GCC Press Review 5 Nov 2021

Front Page Headlines


DISY-EDEK are flirting with GESY paying the price

The positions of DISY top brass on changes to the health system are no coincidence. Harris Georgiades backed Marinos Sizopoulos to promote changes to GESY in exchange of the cooperation of the two parties in the presidential elections. GESY was the big victim of the dealings that took place last January between EDEK and DISY so that the state 2021 budget was voted. Harsh accusations by the two previous health ministers against the EDEK leader who table a bill proposal yesterday at the House plenum.

  • Israel: It is taking a role in guarding the green line
  • Inadequacy of pensions: We are not providing for our retirement
  • Both ‘green’ and ‘economy’: (Von der Leyen) leased a plane for a 50-kilometre distance


Battlefield around GESY

Sizopoulos insists but civil war breaks out – Harris insists but Averof says: full stop. If parliament proceeds, GESY will be up in the air, the Health Insurance Organisation warns. They want doctors outside GESY to prescribe drugs within the system.

  • (Parties) are carefully walking towards the presidential elections
  • The ‘6’ are to be charged for terrorism and for taking part in a criminal organisation – The case on the Azeri and his associates is filed today in court.
  • Electric scanning from Monday for the SafePass
  • Damning polls for Erdogan


AKEL proposal for immediate reduction by 9% of VAT in electricity for everyone

AKEL’s bill proposal was tabled yesterday in parliament and will be discussed by the competent committee.

  • Cameras from Israel worth €27.5m for the surveillance of the green line
  • Bicommunal Technical Committee – AKEL: Very important work for the preservation of our cultural heritage.
  • Marinos Sizopoulos has officially tabled a proposal for changes to the general health scheme

Cyprus Mail

‘A warning shot to rest of world’

WHO weighs in as Covid cases break all records across Europe.

  • Buffer zone surveillance deal worth €27.5 million is signed with Israel
  • ‘A danger to democracy’: (photo caption) Protesters on Thursday decried what they say is an unconstitutional and monstrous bill which seeks to update the near century-old infectious disease law by which the government has ruled by decree to deal with the pandemic.


Attack from within

DEOK (trade union affiliated with EDEK) to Sizopoulos: “Hands off GESY”. Heavy accusations after Marinos Sizopoulos’ move for a change to the GESY philosophy. (Former Health Minister) Giorgos Pamporides spoke of known political crooks who are bad-mouthing him.

  • Agreement with Israel: Electronic eyes along the ceasefire line
  • Stanislav Osadchiy: The guarantees must be guarantees by the Security Council
  • ExxonMobil & Qatar Petroleum are putting a drill in ‘Glaucus’ within December – Pilides: The drilling in block 10 will largely determine the speed and the way of exploitation of hydrocarbons in the Cypriot EEZ.
  • Occupied areas: They are going to ‘elections’ on January 9. Sucuoglu will form a ‘government’ with the Democratic Party

Main News

Agreement with Israel for camera surveillance system along buffer zone

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Internal Security, Migration & Citizenship


The dailies report that the government signed on Thursday an agreement with Israel for the installation of cameras along the ceasefire line to curb smuggling of goods and drugs and the arrival of irregular migrants through the buffer zone.

The €27.5m deal concerns the installation of cameras at several points along the buffer zone with the overall system expected to be completed within three years, but as the equipment is installed at a particular location that location will go live. The cameras will be monitoring the area round the clock.

The agreement was signed during a visit at the ministry by the head of the Israeli Defence Ministry’s International Defence Cooperation Directorate retired brigadier-general Yair Kulas.

Defence ministry spokesman Christos Pieris told Cyprus Mail the deal signed with the Israelis is a government-to-government agreement, while the system will be operated exclusively by Cypriot personnel. He also said that a central operations centre inside the National Guard will receive real-time feeds from the cameras and depending on the circumstances the feed will be beamed out to the appropriate agency. For instance, if the cameras pick up the construction of a military outpost on the Turkish side that is a matter handled by the National Guard, but where people smuggling is concerned the National Guard will relay the video feed and the location’s coordinates to the police, the daily reported. In case of a fire, the fire department will be alerted.

