GCC Press Review 11 Nov 2021

Front Page Headlines


At sea with Europe as the only life vest

Another mega conference on migration, without any substantive measures and internal actions.

  • EDEK going from decree to decree: New stop on conference and elections!
  • Kiti port: International award for iconic reconstruction
  • Epidemiologists-Ministry: Clashing over coronavirus measures
  • Competition for Akamas: They’re moving forward with roads and parking
  • Signatures dropped: TEPAK officially moving to Paphos


Emergency situation

Shocking data on mass transfers of migrants through the green line. 10,868 people in ten months. 30% of students in pre-primary. 43% participation in crime. €178 million for grants and construction of infrastructure.

  • When the oak falls… in Erdogan’s Turkey
  • New hospital worth €50 million in Engomi got approved: Together with a rehabilitation centre
  • The ‘Robin’ of ambelopoulia returns: ‘I’m recovering and I will return’, says the activist who was hit
  • Alarm at hospitals that are reaching capacity: Increase in patients with Covid, infections and viruses


The demand for reduction of VAT on electricity to 9% is now a social one

AKEL’s proposal is being co-signed by DIKO, EDEK and the Greens.

  • Migration is being taken advantage of politically by the government
  • Audit office: The favours linked to Mr. Anastasiades’ associates unprecedented
  • Capacity at public hospitals ‘hitting’ up to 100%

Cyprus Mail

Push to suspend asylum requests

9,270 irregular migrants have illegally crossed via buffer zone so far this year.

  • Akel says Akamas plan reduces protected areas


Terrifying numbers!

Cyprus: SOS for migration.

  • Occupied areas: Minimum wage under the hunger line
  • In Nicosia: Two ultra modern hospitals are changing the health map
  • Natasa Pilides: Quick actions are needed to reduce the price of electricity
  • Increased pressure: Hospitals are filling up again due to constant flow of patients
  • EDEK: Conference and elections in the air!

Main News

Cyprus, UK MPs discuss Turkey

Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Regional/International Relations


Turkey’s drift from the West and how it should be dealt with was discussed on Wednesday during a meeting at the House Foreign Affairs Committee with the participation of British MPs from the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Cyprus, who were visiting the island, the dailies report.

Chair of the Committee, DISY’s Harris Georgiades said that Turkey was drifting away from the West. He said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is riding the tide of Islamism and extremism, both domestically and in its foreign policy. Georgiades said we are literally living in times of gunboat diplomacy, adding that the issue was not just one for Cyprus or the region but also for the EU, the US and the UK.

Replying to questions from other MPs on whether it might help to re-engage with Turkey or offer it incentives, Georgiades said he was not suggesting an all-out confrontation but rather draft a sensible but firm ‘carrot and stick’ policy toward Ankara. He gave the example of the EU Customs Union with Turkey noting that it should include all EU member states, including Cyprus.

Labour’s Charalambous said the British MPs were seeking to learn what the current geopolitical situation was so that they can go back and inform the UK parliament and try to get support for helping Cyprus in trying to resolve the issue that has been so long standing for such a long period of time, Cyprus Mail reports.

The British MPs also has a separate meeting with House President Annita Demetriou earlier in the day, the dailies report. Referring to Turkish provocations, especially in Varosha, Demetriou said the Turkish side’s demand for a two-state solution, in violation of UN resolutions could in no way be accepted.

Demetriou said Turkey’s actions in Cyprus’ exclusive economic zone (EEZ) with threats and illegality was also problematic, adding that Cyprus expects the UK’s support so that Turkey stops its illegal actions and begins to cooperate in good faith.

Phileleftheros reports that Demetriou also stressed the GC side’s focus on the goal of resuming negotiations in order to secure a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, in line with UN Security Council (UNSC) resolutions and EU principles, as well as in full respect for the human rights of all Cypriots.

The goal, she said, is to reunify the island in conditions of peace and security, so that we can jointly address the challenges of the times.

The British delegation also met Humanitarian Affairs Commissioner Photis Photiou in lieu of President Nicos Anastasiades where they reiterated the UK’s support for efforts to resolve the missing persons issue, Cyprus Mail reports.


>> Turkish side’s demand for a two-state solution can in no way be accepted
>> GC side focused on the goal of resuming negotiations in order to secure a fair and viable solution to the Cyprus problem, in line with UNSC resolutions and EU principles, as well as in full respect for the human rights of all Cypriots
>> The goal is to reunify the island in conditions of peace and security, so that we can jointly address the challenges of the time

TC side accepts appointment of Stewart

Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process


The dailies report that the TC ‘presidency’ issued an announcement accepting the appointment of Colin Stewart to the role of head of UNFICYP and UN Special Representative, but also reiterated its demands for sovereign equality and equal international status.

Phileleftheros reports that the announcement, issued one week after UN Secretary General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres broke the news, was issued not so much in order to state the TC side’s consent to Stewart, but mainly in order to reiterate its preconditions for the resumption of negotiations.

The announcement said the TC side supports the resumption of negotiations on a common basis which was absent during the negotiations that took place in Geneva earlier this year.

