GCC Press Review 1 Dec 2021

Front Page Headlines


Prow for the DISY candidate until February 2022

Extended political office with the participation of Ministers under Anastasiades’ orders.

  • Defence Ministry: Buying new weapons
  • Pandora Papers: The President is giving explanations today to Parliament
  • Spy van: Ws Wispear pled guilty to 42 new charges
  • Disappearance of Russian women: They’re analysing their telecommunications
  • Coronavirus: 613 new cases and 3 dead yesterday


Conference without Christodoulides

Dialogue starting at DISY’s Political Office for the presidential elections. The Foreign minister is stating he has previous commitments.

  • Noose tightening around the 32-year-old for the Russian women: Wanted Syrian nowhere to be found
  • Cypriot authorities receiving around 1,000 asylum applications every month: Five requests from Nicosia to Brussels
  • Roads closing, 567 policemen mobilised: Cyprus entering Pope rhythms from tomorrow – 211 journalists for the visit


Spy van: The company guilty, its staff innocent!

The Criminal Court found the company guilty of 42 of the 90 serious charges.

  • Varosha: The options paper of the European Service in the final stages
  • Society: ‘Without bodies, there’s no crime’… Yesterday’s investigations for the Russian women also unfruitful

Cyprus Mail

Asylum seekers 70% up on 2020

Almost half of all applicants from 2015 are people from ‘safe’ countries.

  • Maronites hope the visiting pope can help them save their culture


In their homes and without a salary!

Coronavirus. The government is planning on boosting its arsenal to force the unvaccinated to get vaccinated. The Health minister asked for the opinion of the attorney general if he can require health services staff (doctors, nurses) and Security Services members (police, fire service, National Guard) that refuse to get vaccinated to be forces to take leave without compensation.

  • Applications to return to the fenced-off area of Famagusta increased: Refugees who appealed to the ‘immovable property commission’ at 410
  • Charalambos Petrides: The National Guard arming with anti-tank weapons, helicopters, drones, etc
  • Disappearance of Russian women: Answers expected from telecommunications data
  • Nikos Nouris: 1000+ asylum applications submitted every month
  • Pope in Cyprus: Closing roads and GSP to open… tourist arrivals
  • Coronavirus: Three deaths, 613 new cases and 118 patients

Main News

Increase in IPC applications by Varosha homeowners

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi,


The number of applications to the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) concerning Varosha have grown massively since the beginning of last year, the dailies report on Wednesday.

Citing statements by the head of the IPC Novber Ferit Vechi, the dailies write that the number of applications concerning properties in Varosha have risen from 280 in February last year, to 338 when part of the fenced area opened in October 2020, to 410 today. Vechi said most applications concern the demand for return to the fenced area of Varosha.

The IPC is now examining how many of these applications concern the 3.5 per cent of the fenced Varosha area that opened this year. Vechi said that some of the applications do not concern only property within Varosha but elsewhere as well, so it takes time to identify them.

Vechi said that since the establishment of the committee to-date 6,999 applications have been received, 1,301 of which have been completed. The amount paid for compensation for properties is around 325.4 million sterling pounds, she said.

Asked about how restitution of property is implemented, she said restitution presupposes that the said property is not used by someone in the north or by someone whose return will not endanger “national and public security”. She also said the people whose property has been returned have all rights within the framework of the north’s ‘laws’.

Vechi also noted that besides those who want to build a house and settle down, there are also those who want to sell their property. In such cases, the interested parties can turn to the IPC for the sale procedure. To-date, she added, 24 applications have been made to the IPC, 12 of which have been completed while permission for the sale of property has been granted for eight.

EU options paper in final stages, Stano says

Alithia, Haravgi
EU Matters


The European External Action Service’s (EEAS) options paper on the EU’s response to developments in Varosha is currently being finalised, European Commission spokesperson for external affairs Peter Stano said according to the dailies.

Stano said that as the EU’s Foreign Policy chief Josep Borrell stated after the previous Foreign Affairs Council (FAC), the options paper, detailing potential actions against Turkey and the TC side, will be submitted to member states once it has been finalised.

Regarding the time frame of this process, Stano noted that Borrell was tasked to prepare this document by the Foreign Ministers, which means that he will be responding to the Foreign Ministers first. Stano added that the discussion of this paper will take place in December.

China expresses support for comprehensive Cyprob settlement

Cyprus Mail, Haravgi
Negotiations Process


Cyprus and China reaffirmed their bonds through a joint statement on Tuesday following a telephone conversation between President Nicos Anastasiades and President Xi Jinping to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations.

The two leaders exchanged views on regional and international issues of common interest, agreeing to step up relations to a strategic partnership that will allow for closer cooperation in the political, social and economic areas.

According to the joint statement, Cyprus reaffirmed its steadfast adherence to the One-China policy, while China reiterated its support for a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the Cyprus problem in accordance with international law.

Haravgi reports that the Chinese President also condemned Turkey’s actions in both Famagusta and the Cyprus EEZ, as well as Turkey’s increasing militarisation of Cyprus.

National Guard upgrading weapons systems

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Politis
Internal Security


Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides presented on Tuesday his Ministry’s six-pillar strategy to upgrade the island’s defence systems, the dailies report.

Petrides was addressing a news conference during which he analysed the Ministry’s strategy, starting from bolstering the National Guard’s operational capability. Petrides said the Ministry was realising existing contracts and striking new agreements for weapons systems like unmanned ariel vehicles, modern air defence and anti-tank systems, and the procurement of helicopters. Programmes to boost the army’s intelligence gathering capability are also underway, he said.

These six pillars concern the strengthening of the operational capacity of the National Guard, the strengthening of the relations with other states on defence cooperation, the implementation of innovative and reforming actions, the improvement of the legislative and regulatory framework governing the National Guard, the most efficient management of financial resources and the implementation of an environmental and energy policy, which will save resources for the benefit of national defence.

Presenting the pillars, Petrides referred initially to the strengthening of the operational capacity of National Guard.  Among other things, the pillar concerns the maximum utilisation of the possibilities of the existing armament systems in combination with the supply of advanced technology to improve the deterrent capability of the armed forces.

Referring to the second pillar of the strategy, Petrides said that it concerns the strengthening the relations and defence cooperation between the Republic of Cyprus and other states. Among other things, this pillar concerns the promotion of regional cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean as well as the strengthening of bilateral cooperation through agreements and memoranda in the field of defence and security. He said Cyprus is seeking to boost defence cooperation with the UK and the USA, and also said that cooperation with Germany is at an advanced stage.

Regarding the third pillar, Petrides said it concerns the implementation of innovative and reforming actions. He said that this pillar has to do with the country’s effort to gradually become an important training hub in the Common European Security and Defence Policy area, cybersecurity and international crisis management.

Regarding the fourth pillar, the management of financial resources, Petrides said that quality standards are being set in order to facilitate participation in tenders. The fifth pillar concerns the improvement of the legislative and regulatory framework that governs the National Guard. In this context, Petrides said, measures are being drafted to combat draft evasion.

The sixth involves the implementation of environmental and energy policy, which will see focus being put on energy conservation at facilities through an agreement that has been reached with the Electricity Authority to replace all light sources with LED lamps. Petrides added that consultations are also underway with the Energy Service of the Ministry of Energy for the installation of photovoltaic systems in the camps.

He also said that more than 10,500 reservists have also joined the ranks for the first time, after some 16,000 people were tracked down whose whereabouts were unknown after their discharge.

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