4 September 2021, Dialogos portal
AKEL General Secretary: We must focus on the resumption of negotiations.
Turkey’s threats and provocations are unacceptable and reprehensible, but the Greek Cypriot side must focus, in addition to defending our sovereign rights, on the resumption of negotiations from the point where they had remained at Crans Montana, the General Secretary of AKEL Stefanos Stefanou said.
In statements made in Limassol, on the sidelines of the funeral of the writer-journalist Panikos Peonides, Stefanou noted that although Turkey has been threatening and provoking for years, “in recent years – and especially after the collapse of the Crans Montana conference on Cyprus and the deadlock on the Cyprus problem – these threats and provocations have assumed a specific content”.
“It is known that Turkey violated the Exclusive Economic Zone of Cyprus, the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus, proceeded to illegal drilling and the violation of the resolutions of the UN on Famagusta,” he added.
In the face of this tension and concrete manifestation of these threats and provocations, the General Secretary of AKEL continued, “the Republic of Cyprus must defend its sovereign rights, but at the same time we must know that as long as the Cyprus problem remains unresolved, as long as there is an absence of negotiations and a stalemate, Turkey will continue to provoke, engage in illegal actions and promote the permanent partition of Cyprus on the ground”.
Our response, apart from defending our sovereign rights, should be to focus on trying to resume negotiations from the point where they were interrupted at Crans Montana, Stefanos Stefanou said, adding that “this means that we must safeguard the convergences that have been recorded and negotiate based on the Guterres Framework”.
“This is what we must focus on. This is what we said during the meeting of the National Council. This is what we call on the President to try to do,” he said, pointing out that “we have given a specific proposal to the President of the Republic on how and on the basis of what incentives this will be done, because AKEL doesn’t only issue statements, AKEL doesn’t simply criticise, but also puts forward specific proposals.”
Asked to comment on the revision of the Cyprus economy’s perspectives from stable to positive by the international credit rating agency ‘Standard and Poor’s’, the General Secretary of AKEL pointed out that there are strata of society that are “suffering” and that any positive results in the economy must be felt by the people.
“It is a fact that the pandemic has caused problems in the global economy and in national economies, as in Cyprus too. And because of our economy’s structural problems, because of specific government policies, we have problems,” he said.
S.Stefanou noted that “these problems have intensified and are being loaded on society, a part of which is experiencing them very intensely. For that reason we must work towards confronting these economic problems so that Cyprus’ economy can move forward.”
Stefanou stressed that “we need a complete overhaul of the Cyprus economy so that it is sustainable, moves towards a green economy, but at the same time it is very important that the any positive results in the economy are felt by citizens themselves and society in general.”
The General Secretary of AKEL recalled the increase in the price of electricity, fuel and numerous essential goods, and stressed that “especially the lower and middle strata and the vulnerable groups of the population are coming under particular pressure.”
AKEL, he continued, has called and will continue to call on the government to take concrete measures “to offer protection to these strata of society who are suffering both from the effects of the pandemic, in relation to the economy, but who are also suffering anyway from a deficient welfare state”.
S.Stefanou said that AKEL will take and develop concrete actions, starting next week, “so that we can exert pressure and convince the government to take specific initiatives to help the lower and middle strata to cope with the difficulties.”