General Secretary of AKEL A.Kyprianou replies to journalist’s questions on immigration and the Cyprus problem The President’s statements on the Cyprus problem are causing confusion.
“Let me just say that that what I said yesterday during the anti-racist event apply in the strongest possible way, in the sense that the government on this important issue has not reflected on how it could deal with it effectively and that it is resorting to actions which, in addition to not addressing the substance of the problems, at the same time are have other connotations and cause problems. And I’ll explain what I mean. The ‘green line’ needs to be monitored so that no one can cross without any controls to the free areas. This monitoring could be done by technological means, in other ways. The government proceeded to the abolition of the military guard posts that existed and did not seek to introduce any technological ways to monitor the ‘green line’. It proceeded unilaterally to install barbed wire which on the one hand does not really address the problem and on the other hand, I reiterate, provokes connotations, with the result that certain forces and circles believe that it wants to consolidate the final partition of the island and indeed moving the borders of the Republic of Cyprus even further south.
The second thing I’d like to say is that during the D.Christofias government the period for examining asylum applications had been shortened to a few months. The Anastasiades-DISY government managed to increase the time for examining asylum applications to a worrying degree, so that from several hundreds of applications we had pending, at the moment we have returned to many thousands. We therefore need to address the issues in a radical way so that the time for examining asylum applications is shortened. I will end by saying that we do not accept the position that because the government is concerned about the “pureness” of Cypriots, it is imposing these restrictions. If it was worried about the “pureness” of Cypriots, it wouldn’t have granted with fast track processes 6.500 passports to foreigners who do not even know where Cyprus is.
“It is definitely an issue open to populism and it is an unpopular issue among public opinion. Therefore, the government ruling forces precisely for that reason shouldn’t be accusing us of promoting this issue to gain electoral support because we know very well that our position is not popular among the public. For AKEL however, the issue is about defending human life. Do you defend the commitments your country has made to international organizations or do you engage in populism just to win votes as the government is doing?
Now, I don’t know who this question replies to, if it replies to DISY President A. Neophytou. Let them sort it out between themselves. What AKEL will declare is that the public statements of Mr. Anastasiades have generated confusion, when he says to the Turkish Cypriots that he does not accept the convergence that exists for a single Turkish Cypriot positive vote in the Council of Ministers except for the issues that interest them. His statements are causing confusion when at the same time he tells them that the natural gas issue is not an issue that concerns them. I think that there is a justified reaction by everyone, because they understand that this is a mockery.
Regarding the issue of the presence of Mr. Tzionis in the President’s negotiating team, it is purely the decision of Mr. Anastasiades. The President has every right to choose which people he wants to advise him, beyond that each and every one of us has the right to judge him on the basis of the choices he makes.”