GCC Press Review 10 June 2021

Front Page Headlines


Poker game in Parliament for the election of the new president

Tactical moves, utilisation of the process and ‘bluffs’ from all parties during all three voting rounds.

  • USA-Turkey: Biden applying pressure… but steadily
  • ‘Golden’ passports: The ‘trick’ didn’t work, they’re sending us to court
  • Curfew ends: They’re snubbing vaccinations
  • Tourism: New destinations a counterweight


Games of tactics from everyone

Poker with closed cards and strong nerves during today’s election of the President of Parliament. Scenario for the disputing of the process.

  • Beaches opening in Famagusta and they’re talking about 25,000 visitors
  • EU warning of trial over ‘golden passports’
  • Tourism got stuck at the starting line
  • The Trojan horse in an operation against gangs was in Cyprus: FBI, Europol, Australia arrested 800 gang members


Third and venomous slap from the Commission over ‘golden’ passports

Anastasiades’ ‘pledges’ regarding naturalisations aren’t persuading the Commission.

  • Varosha: Two beaches will open for the summer period
  • Presidency of Parliament: Deliberations until the eleventh hour. The election in the afternoon…
  • Britain and Russia asking for data on vaccinations and variants

Cyprus Mail

EU: halt pending citizenship bids

Scrapped scheme not enough. Cyprus must also ditch outstanding applications.

  • Curfew lifted, limited dancing allowed in clubs


All scenarios possible

The thriller ends today. For the election of House Speaker. Attempt to resurrect the cooperation scenario between AKEL-DIKO, with Andros in the presidency of Parliament and Nicholas in the presidency of the Republic.

  • Varosha: Two beaches opening illegally
  • Tatar against Anastasiades for the issue of missing persons
  • ‘Stop selling EU citizenships’: Commission still after us over passports
  • Savvas Perdios: Flights from Russia weren’t cancelled, they were just moved to July

Main News

Two Varosha beaches to be opened for summer season

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis


Two beaches will be opened for the summer season in the fenced-off city of Varosha, its ‘mayor’ Ismail Alter said on Wednesday, the dailies report.

Speaking to Turkish news agency Anadolu, Alter said that one of the two beaches, which is 500-metres long and located in front of the former Greek school, is nearly ready to welcome visitors after around 250 umbrellas, sunbeds and a small kiosk selling refreshments were installed. Alter did not specify when and where the second beach in Varosha will be opened but, according to Anadolu, it will run from the Constantia Hotel to the King George Hotel.

Alithia reports that the development will take place in defiance of UN and EU calls for an avoidance of provocations in Varosha and the Cyprus EEZ, while Phileleftheros viewed the move as a continuation of “provocative and illegal Turkish actions”.

Alter said the pandemic obviously affected the number of visitors in Varosha since its reopening last October, but not the redevelopment works in town. He said that since the reopening, over 140,000 people visited Varosha, including 2,000 people during the weekend after the reopening of the crossings on June 4, many of which were GCs.

Alter said he hoped that the opening of Varosha would create a positive impact on the negotiation process and contribute to a potential agreement between the two sides. He added that the opening of the fenced-off town was made possible thanks to a political decision taken by the TC ‘government’ and that the Famagusta municipality in the north is heavily involved in the redevelopment works taking place in Varosha. He said many public areas in town are being cleaned and upgraded, including the important religious area of Bilal Agha Mezjit, which will be opened to the public once the restoration is completed.

Alter added that the support from Turkey, especially at the beginning of the Varosha reopening, was invaluable, since it sent people over to help with the technical works.

Meanwhile, TC leader Ersin Tatar, said on Wednesday he hopes that the reopening of Varosha will contribute to the return of tourists to the town. Giving a different number than Alter, Tatar said that so far 250,000 people have visited Varosha since its reopening, the dailies report.

“Varosha was a very important destination for tourists in the past, with its own history and culture. We hope to see it return to its old glory days,” he said. Tatar added that the reopening has boosted the morale of TCs, noting that “we are in the middle of an important process for everyone.”

Politis reports that during a visit of the TC ‘house speaker’ to Ankara where he met with top Turkish officials including President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey said it is putting emphasis on boosting the north as an entity so that it will be able to participate in production and export processes. The paper writes that as regards the Cyprus problem, Turkey expressed the view that the Geneva 5+1 was led to an impasse by the GC side’s unwillingness to share power and wealth with TCs. Turkey also made clear that a new negotiations process will not be launched until the sovereign equality and equal international status of the TC people is recognised.

CMP concerned over reduction in missing persons exhumations

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Phileleftheros, Politis
Human Rights


Presidential Commissioner Photis Photiou said Wednesday that the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) is particularly concerned over the dramatic reduction in the number of human remains found in recent exhumations, the dailies report.

Addressing the 36th Marathon of Love for the Missing held at the Makedonitissa Timvos Cemetery, Photiou said it was the responsibility of all, especially the UN and the EU, to persuade and pressure Turkey to finally work together with sincerity and humanity to resolve the issues so that progress can be made for the benefit of the families.

