GCC Press Review 3 Dec 2021

Front Page Headlines


The Pope of the Poor on the island of the Saints

Visit by the head of the Roman Catholic Church with great symbolism. Speech with clear messages for tolerance, dialogue and unity: “The road to peace that heals conflict and regenerates the beauty of fraternity, is characterised by one word: dialogue”. Cyprus is a geographical, historical, cultural and religious crossroad. Let it become an open workshop for reconstructing peace in the Mediterranean.

  • Cypriot EEZ: Research licence also for block 5
  • DISY-Presidential elections: The dilemma now to Christodoulides


He showed the way of peace

Pope Francis sent messages of reconciliation and love upon his arrival to Cyprus. He recalled that pearls are born in darkness. He spread blessings and kindness.

  • They drew the lines on the pitch (DISY) and are waiting for Christodoulides
  • Brainless thugs are placing bombs and burning schools over the measures – Explosion in Zakaki, fire in Deftera.
  • Strong reactions by parties on the new bill on pandemics – It gives superpowers to the government, annuls democracy.  


The new measures cancelled surgeries once again

They ‘committed’ to upgrading the public health sector and they downgraded it.

  • Pope Francis: Let Cyprus become a workshop of Peace
  • It was sheer luck that there were no victims in the primary schools (from the explosion and fire)

Cyprus Mail

A message of peace

Pope touts ‘power of gestures’ rather than ‘gestures of power’.

  • Attacks on two schools over Covid measures is condemned


What more will the anti-vaxxers do?

Acts of blind, murderous violence. Outcry over the school bombings. Parties and society demand accountability. New protest by anti-vaxxers tomorrow, Saturday at the Enaerios in Limassol. Protests by parents-teachers on Monday against the anti-vaxxers. A primary school principal was savagely attacked by a pupil’s father for refusing to allow his child to enter the classroom without a protective mask and a rapid test.

  • “No to gestures of threats and shows of power” – Pope Francis acknowledged the trauma caused by the Turkish invasion. Anastasiades: We look forward to your support in order to achieve a fair, sustainable and functional solution to the Cyprus problem.
  • The day after: Criticism against Christodoulides by DISY members continues
  • Elvan resigned as well: Within a year, Erdogan changed four governors and three finance ministers

Main News

Pope Francis: Think of future generations before giving up on peace

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Regional/International Relations, Migration & Citizenship, Negotiations Process, Human Rights


Pope Francis’ visit to Cyprus and his messages for peace and reconciliation is the main item in most papers on Friday.

The Pope arrived on Thursday afternoon for a three-day visit during which he will also meet with migrants. He is expected to take a small number with him to the Vatican. Upon arrival, he was welcomed at the airport by House President Annita Demetriou and all the cabinet members.

After a ceremony at the Maronite Cathedral of Our Lady of Grace in old Nicosia where both Maronite and Latin priests greeted him, including Maronite Patriarch Bechara Boutros al-Rahi who had travelled from Lebanon for the occasion, the Pope went to the Presidential Palace.

The dailies report that the Pope chose a Fiat 500L for his transportation while on the island instead of a limo.

Alithia reports that the Pope has acknowledged the trauma caused by the Turkish invasion, while President Nicos Anastasiades reassured the Pontiff that the Republic of Cyprus will continue the struggle for the restoration of the human rights, of peace and fraternity among the entire Cypriot people: Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Latins and Armenians.

Speaking during the official welcoming ceremony, the president said his vision is to make Cyprus a model state of peaceful coexistence and co-creation and of successfully overcoming a traumatic past. “A truly sovereign and independent state in which democratic institutions, human rights, principles and values ​​of the European ideal and the United Nations will be respected and applied,” he added.

Anastasiades referred to the Cyprus problem, saying that the Pope’s globally accepted leadership and his presence in Cyprus stimulates and strengthens the efforts to solve Cyprus’ national problem.

“In addition to the decisive attitude we expect from the international community, we look forward, and we are confident of this, to the support of the Holy See and to your own, personal, strong intervention, in order to achieve a fair, viable and functional solution to the Cyprus issue”, he said.

Anastasiades also referred to Turkey’s provocations. He said that despite the UN resolutions, the interventions of the international community and the EU, “instead of achieving the reunification of our homeland, we observe an escalation of Turkish intransigence seeking to consolidate division with the demand for creation of two independent states.” He also referred to “an unprecedented aggression with the violation of the protection status of the fenced town of Famagusta and with the violation of the international law of the sea challenging the 40% of the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus to the detriment not only of the GC community that includes the religious groups but also of the TCs,” he said, according to Alithia.

Cyprus Mail reports that the Pope, among other things, sent a message in support of the migrants. He also shared his joy at being a pilgrim in Cyprus, following in the footsteps of Apostle Barnabas, who, he said, had the patience to study and embrace other cultures and traditions and he accompanied newcomers to the faith by taking them by the hand and dialoguing with them.

