuffles a year later.

Twenty of the 56 MPs are newcomers since this will be their first term as deputies.

The dailies also report that the youngest ever MP is ELAM’s Larnaca deputy, 26-year-old Soteris Ioannou. Alithia reports that so far, the youngest MPs since 1960 to-date had been Nikos Koshis and Petros Stylianou who had both entered parliament at the age of 27.

The dailies also report that AKEL’s Irini Charalambidou was the MP with the most votes: 14,008. This is the second time Charalambidou had succeeded in getting the most votes as in 2016 she was voted by 16,847 people.

Phileleftheros reports that, for AKEL, the disappointing results paved the way for a change of leadership which is something expected to be discussed at the party’s congress expected to be held either end of June or early July. The party’s Political Bureau will meet on Wednesday and the Central Committee on Saturday. A first reading of the results shows that AKEL’s numbers dropped due to vote leaks to Anna Theologou (who did not make it into parliament) and the Greens but also due to that not all AKEL supporters voted, the daily reports.

DIKO is also concerned by its own results, according to the daily, with members calling for a dialogue within the party’s collective bodies.

The paper also refers to scenarios about the House presidency with Dipa’s Marios Garoyian expected to express interest if he does not give his MP seat to the second runner-up for the Limassol district, Aneglos Votsis, or for DISY to claim the presidency. The daily also reports that a female MP could be elected as House president, according to scenarios. DIKO is also thinking to claim the presidency, or back an AKEL candidate, or head of the Greens, Charalambos Theopemptou.

Politis reports that several MPs are between 30 and 40 while most of them are either lawyers or economists. It reports that 13 MPs have law degrees, nine in economics and accounting, seven of political science, five in business administration, two in social sciences, four with teaching degrees, three former journalists, three civil engineers, and three are electrical engineers.  Other specialties include medicine, public relations and hotel management.

The daily also reports that the day after found the big parties counting their losses and trying to project a picture of hope and optimism. At AKEL developments are expected due to the results, DISY has no right to celebrate while at DIKO they are pondering over the party’s low percentage, it said. More than 13% of people voted for small parties and independents that did not make it to parliament, while a record 34.2 % abstained. Citizens sent the message that the pandemic, the crisis that it causes and the problems the society is facing need immediate management with stability that can be directly channeled into the economy and bring about recovery, the daily reported.

Cyprus Mail reports that nationalists ELAM made big gains almost doubling their support base since 2016 also translating into a doubling of their seats to four. Exit polls indicated that half of this increase came from DISY, the other half from DIKO. The daily cites political analyst Christophoros Christophorou saying that ELAM will now have a representative on the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in what perhaps is an unfortunate image for Cyprus. He noted that Cyprus has four representatives on PACE, each of the reps hailing from one of the top four parties.

Asked to comment on ELAM’s breakout Christophorou attributed it to two factors:  the oft-repeated disillusionment manifesting as a protest vote against mainstream parties and ideological trends. “We saw for example that during the campaign DISY and DIKO shifted to the right in terms of their discourse on matters like migration and this appears to have benefited ELAM the standard-bearers of this ideology.”  What’s of particular concern to Christophorou is that around 14% of the vote going to the smaller parties will have no representation in parliament, the daily reports.

In another article, Politis reports that ELAM may have won Sunday’s election but democracy suffered a painful defeat as it strengthened a formation established in Cyprus as the annex of the Golden Dawn criminal organisation. It added that it was impressive how the ELAM chairman and other high rank members immediately changed their tune the moment they realised that the neo-Nazi formation in Greece was heading towards dissolution and imprisonment of its leadership, as they began to distance themselves even denying their past for which they never apologized and never expressed remorse.

However, the evidence of the joint course of Golden Dawn and ELAM are still there, such as past photos of ELAM’s leader acting as the bodyguard of GD’s founder Nikos Michaloliakos or ELAM’s  spokesman doing the Nazi salute, the daily reported. According to the paper ELAM has deleted from its website all statements and other material linking the party with the Golden Dawn.

Politis also reports that the government had never taken any measures against ELAM, not even in cases when its members had attacked migrants or other people.

Exhibition about Ledra Palace hotel

Human Rights


The daily reports that the Leventis Municipal Museum and the CYENS Centre of Excellence are opening on June 1 an exhibition about Ledra Palace hotel.

The exhibition, hosted at the museum, is titled Ledra Palace: Dancing on the line. It will be open to the public until October 31.

According to the paper, the exhibition is based on thorough archival research and testimonies of people who have experienced the hotel since its establishment in 1949 until today. The organisers seek to achieve two goals: to reveal the turbulent, modern history of Cyprus, to revive the history of Ledra Palace in a more polyphonic and multidimensional way and to motivate us to discuss the recent history of the island. The second goal is to honour Nicosia but also to highlight modernity in Cyprus. The early story of Ledra Palace unfolds another narrative of modernism and vibrant cosmopolitan social life, the daily reports.

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