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Front Page Headlines
Patients go on safaris to find medicines
(Going) From pharmacy to pharmacy looking for the medicines prescribed to them. Pharmacists speak of artificial shortages since they can’t suggest alternative medicines. The health ministry is looking for solutions some of which are already underway so that the patients’ problem is solved.
- Refugees: The (housing) criteria concern everyone
They sank real estate values
The new general assessment of the land registry brought dramatic reductions. Real estate valuers see serious consequences.
- Moves through the EU and the UN on Famagusta – Effort for positive references.
- The challenge has begun for Erdogan – (Ali) Babacan gets ahead.
Problems ‘close’ the hospitals
The employees of the Limassol hospital’s cleaning departments, room assistants, kitchen workers as well as surgical attendants are going on a 24-hour strike from 6.30 this morning, over lack of staff. Trade unions PASYEK PEO and OEKDY SEK report that workers are calling for more staff and humane working conditions.
- The president won’t give the letter (he sent to Guterres)
- Akrotiri (community) is fed up with the nightmare of the military bases right outside their doorsteps
Casinos lure nearly 900,000
Casinos ’will rewrite the tourism guide to Cyprus’.
- Unemployed Turks still ‘can’t dream’
Light has been shed on the mystery of the Russian funds
FBME’s administrator gives reassurances over (Russian FM Sergey) Lavrov’s concerns. The Russian investors’ deposits at FBME intended for the erection of a church in Cyprus were not lost and superpower Russia has no reason to worry and raise such an issue. Administrator Cleovoulos Alexandrou clarifies where the money is and under what name, for what purpose it was intended and why it is still with FBME.
- The riddle of the S-400: Confusion by the USA
Government moves at EU, UN levels on Varosha issue
Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
Territory, Property, Regional/International Relations, CBMs
The government said it has made representations to the UN and EU but also elsewhere as regards moves by TCs on Famagusta, the papers report.
In the meantime, opposition AKEL continues to call on President Nicos Anastasiades to show them the letters he sent last month to UN Secretary-General (UNSG) Antonio Guterres one on Varosha and the other appealing for help to restart the Cyprus talks. The government says political leaders will be briefed on the matter.
Government Spokesman Prodromos Prodromou said on Wednesday the government has been making representations to the UN, the EU and towards other directions with a view to avert plans by the TCs concerning the closed-off town of Varosha.
Prodromou said that any plans announced by the TC side so far are not in line with decisions and resolutions by the UN Security Council. These moves even violate the map on territorial adjustments submitted by the TC side, he said.
He added that instead of the TCs presenting confidence building measures (CBMs) as per the request of the UNSG, they are threatening for the implementation of Plan B for which the GC side had informed the UN long time ago.
Phileleftheros, citing sources, reported that the government is aiming for a reference on the issue in the UNSG’s report on UNFICYP which will be ready later this month while Anastasiades will also bring it up during his meeting with Elizabeth Spehar. The meeting is expected to take place within the coming days.
At EU level, efforts are focused on adding the Varosha case to Cyprus’ reports against Turkish provocations in the Republic’s exclusive economic zone (EEZ), the paper reports.
Meanwhile, AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou had a meeting with Famagusta Mayor Alexis Galanos to discuss the issue of Varosha which led to a continuation of the spat between the opposition party and the government.
Galanos gave Kyprianou the memo he had presented to Anastasiades last Friday during a rally outside the Presidential Palace calling on the government to put a stop to any fait accompli by the Turkish side to open up Varosha to settlement under TC administration.
The AKEL leader said all of this is part of a Turkish project to, on the one hand, create a new fait accompli, further deepen partition and on the other hand, to impose a solution of its choice.
He said the voices in the north were growing for a two-state solution but that AKEL would never accept this. Kyprianou called on the president to take action to “end the Turkish provocations” and to resume Cyprus talks.
He reiterated that his party was not satisfied with what has been said publicly about what the government is doing and asked to see the letter in order to know what the president is really saying when he addresses the UN.
For two years now, Anastasiades has done everything other than what the UN Secretary-General has requested, he said.
In response, Prodromou expressed bewilderment by criticism by Kyprianou given that he knows the president will inform the political parties of any developments. A National Council meeting was proposed for next Monday but one of the party leaders was away so it was decided to brief them individually, something that began on Tuesday, he said.
Phileleftheros, citing sources, reports that Anastasiades who is recovering from a hip surgery, is thinking about inviting political leaders to separate meetings in his residence in Limassol, while he is to preside over a National Council meeting next week also in his home.
According to Haravgi, AKEL insists on the government’s accountability. The government is refusing to give the letters to publicity while at the same time the government spokesman and the foreign minister are making public statements at will on the letters’ contents, the paper said.
