GCC Press Review 14 Sept 2021

Front Page Headlines


Declaration of Wealth… whatever. Deposits, houses, burial plots

Publication of MPs’ assets without checks. The MPs’ Declaration of Wealth revealed millionaires, but also… paupers with deposits of only a few hundred euros with no vehicles or real estate. A picture not corresponding to reality since the assets of spouses or minor children are not revealed. DISY MP Fotini Tsiridou is a millionaire with a net worth of almost €9.5 m. DISY MP Marios Mavrides, together with his wife and children count € 1 m. DISY MP Demetris Demetriou declared deposits of just €783 while ELAM MP Sotiris Ioannou did not declare real estate or a vehicle in his name. Averof Neophytou owns the largest real estate and the most debts to banks. Marinos Sizopoulos declared only €80,000 in deposits. ELAM MP Andreas Themistokleous included in his real estate also his family burial plot in Pachna.

  • (EDEK leader) Sizopoulos vs (ELAM leader) Christou: “He was sentenced in prison (in Greece) for gun possession”
  • ‘Massacre’ at EDEK: Rift that smells… breakup
  • (Teacher-painter) Giorgos Gavriel: Before the ΕΕΥ (education service committee) with a heavy charge sheet


What have you got Mr MP

The rich and poor who are representing the people based on their assets. Real estate worth millions stand out while Themistokleous also declared his burial plot.

  • Step towards cooperation with Bahrain – Signing of agreements and memorandums.
  • Legal measures by cheesemakers on halloumi PDO – Appeal against the Commission’s decision.
  • Relentless war at EDEK (over leadership elections)
  • The prisons are full of people from Congo Instead of being deported, they are imprisoned for months burdening the system.


The government is first fiddle in deregulating labour relations

The replacement of permanent employees with temps on reduced benefits continues. The percentage of temporary workers in the public sector now reaches 40%, creating conditions of multi-tier employees.

  • Spehar: There is no time to lose
  • Prodromos Prodromou: The tearing of the page was a mistake. Another nine books were ‘rectified’
  • Turkey refuses to pay compensation in 33 cases of the Xenides-Aresti group
  • For years, they held the missing persons list a ‘well-kept secret’
  • Women rise against the sexist behaviour of the ELAM MP (Andreas Themistokleous)

Cyprus Mail

Parties slam UK meddling

‘Who authorised Britain to submit new proposals?’

  • ‘Gutter of lies’: Omirou lashes out against Sizopoulos


Again with the comedy of Declaration of Wealth

The assets of MPs were announced. Comedy 1: the MPs can transfer to their wives and children their assets, which, according to the law cannot be checked. Comedy 2: The MPs will check the statements of MPs…

  • Cyprus problem: Tatar now refers to the Singapore model
  • Lawsuits by TCs against the Republic of Cyprus on six matters – they speak of “injustice”
  • Turkey’s debt to the Xenides-Aresti cases is more than  €50m
  • The civil war is getting deeper: EDEK in turmoil  
  • The Sizopoulos-Christou beef to the extremes – The hot potato (House defence) at the House Committee of Selection

Main News

Spehar: No time to lose on Cyprob

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process


The dailies report that outgoing Special Representative of the UN secretary-general in Cyprus Elizabeth Spehar, called on GCs and TCs continue cooperate for peace.

Following her farewell meeting with TC leader Ersin Tatar, Spehar said they discussed the upcoming UN General Assembly nothing that this is always an important opportunity every year to engage with the UN Secretary-General.

She added that she wanted to encourage Tatar as she did with President Nicos Anastasiades, to encourage people from across the divide to continue to meet to work on reconciliation.

“I feel it’s extremely important that on this island, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots continue to try to understand each other, to meet with each other, to work together as an indispensable foundation for peace,” Spehar said.

She noted that she wanted to personally encourage all Cypriots to work for peace, adding that Cypriots are peace-loving people and want a much better future for this island. 

She recalled that the UNSG has repeatedly said that he will not give up on peace in Cyprus and expressed hope that also Cypriots equally do not give up. “I really hope that we will see a solution to the Cyprus issue on this island sooner rather than later. I think that those certainly there is no time to lose,” she added.
Spehar also said he UN are always particularly interested in making sure that everyone participates in building peace and that women are part of peace processes and that their voices are heard. She said she asked both leaders to also support the efforts of women on the island to be part of peace process which is something the Security Council itself has been asking for. She also expressed hope that more young people will be interested in the Cyprus issue.