It’s understood that Israel uses the same or similar system on separation barrier with the West Bank, Cyprus Mail reported. The daily also reports that the buffer zone has always been used for unlawful activity but more recently it has become the main conduit for irregular migrants to cross from the north to the Republic.

Haravgi said the agreement raises questions such as when did consultations begun for the installation of the Israeli system. Was it during Savvas Angelides’ stint as defence minister? Is the company linked with the spy van case involved in any way in the Israeli camera systems?  

Politis reports that Israel is assuming a role in the monitoring of the buffer zone.

Osadchiy: Special envoy on Cyprob must be mandated by SC

Negotiations Process, External Security


Russian Ambassador to Nicosia Stanislav Osadchiy said that Moscow was in favour of the appointment of a special envoy on the Cyprus problem with a mandate from the Security Council.

Speaking to members of the press during an event in Ayia Napa, Osadchiy said Russia was in favour of a UN special envoy in Cyprus. He said this was important and that both sides need to sit at the negotiations table assisted by a special envoy who will answer to the UN Security Council. He said the most important thing is for the envoy to act on the mandate given to them by the Security Council and to act as a representative who has the authority to contribute to the resolution of the Cyprus issue.

On Russia’s position on the system of guarantees, he said it was an outdated system that does not contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem and needed to be replaced by the guarantees of the Security Council. “We believe the Security Council should be the guarantor of the solution,” he said, according to the paper.

He also said that Moscow was in favour of implementing all the UN resolutions on Famagusta and that Turkey cannot act unilaterally in this area. He also said that Cyprus has the right to have its own exclusive economic zone and that Turkey needs to be aware of that.

Asked if Russia could take any initiative to help appoint a UN special envoy for Cyprus, Osadchiy said the five permanent members of the Security Council were talking about this and trying to help the UN Secretary-General to resolve this issue as soon as possible because negotiations need to continue.

Osadchiy (Russia)
New envoy on Cyprob must be mandated by SC & as soon as possible because negotiations need to continue.
SC must guarantee Cyprob solution since existing system of guarantees is outdated & does not contribute to solution.  
>> UN resolutions on Famagusta must be implemented, Turkey cannot act unilaterally there.
>> Cyprus has the right to have its own EEZ & Turkey needs to knows that.

AKEL reaffirms support to Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage



The daily reports that AKEL leader Stefanos Stefanou had a meeting on Thursday with members of the Technical Commute on Cultural Heritage.

During the meeting, on AKEL’s initiative, the party expressed its great appreciation for the important work of the Committee for the preservation of the country’s cultural heritage and stressed that their work has a positive impact on the wider relationship between the two communities. The party reaffirmed its willingness to support the important work of the Committee.

The delegation of the Technical Committee presented the work currently done on the preservation and restoration of monuments of the common cultural heritage of all Cypriots, the daily reported. They also stressed that the work within the Committee between the GC and TC members continues in a positive and productive climate. They also thanked AKEL for its support and interest in their work.

The daily reports that the work of the Committee is a model of the cooperation that should exist in general between GCs and TCs, in particular as regards the prospects in the context of a reunited federal Cyprus.

Cabinet greenlights Cyprus Studies chair at Thessaloniki University

Cyprus Mail
Regional/International Relations


According to the daily, the cabinet approved the establishment of a Cyprus Studies chair at the University of Thessaloniki a move expected to promote knowledge of the island’s history and civilisation and raise awareness on the Cyprus problem.

The daily cites deputy government spokesperson Niovi Parissinou saying that the creation of the position was at the initiative of the University of Thessaloniki. The aim of the creation of a Cyprus Studies chair, she said, is to promote knowledge among students and the wider community about the history and culture of Cyprus and promote research on the subjects. It also aims to encourage cooperation between the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and higher education institutions in Cyprus and other countries.

The Cyprus Studies chair could also provide specialised knowledge on Cyprus-related issues to interested private and state bodies but also inform and raise awareness on the Cyprus issue among higher education institutions of other countries with which the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki cooperates, Parissinou said, the daily reports.

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