1st October – Cyprus Independence Day
AKEL Central Committee
30th September 2014, Nicosia
Independence is our people’s greatest achievement and the culmination of countless and determined struggles. Although shackled as a result of the Zurich and London agreements, independence gave us the opportunity to safeguard our freedom and repel foreign conspiracies and machinations. Unfortunately, very early on the foreign conspiracies and interventions underway found fertile ground, investing in nationalism-chauvinism and the subversive and treacherous actions of the extreme-right. The climax of the foreign conspiracies and the betrayal of Cyprus was the execution of coup d’état of the Greek junta and EOKA B and the subsequent Turkish invasion and occupation in 1974, which is continuing today.
This year’s Independence anniversary finds Cyprus for yet another year in the midst of the unprecedented crisis of capitalism. It finds AKEL, together with other progressive forces, waging battles to salvage all that was gained through struggles and sacrifices in the 54 years of the Republic of Cyprus’ independent existence. Through parliamentary action and dialogue with social forces, we are struggling daily to exit the socioeconomic deadlocks that have been created by the policies pursued by the government and ruling forces; policies always implemented on the pretext of the Memorandum. We are fighting to curb the consequences caused by the criminal mistakes of banking capital and the supervisory authorities that had exacerbated the crisis to an unparalleled extent. The devastating decisions taken by the Eurogroup and Anastasiades dealt the fatal blow. Our own response to the deepening recession, rising unemployment , destruction of small businesses, impoverishment of the people and to the abolition of working people’s social gains is the waging of collective struggles, the assertion and resistance to the attempts to turn the Cyprus economy into a protectorate.
The responsibilities of the Anastasiades government and its coalition parties, who are insisting on the path of the Memorandum which leaves no room for real progress and development, are enormous. AKEL stresses that the exit from the Memorandum that will occur sooner or later by itself will not have any practical relevance unless it is accompanied by policies for growth of the real economy. This is the only way to tackle unemployment, end the anti-social policies and restore working people’s rights. Unfortunately, the government and its coalition parties do not have the political will to assume such a responsibility because, among other things, they share the Troika’s philosophy which wants to destroy everything in the name of neoliberalism.
This year’s Independence Day finds us expressing our concern about the course of the third and substantive phase of the negotiations to solve the Cyprus problem. The change in Turkey’s and the Turkish Cypriot leadership’s policy towards a mutually acceptable solution on the basis of agreed principles remains necessary prerequisite for a successful outcome to the negotiations. All those in the international community who proclaim that the time has come for the solution of the Cyprus problem must turn their attention precisely in this direction. Guided by our national interests, we expect the government not to pin all its hopes on the United States, but instead to work methodically for the more active involvement on the Cyprus problem of all the members of the UN Security Council. AKEL, as always adopting a responsible attitude, will support the new effort underway, provided that it will move forward based on the principles of the solution of the Cyprus problem that have been set out collectively long ago.
Our support towards the negotiation procedure does not mean that we overlook the shortcomings and dangers arising from President Anastasiades’ attempt to negotiate from zero/scratch and depart from the concrete procedure that had been agreed. The widening of the gap in the positions due to the opportunity given to Eroglu to depart from the agreed Christofias-Talat convergences and table new unacceptable proposals worries us. Moreover, due to the gap created we are concerned about the intention announced to begin immediately a procedure of “give-and-take” after the current phase. For this “give-and-take” procedure to take place, it is presumed that we are close to an overall agreement, which requires the acceptance of the convergences. We will wait to be fully informed and shall judge the negotiations from the course they will take and on their results. We hope that we will not be led to new deadlocks, and that our side will not allow faits accomplis to be created which will facilitate the exertion of pressure by third parties for a solution outside of what is agreed and contrary to the principles of the solution of the Cyprus problem.
Since 1974 we have been fighting to reverse the faits accomplis of the occupation, to liberate and reunify our country and people and build a happy and secure future for all Cypriots, Greek Cypriots, Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins. We are struggling for a solution within the framework of the UN resolutions and High-Level Agreements in line with International and European law; a bi-communal, bi-zonal federal solution with political equality as defined in the UN resolutions; a solution in a single state with a single sovereignty, international personality and citizenship; a solution that will restore and safeguard the human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Cypriots. At the same time, we are struggling to achieve the full investigation into the fate of our missing persons.
Today, on the occasion of Independence Day, AKEL reaffirms to the people of Cyprus the commitment which always guides our actions: the commitment that we will continue to struggle vigorously to defend our people’s gains, for their rights and for justice in all areas. An important challenge in this effort is Cyprus’ exit from the crisis with the least possible cost to the popular strata. For this fulfilment of this goal, we will continue to struggle against the foreclosures of primary residences, privatizations, the dismantling of the welfare state and all those policies that are leading to a ferocious and enduring economic impoverishment and social disintegration.
With independence, which we are honouring today, the possibility of our state exercising its sovereign rights was ensured, for our people to enjoy national freedom, open up a perspective, and pave the way for prosperity and the respect for human freedoms. This is what is guiding our own struggles. This is what we are asserting through our policies and daily activity. This is what 1st October reminds us we must honour.
Intervention of Georgos Koukoumas, member of the C.C. of AKEL and the International Relations Department, at the Hearing “Palestine: What’s Next?” organized by GUE/NGL2015-07-1
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