Asked if a trilateral meeting between the Secretary-General and the two leaders is expected to take place in New York, Spehar said that for the moment bilateral meetings will take place.
With regard to a trilateral meeting, she said that this is for New York to decide and she did not have any further information on that for the moment.

Alithia also reports that Tatar said after the meeting that there could be an arrangement based on the Singapore model in Cyprus.  Asked on the possibility of a meeting with Anastasiades, he said he was always open to dialogue and any unofficial meeting to express his positions in detail, and reiterated the positions on sovereign equality and a two-state solution, the paper reported.

Urges leaders encourage their communities continue to meet & work on reconciliation as bicommunal contact & mutual understanding is an indispensable foundation for peace.
>> Hopes Cypriots will not give up on peace on island & a solution is found soon because time is running out.
UN want encouragement of more involvement of women & youth in peace process.

Perhaps Singapore model can be applied in Cyprus.
>> Always willing for informal meetings including with Anastasiades to elaborate on two-state solution & sovereign equality.

AKEL rejects Britain’s ‘new ideas’ as old & dangerous

Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
Negotiations Process


Cyprus Mail, in its main item, reports that President Nicos Anastasiades is to receive British High Commissioner Stephen Lillie on Wednesday, as opposition parties lambasted London for its “undermining” role after the British diplomat voiced support for a decentralised federation as a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The daily reports that, commenting on Lillie’s interview with Sunday’s Kathimerini, government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said this was “not the first time or the last that some proposals will be put on the table.” Pelekanos told state broadcaster CyBC that the GC side “has made clear in every direction its positions and the common ground that exists for the resumption of negotiations.” He added that there was a clear framework for the solution of the Cyprus problem, which is what is provided by international law and Security Council resolutions.

Cyprus Mail and Haravgi report on another statement by main opposition AKEL on Lillie’s interview. The party’s spokesman Giorgos Koukoumas said on Monday, that the “new ideas” pitched by the British “are old and dangerous, as they refer to a succession state, not to mention a confederation, they undermine the decades-old negotiating acquis, approach the Turkey-Tatar partitionist claims and undermine the prospect of a solution and reunification of our homeland.” The party said it rejects these ideas and called on the government to do the same.

He said AKEL insists that the talks ought to resume from where they left off in Crans-Montana because, as everyone admits, the sides were just a step before a solution to the Cyprus problem. Koukoumas added that this was also the UN position after Crans-Montana as recorded in repeated reports of the Secretary-General and this must be insisted on if everyone really seeks a quick solution to the Cyprus problem.

The dailies also report that DIPA expressed its disagreement with the British positions that, it said, stray from the negotiations framework. DIPA said this was not the first time Britain submits so-called bridging ideas outside of the Cyprus problem procedure and solution framework to serve the Turkish side. The party said it was political naivety for some to believe that the introduction, especially by the British, of new ideas on the Cyprus issue, which go beyond the agreed basis of negotiation, will not ultimately lead to a confederation solution or a two-state solution.

Pelekanos (RoC spokesman)
Not unusual for stakeholders table their ideas but it should be clear GC side seeks a Cyprob solution within international law & based SC resolutions.

Koukoumas (AKEL)
Rejects UK’s ‘new ideas’ are in fact old & dangerous, as they refer to a succession state, a confederation, undermine the decades-old negotiating acquis, flirt with the Turkey-Tatar partitionist claims & undermine the solution prospect of a solution and reunification of our homeland.
>> Talks must resume from where they left off in Crans-Montana because this was also the UN position but also sides were just a step before a solution.

Disagree with British positions that stray from the negotiations framework & are yet another attempt to serve the Turkish side.
>> It is naïve to believe these new ideas by the British will not ultimately lead to a confederation or a two-state solution.

Prodromou: Much ado about English textbook issue unnecessary

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Human Rights


Education Minister Prodromos Prodromou said it was a mistake to call on teachers tear a page of the English textbook referring to Kemal Ataturk but put reactions down to political gains, the papers report.

According to Alithia, Prodromou said they have launched a probe at the ministry, but that it was not the only book that presented issues, as nine other high school books have already been restored, so there was generally an issue.

He said it seems that these books were intended for another country and not for Cyprus, citing bad communication.

The minister also said the issue was solved with a delay of a few hours and that he did not believe all this debate was justified. “It was obviously done more for political reasons and around views for the management of the Cyprus issue,” he said, Alithia reports.

