Front Page Headlines
‘Scissor’ on contributions-duties, corporate tax at 15 %
2022 will be a year of tax reform. Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides described the main directions of the changes in taxation during his speech in the House plenum session on the 2022 budget. The details will be finalized within 2022.
- New regulations in the National Guard: Changes to the officers’ promotions
- Pointless gift: We wasted €1.2m on the old war vessel by Oman
- Dilapidated buildings in Lefkara: Dangerous cultural heritage
- 635 new cases: Protocols change hurriedly
The public service (reform) too, remains stagnant
They have been discussing the reform since 2019 and yesterday they postponed the discussion to study it again. Wherever there is reform postponement follows. The bills on the independent authority against corruption and the management of non-performing loans were also postponed.
- Announcement from Madrid but no reference to Turkey – Spain was not convinced to change its stance.
- Erdogan is caught up in the crisis – His MPs turned against each other.
People pay €161m for emissions but €80m remains in the state coffers
Millions of euros in the state coffers from emissions but no environmental actions are taken.
- Stewart is meeting separately today Anastasiades and Tatar
- Varosha: A call for talks as well in the FAC options paper
- Tatar asked from Nava expansion of cooperation between the EU and TCs
Getting ready for green taxes
Petrides presents budget saying Cyprus must ‘detoxify’ from fossil fuels.
- Inmates wed in jail as Netflix films at Nicosia central prisons
Behold, the document of sanctions
It will be discussed on Monday at the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels. It includes, among other things, sanctions on persons, substantial slashing of EU aid funds to Turkey, targeted measures against individuals and legal entities involved in unilateral actions in Varosha and proposals for CBMs and talks.
- Spain in favour of a BBF solution: Anastasiades-Sanchez call for respect to the UN resolutions on Cyprus
- Sucuoglu is now changing his tune: He did not ban, he says, the sale of fuel to the GCs but rather for restriction for 48 hours
‘Spain in favour of solidarity with Cyprus but will not chastice Ankara’Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/International Relations, Negotiations Process, EU Matters
President Nicos Anastasiades and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said on Thursday after their meeting in Madrid they support a bicommunal, bizonal federation (BBF) and called for respect to all UN resolutions EU decisions on Varosha, the dailies report.
The two leaders issued a joint statement reaffirming their strong support to a comprehensive and viable settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on a BBF with political equality, as set out in the relevant UN Security Council resolutions, and in line with the EU acquis, values and principles.
Concerning Varosha, they said that all UNSC resolutions and statements, as well as relevant decisions of the European Council, have to be respected and implemented in order, inter alia, to create a conducive environment that in turn will help to achieve a comprehensive and viable political settlement. This will not only benefit the people of Cyprus, both GCs and TCs but will also significantly contribute to peace and stability in the broader region, they added.
They also reiterated that a peaceful, stable, secure and prosperous Mediterranean is a strategic priority for the EU and expressed their support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries. They also stressed the importance of respect for the sovereign rights of each state in its maritime zones in accordance with international law, including international maritime law.
During the meeting, they reiterated the excellent relations shared between Spain and Cyprus and discussed global challenges and major issues of the European agenda.
The two countries signed during the Cypriot delegation’s visit to Madrid three Memoranda of Understanding, in the field of health, political consultations between the two ministries of foreign affairs and cooperation between the Spanish Diplomatic School and the Cypriot Diplomatic Academy.
Anastasiades and Sanchez also expressed their strong willingness to enhance and deepen relations in commerce, innovation, tourism, culture, and education.
Anastasiades also had a meeting with King Felipe VI.
Phileleftheros points out that the joint statement refers to the EEZ and Varosha but not the culprit, Turkey. After the Anastasiades-Sanchez talks, it turned out that the good atmosphere that may exist between them is not enough to differentiate Madrid’s approach to Turkey.
The joint statement refers to all issues concerning Cyprus as a result of Turkish behaviour, but the word ‘Turkey’ is not included. This shows that the Spanish side knew how far it could go so as not to disrupt relations with Ankara. The Spanish side promised that it will support the need for an EU response at the forthcoming Foreign Affairs Council next Monday. Whether it will live up to its words will be seen next Monday, Phileleftheros reported.
Politis reports that Spain expresses understanding of the need to show solidarity with Cyprus due to the Turkish provocations but on the other hand, remains a strong supporter of a positive agenda in the EU’s relations with Ankara.
