Speech by the General Secretary of the C.C. of AKEL A. Kyprianou to the final election meeting on the European elections
Saturday 18 May 2019, Hilton Park, Nicosia
AKEL C.C. Press Office, 18 May 2019, Nicosia
We are here today to send out a message of optimism to all of Cyprus.
To send a message of hope to all the peoples of the European Union.
We are joining them in the European elections on 26th May.
Just eight days remain.
Eight days to awaken consciousness.
To rally forces.
To project the belief in values and principles. Without them, political struggle loses its meaning.
It is time to assert a better tomorrow.
A future of Peace.
Of Social Justice and Progress.
A future that we want to live in our country.
A free and united homeland,
safe and sovereign,
creative and prosperous.
A tomorrow that we want to live in a Europe that will change course
That will enhance political freedoms and strengthen social rights,
That will respect national, cultural, racial and religious peculiarities and differences,
That will protect the weak and vulnerable, the environment and the gains and rights of the working people,
A Europe of Social Justice, Sustainable Development and Equality of All Citizens,
A Europe of progressive policies, ecological priorities and creative solutions.
We therefore reply to all those who ask us:
That’s the kind of Cyprus we want to raise our children and grandchildren in.
That’s the vision we have for Europe.
That’s the Cyprus and this kind of Europe we are asserting on May 26th. With a very powerful ballot, composed of capable, knowledgeable and unselfish people.
The stakes of these elections are numerous and historic.
They concern each and every one of us.
Our day to day lives,
In the May 26th elections, we don’t just elect our representatives to a distant and indifferent European Parliament.
These elections will determine the fate of the European Union at its most crucial turning point.
They will chart the fate of the Republic of Cyprus in a period when it is facing increasing threats; threats to its existence, security and development.
Today in Europe
Social injustice is growing
Income inequalities are increasing
Poverty assuming mass dimensions
Households are up to their necks in debt
The middle class is being crushed
Labour relations are being deregulated
The environment is being downgraded
The welfare state is collapsing
Migration flows continue
Racism and xenophobia are spreading
The far right is growing stronger
Neo-fascism is reviving
The European Union is moving away from European values.
It is dominated by Right-wing governments that are promoting neo-liberal and anti-social policies.
Will we remain idle watching their conservative policies causing social despair with our arms folded?
To see them strengthening far-right authoritarianism and backwardness?
Or will we intervene to support the forces of the left fighting for a change of course with our vote?
Fighting for a fair redistribution of wealth, an increase in wages, the promotion of equal opportunities for all, protection of public interest and serving the common good?
Struggling to support the forces fighting for the interests of the many and not for the privileged few.
After seven years of the Anastasiades-DISY administration, the myth of the economy’s “success story” became a nightmare.
Lies, distortions and half-truths dominate.
The government ruling forces sole concern is to engage in communication games and tricks, with no interest in the substance.
What are the characteristics of their governance?
Authoritarianism and arrogance
Favouritism and non-transparency
Cronyism and interwoven interests
Inadequacy, bad administration and mismanagement.
The undermining of Independent Authorities, democratic institutions and control/monitoring mechanisms
Attacks against every public property and social commodity
Sell off of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank. Demeaning of the investigation committee’s findings on the Coop Bank’s sell-off.
Undermining of the public education and health system, the taking over of the ports and energy
Disorganization of the Police force
Sharp rise in crime
No intent to assume any political responsibility whatsoever.
The deregulation of work
Reduction of working people’s purchasing power
Cuts/curbing of wages and pensions
Degradation of services, public institutions and infrastructures
Deterioration of the quality of life and daily life of the many, young people, working women, single parent families and the unemployed
Young people, either forced to leave abroad, or struggling to make ends meet every month
With half-working time, a half-salary and half a life
Young couple’s dreams are being destroyed
Housing is expensive. They can’t buy or rent.
They are forced to stay with their parents, seek their help, burdening their expenses
There are no infrastructures to enable them to make and raise children
And what are the government ruling forces doing?
They are satisfied by the improvement in some economic indicators
They underestimate our intelligence. They are waggling their finger at us when we protest
They think that by pushing the structural problems under the carpet they will fool us with some circumstantial recovery and half-truths
They think that by granting “golden passports” and engaging in deals with the economic oligarchy they will cultivate complacency surrounding the prospects of the economy.
They think that without a vision, a plan, a concern for social cohesion, a balanced development, the systematic and comprehensive protection and utilization of human potential and natural wealth, the economy on its own will acquire the possibilities and comparative advantages it needs for it to withstand and yield results.
What are they doing to conceal their mistakes and weaknesses?
They are constantly and prejudicially attacking AKEL. They think they will rally their supporters. Their voters, who are disillusioned and despairing with their performance and behavior, who are turning their backs on them.
