GCC Press Review 24 Feb 2021

Front Page Headlines


Vaccinations a ‘passport’ for normality

Situation in Limassol starting to get out of control and bringing second thoughts regarding relaxations. The burden in the Limassol district is continuing and it is not out of the question that it will delay relaxations even more. Yesterday 176 new cases were announced, of which 65 were from rapid tests from Limassol. Yesterday’s (vaccine) appointments made available for those aged over 71 years were in high demand, since over 12,000 were booked in one day, with the public declaring their preference for the vaccine that will be administered to them. Based on calculations, by the end of March-early April around 170,000-180,000 people will be vaccinated with the first dose and by the end of June, 70% of the population will be vaccinated.

  • Averof-Andros: They set up a meeting amid criticism
  • British owner of T/C property is chasing away livestock farmers


Findings are rotting away on shelves

Investigative (Committees) are being set up one after the other, but their findings were never made use of. From the closure of Cyprus Airways to the Coop Bank and from (serial killer) Metaxas to the two Investigative (Committees).

  • Experts preparing the President: ‘Sovereign equality’ and decentralised federation under the microscope
  • Andros-Averof to meet at Ezekia on ‘Smelly Thursday
  • Ankara setting up a ‘war’ climate in the Aegean
  • With evictions in hand T/Cs are requesting their properties


Family violence increasing, but supportive structures missing

Social workers in schools and hospitals to prevent critical incidents.

  • Cyprus problem: “We’re creating the conditions to soon convene the informal 5+1 meeting”
  • Property: Refugees on hot coal. The T/C properties in which they live are being sold

Cyprus Mail

A glimmer of hope for 2021

Cypriot hoteliers look to UK as Brits go booking crazy.


Like the first swallows!

Encouraging messages for tourism from Britain. British tourists ready for Cyprus (too) – Thomas Cook saw a 100% increase in traffic on its website as soon as Boris Johnson announced the road map for the gradual lifting of lockdown measures. PASYXE: A clearer picture will become evident from the end of March and on.

  • The five-party will determine the Cyprus Problem: The informal summit is considered very importance
  • At Nisou: They’re chasing away livestock farmers from Turkish Cypriot land

Main News

UNSG ‘committed’ to Cyprus and its people

Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process


The dailies report that the UN Secretary-General (UNSG) told Cyprus’ new permanent representative to the UN Andreas Hadjichrysanthou that the international organisation and himself personally are “committed” to Cyprus and its people.

UNSG Antonio Guterres reiterated his intention to convene an informal 5+1 meeting on Cyprus soon so that a serious negotiation process can begin. Speaking at an official ceremony during which Hadjichrysanthou presented his credentials, Guterres said Cyprus is an important part of the UN.

On his part, Hadjichrysanthou conveyed to the UNSG President Anastasiades’ full commitment and support for the informal five-party meeting with the aim of urgently resuming substantial and result-oriented negotiations to reach a comprehensive, viable and lasting settlement based on a bizonal, bicommunal federation (BBF) with political equality and in line with UN resolutions and EU principles.

UN and he personally are committed to Cyprus and its people.
>> Intends to convene informal 5+1 meeting soon so that formal negotiations can resume.

Legal experts prepare for all Cyprob contingencies

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process


The dailies report that the GC side’s team of constitutional law experts met Monday evening to discuss key issues in the Cyprus Problem and particularly the GC side’s arguments and positions.

Phileleftheros reports, citing information, that the meeting held on Monday evening among the team of experts and negotiators featured presentations on reports and analyses of all issues currently at the forefront of Cyprob discussions (both publicly and backstage), such as political and sovereign equality, decentralised federation, and the EU.

The paper reports that the experts attempted to analyse what each issue entails and how each could be implemented, with a particular focus on the GC side’s proposal for a decentralised federation. The experts attempted to clearly define the competences of the central government and the two states under a decentralised federation, but also to ascertain how such a setup would affect the functionality of the EU and how it would function within the EU. The experts also analysed among other things how the states would reach agreements with foreign bodies and in which sectors.

Citing information, Phileleftheros reports that the experts also engaged in an in-depth discussion of sovereign equality that is currently being pursued by Turkey and the north, with the experts reaching the conclusion that in both political and legal terms the claim for sovereign equality cannot be accepted as it would lead to a dysfunctional state.

Stano: Turkey’s actions will be included in Borrell’s report

Alithia, Phileleftheros
EU Matters


Peter Stano, the lead spokesperson for the EU’s Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell, said all of Turkey’s actions will be considered and included in the report being prepared by Borrell, which will be submitted to EU leaders at the European Council summit in March.

Stano commented on the presence of Turkey’s research vessel Cesme in the Aegean. He noted that Turkey-related issues were not discussed in depth at the recent Foreign Affairs Council as there were many other matters on the agenda. However, he clarified that “it is something that the EU and member states are thinking about and monitoring” and will be included in Borrell’s report on the way forward in EU-Turkish relations.

Phileleftheros reports that Turkey on Tuesday claimed that four Greek F-16 fighter jets ‘harassed’ its research vessel Cesme which is currently conducting hydrographic research in the Aegean. The paper says the move forms part of “an orgy of propaganda against Greece” in the framework of a blame game that Turkey is concocting in an effort to portray Greece as responsible for a potential collapse in exploratory talks. Phileleftheros reports that Greek military sources rejected Turkey’s claim, arguing that the Hellenic Air Force is not currently active in the area where Cesme is operating.

MPs say government has left refugees out to dry

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis


Members of the House refugees committee harangued the government on Tuesday for leaving out to dry refugees renting premises on TC land in the south, the dailies report.

One case currently causing concern involves livestock farmers in the Nisou area whose premises lie on TC land, and who were asked to vacate the land after it was returned to the TC owner, who then transferred the land onto her British husband, the papers report.

The dailies report that the owner has launched lawsuits against 11 livestock farming units, while Politis reports that six shops in the Nisou area are also affected.

Skevi Koukouma, chair of the House refugees committee, said that in 2014 the Greek Cypriot farmers were notified that their lease with the state – to which they paid a token rent for use – was being terminated. The state then advised the farmers to deal directly with the Turkish Cypriot landowner and come to an arrangement with him regarding his demands for rent payment, including retroactive payments.

Problems arose when, according to the Cyprus Mail, the Turkish Cypriot owner sought the business rate for rent, rather than the rate for land usage alone.

Koukouma complained that the state has “abandoned” these people – the refugees – noting that on the land in question the state has made expenditures, such as building infrastructure, roads, pavements and so forth, and therefore has obligations to those affected.

Another similar case that was on the Committee’s agenda involved a refugee self-housing settlement in Polemidia, while at another refugee settlement area in Dromolaxia the Turkish Cypriot owner is suing all the refugees and demanding the return of the land as it was prior to 1974.

“The state has let these people get dragged to court, instead of providing a clear solution. As a result, refugees feel that they risk losing their home, and some are ending up in court… in their majority these are elderly householders who are being inconvenienced in this way,” Koukouma said.

Answering questions, an official from the Turkish Cypriot Properties Management Service said that currently it is not the interior ministry’s policy to carry out expropriations.

Rather, the official noted, the matter should be resolved via amicable negotiation and out-of-court settlements.

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