Haravgi and Phileleftheros also report that TC ‘prime minister’ Ersin Tatar has turned down Anastasiades’ proposal for a bicommunal group of experts on Varosha arguing that the issue of Varosha no longer concerns CBMs. He said the ‘government’ would solve the issue of Varosha by paving the way for the immovable property commission to process applications by former residents and EVKAF within the framework of ‘TRNC’ ‘laws’ and decisions by the European Court of Human Rights.
Tatar also criticised TCs who participated in the rally last Friday outside the Presidential Palace.
Haravgi said Tatar is determined for invasion in Varosha.
>> TC plans on Varosha are in violation of decisions and resolutions by the UN Security Council while they also violate the map on territorial adjustments submitted by the TC side.
>> Instead of the TCs presenting CBMs as per the request of the UNSG, they are threatening for the implementation of Plan B for which the GC side had informed the UN long time ago.
>> Moves on Varosha is part of Turkey’s plans to create new fait accompli, further deepen partition & impose a solution of its choice.
>> Warns that more and more voices among TCs are calling for a two-state solution but AKEL will never agree to such a prospect.
>> Calls on Anastasiades to seek ways to end the Turkish provocations & resume the talks.
>> Calls on Anastasiades to show him the letters he sent to Guterres because he does not trust him given his public statements on the Cyprob and that he has been doing the exact opposite of what the UNSG had requested.
>> Rejects Anastasiades’ proposal for a bicommunal group of experts on Varosha since the issue of the closed-off town will not be dealt with through CBMs.
>> The issue of Varosha will be solved by allowing the IPC process applications by former residents and EVKAF based on ‘TRNC’ ‘laws’ and ECHR decisions.
Government intensifies measures against Turkish EEZ actions
Alithia, Phileleftheros, Politis
Energy, Regional/International Relations
The papers report that Defence Minister Savvas Angelides said the government intensifies steps at political and diplomatic levels to deal with Turkey’s illegal actions within the Republic of Cyprus’ EEZ.
The minister also said that the government will continue taking similar steps also in the case of the Yavuz, the second drillship sent by Turkey to drill off Cyprus, because this flagrant violation must end, adding that the situation affects the Republic of Cyprus and Europe as a whole.
Replying to a question as to whether international arrest warrants will be issued against the staff of the Yavuz as well, he said the same procedures would be followed as with the Fatih.
>> The government intensifies measures at political and diplomatic levels on Turkey’s provocative actions in the Cypriot EEZ since this also affects Europe as a whole.
>> The same actions taken against the Fatih will be taken in the case of the Yavuz including arrest warrants.
‘Morphou issue is up to the two leaders to solve’
Alithia, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
Negotiations Process, CBMs, Territory
According to the dailies, Theresa Villiers, the pro-Cyprus north London Conservative MP has received answers to written questions she had submitted to the UK Foreign Secretary on the Committee on Missing Persons (CMP) and Morphou.
On the matter of the missing persons, Villiers had asked the Foreign Secretary whether he would make representations to his Turkish counterpart to ask for the CMP to have access to all military areas in Turkish-controlled Cyprus, in order to carry out their work.
The response came from Sir Alan Duncan, the Foreign Minister for Europe who handles the Cyprus portfolio on behalf of the UK Government.
He said the UK fully supports calls by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers for Turkey to provide the CMP with unhindered access to all possible burial sites. “We encourage all relevant parties to share geographical information of where incidents may have happened to enable the CMP to identify potential burial sites,” said Sir Alan.
Villiers also raised two issues relating to the occupied town of Morphou. She asked the Foreign Secretary if he would make representations to his Turkish counterpart to support the inclusion of the town of Morphou in the territory forming the GC side of any bizonal arrangement in Cyprus in an agreed negotiated settlement for the island. She also asked if representations would be made in pursuance of a negotiated settlement to stop the extensive building in Morphou.
Sir Alan Duncan replied that that the UK is a strong supporter of a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement of the Cyprus issue, based on the internationally accepted model of a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation.
Ultimately, the question of Morphou is a matter for the two leaders and the communities they represent to address as part of a comprehensive settlement, he said, adding that it is not for the UK to seek to become a party to the discussions beyond its obligations as a guarantor power. The UK however continues to support the two leaders’ attempts to achieve progress, he said, according to the dailies.
According to Phileleftheros, Sir Alan is washing his hands of the issue and rebuffs pressure on Turkey.
Sir Alan (UK Minister)
>> The UK fully backs calls by the CoE for Turkey to provide the CMP with unhindered access to all possible burial sites & encourages all parties to share information that could help CMP identify potential burial sites.
