GCC Press Review 25 Feb 2021

Front Page Headlines


This is how the colpo grosso (big score) was done

It was revealed through the testimony of the Central Bank Governor to the investigative committee on ‘golden’ passports. In small doses, on different dates and at different banks, though with the same receiver, usually a developer, millions of euros reached Cyprus without raising banks’ suspicions that would have led to thorough checks for money laundering. They made payments of millions and with credit cards. A case was found where a residence valued at €3.2m was purchased with 25 transactions of €130,000 via card on different dates. Two more cases are under investigation by the investigative committee. As Mr Herodotou testified, the alarm went off at the Central Bank after ‘Politis’ revealed the case of Jho Low. Checks at the bank where he maintained accounts found violations of legislation on money laundering and in the coming days the bank will receive an administrative fine.

  • Vaccination milestone by the end of summer


Road map for negotiations

The resumption of the Cyprus Problem in three phases from March until June. New meeting between Anastasiades and Tatar being prepared.

  • Salamina marbles being sold on ebay: Piece of the Gymnasium floor – Auction starts at $85 – Antiquities Department: We are constantly monitoring and raising objections.
  • €5m training centre (Cyclops) with USA stamp in Larnaca
  • Limassolians concerned about increase in cases – Mayor: Utmost personal responsibility required.
  • Languishing Brits booking (holidays in Cyprus) for July and after
  • Thousands of Israelis want to spend Easter in Cyprus


Unbelievable scams in the ‘golden’ passports scandal revealed

Tens of ‘investors’ are linked with money laundering and/or EU sanctions!

  • After Brexit Ersin Tatar hopes for direct flights to London

Cyprus Mail

March: another ‘critical’ month

Government to announce ‘gradual’ relaxations, despite Limassol concerns.

  • Amnesty: Cyprus protest ban must be lifted


Minimal relaxations by March 15

Government not succumbing to pressure and extending measures. When will restaurants, bars and cafeterias open. March is a critical month for the development of the pandemic. “Special measures will not be taken for the Limassol district.”

  • Vaccinations opening borders: Movement of vaccinations (to be discussed) at the EU summit for heads of state – Manfred Weber also seeks common European vaccination certificate.
  • President Anastasiades: Asks again for apology from Andreas Paraschos

Main News

Roadmap for resumption of Cyprus talks begins to take shape

Alithia, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process


Phileleftheros reports that a three-phase roadmap has been drawn up that will guide efforts for the resumption of formal Cyprob talks by summer, one which at least on a procedural level, appears to have garnered the approval of all sides.

The paper reports that we are currently traversing the first phase, which will see the UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG) special envoy Jane Holl Lute take on a more active role to maintain momentum among the two sides. Phileleftheros reports that in addition to the visit she is expected to pay to Cyprus on March 6-8, information points to a second visit that will follow on April 9 for a second round of contacts with the two leaders in preparation for the informal summit.

Phileleftheros reports that it is possible during Lute’s visit scheduled visit in March, as well as meeting the two leaders separately, a meeting may also be set up jointly with the two leaders, who last met each other on November 3, 2020.

The second phase, Phileleftheros reports, involves the informal five-party summit that will take place in the Holy Week on April 27-29 in Geneva, though this date must still be officially confirmed by the UN. Alithia reports that a diplomatic source said that it has been officially decided that the informal summit will be a three-day affair.

Phileleftheros reports that its information suggests that the resumption of formal talks will not be announced at the informal summit, as all sides prefer that the informal summit serves to get an agreement on the ‘technocratic’ process that will follow the summit and a timeline for that process. According to the paper’s information, it seems the UNSG will operate in a similar manner as at Crans-Montana. After seeing all the sides, he will draw up a new framework similar or identical to the one drawn up at Crans Montana, and call on all sides to work on it.