The daily reports that the Anastasiades administration builds its foreign policy based on the rules of internal consumption. Attempts were once again made to send a message to the public that yesterday’s visit to Spain and his talks with Prime Minister Sanchez were aimed at Nicosia acting as a wedge in the dynamics of Spain’s relations with Turkey. The president’s visit and the talks he had with the Spanish PM clearly showed it was not possible to be a deterrent to the Spanish government’s choices in relation to its wider relations with Turkey. These relations are based on very big interests, as was revealed at the Spain-Turkey intergovernmental meeting in November, which even resulted in the promotion of the sale of military equipment to Turkey. Therefore, the president’s contacts yesterday could not have been without a clear pragmatic character, meaning, a meeting and an exchange of views on bilateral relations with a partner country of Cyprus, which, no matter how much it bothers Nicosia and Athens, is in favour of a positive EU agenda with Ankara, the daily reported.
>> Reaffirm strong support to a BBF Cyprob solution with political equality, as set out in UNSC resolutions & and in line with EU acquis, values and principles.
>> Respect & implementation of all UNSC resolutions and statements, as well as relevant decisions of the EC, will create a conducive environment for Cyprob solution that will benefit both GSs & TCs and contribute to peace and stability in broader region.
>> Call for respect of sovereign rights of each state in its maritime zones in accordance with international law.
>> Express support to the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus & Spain.
Options paper includes measures on anyone violating Varosha statusAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Politis
EU Matters, Negotiations Process
The dailies, citing the Cyprus News Agency, report that the latest draft of the EU’s options paper includes measures against individuals and legal entities responsible for the violations regarding the fenced area, cuts in the EU pre-accession financial assistance to Turkey and restrictions on the activities of the European Investment Bank and other financial institutions in Turkey.
The draft on possible measures against Turkey’s actions in the fenced area of Varosha will be discussed on Monday by the EU foreign ministers during the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels.
The draft, stresses that Turkey’s actions in Varosha are illegal and that continued engagement between the EU and Turkey depends on whether Ankara adopts a constructive attitude or whether it reverts to unilateral and provocative actions. In this case, it is stressed, the EU is determined to use the means and tools at its disposal (thus also referring to the possibility of political measures).
The document also contains extensive references to the EU’s calls for a return to negotiations and refers to the possibility of discussing CBMs already proposed by the sides on the island in relation to natural gas, while also pointing new areas of cooperation in the context of the energy transition. The text also stresses that the EU will continue to support the TC community in the context of facilitating a federal solution.
Reference is also made to the statement by High Representative Josep Borrell on 27 July 2021 which condemned Turkey’s unilateral actions and the statements by the Turkish President and the TC leader and called for the reversal of these actions, the dailies report.
They also report that President Nicos Anastasiades asked while in Madrid on the EU stance on Turkish provocations, said the options document will be examined on Monday so it remains to be seen if there will be a common understanding of the need to finally respect international law both at sea and on land.
>> Hopes EU partners will unanimously back options papers with measures on Turkey over actions in Varosha.
Lefkara calls for help to preserve run down cultural heritage buildingsPolitis
The daily reports that Lefkara Mayor Sofoklis Sofokleous said they would be forced to demolish more than 500 dilapidated listed buildings, including TC property, citing inability to preserve them.
The mayor told the House transport committee 555 buildings in Lefkara that have either been classed as ancient monuments by the antiquities department, or are listed or belong to TCs, are close to collapse are a public safety threat.
Sofokleous called for assistance from the state for the preservation of these buildings since it is estimated they need €40,000 to €50,000 for each of them which totals a massive amount the local authority is unable to pay. He suggested that in case owners are unable to restore them, either the interior ministry gradually releases some funds for their restoration by the municipality or the work is carried out by the ministry and receive the cost by the owners in instalments. He also said that the antiquities department ought to be in charge of the restoration of all buildings it classes as ancient monuments. The mayor said that if no solutions are found, they will demolish these buildings, arguing that the lives of visitors were more important than buildings.
GC man arrested in north for trying to put Greek flag on statueAlithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
Internal Security, Human Rights
A GC man was to be taken in court on Friday in the north after being arrested on Thursday for unfurling a Greek flag over a monument just outside Varosha, the dailies report.
Citing TC media, the dailies report that passers-by spotted the man while he was draping a Greek flag around a statue at a roundabout junction outside Varosha and notified the police who arrived at the scene and took him into custody. He was taken to a police station in Famagusta where he was being held for the night. He faces a single charge, that of conduct unbecoming.