GCC Press Review 24 Dec 2021

Front Page Headlines


The former attorney-general has ‘accommodated’ eight lawyers

(Auditor-general) Odysseas’ sensitivity over open-ended contract appointments is selective. Eight private lawyers who were employed by the Legal Service, initially through purchase of their services, were turned into employees on open-ended contracts by a decision of the former Attorney-general himself, following a relevant request that they submitted. As can be seen in the case of the eight of the Legal Service, the auditor-general of the Republic did not act with the same zeal as in the case of the associates of the president due to his special relationship with C. Clerides (the former AG).

• Did the president pass on the (succession) ring or did Averof take it on his own?
• The Omicron is a Christmas nightmare
– The ICUs are filling up, 978 cases yesterday.


Measures for the arrival of the Omicron

Towards emergency consultations for more restrictions right after Christmas. They consider it certain that the new mutation will sweep Cyprus as well.

  • One talks about a BBF, the other about two states
  • We had a drink with Averof, the president says
  • Sixteen arrests of migrant smugglers within 3.5 months – Many of them are asylum seekers and have contacts in Turkey.
  • Veto by Nouris to the creation of more than 17 municipalities


Workers and employers take to the trenches over the minimum salary

In search of a mechanism to set a decent minimum salary.  OEB (employers & industrialists federation) is particularly… concerned about the possibility that the minimum wage will not be subject to reductions.

  • AKEL Chlorakas welcomes the rejection of a museum on Grivas
  • 2023 presidentials: Averof Neophytou seeks support from ELAM. Support also by Anastasiades
  • The TCs are getting poorer by the day
  • The Bicommunal Choir bade farewell to their maestro, Lena Melanidou, with a song

Cyprus Mail

‘Omicron could see cases spiral’

Minister says new measures might be needed, expert throws out figure of 2,000 daily cases.

  • US donates vital equipment to the fire department


One photo, a thousand words

Anastasiades-Averof dinner right after the announcement. Clear message by the president to every interested candidate in the 2023 presidential elections. Nicos Anastasiades: We had a drink ahead of the holidays.

  • President Anastasiades: Our exploratory programme will continue unhindered despite Turkish threats

Main News

Anastasiades: Energy programme will continue despite Turkey’s threats 

Alithia, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, Energy


Alithia reports President Nicos Anastasiades said the government’s hydrocarbons exploratory programme will continue despite Turkey’s threats.

Asked to comment on the start of exploratory drilling in the Glaucus reserve and the possibility of the consortium in charge doing another drilling in a second offshore block, for which Turkey has been warning it would react, Anastasiades said the Republic’s exploratory programme will continue unhindered.

“I am not saying that there will be drilling activities next year, but for certain, there will be exploratory works in block 5 that has been licenced to ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum,” he said.

Alithia and Phileleftheros also report that later on Thursday, during a visit at the Aronas military guard post on the occasion of the Christmas holidays, the president expressed the wish that 2022 will be the year that will bring results for the country’s reunification.

He also conveyed the government’s will and determination to work, through diplomacy, to avert Turkey’s plans aimed at consolidating its presence in Cyprus but also control the entire island. He added that Turkey will not succeed because it cannot get support for its revisionist positions and expansionist aspirations. He also appealed to the TCs to realise that in addition to the 36% of territories that are occupied, and the GCs who have been violently expelled from their ancestral homes, they too are under occupation and are suffering. He said TCs too are directly affected by the occupation through the control exercised by Turkey but also through what they experience by insisting on completely unacceptable positions on the Cyprus problem.

Phileleftheros also reports that there is no convergence between the two sides on the Cyprus problem since Anastasiades talks of a bizonal bicommunal federation while TC leader Ersin Tatar about a two-state solution.

The daily reports that Tatar said that TCs have sovereign rights stemming from international agreements and that if there was to be an agreement on the island, this will be only based on two separate states. He also said that their ‘state’ was as legal as that of the GCs, the daily reports.

Efforts to clamp down on migrant smuggling

Internal Security, Migration & Citizenship


The daily reports that 16 migrant smugglers were arrested in the past 3.5 months while several others have already been jailed this year, among them TCs.

According to the paper, authorities have intensified efforts to curb people-smuggling rings that bring migrants either through the occupied areas or by sea.

In the past 3.5 months alone, 11 cases have been investigated, 16 people smugglers have been arrested, while 10 cases have been filed in court.

This year, there have been 55 hits concerning smugglers with several of them ending up in prison. Among the smugglers, there are TCs, the daily reports. It adds that many people smugglers are asylum seekers who cooperate with compatriots of theirs in Turkey or in the occupied areas and arrange to pick up migrants crossing through the buffer zone and bring them to the free areas. Most cases concern the Larnaca district since there have been six cases between September and mid-December, another two were investigated in Nicosia, and one each in the districts of Paphos, Morphou and Famagusta, the daily reports.

AKEL puts brakes on purchase of house in Chlorakas for Grivas museum

Governance & Power Sharing


ΑΚΕL’s Chlorakas branch welcomed the rejection of the funds in the state budget for the purchase of a house in their village for the creation of a museum about Cyprus’ destructor, Grivas, the daily reports.

This decision was backed by most parliamentary parties, except DISY and ELAM, after an amendment tabled by AKEL.

ΑΚΕL’s Chlorakas branch said the stance by the government but also DISY and ELAM was provocative given that many young men from the community had given their lives to defend democracy and the country’s territorial integrity.

“We don’t need any museums to remind us of Grivas, the Pentadaktylos mountains remind us of him daily since, 47 years after the Junta’s and EOKA B’s heinous coup but also the Turkish invasion that ensued, Cyprus and its people are still paying a heavy price,” the group said.

AKEL will continue to monitor developments on the issue, the daily reported.

Alithia also reports on a statement by the EOKA 1955-1959 Historic Memory Council raising questions as to why the funds on the annual €7,000 budget for tours at the EOKA headquarters and the third instalment for the purchase of the house Grivas stayed at (in Chlorakas) were blocked.

Bicommunal Choir bids farewell to ‘maestro of peace’

Human Rights


Members of the Bicommunal Choir for Peace bade farewell to their maestro, Lena Melanidou, who died this week at 65, with songs about peace, the daily reports.

Melanidou’s funeral took place on Thursday at the Apostolos Varnavas church in Nicosia. Her death caused great distress as she was widely known through her action in the GC-TC rapprochement movement and as the maestro since 1998 of the Bicommunal Choir for Peace. During the funeral, the choir, friends and family bade farewell to Melanidou with songs about peace, including ‘My country’.

Melanidou inspired dozens of GCs and TCs to sing for peace and the hope of Cyprus’ reunification, the daily reports. Unfortunately, Lena died without seeing the vision of our country’s reunification becoming a reality, it added.

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