DECLARATION OF THE PROGRAMMATIC CONGRESS OF AKEL
15-16th February 2014, Nicosia
On the occasion of the Programmatic Congress of AKEL conveys a warm militant greeting to all of the people of Cyprus.
Cyprus is at a very difficult and critical juncture. Our people and country are confronted with many problems and challenges. Among them two stand out, whose development will determine our country’s present and future.
The first problem is the occupation of a large part of the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and the de facto division which Turkey imposed by force of arms in 1974. The illegal presence of Turkey in Cyprus, the occupation and division pose huge dangers for our country. Forty years since the treacherous coup d’état of the Junta in Athens and EOKA B and the subsequent barbaric Turkish invasion with the passage of time consolidating the faits accomplis of the invasion and occupation, the achievement of a solution is an imperative necessity.
The safeguarding of a peaceful future is a prerequisite for achieving a solution to the Cyprus problem; a solution that will provide for the end of the Turkish occupation and to the colonization of the occupied areas, as well as ensuring the reunification of the country and people; a solution that will restore the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots in a demilitarized common homeland. Consistent with our position, but also with the long-standing position of the Greek Cypriot side for a solution that provides for demilitarization, we oppose the government’s intention to join NATO and its offshoots, such as the Partnership for Peace. Our vision is for Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins to be able without outside interventions to build their own common future in conditions of lasting peace and security.
The achievement of such a solution makes the commitment and consistency on the UN resolutions regarding Cyprus imperative, which provide for a bi-zonal bi-communal federal solution with political equality as set out by the United Nations, the High-Level Agreements of 1977 and 1979 and on International and European law. This demands unwavering consistency to the principles of the solution of the Cyprus problem, but also realism in the formulation and exercise of policy.
The solution of the Cyprus problem is for AKEL the foremost patriotic priority. Proof of this is the fact that despite our Party’s disagreement with the tactics the President pursued, with the support of all the other parties, for the drawing up of a joint communique and despite the fact that it falls short and is inferior to the Christofias-Talat joint statements and the relevant convergence recorded, AKEL backs the negotiating process. This fact does not alter the positions of the Party. On certain points there is a gulf of views separating us with the President of the Republic, as well as with all those forces who do not accept bi- communal, bi-zonal federation.
The path to achieving a solution will not be easy, or simple. There will be many difficulties in the negotiation. It is imperative that the President of the Republic must defend principles in this procedure; that he promotes collective handling within the framework of the National Council, informs and constantly consults with the political forces. It is imperative that the five permanent UN Security Council members are involved within the framework of a multidimensional foreign policy.
On the domestic front consensus, wisdom and dialogue must prevail. We need to reject the tactics of demonization, but also idealizing the situation, and ensure that accountability and rationalism prevail. AKEL as always will work with seriousness, regardless of the fact that it was itself the victim of daily, relentless and unjust attacks during the governance of D. Christofias. AKEL will continue to act in the interests of Cyprus and our people.
The second problem we must tackle is the economic crisis plaguing our country. Cyprus is a victim of the systemic crisis of capitalism, which has hit the Eurozone particularly hard, but also the crisis of the country’s banking system. The agreement of the Eurogroup with President Anastasiades for the haircut/levy on deposits has destroyed our economy and has plunged it into a vicious cycle regenerating and worsening recession. Working people, pensioners on low pensions, the SME’s and the vulnerable groups of the population are all paying the cost of the crisis and recession. It is characteristic that with the imposition of the anti-peoples Memorandum, profits have in fact increased significantly, while the purchasing value of wages has returned to the levels of 1996.
Not only are the Anastasiades government and DISY not resisting the neoliberal attack of the Troika and its Memorandum, but they are using it as an excuse to promote their policies against the people and their interests. Not only is the Anastasiades government not discussing any other solution for an exit from the Memorandum, not only is he not confining itself to its faithful implementation, but it is acting as more “Troikanist” than even the Troika itself by imposing additional measures against the people and their interests. This however leads to the impoverishment of a large part of the population, increases unemployment at an alarming rate, exacerbating labour conditions at the expense of workers, selling-out public wealth, dismantling the welfare state and eliminating any prospect of an exit from the crisis.
AKEL has submitted a comprehensive proposal for the speedy disengagement from the Memorandum. Unfortunately, the government stubbornly refuses to discuss this proposal. It is obvious that the government and parties who support it are keeping Cyprus trapped in the deadlocks of the Memorandum which is driving our country many decades back to the past. AKEL does not limit itself only to the proposal for a disengagement from the Memorandum. It promotes, both inside and outside Parliament, proposals for alleviating the problems our people face, to prevent privatizations and protect public wealth, to boost development and back the welfare state. Here too AKEL unfortunately confronts the ruling powers reaction.
The management of the hydrocarbons, the discovery of which represents a great achievement of the Christofias government, has become a matter of life for the country and our people. Regretfully, the delays, as well as the government’s decision to restrict the role of the state and transfer the management of the infrastructures to private capital, arouse reasonable suspicions and worries. The formation of a National Council for the collective and sound management of natural gas to the benefit of society is imperative.
In these critical times Cyprus is going through, AKEL once again declares that it will be at the forefront of all the struggles. Consistent and steadfast to its human-centred ideology, inspired by its ideals, loyal to its historical traditions and the perspective of socialism, AKEL united and renewed, is in the front line of the struggle for the liberation and reunification of our country and people, the promotion of the policy of rapprochement against nationalism – chauvinism. The President of the Republic has an obligation to combat nationalism and we urge him to do so. AKEL is leading the struggle so that Cyprus will be able to advance forward with certainty to a future free from any Memoranda commitments. AKEL is at the forefront of the struggle to build a new economic model that will support the mixed economy and have the common people and their basic needs at its heart; to combat corruption and interweaving interests and promote transparency and social control.
AKEL is waging a fierce struggle to defend working peoples and society’s gains and rights. It is waging a fierce struggle to build the perspective which will emerge from the resistance to the Troika and the neoliberal policies that the European Union is institutionalising and enforcing. Another way is possible for Cyprus and we can achieve it.
AKEL addresses all the working people, the unemployed , pensioners, small and middle strata, the youth, women, all those suffocating under the weight of the neoliberal onslaught and the Anastasiades government’s policies against the peoples interests and urges them to join us for a dignified present and for a better tomorrow for our Cyprus.
We deserve it! We can achieve it!
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