Address by AKEL Political Bureau member Nikos Ioannou at the Cypriot community’s ‘Wine Festival’ in London

We have all thankfully met again in this the Cypriot community’s great gathering at the Wine Festival, a Festival of culture and entertainment.

On behalf of the Central Committee of AKEL, it is with great pleasure that I address the Wine Festival, the celebration of Cyprus in London. Every time we are among the Cypriot community in London we feel a special sense of emotion and pride. Excitement too because here, among so many familiar faces, you can’t distinguish between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Because here there may not be any orange, olive and lemon trees blossoming in neighborhoods, but here the fruit of Cyprus is blossoming and this is what has kept all Cypriots together for decades. Pride because generations of Cypriots in England may change, generations may have passed away and generations may come, but they remain always creative, always restless, always productive and above all, always with Cyprus in their heart.

My fellow compatriots, the whole world, Europe and, by extension, Cyprus, are confronted with critical situations today. Two years of the pandemic have passed, which have dealt a severe economic and social blow to humanity. And before it could recover to plan to deal with these enormous consequences, the war in Ukraine broke out with equally enormous consequences on many levels, particularly in terms of loss of life, injuries, the uprooting and displacement of people, the suffering and the pain.

The problems and challenges are enormous and Cyprus, a small semi-inherited country, is called upon to wage its own battle. Cyprus is a land of unspeakable beauty and enormous potential. It could achieve great things in many areas today had the occupation not kept it in a state of gridlock. It could be a pioneering country had curtain people not taken care to associate our homeland’s name with scandals of corruption and entanglement/interwoven interests and transactions of dubious legality. Our Cyprus could be a model state if people with a vision, a plan and a strategy were at the helm to open up paths for the country to progress and advance.

The situation is very difficult; the problems facing our country are complex, complicated and difficult. But we must not lose our optimism. We must not give up our cause because we already know very well that the majority of Cypriot society wants to put an end to the current situation, it wants change. The majority of Cypriot society wants to see at long last that there is a prospect of a solution to the Cyprus problem.

The older generations want to live in conditions of social security and to see what they have built blossom, taking root and not being torn down and sold off.

Our young people want to create, innovate and live in a homeland with dignity and rights.

Our people want that day to finally come when our country will at long last be one and united and Cypriots will together in harmony and friendship build their common future.

All of us, the majority of Cypriot society, united by this vision, motivated by these goals, will continue and intensify the effort to bring better days for Cyprus. I am sure that the Cypriot community in London will join us in this effort.

So welcome back here again. Congratulations to the ‘PARIKIAKI’ newspaper, the management, all the contributors and volunteers.

May we all meet again in our country, in our common struggles for the Cyprus we deserve!


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