Haravgi reported that after the ministry first defended the decision for withdrawing the English textbook, judging it as “unsuitable” and after the minister said more or less “mea culpa” by noting the issue was handled wrongly “due to urgency”, he now claims that the discussion that took place on the instructions to tear the page is not justified and referred to political reasons.

Politis reports that Prodromou, who acknowledged the mistake, is to brief today President Nicos Anastasiades on the matter.

Phileleftheros reports that Prodromou said the books in question were intended for Turkish schools and that the ministry ought to have withdrawn the book in question and was not necessary calling on teachers to tear the page. He added that the probe launched is into how the book was sent to schools without the ministry first adjusting it.

Though the ‘Ataturk issue’ could have been handled better, all this debate – spurred from Cyprob-related ideology – is unnecessary.

‘Cypriots want solution but not sure what type’

Negotiations Process


Politis, under the headline, We want a solution but we don’t know how we want it!, reports on a survey aired by Sigma TV.

According to the survey, carried out by the University of Nicosia on behalf of the tv station, 43 % of respondents said they preferred a solution based on a unitary state, 25 % said a unitary state with return to the 1960 Constitution and 18 % said unitary state without specifying what preconditions this would be based on.

In the same poll, however, 39 % said they were in favour of a bizonal bicommunal federation (BBF), a small number said they wish partition and two states (5%), 4 % said they prefer the status quo, another 4 % said confederation and 2 % said double union.

To the question, which solution is more probable considering the existing conditions, 31 % said the BBF, 21 % the current situation, 16 % a unitary state with the 1960 Constitution, 13% partition/ two states, 10% unitary state, 4% said confederation and 2% said double union.

The daily also reports that 51% of respondents believe that the president’s non-proposal to return to the 1960 Constitution is moving in the wrong direction while 49% believe that it is moving in the right direction. 68% of respondents believe that the proposal to return to the 1960 Constitution will not be helpful for the resumption of talks, in contrast to 32% who believe that the proposal can break the deadlock and help restart the negotiation process.

Opinions are also divided on whether the president should formally submit the proposal to the UN Secretary-General, with 53% saying he should do so and 47% disagreeing. Also 92% believe that the proposal cannot be accepted by the Turkish side. However, almost half, 48%, believe that the proposal could be accepted by the UN and the international community with 52% having the opposite view.

According to the paper, respondents understand the risk of formally submitting such a proposal, with 64% estimating that there is a risk of the GC side accused of abandoning the framework set by the UN.

Regarding the issue of security raised by the Turkish side, insisting on the preservation of Turkish guarantees, 52% of respondents believe that the guarantees offered through Cyprus’s EU membership are sufficient. 37% believe that there should be effective participation of the TCs in the power structures, while 30% believe that there should be guarantees from the UN Security Council. Finally, 3% believe that the veto of the TC vice president should be maintained

The daily reports that the results of the poll show the utter confusion that prevails among the people as to the form of solution that we should seek.

Nicosia calls on CoE make Turkey honour ECHR rulings on Cypriot applicants

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
Human Rights, Regional/International Relations


The dailies report that the government, in a memorandum to the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers, lambasted Turkey for its ongoing “flagrant disregard” for its legal obligation to comply with European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) judgments regarding compensation in Greek Cypriot property cases. The government noted that Ankara’s dues exceeded €50 million in the Xenides-Arestis group of cases alone.

According to the memorandum, Turkey’s outstanding dues as of March 13, 2019 amounted to €52,842,414.97 for the Xenides-Arestis group of cases, which involves compensation for loss of use of properties by Greek Cypriot refugees. The ECHR had awarded damages for loss of use of these properties belonging to Greek Cypriot applicants, for various dates between 1990 and 2012.

The government also said that, beyond the compensation due in the Xenides-Arestis cases, Turkey must also pay €103 million in the ‘Cyprus versus Turkey’ inter-state case together with €244,000 in the Varnava cases – the latter concerning Greek Cypriot missing persons.

Nicosia asks the Committee of Ministers to express concern over Turkey’s disregard of its obligation to pay compensation in 33 cases of the Xenides-Arestis group, and to instruct the Secretariat to prepare an interim resolution requiring Turkish authorities to pay damages without delay.

In the Loizidou case, Cyprus asked that the Committee of Ministers called on Turkey to provide information and details in relation to the purported transfer of Loizidou’s  property to new users, the development status, and any evidence that users were TCs who left property behind in the south of the island.

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