Photiou said while the work of the CMP is widely recognised, the problems and challenges which concern the effectiveness of the exhumation programme still exist “and the occupying power is responsible for this.” The solution of the humanitarian problem was a top priority for the government, he added. Addressing the relatives of the missing, he said the efforts would continue.

Meanwhile, Alithia reports on statements issued by TC leader Ersin Tatar, who said President Nicos Anastasiades is politicising the humanitarian issue of missing persons, and said Anastasiades’ statements issued on June 5 which targeted the role of the Turkish military were “unfortunate” and served “no other role but the classic GC propaganda.” Tatar said that the Turkish forces have provided the CMP with the necessary licenses and facilitated its work, something which he said is in the Committee’s archives. Tatar added according to Alithia that what is needed between the two sides is not a blame game but cooperation in areas of mutual benefit, including the CMP.

Anastasiades politicising humanitarian issue of missing persons
>> Turkish military provided CMP with the necessary permissions to conduct its work
>> What is needed between the two sides is not a blame game but cooperation in areas of mutual benefit, such as the CMP

Biden to raise Turkey’s East Med activities in meeting with Erdogan

Alithia, Haravgi
Regional/International Relations


US President Joe Biden will raise the issue of Turkey’s activities in the Eastern Mediterranean during his upcoming meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Tuesday, the dailies report.

Responding to a question by Senator Bob Menendez about what the administration was doing to address a series of provocative activities by Turkey under Erdogan, Blinken said he shared the concerns about Ankara’s behaviour. He said the US’ differences with Turkey are no secret, adding that in many aspects Turkey is not acting as the NATO ally it should be, not the least of which with the acquisition of the S400s from Russia. Blinken said the differences between Washington and Ankara will be at the centre of talks between the two leaders.

Blinken added that Washington was pleased to see Ankara pulling back from some of its activities in the region, including removing its ships from the Cyprus EEZ and stopping drilling activities there, the dailies report.

The paper add that in his comments, Menendez slammed Turkey, stressing that it is “constantly violating international law when it seeks to threaten Cyprus in its EEZ, when it declares an economic zone going to Libya that is not recognized at all but it interferes with Greece’s EEZ.”

Meanwhile, Alithia reports that President Nicos Anastasiades in a meeting with US Ambassador Judith Garber on Wednesday expressed his satisfaction for the stance held and the interest shown by the US as regards the Cyprus problem. Anastasiades briefed Garber on all Cyprus problem developments as well as the government’s concerns about Turkey’s intentions as regards the Cyprus EEZ and the fenced-off town of Varosha, Alithia reports citing Alpha which in turn cites a diplomatic source.

Alithia reports citing information that on her part, Garber reiterated the US’ unfaltering support for a bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) as well as the its strong concern over activities in Varosha, which the US believes must be reversed.

EU tells Cyprus to stop processing pending citizenship applications

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
EU Matters


Brussels is taking action against Cyprus for continuing to process pending citizenship applications even though the Citizenship-by-Investment Programme (CIP) was axed last November amid a corruption scandal, with the EU Commission describing the situation as unacceptable, the dailies report.

In a statement on Wednesday, the Commission said it had decided to take further steps in the infringement procedures against both Cyprus and Malta regarding their investor citizenship schemes. Cyprus now has two months to take the necessary measures to address the Commission’s concerns. The Commission said that if Cyprus’ response is unsatisfactory, the Commission may bring the matter before the Court of Justice.

The Commission said it considers that by continuing in effect to grant citizenships Cyprus was failing to fulfil its obligations “under the principle of sincere cooperation and the definition of citizenship of the Union as laid down in the Treaties”. It said that while Cyprus remains responsible to decide who may become Cypriot, the Court of Justice has made it clear on multiple occasions that rules on the acquisition of the nationality of a member state must do so having due regard to EU law.

Commissioner for Justice and Consumers, Didier Reynders, in another statement, said: “By offering citizenship in exchange for pre-determined payments and investments, Cyprus fails to fulfil its obligations in the Treaties. Becoming the national of a member state means becoming an EU citizen too. This link must not be forgotten. Cyprus does not accept new applications, but it is still processing pending ones. To this day, our concerns have not been addressed by Cypriot authorities and further action is therefore required.”

The Interior Ministry said the matter was being handled by the state Legal Service in cooperation with foreign legal experts. The Legal Service will respond within the two-month deadline and any actions that could affect the ongoing process should be avoided, the Ministry said in a written statement, the dailies report.

According to Cyprus Mail, as of November 1, the official date the scheme ended, the Interior Ministry said it had 1,413 pending applications comprising 691 from investors and 722 from dependants.

More restrictions lifted on Thursday

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Internal Security


The curfew was lifted on Thursday along with a number of other restrictions, the dailies report.

The Health Ministry announced Wednesday that Thursday would see the 50% capacity limit on workers lifted, while nightclubs, reception halls, recreational centres, and performing arts centres will also reopen. However, in nightclubs, people will be served only at their tables with a maximum of eight people per table. Customers cannot be served at the bar and a SafePass is still required in indoor areas.

Since June 1, 20 people are allowed in a household, including permanent residents and minors. There is a 50 per cent capacity for indoor venues including religious places of worship, casinos, conference and commercial premises, exhibitions, theatres, amphitheatres and other performing arts venues.

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