The third phase, according to the paper, will see work on a technocratic level as the two negotiators and the general directors of the Foreign Ministries of the three guarantor powers continue preparations for the resumption of substantive negotiations. Phileleftheros reports it is likely that Guterres will request from the five parties that an agreement for the resumption of formal talks in an agreed-upon framework is reached by June. Phileleftheros reports that the goal is to get an announcement for negotiations on a final settlement of the Cyprus problem within that four-month period. If all sides work with good faith and intentions, a result is possible. It is clear that none of the sides are in a rush to get a result, nor is there pressure from the UN to do so, so as to avoid a new impasse or negative results.

Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell will be in Cyprus next Thursday and Friday to discuss with the two leaders the EU’s role in the Cyprus problem, as well as the form of a solution, which must fit within EU parameters. Nicosia favours a more active involvement of the EU and does not rule out seeking greater European participation in the third phase the road map.

Phileleftheros also reports on statements issued Wednesday by the leader of DISY Averof Neophytou, who said current Cyprob efforts constitute our last chance for negotiations on a federal solution, adding that if the upcoming efforts fail, then “in August 2021 Erdogan will not be having a picnic at Varosha but a party.” Neophytou also highlighted the importance of resuming settlement efforts as well as the importance of actions in pursuit of publicly-stated goals for a free and unified homeland.

Alithia reports that Neophtou has in the recent period been hiking up efforts to coordinate with other political parties, starting with AKEL. Neophytou is scheduled to meet with the leader of AKEL Andros Kyprianou next Thursday. The paper writes that Neophytou recently also held contacts with the Ambassadors of UN Security Council members to convey his desire to see formal negotiations resuming.

Neophytou (DISY)
Upcoming Cyprob talks our last chance to negotiate on the basis of a federal solution.
>> If these efforts fail, Erdogan will be having a party in Varosha by August 2021.
>> Actions are needed to back up publicly-stated goals for a Cyprob settlement.

Spehar holds contacts with TC parties

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process


The dailies report on contacts held between the UN Secretary-General’s (UNSG) special representative Elizabeth Spehar and TC parties, with talks focusing on the Cyprus Problem and the pandemic.

The dailies report that Spehar spoke with members of the Democratic Party (DP) on Cyprob developments, Varosha, and on the issue of the vaccine policies of the EU and UN for TCs. The papers report that representatives of the party conveyed to Spehar their position that if Cyprob talks fail then TCs will move forward as one of the two equal sides on the island, but the party is also ready to contribute to the negotiating process if the informal summit succeeds.

The party representatives also expressed discontent over the small number of vaccines delivered so far to the north by GC authorities. Haravgi reports that DP representatives said that just 6,600 of the 60,000 doses Cyprus has received have been delivered to the north, which has however received 80,000 doses from Turkey.

The dailies report that Spehar also held discussions with representatives of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) on the same matters, with the party representatives conveying their position in favour of a federal solution. Regarding Varosha, representatives said moves must be made in line with international law that will contribute to a comprehensive solution. The representatives also highlighted the importance of confidence-building measures (CBM).

The TDP representatives also called for higher numbers of vaccines and for a stepping up of efforts that will allow the TC community to benefit from financial resources being distributed by the EU and the international community to countries affected by the pandemic.

UK MPs ‘observing with interest’ Tatar’s two-state solution proposal

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process


Citing the Press and Information Office, the dailies report on correspondence between the TC leader Ersin Tatar and Lord Northbrook, the co-chair of the UK’s parliamentary group of friends of the ‘TRNC’.

The dailies report that in a letter addressed to Tatar, UK MPs congratulated the TC leader for his victory in the recent ‘elections’, noting that they are observing with interest the two-state solution proposed by Tatar.

In his response, Tatar expressed satisfaction with the group’s efforts to counter the unfairness and inhumane isolation imposed on TCs. Tatar also said he greatly values the continuation of coordinated lobbying efforts in the UK, pointing in particular to the matter of direct air connectivity between the UK and the north post-Brexit, a matter that he said was raised during his meeting with the UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab.

In his letter, Tatar reiterated the north’s position in favour of sovereign equality and that the burden of blame for Cyprus’ inability to secure a federal solution lies with the GC side, which at Crans Montana refused to share power. Phileleftheros reports that Tatar also said that the TC side has not made any errors in negotiations for securing a federal solution, which have now collapsed due to the GC side.

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