AKEL C.C. Press Office, 1st January 2019, Nicosia
AKEL addresses warm wishes for a New Year of happiness, prosperity and progress to the whole of the Cypriot people Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins, as well as to all the refugees and immigrants living and working in Cyprus.
The year that has passed was marked by the dramatic intensification in Turkey’s aggressive actions against the Republic of Cyprus and more broadly against the states in the Eastern Mediterranean region. The escalation of tension and the possibility of an uncontrollable crisis breaking out can only mean suffering for Cyprus and our entire neighborhood. AKEL considered and considers that our reply cannot be the abandonment of our homeland’s sovereign rights. Nor can tension, militarization and the cultivation of illusions among the people also be considered an option.
The only option is to defend the rights of Cyprus, dialogue and to seek cooperation on the basis of International Law. The solution of the Cyprus problem, which will bring liberation and the reunification of our country and people, must and can constitute a landmark and milestone on this path.
The solution of the Cyprus problem will represent not just the vindication of our people, but will also make an enormous contribution to the cause of peace and cooperation in the Eastern Mediterranean.
2020 is expected to be a crucial year for the prospect of a solution of the Cyprus problem and for our country’s future. We all need to realise the criticality and dangerous character of the times and stay focused on the efforts for a resumption of the negotiations, as set out in the UN Secretary-General’s statement in Berlin last November.
Our country, in addition to the challenge of resolving the Cyprus problem, is facing major deadlocks and challenges as far as internal governance is concerned. Growth in the economy hasn’t led to an improvement in the living conditions of a large section of the population. This is because the Anastasiades-DISY government is pursuing policies that are primarily serving the few, cronies and the privileged. Job insecurity and social inequalities, low wages and high rents, accidents at work, employer arbitrariness and impunity of banks are daily practices many working people are facing, which stem from and are the consequences of the government’s policies.
Our people however deserve better than a government that acts as a servant of powerful financial interests, that is deeply rooted in corruption and interwoven interests; than a government that fails to meet the modern challenges and expectations of society, and especially of the young generation, such as the promotion of gender equality, environmental policy, human rights and a modern and democratic education system.
In the New Year, AKEL will work even harder and struggle for working people’s rights, for the protection of collective agreements, the guarantee of minimum wages in all jobs, for working people’s safety at the workplace, the defence of the National Health Scheme from the political and economic interests that have targeted it, for a social policy that will respond to the great needs of vulnerable groups of the population, for major radical changes in institutions, the state and the economy. We can and must achieve all this with a will and optimism. With resistance and struggle. With a program and vision.
2020 is a landmark year for AKEL, as the 23rd Party Congress will be held this coming June. Our objective is for the path towards the Congress to become an open and wide-ranging dialogue between the thousands of members of AKEL, but also with the whole of society. This dialogue should focus on the great challenges Cyprus is facing, the modern needs of working people, citizens and the young generation, the role and duties of AKEL and the Left as regards our country’s current condition and future. With the power of our History and ideology, constantly enriched with new ideas and approaches, through unity and determination, we are optimistic that we shall meet our people’s demands and aspirations.
This is the promise and reassurance AKEL gives to the whole people on the occasion of the coming of the New Year.
All the best for the new year to everyone!
The Central Committee of AKEL