During the ceremony at the Presidential Palace, he likened Cyprus with a pearl. He said the country was currently facing an uphill battle against the pandemic and the migratory wave. He said he had come to a country that was geographically small but historically great, to an island that down the centuries has not isolated peoples but brought them together. The Pope said that many people and nations had contributed different shades and tints to the Cypriot people and compared it to the formation of a pearl that would take time and patience to shine.  

The dailies report that referring to the Cyprus problem, he said the greatest wound suffered by this land has been the terrible laceration it has endured in recent decades. The Pope said he thinks of the deep suffering of all those people unable to return to their homes and their places of worship and said he would pray for peace in Cyprus. “The way of peace which reconciles conflicts and regenerates the beauty of fraternity has a single word as its signpost. That word is dialogue,” he said. The Pope said this was not an easy road, “it is long and winding but there is no other way to achieve reconciliation. Let us nurture hope by the power of gestures rather than by gestures of power,” he said.

The Pope said that when tempted to yield to discouragement people should think of coming generations who long to inherit a world of peace cooperation and cohesiveness, not one marred by perennial rivalries and poisoned by unresolved disputes.  For this dialogue is necessary to avoid the growth of suspicion and resentment, he said. Peace is not often achieved by great personalities but by the daily determination of ordinary men and women,” the Pope said.

President Anastasiades gave Pope Francis Lefkara embroidery to cover the Holy Table and the Holy Grail. Stamps and bookmarks were also given as gifts to the Pope. The Pope gave the president his own gifts from the Vatican.

Alithia reports that the Pope will be staying at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Cross in Nicosia. He will be sleeping in a different room than the one Pope Benedict had stayed in when he visited the island 11 years ago because it is difficult for him to go up the stairs. A window in his ground floor room is looking to the occupied areas, a symbol of the pain experienced, a representative of the monastery told Alithia.

Phileleftheros also reports that the Pontiff has arrived with much simplicity, refused the limos and will sleep in a small cell. The brand new Fiat, purchased for the Pope’s transportation, was chosen by the Pontiff himself because he did not want to use a limousine. It will be sold after his departure, and its price is expected to rise after being used by the Pope, the daily reports.

Politis reports that the Pope’s visit is historic. The daily said this different and especially loved by the poor Pontiff, came to Cyprus sharing love in every corner of the island. Understanding and compassion for migrants so that we can all move forward was his main message, the daily reported.

The dailies also report that TC leader Ersin Tatar invited the Pope to visit the north, pointing out that there are “two peoples in Cyprus, not just the Christian GCs but also the Muslim TCs.” In a written statement, Tatar claimed that the “GC administration”, as he calls the government of the Republic, is trying to take political advantage of the Pope’s three-day visit against Turkey and the pseudo-state, the dailies reported.

RoC will continue the struggle for the restoration of human rights, peace and brotherhood among the entire Cypriot people: GCs, TCs, Maronites, Latins & Armenians.
>> Asked Pope to intervene for achieving a solution to the Cyprob & conveyed his vision for making Cyprus a model for peaceful coexistence, a truly sovereign & independent state that respects democracy, human rights, EU and UN values and principles.
>> Despite UN resolutions, interventions by international community and EU for reunification of island, Turkey, seeks to consolidate partition with the demand for two independent states.
>> Reports Turkey’s unprecedented aggression by violating Varosha status & challenging 40% of RoC’s EEZ, to the detriment not only of the GCs, including the religious groups but also of the TCs.

Pope Francis
Calls for support to & acceptance of migrants.
>> The island’s division is the greatest wound suffered by this land & will pray for peace in Cyprus and those suffering for being unable to return to their homes and places of worship.
>> Dialogue is the way of peace that reconciles conflicts & regenerates fraternity. Reconciliation is not an easy road but can be achieved by the power of gestures rather than by gestures of power.
>> Calls on people to think of future generations before giving up & keep in mind that peace is not often achieved by great personalities but by the daily determination of ordinary men and women.

Invites Pope to visit the north as well since there are two ‘peoples’ on island.
>> Accuses GCs of politically exploiting the Pope’s visit against Turkey & pseudo-state.

Cabinet grants exploration rights licence for Block 5

Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis


The dailies report that cabinet on Thursday awarded natural gas exploration rights for offshore Block 5 to the ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum consortium.

Energy Minister Natasa Pilides said ExxonMobil would be administering the Block 5 concession with a share of 60%.  Qatar Petroleum will hold the 40%.  

She also said she has been authorised by the cabinet to sign on behalf of the Republic of Cyprus, the exploration and production sharing contract agreed with the consortium after intense negotiations.

Cyprus Mail reports that ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum plan on drilling an appraisal well in Block 10, where natural gas was discovered, towards the end of November or early December. Based on a preliminary interpretation of the well data, the discovery could represent an in-place natural gas resource of approximately 142 billion to 227bn cubic metres, the company said in 2019. Glaucus-1 was the second of a two-well drilling programme in block 10. The first well, Delphyne-1, did not encounter commercial quantities of hydrocarbons.

Politis reports the licencing for Block 5 came as a surprise since the focus was on new appraisal wells in Block 10. It cites information that works in the Glaucus deposit will be carried out as planned in December with the drilling rig having already arrived in Limassol.

Translate »