It is their choices that are making the Cyprus economy vulnerable, limiting its productive capabilities and trapping its creative powers into the logic of casinos.
What is decreasing the Cyprus economy’s competitiveness?
The decline in agricultural production, the lack of a manufacturing industry, the absence of public investments of a strategic character, the curtailment of bank credits, the decline in consumer spending, the downgrading of education, research and work environment, cronyism, scandals and corruption .
If they want to solve the problems affecting all these issues they need to be focused. Instead, what are they doing?
After seven years of the Anastasiades-DISY government they are urging their voters to vote for them again for the opposition they had made to the Christofias government!!!
This is the most blatant admission of their failure.
Instead of apologizing to the people, they are repeating their lies, resorting to black propaganda and aiming to impose polarization.
So as not to apologize for their mistakes.
For the commitments they did not fulfill,
For the results that have failed,
For the problems they didn’t solve
They react by engaging in distractions and misleading the people
They are on a downhill path that knows no end
We won’t follow them on this path
But neither will we permit them to continue undisturbed.
We will not allow them to distort reality, undermine institutions, and demean democracy and political life in our country.
They have even reached the point of handling the Cyprus problem as if it was a party issue.
They invoke the dangers that Turkish aggression poses to our country in order to impose our silence.
They question our patriotism to shift their own responsibilities on us
They are escalating polarization with the goal of rallying their voters and assimilating the ultra-right electorally. At the same time they accuse us of petty-party politics. Who; Those very forces who sow intolerance and hysteria with the goal of reaping party benefits!
On the 26th May we must send out the message very clearly.
Enough is enough!
The conditions are difficult and the dangers are great.
Turkey’s provocative actions are being manifested in all its “splendor” in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus.
Its escalation mustn’t under any circumstances be excluded
However, these actions were unfortunately predictable
Only the government ruling forces didn’t want or couldn’t act promptly and timely to prevent such actions from developing
They ignored the repeated warnings we had issued
They insisted on their ahistorical tactics
They were proclaiming that they had managed to shield the security of our Exclusive Economic Zone. They said we were able to counter any provocation.
How true this was realized by all of us when we woke up with the Turkish vessel “The Conqueror” in the waters of the Cyprus EEZ.
To mislead the people, they began to slander AKEL for supposedly adopting pro-Turkish positions.
So long as we were backing the negotiation procedure, we were considered a clear, steadfast and patriotic force.
When Mr. Anastasiades decided to adopt part of the “new strategy” of Nicholas Papadopoulos, we all of a sudden became submissive and “pro-Turkish”.
Our line on the Cyprus problem remains the same.
It is Mr. Anastasiades who is judged for his lies, regressions, delays and “new ideas”. It is he who is leading the Cyprus problem into a deadlock and Cyprus to the final partition.
Did they not know in the Presidential Palace and DISY that during periods of a prolonged deadlock fait accompli are created? This is what the prehistory of the Cyprus problem shows.
Such was the period following the collapse at Crans Montana.
That’s the reason why we warned again and again that Turkey would not leave things to carry on like that. We warned that Turkey would take new provocative actions and seek to impose fait accompli. We have repeatedly warned that we would face more general difficulties with regards the framework of the solution, the presence of the United Nations Peacekeeping Force (UNFICYP) in Cyprus and Turkey’s provocations in our EEZ.
One wonders, would some “pro-Turk” be needed to predict this development?
Or would someone need to be a “super-patriot” not to predict it?
When we were issuing these warnings, Anastasiades and DISY were assuring the people with pompous headlines in the newspapers, engaging in big and fake talk from radio stations and on television.
When we predicted the worst, the government ruling forces were going on about some conference on the Cyprus problem being convened after the election.
When the worst did happen, the President of the Republic faced reality itself talking about a new invasion having been carried out.
Instead of taking on their responsibilities, they declared that “The Homeland is in danger”. They tried to exploit the opportunity to change the negative climate for them. They sought to target AKEL and distract the people from their unsolved daily problems – from the Government’s “exploits” such as the collapse of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank, the crimes committed against immigrant working women, in education, health etc.
They were talking about the need to forge unity and harmony. At the same time they rehashed ultra-right arguments to attack AKEL. Mr. Anastasiades spoke about “borrowed votes” and the ruling DISY party about “agents of Turkey” on AKEL’s ballot.
How is it possible that they want the reunification of our homeland and to consider our Turkish Cypriot fellow citizens who support the solution and reunification as “agents of Turkey”?
