GCC Press Review 27 July 2021

Front Page Headlines


Objections by scientists for charging the rapid tests

Epidemiologists rule out a lockdown and place their bets on the SafePass. There is no need to apply stricter restrictions, epidemiologists said in a meeting yesterday with the Minister of Health. The experts expressed the belief that the application of the SafePass works and that the abolition of the free rapid tests programme involves risks. The only reason to suggest reintroduction of stricter restrictions and even a lockdown is a possible reduction in the resilience of public hospitals. The biggest problem is faced in the ICUs. Any decisions will be taken on Friday by Cabinet. The debate on vaccinating the 12 to16-year-olds is reopening with epidemiologists being in favour and promoting the vaccination of these ages so as not to miss the next school year. The possibility remains open for the administration of a third dose to the elderly and vulnerable.

  • Israel: We will react about Varosha
  • Elections court: (DISY MP candidate) Xenia questions (DIKO MP) Chrysis’ seat


They are calling for continuation of the free tests

The scientific team disagrees with the termination of the programme. They agree on a third dose. They ruled out new measures, they demand information from hospitals and contact tracing.

  • (Common) Front with Israel against Turkish provocations
  • Cyprus’ involvement in the (Pegasus) espionage scandal – Politicians, journalists, and more under surveillance.
  • Xenia vs Chrysis over the Nicosia seat


Actions of corruption and undermining of the provident funds institution

The Provident Funds Commissioner has proceeded to changes to the relevant directive. He is paving the way for the insurance companies. PEO reacts and warns with measures. The collective retirement plans are part of employment relationships and collective work agreements. What will happen if the insurance fees are not paid, who will be carrying out checks, who will take measures?

  • Varosha: A 500-metre beachfront has opened, reactions also from TCs
  • Food poisoning of 30 conscripts at the Larnaca training centre

Cyprus Mail

€10 ceiling set for rapid tests

Free screening for all to be scrapped from August 1. Registered chemists to carry out testing.

  • Opening up Varosha is legal says Tatar


The money starts pouring in

Building the Cyprus of tomorrow. The EC0FIN has approved yesterday Cyprus’ national recovery and resilience plan and Ursula Von Der Leyen declares: the money starts pouring in. With the approval of the plan, in the coming years in Cyprus will invest € 1.2 billion that will make the country greener, more digital and better prepared for the future. Dozens of reforms and investments will be promoted.

  • They listen to no one – They opened another 500 metres in Varosha. Erdogan, Tatar under fire by TC politicians. Grey Wolves: Akinci is a mason, a communist, AKEL member and an EOKA militant.
  • Israel: Mutual reaction against Turkey’s provocative actions
  • DISY vs DIKO: Xenia Constantinou claims Chrysis Pantelides’ seat

Main News

Anastasiades: State will not pay the billions Turkey ought to for Varosha properties

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Property, Territory, Migration & Citizenship, Negotiations Process


President Nicos Anastasiades said the government would not introduce support measures that, in essence, would pay for Turkey’s dues as Cyprus’ invader and occupier, the dailies report.

In the meantime, the debate continues on the announcement on the possible revocation of passports of TC officials.

Cyprus Mail, reporting on the second part of Anastasiades’ interview with daily Phileleftheros, published on Monday, reports that the president said he could not make promises regarding Varosha refugees that would not be kept due to financial and legal reasons.

Asked whether the government would announce support to refugees with properties in the fenced area of Varosha 3.5 per cent of which Turkey has now declared demilitarised and open for settlement, Anastasiades said that one political leader had suggested at the National Council last week that the government should set up set up a special fund.

“But we must calculate what this means in cost but mainly as a political message,” he said, adding that this would mean billions of euros, while, in the end, the Republic of Cyprus will be called upon to pay what Turkey owes as a result of the invasion and occupation.  He said he would not make any promises that are impossible to keep both because of the financial costs and because of legality since that would essentially relieve Turkey of its obligation to pay compensation which has been upheld by decisions of the European Court of Human Rights. “What we can and will do is to continue to upgrade our refugee support programmes especially with regard to housing policy,” he added.

On talk about revoking Cyprus IDs from TC leader Ersin Tatar and other officials Anastasiades said that some measures can be adopted arguing that it was not possible for one who does not recognise the Republic of Cyprus (RoC) and claims that they have their own state, propagandise in favour of cessation and partition of the country, to hold the passport of the RoC.

On the Cyprus problem talks, he said, the Turkish side each time it opens a topic it is to gain something and not to negotiate. He also called on those interested in the solution of the Cyprus problem, if they wanted a change of climate, instead of suggesting people-to-people contacts or bands or choirs etc, which, he said are positive but do not lead anywhere as at the base of the people there is mutual respect, “it is good to see what is missing which is none other than the will of Turkey and its subordinates for a solution,” the daily reports.

Haravgi and Phileleftheros report on AKEL’s reaction to Anastasiades’ statements.

