ΦΩΝΗ ΚΥΠΡΙΩΝ – KIBRISLILARIN SESİ – CYPRIOTS’ VOICE
The bi-communal forum “CYPRIOTS’ VOICE”, having examined the current political, economic and social environment, emphasised the following critical points concerning to the efforts for a negotiated Cyprus settlement:
- The catastrophic consequences on Cypriots’ incomes in the Republic of Cyprus, caused through mismanagement of the wealth of our citizens by the main banks, together with ineffective State supervision of public finances, are expected to result in deep economic recession. These severe effects must be reversed through the implementation of adequate and transparent mechanisms for strict supervision of all relevant factors in order to lead the country out of the constrictive dependence upon international funds and to restore the trust in Cyprus economy. To this effect the government of the Republic of Cyprus must:
- Communicate clearly to the society all available viable options for implementing realistic measures leading to recovery and sustainable growth
- Act with careful strategic intuition on the exploitation of the offshore hydrocarbons, paying due attention to the geostrategic interests of all powers which are involved in this sensitive issue.
- In conjunction with a negotiated Cyprus settlement, possible conveyance of natural gas via pipelines passing through Turkey, should be established in absolute equilibrium with the international interacting players, in order to neutralise any dominating effect that Turkey might try to exercise given its habitual behaviour.
- The neglected option of solar energy, which has been so far downplayed in favour of narrow subjective interests, must be reinstated without delay. The authorities and the EU must support research and installation of production plants thus placing the island on the international leadership in this field of sustainable energy resources.
- A negotiated Cyprus settlement would trigger financial and political dynamics which would multiply the political effects both locally and in the international surrounding sphere. A negotiated agreement with Turkey should ensure a real settlement of all issues and not just a normalisation of the relationship with Turkey. The benefits that could result all around from such opportunity, include:
- Positive effects on the economies at both parts of the island which are now under similar pressures
- Involving Turkey in an international consortium on equal terms with the Republic of Cyprus for the sale of natural gas to Europe via pipeline through Turkey
- Free access of citizens, if only to Varosha as an immediate measure, could cause astounding financial flows to the economy as a result of the reconstruction process along with the related international investments that could be triggered by economic stability
- Immediate savings from using Turkish air space and ports and related synergies to tourism and transit trade
- Long term positive effect from the transfer of water and electricity from Turkey at very low comparative cost.
- The business activities for bringing the two communities closer together have reached stalemate. Political inertia, economic inactivity and practical administrative difficulties have reduced dramatically the number of green line crossings by people while the statistics of the exchange of goods through the green line regulations indicate over 50% drop in trade. The movement of people and the business conducts of the communities must be reinforced with specific measures which could be undertaken by the Republic of Cyprus in order to keep alive this line of cooperation of the communities.
- The issue of properties is of paramount importance to the overall Cyprus settlement. The fact that 40% of the area owned by individuals is inaccessible to its owners and therefore cannot be legally exploited, poses a serious obstacle to the development of the economy all over the island. A Cyprus settlement can provide a lasting solution to the property issue and, at the same time, will bring into the market an abundance of properties, effecting a strong boost to the economy. There has been an exhaustive discussion in the past, sophisticated papers were published, legal principles were established by the Courts, especially by the ECHR, and several practical ideas were proposed. All these could be utilised by experts to prepare a model formula covering the majority of properly cases thus facilitating both sides to pave the way to a solution to this complicated issue.
- The emergence of terrifying nationalistic movements has added to the growing disinterest and lack of hope of citizens in the unification of our country. These phenomena must be brought to light and confronted with genuine argumentation to neutralise possible destructive interventions against the process for a settlement. Cypriots’ Voice intends therefore to launch a proactive campaign to elaborate the benefits of a settlement and pinpoint the disadvantages of the status quo.
- The restoration of monuments of cultural heritage is one example of a process which, although obstructed by forces of negativity in both communities, has produced fruitful results, though the hard methodical and open minded work of the relevant technical committee of the bi-communal negotiations . The outcomes demonstrated the ability of the communities to work together and achieve results which are of common value and appreciation, outside the micro political intrigues.
- The struggle for the identification of the missing persons of both communities from all conflicts since 1963 is a good practice of cooperation and noble initiative assumed by a handful of individuals helping the institutions assigned with the relevant mandate. Identifying the fate of a lost person is enough to alleviate the suffering of the relatives as it is considered a valuable bit of information in seeking the truth about their loved ones.
- Cypriots’ Voice considers its role as one of paramount importance in establishing a fertile foundation for the success of a Cyprus settlement. To this effect we call for cooperation of the main political forces representing the vast majority of the population, to work against the hindrance often posed by numerous often minority parties, in order to establish a road map for a negotiated settlement on the basis of bizonal federation under the agreed UN principles.
Communiqué no 23 – Cypriots’ Voice 16/7/2013