If their problem is how to compete with ELAM in nationalist fervor and by delivering “Greek-Christian” sermons, then they should admit that between the solution of the Cyprus problem and serving their petty-party interests DISY has chosen the latter. It wouldn’t be the first time if they did, anyway. They always did so whenever we had elections. We do not need the approval of any Averof Neophytou for our patriotism. We proved it in practice when Mr. Anastasiades was acting correctly on the Cyprus problem.
We insist on prioritizing understanding and unity as a basic prerequisite for countering Turkey’s threats – dangers emanating from its provocative actions.
We prioritize the termination of Turkey’s provocative actions in our EEZ. Our most important goal is to solve the Cyprus problem. All the actions we will undertake must serve both of these goals. Actions that are underway to please some populist agenda do not serve neither of these two goals.
We must all realize that without the solution of the Cyprus problem, Turkey will continue to create fait accompli against Cyprus.
We have submitted proposals on what we should do.
Let them at long last study them in good faith and pay due attention.
The President of the Republic must address the UN Secretary-General with sincerity. He should tell him that he is ready to continue the dialogue from where we had remained at Crans Montana on the basis of the Guterres Framework, the convergences and the informal document for the implementation of the solution. He must reaffirm the Christofias-Talat agreement on natural gas and declare his readiness to work intensively for a solution. If the Turkish side cooperates, this will be feasible. A precondition for doing that is for Turkey to end its provocations in our EEZ. These initiatives must be taken before the political developments in the occupied areas reverse the current situation, before the pro-Turkey parties assume the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community.
Before the issue of the withdrawal of the UNFICYP is again raised more intensely.
Before the fait accompli of the Turkish presence in the Cypriot EEZ is rendered permanent.
Before the definitive partition of Cyprus becomes irreversible.
The only realistic way of solving the Cyprus problem is Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation. All those Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who want a solution agree on this point. We must assert this solution without concessions on issues of principles. Without contradictions and regressions that generate fears, suspicions and reservations. Only in this way will Turkey be compelled to cooperate or be exposed internationally.
This is the only way to liberate our homeland. Only so and reunified will it move forward in security towards a better future.
This is the only way to protect the Turkish Cypriot community from the threat of assimilation and its integration into Turkey.
Only in this way will the path of conciliation be paved in a united State – a continuation of the Republic of Cyprus
With a single sovereignty, a single citizenship and a single international personality.
Without guarantees and intervention rights.
With political equality as provided for by the UN resolutions.
We want together with the Turkish Cypriots, Maronites, Armenians and Latins to build a country – a beacon and an example of peaceful coexistence for the whole world.
An attempt is underway to cultivate some delusions.
That our alignment to the US and the upgrading of our relationship with Israel will strengthen Cyprus and our struggle. Developments in the EEZ have completely disproved this myth.
Anything else either represents a lame excuse or erroneous choices that lead to dangerous adventures.
It isn’t AKEL’s proposed strategy on the Cyprus problem that has led us to where we are today.
Quite the reverse, it is its abandonment by Nikos Anastasiades. It is the fact that Anastasiades adopted part of the strategy of so-called intermediate political spectrum. This is the reason that made the international community question whether the Greek Cypriot side genuinely wants the solution of the Cyprus problem.
The same dead end policy was demonstrated by the common stand of DISY-DIKO on the economy with the sell-off of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank and the nightmare of foreclosures, with the privatizations and austerity considered as the only way to address the crisis.
These are the deadlocks from which we want Cyprus to emerge from.
We call upon all the creative and productive forces of the Cypriot people from whatever political spectrum they may come from to rally forces. We call on them to struggle together to overcome the deadlocks.
This is the voice of AKEL, the voice of the many.
This voice must be heard strongly in the European Parliament.
Our vision for Cyprus must be heard.
Our vision for a Europe of peace and democracy.
Cooperation and progress
For a Europe of justice and creation
We are proud of the work done by the AKEL-Left-New Forces MEP’s and their distinctions over the past five year term. It has rightly been recognised as the most active and effective Cypriot group of MEP’s.
We are certain that our new MEP’s will continue and indeed enhance the previous work done.
They will further strengthen the voice of the Cypriot people in Europe.
They will fully meet its expectations.
Next Sunday we say no to abstention!
Next Sunday we will cast our vote.
We will vote because we do not tolerate the lies, the corruption, heartlessness and arrogance.
We will vote for our homeland that we want to see united as one.
We will vote for our people, who can no longer withstand to gradually fade away in the refugee settlements in the hope of better days to come.
We will vote for our children, who want to have a future in our country.
We will vote for our life and dignity – for the future we deserve.
Next Sunday, we will reply to their lies, hate and hysteria.
Next Sunday, all of us and so many others, will have our say.
Next Sunday we give strength to the voice of Cyprus.
Next Sunday we strengthen AKEL – Left – New Forces!
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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