>> The UK is a strong supporter of a BBF solution to the Cyprob but will not be involved in matters beyond its obligations as a guarantor power such as the Morphou issue which is a matter to be addressed by the two leaders. It continues however to support the two leaders’ attempts to achieve progress.
Athienou calls on US for help for the opening of a crossing
Alithia, Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros
The papers report that Athienou Mayor Kyriakos Kareklas appealed to US Ambassador Judith Garber for help in having a crossing point opened in his village during her visit there on Wednesday.
Garber was in the Larnaca district village that sits on the buffer zone to visit the archaeological team and students from Davidson College in North Carolina who have been excavating at the Malloura-Athienou site every year since 1990.
After a brief meeting with the ambassador, Kareklas said: “We have called for the crossing to be opened to Nicosia.” He said he gave Garber a letter explaining all the issues, and a map where it clearly shows that the distance between Athienou and Nicosia would be greatly reduced if a crossing was opened. Currently it takes 45 minutes by car to go to the capital but with a crossing point, it would only take 10 minutes. If this happens, Athienou will be revitalised, Kareklas said, adding that residents will have access to the University of Cyprus, the hospital and other areas of the capital instead of the 45 minutes that is needed today with the dense traffic at the entrance to Nicosia.
He said Garber promised she would do whatever was within her capabilities to help. The mayor asked her to discuss it with the ambassadors of the four other countries that make up the permanent members of the UN Security Council – Russia, France, the UK and China – and raise the issue also with the UN Special Representative in Cyprus, Elizabeth Spehar.
Kareklas also handed Garber a letter, a copy of which he sent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York asking that the village be allowed to make 3D copies of artefacts stolen from the area and donated to the museum by the US Consul Luigi Palma di Cesnola during his tenure in Cyprus between 1865 and 1877.
New housing scheme possibly discriminates against refugee group, ombudswoman says
Cyprus Mail, Haravgi, Phileleftheros, Politis
The cabinet on Wednesday approved new criteria for granting financial assistance to GC refugees seeking to acquire a house, but Ombudswoman Maria Lottides found that it discriminates against people who are refugees from their mother’s side, the papers report.
The interior ministry however argues this is not the case.
According to the Cyprus Mail, Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides said the new scheme incorporates the new, stricter, borrowing rules and regulations in the banking system and provides for more assistance to refugees with the maximum amount raised from €29,000 to €45,000. It also raises the income criteria of applicants.
Houses bigger than 250sqm will not be subsidised however, he said.
Petrides said eligible parties are singles with income up to €25,000, couples with income up to €45,000, three-member families earning up to €50,000, four member families with €55,000 in income, and five-member families earning €65,000.
Politis, Haravgi and Phileleftheros report that the ombudswoman found that there is unequal treatment at the expense of persons who are refugees from their mothers’ side.
This group of people was not recognized as refugees until 2013. Prior to that, only persons whose fathers were refugees were recognized as such.
The ombudswoman argues that since many refugees who were not recognized as such until 2013, had already purchased or built their homes without state help, are now excluded from the scheme. She argued that this group of refugees ought to have the right to retroactively claim the state aid that was denied to them prior to 2013.
Politis reports that the interior ministry has referred the ombudswoman’s opinion to the Attorney-general for his legal opinion.
Both the minister and the permanent secretary of the interior ministry told Politis however, that they do not believe the ombudswoman is right since, from 2013 onward, the housing scheme is addressed equally to all refugees without any distinction.
Akrotiri residents fed up with British military base
External Security, Human Rights
Residents of Akrotiri held a protest on Wednesday at the village square over the noise pollution caused by the British military base in their area but also the increased safety risks since fighter jets fly daily over their homes, the paper reports.
The protest was held in cooperation with AKEL.
Residents expressed concerns over their safety and over the possibility of an aircraft crash or attack against the base which is being used by F35 jets for attacks in Syria.
They have demanded for a change in the flight routes so that aircraft won’t be flying over their homes and an expansion of the building zone in the area so that they can utilise their properties for the construction of homes.
Residents also complained that the British see Akrotiri as their colony and its residents as slaves, the paper reported.
Some residents also asked whether the UK would be willing to foot the bill for those who wish to move elsewhere.
In another article, Haravgi but also Phileleftheros report that the Cyprus Peace Council (CPC) has criticised Anastasiades and called on him to terminate the dangerous military agreements he has made with Israel, France, the US and the inclusion of Cyprus in PESCO, since they are against the goal of demilitarization.
The group also expressed concerns over the fall of the S-200 missile in the occupied areas recalling that it has been warning that the ongoing warfare in the region does not only affect the sides involved but the whole world, the papers reported.