Assessing the interview, AKEL spokesperson Giorgos Koukoumas said that for four years, the president and the government has said nothing about how the UNSG’s report after the Crans-Montana shipwreck praises Turkey and blames the two communities. He asked why the government did not question the report until now.

He also called on Anastasiades, who was obviously choosing to star a conflict with the UN, where Cyprus would turn to on the Cyprus problem if not the UN.

He also asked Anastasiades why he was not telling the whole truth on the territorial adjustments map and that it included Famagusta and other areas under GC administration. Koukoumas said the map was withdrawn by the TC side because Anastasiades first withdrew the convergence on the TC positive vote and effective participation.

EDEK said it was they who suggested the creation of a special fund for refugees, a proposal the party had first tabled back in 1978. The proposal, at this stage, calls for priority to the cases of the residents of Famagusta so as not to appeal to the illegal compensation committee for the sale of their property, the party said.

The dailies also report on the issue of the revocation of RoC passports of TC officials. They report that ‘mayor’ of occupied Nicosia Mehmet Harmanci reacted to Anastasiades’ statements that they were thinking of revoking the passports of TC officials arguing there was no legal basis for such a thing. Harmanci also called on Anastasiades, who, he said, is responsible for the current situation, start from himself.

In a comment, Haravgi said it seems the government is working to revoke the passports of Tatar and other officials of the pseudo state.

Assuming the government will be able to overcome the legal obstacle to do this and that such a move offers some sort of practical importance at the time when Varosha is being lost, the president, if he wants to be consistent, should add on the same list those who abolished the Constitution with a coup in July 1974, whose names he can find through his clientele, the daily said. On the list should also be added those who continue to carry out propaganda for the abolition of the Cypriot state through union with Greece, and those, who, behind closed doors have discussed the two-state solution, the daily added.

Politis, in its opinion page, refers to Anastasiades’ ‘ELAMisation’, arguing that the president has adopted the far-right party’s position on revoking passports of TCs.

This is a position that ELAM has tabled, which, should be the first to start with such a move among its members. The daily asks how much respect ELAM showed for the Constitution when they were declaring they were the Golden Dawn but had to change the name so that they can register as a party in Cyprus. It added that ELAM members were draft dodgers.

However, it said, addressing the president, those who not only did not respect the Constitution but also led us to the situation we have been experiencing since 2004 are people DISY housed. Why are you not threatening to revoke their passports? Why did you give passports to crooks, dictators and criminals? Did you find that they respect the Constitution? The daily asked.

It added that the fact that Anastasiades’ positions have changed to accommodate the far-right audience is not a good omen for the rest of his term. The paper called on him, for the remaining of his term, meet with his old self from the 2000s. It is certain he would not recognise his own self, the daily said.

Phileleftheros hosts a comment about criticism on social media that the government’s expressed intentions promote partition. The comment writer said he was baffled by how some compare Tatar with those who hoist the Greek flag in the free areas while asking if this does not undermine the Republic of Cyprus. “It is worth wondering though how one can consider revoking the citizenships of Tatar, Erhan Arikli, of those who support the Grey Wolves and of every criminal element in the occupied areas, as a step towards partition,” the comment said.

Government, though continues to support refugees, will not introduce more support measures for Varosha refugees since it would mean paying the billions Turkey ought to, for the consequences of the invasion & occupation.
>> Confirms talk on revoking RoC passports from Tatar & other TC officials who do not recognize RoC & call for its partition.
>> Whenever Turkish side opens an issue on Cyprob is to gain something & not negotiate.
>> Calls on those who truly are interested in the Cyprob solution focus on Turkey’s & TCs’ lack of will instead of just promoting people-to-people contacts, that though positive, lead nowhere as there is already mutual respect among two communities.

Koukoumas (AKEL)
Asks Anastasiades why he now remembered to question UNSG’s report issued right after Crans-Montana shipwreck that praises Turkey & blames the two communities.
>> Calls on Anastasiades think twice before starting a confrontation with US as Cyprus has nowhere else to turn.
>> Calls on Anastasiades tell whole truth that Famagusta & other areas were returned under GC administration on map of territorial adjustments which the TC side withdrew after he first went back on convergence on the TC positive vote and effective participation.

>> Party was the first to suggest special fund for refugees back in 1978 but its proposal now calls for priority to Famagusta refugees so they don’t appeal to the IPC to sell their property.

TCs carry on with opening Varosha

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Territory, Property, Negotiations Process, EU Matters


Cyprus Mail reports that ‘prime minister’ Ersan Saner on Monday, accompanied by a group of officials visited the area in the fenced part of Varosha that has already been demilitarised. Saner said these moves were according to the European Court of Human Rights decisions. The daily also reports that this followed a ‘cabinet’ decision though Turkey has been blasted by the international community as the responsible party.