Phileleftheros reports that the reiteration of the TC side’s demands is not considered irrelevant with the next steps the Cyprus problem is expected to take, and particularly in light of the impending appointment of a UN envoy. The paper reports that though there is nothing new on the matter, information received by Nicosia suggests that an envoy is to be appointed by the end of November.

Event honours TCCH after receiving top EU award

Cyprus Mail, Haravgi


An event marking the occasion of the Technical Committee on Cultural Heritage (TCCH) being awarded the 2021 European Heritage Award and the Grand Prix Laureate in recognition of its key work in conservation projects was held on Monday, the dailies report.

The event, held at the Home for Cooperation, was attended by officials from the European Commission, UN, and UNDP.

Congratulating the TCCH, Myrto Zambarta, head of the European Commission Representation in Cyprus, said the bicommunal Committee remains a key component of the reconciliation and confidence-building actions supported by the EU in Cyprus. The Committee’s work, she said, centres on cultural heritage as a powerful tool for peaceful cooperation and for the creation of a climate of reconciliation.

The Committee was established in 2008, and according to a 2021 report it has since conserved more than 70 monuments of great historical, archaeological, religious and societal importance on both sides of the divide, Cyprus Mail reports. Equally composed of representatives of the TC and GC communities, the Committee has received funding from the EU, the Church of Cyprus, the Evkaf administration, USAID, and others.

Government agrees on measures to tackle irregular migration

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


The government has agreed on a series of actions to tackle the high numbers of irregular migrants arriving in the Republic during an emergency meeting held at the Presidential Palace on Wednesday, the dailies report.

Government spokesman Marios Pelekanos said after the meeting that that the Republic has seen the arrival of 10,868 irregular migrants in the first 10 months of 2021, 9,270 of whom illegally crossed the Buffer Zone.

Pelekanos said this was a clear policy by Turkey of taking advantage of human suffering, based on a prescribed and conscious policy, adding that the vast majority of flows comes from Turkey. He added that 70% of these flows are single men aged 25-40 years. This year the numbers are already 38% higher than the corresponding number for the whole of 2020, Pelekanos said.

Pelekanos said the competent Ministries submitted data which demonstrate the risk of demographic change, but also the very acute socio-economic effects of the migration crisis that the country is facing. Alithia reports citing information that some villages have already been marked by demographic alteration.

He said that another finding is that, in addition to ghettoisation in urban areas, several communities have experienced significant demographic change. He cited the data on pupils with a migrant background as the most significant example of how critical the problem is. Pelakanos said that in pre-primary education the number of these students exceeds 30% of the total, while in primary education it amounts to 16%.”

He said that with the implementation of the new procedure for speedy examination of applications, 8,671 applications have already been rejected, but the current flows are added to the more than 33,000 cases of people illegally residing in the Republic.

Pelekanos also referred to the rise in crime, which he described as particularly worrying, since more than 43% of serious crimes involve irregular or illegal immigrants.

Pelekanos said that pursuant to Article 78 (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, a request will be submitted to the European Commission for action in favour of the Republic of Cyprus, including the granting of the right to suspend asylum applications by persons entering the country illegally.

He added that the government will also claim the immediate relocation of a number of asylum seekers to other member states, but also the repatriation of asylum seekers to their countries of origin.

The situation is burdening also Cypriot taxpayers, Pelekanos said. In addition to the €178 million allocated by the EU between 2014 and 2020, Cypriot taxpayers have been burdened with an amount of €178 million for the payment of benefits and infrastructure creation.

He said that due to the deteriorating situation for this year alone, the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare had to pay additional expenditure of €38 million from the national budget on food and housing allowances.

Pelekanos recalled that the percentage of asylum seekers exceeds 4% of the population of the areas controlled by the Republic while in the rest of the EU frontline countries it does not exceed 1%. He said European institutions agree that Cyprus ranks top in the bloc for asylum seekers.

He said that to tackle the situation, it was also decided to set up a Ministerial Committee consisting of the Ministers of Defence, Interior and Justice to suggest measures to deal with and manage the emergency created by the crisis due to increased migratory flows. An operational unit will also be set up under the supervision of the Search and Rescue Coordination Centre which will implement the decisions of the Cabinet.

The government will also promptly inform the European Commission on the deterioration of the situation, the need for emergency measures and urgent assistance in dealing with the problem in line with the decisions taken for Lithuania and Poland, Pelekanos said.

Pelekanos said the government is taking actions based on a holistic management of the migration issue with respect to human rights but also the need to safeguard the security and interests of all the legal citizens of the country.

Politis reports citing information that the government is mulling over the idea of appealing to the EU in order to categorise Turkey as a secure third country only for migrants, who will in this way be able to be deported there, while also ensuring that those seeking political asylum to avoid persecution in Turkey will still have the means to do so.

The paper reports that through this proposal, Nicosia will attempt to mount pressure for the implementation of the EU-Turkey Joint Announcement, which obligates Turkey to not allow the operation of smuggling networks.

Politis also reports that Nicosia is also examining the case of Denmark, whereby Syria will be divided into secure and non-secure areas, with deportations to follow for those arriving from areas deemed secure.

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