“No majorities, no derogations”
The Greek Cypriot side will accept neither majorities of people and property, nor permanent derogations from the EU acquis under a solution, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday.
Anastasiades was addressing the annual anti-occupation event for Morphou refugees, which was held in Astromeritis. His comment is seen as response to Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci who said last week that permanent derogations from the acquis should be viewed as a “natural right” of Turkish Cypriots instead of a restriction to the rights of Greek Cypriots or other EU nationals.
“We want some provisions of the agreement to become primary law of the EU… we know that the permanent derogations are something which is not very popular in the EU, but in spite of this some countries secured these derogations when carrying out their accession negotiations to the EU,” Akinci said.
Akinci said there was talk of temporary derogations for Turkish Cypriots “but being primary law is very important. The Turkish Cypriot community must find the ways of being able to have the majority of property ownership and population in its own area. In this sense, understanding should be shown to our sensitivities…”
Such restrictions are opposed by the Greek Cypriot side, which wants people to enjoy all the freedoms enjoyed by every EU citizen.
Anastasiades made it clear on Sunday saying that although each community would have separate administrations this did not imply guaranteed majorities of population or properties in each region.
He said he and Akinci had agreed to implement the European acquis, and added that the Turkish side could not now start looking for permanent derogations.
“The solution to be reached cannot leave winners and losers, and permanent derogations would leave not only the Greek Cypriots as losers but also Europe,” the President said.
The human rights and basic freedoms enjoyed all other European citizens provided for free movement and the right to property for all, he added, as per the notion of a bizonal bicommunal federation as already agreed.
“Therefore, what I want to bring home to my Turkish Cypriot compatriots and to those who negotiate on their behalf is that we remain true to the commitments we have undertaken,” Anastasiades added.
“But this does not imply majorities of population. This does not imply majorities of property,” he said.
There were issues of political rights “that whether we like it or not” should be adjusted for each of the two future states but that was something entirely different than the four basic freedoms, he added.
“This must be secured and it will be secured. There are the political rights which, whether we want it or not, must be set in a way that will definitely safeguard so that neither the will of the Greek Cypriots nor that of the Turkish Cypriots will be contaminated in each of the two constituent states. But this is one thing and the safeguarding of the four basic freedoms and of the human rights, as I have described them, is another.”
At the time of the Joint Declaration of February 11, 2014, it was agreed by both sides to implement the European acquis and there was no notion of new options or selective references for Cyprus that “nobody else in Europe has claimed or is claiming”.
“Therefore, I want to make one thing clear… we remain committed to peaceful dialogue and determination to work for a solution, but as stated by others and I bring home a number of times to my counterparts either in Cyprus or abroad… you can’t expect that people will accept just any solution,” said Anastasiades.
“The solution should respect the concerns of both communities, not one. The solution should not leave winners and losers, and permanent derogations… would be unfair.”
It was time he added, that Cypriots on both sides became masters of their own country and learned from their mistakes of the past.
“What I am saying are not slogans to satisfy people’s emotions but I am trying to address you – and the Turkish Cypriots – in a realistic way because it is not only the Greek Cypriots who suffer… the Turkish Cypriots will suffer even worse if the situation is allowed to evolve under the illusion that an illegal status can deliver to them that to which every citizen of Europe is entitled,” he added.
He said that efforts to consolidate the right of each refugee to choose return includes areas that fall under territorial adjustments in favour of the Greek Cypriots, and the sooner Turkish Cypriots realised this the easier it would be to solve many other problems, Anastasiades said. Morphou could not but be included among those areas, he added.
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Source: Cyprus Mail – read the original article and more news by clicking the link.