The paper also reports that TC leader Ersin Tatar, rebuffing international outcry over the move said their decision to open 3.5 per cent of the fenced area of Varosha was is in accordance with international law and human rights. He also said it was an extremely important development that will enable the return of former residents and beneficiaries who have not been able to go to their properties for many years. He said their aim was to eliminate grievances and that the immovable property commission (IPC) will decide in this direction for the beneficiaries who apply for return to their properties. He also said the GC side with encouragement from the EU and some other countries, has used every means and method to prevent this opening.

Alithia and Haravgi report that Tatar provocatively announced, after a meeting with former director of EVKAF Taner Dervis, that TCs who left their properties in the free areas have the right to properties in the north, implying that Famagusta properties will be given to TCs as compensation.

The dailies, citing TC daily Kibris Postasi also report that another 500 metres of beach were opened in Varosha.

Alithia also reports that Saner continues provocations by declaring that the moves in Varosha are according to the European Court of Human Rights while in Turkey, the head of the co-ruling party, that of the Grey Wolves, Devlet Bahceli, attacked former TC leader Mustafa Akinci calling him a mason, a communist, an AKEL member and … an EOKA militant! Bahceli also accused all those TCs who react to the Turkish government’s policy on Cyprus as associates of enosis (union with Greece).

Politis reports that Erdogan and Tatar’s announcements about Famagusta were not well received by the international community which condemns the intention to open the fenced part of the town but so far, no intention has been expressed by any side for substantial measures that could reverse the situation.

According to the paper there might be reaction today by the EU on Turkey’s announcements about Famagusta, as there seems to be a tendency to warn Ankara to recall its actions within a period of one to two months. If Turkey does not stop the process of opening part of Varosha then the EU, based on the European Council decisions Council of last March and June,  will take targeted measures. Obstacle to this is Germany, which wants open channels of communication with Turkey.

The daily also reports that following the Security Council Presidential Statement on Turkey and the occupation regime’s provocations in Famagusta, the debate on the resolution on the renewal of the UNFICYP mandate begins with positive signs for Nicosia, but this is another completely different process. It is certain that there will be a reference to the negative development in Varosha but Nicosia would like to have a clear reference to the form of the solution in order to send a message that the views expressed by Ersin Tatar in Geneva cannot be put on the negotiating table. The problem is Britain, however which has put to consultation the second draft it has prepared and according to information, references to the solution framework are such so that they may have different readings which would be beneficial to Turkey. At the same time, Nicosia wants the Security Council to instruct the UN Secretary-General to continue efforts for the continuation of the talks.

The dailies also report that there have been reactions against the opening of part of Varosha for settlement by Akinci, leader of main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Tufan Erhurman, head of the Communal Democracy Party Cemal Ozyigit and head of the People’s Party Kudret Ozersay.

Moves on Varosha are in accordance with international law & human rights and aim at enabling former residents return to their properties after many years while GC side, encouraged by EU & other countries, uses every means to prevent this.
>> TCs with properties in south have the right to properties in north as compensation.

Cyprus, Israel FMs discuss Turkish actions

Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/International Relations, External Security


The dailies report that Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday while welcoming his Cypriot counterpart Nikos Christodoulides that Israel and Cyprus share deep concern for Turkey’s provocative actions.

“We share deep concern of the provocative actions of Turkey in Cyprus lately and we are going to discuss the mutual reaction to it,” Lapid said.

Christodoulides was on a working visit in Jerusalem said this was his seventh visit to Israel since he assumed duties as foreign minister in March 2018. He thanked his counterpart, on behalf of the government and the people of Cyprus, for Israel’s immediate, positive reaction in his recent request for assistance during the wild fires in Cyprus early July. This, he said, was another clear indication of the strategic nature of the relationship between the two states.
Christodoulides said that he would discuss with his Israeli counterpart how to further enhance the two countries’ strategic relationship and join efforts to turn the neighbourhood into a region of peace, stability and security. He also said Cyprus is a strong supporter of the enhancement of the EU – Israel relationship and that they were looking forward the soonest possible for the convening of the EU-Israel Association Council. He also met later on with Israel’s Minister of Energy Karine Elharrar and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

Phileleftheros reports that Nicosia is satisfied by Israel’s position on the Cyprus problem and regional affairs. Nicosia notes the continuation of the two countries’ cooperation against Turkish provocations and that the change of administration in Israel did not change anything in the two countries’ relations.

Citing sources, the paper reports that the Israeli side expresses concerns about Turkey’s drones base in occupied Cyprus. The same sources told the daily that Lapid stressed the need to continue strengthening relations as regards trilateral cooperation and that the Israeli FM is to convey this also to his US counterpart Antony Blinken as regards the 3+1 partnership.

A trilateral ministerial meeting is to take place at the end of August to prepare the next high-level summit between Cyprus, Greece and Israel set to take place in autumn in Nicosia, the daily reports.

Israel also reaffirmed its commitment to the EastMed pipeline, Phileleftheros reported.

Politis reports that Israel had in the past also strongly condemned Turkey’s actions in Cyprus while efforts to normalise the Ankara-Tel Aviv relations did not bear fruit since Israel believes that Turkey encourages Hamas’ terrorist attacks.

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