Category Archives: Cyprus – Chypre

Le parti politique au pouvoir à la République de Chypre est en train de nier la réalité après l’échec des pourparlers à Genève sur l’avenir de l’île divisée


Préambule: Les négociations sur la sempiternelle question de Chypre restent dans l’impasse. Au terme de trois jours de réunion à Genève en Suisse ayant lieu en Avril 2021, les dirigeants chypriotes grecs et turcs n’ont pas réussi à trouver de terrain d’entente sur le statut de l’île divisée depuis 1974. Le chef de l’ONU a lui-même conduit les pourparlers informels. Il a reconnu cet échec tout en appelant à reprendre les discussions d’ici deux ou trois mois.

Au cours des négociations à Genève, tous les espoirs d’une solution basée sur les paramètres convenus (qui ont été construits principalement grâce aux concessions de la partie grecque) ont été brisés, visant de construire un État fonctionnel dans les années à venir au sein de l’Union Européenne.

Plus précisément, la politique de repli s’est avérée être une politique de misère et d’accumulation d’échecs sans qu’un accord apportant une solution mutuellement acceptable n’ait pu être trouvée. Les politiciens qui ont insisté pendant des années sur le fait que “grâce aux pourparlers, nous allons sortir gagnants et que si la Turquie présente des propositions inacceptables, cette dernière, sera tenue responsable par l’ONU”, préfèrent adopter le silence comme une réponse.

Le pire de tout, c’est qu’ils refusent encore d’admettre la nouvelle réalité. Ainsi, ils sont obligés de s’attendre à la bonne attitude du régime « islamo-fasciste » qui est au pouvoir en Turquie et de son représentant dans les territoires occupés par la Turquie … à qui on doit faire des nouvelles concessions pour « coincer » ainsi la Turquie, selon cette logique.

Cependant, en niant le fiasco d’échec des négociations, ils sont en désaccord avec le constat de la grande majorité des citoyens. Parmi ces négateurs de la réalité, on trouve des politiciens «recrutés» par l’ancienne et de la nouvelle génération qui ont adopté la politique de la misère (ils ont trahi leurs promesses et leurs électeurs en appauvrissant la société au profit d’une petite caste corrompue ) et des concessions qui nous a amené à un pas avant d’adopter la «solution» proposée par la Turquie avec laquelle même une grande partie des Turcs-Chypriotes est en désaccord.

Un exemple typique de ce mode opératoire, est le chef du parti au pouvoir, qui a « cloué la République de Chypre sur son dos », insistant pendant lés négociations pour que nous acceptions l’égalité politique avec les Chypriotes turcs, alors que cela a été convenu depuis 1991 sur la base de spécifications, pour arriver à une solution totale du problème chypriote, comme cette dernière a été prescrite par l’ONU et non par les prétentions de la Turquie.

La résolution spécifique du Conseil de Sécurité de l’ONU, qui n’est actuellement qu’un prétexte des Turcs pour revendiquer l’ « égalité politique » ayant comme but ultime la « coopération entre les deux États » est apparue être le gros problème car celle-là doit être mise en place dans un contexte global d’une solution au problème de la question chypriote. En même temps, les autres décisions et résolutions du Conseil de sécurité et de l’Assemblée générale des Nations Unies appelant au retrait des troupes turques et au retour des réfugiés dans leurs foyers dans des conditions de sécurité, ont disparu.

Ainsi, la Turquie a obtenu un «avantage» à Genève, faisant de la question chypriote un problème de coexistence des deux communautés et non pas principalement « un problème d’occupation et de colonisation illégales » au sein d’un État membre de l’Union Européenne.

Dans les semaines à venir, les Britanniques et les Turcs vont essayer de constituer un « point de rencontre » qui trouvera bien sûr une réponse positive de la part des politiciens de la misère à Chypre pour commencer à vendre leur nouveau point de vue sur la question chypriote. Les politiciens de la misère refusent de se rendre compte que leur politique qui vise à faire davantage pression et exercer davantage de contraintes sur le peuple chypriote afin qu’ils fassent de nouvelles concessions permet à la Turquie de demander constamment plus.

Il est temps pour les citoyens d’agir ! Soit nous acceptons le résultat de la politique de misère avec une “solution de partenariat à deux États” basée sur la rhétorique turque ayant un contenu déguisé qui vise à éliminer la République de Chypre pour rendre la Turquie souveraine à Chypre, soit nous procédons à une politique anti-occupation rationnelle pour constituer un état fonctionnel au sein de l’UE, avec un respect d’alignement sur l’acquis communautaire pour tous les citoyens de la République de Chypre. La légalisation de l’occupation et de la colonisation sera le début d’un nouveau problème chypriote, celui qui va mettre les Chypriotes grecs et turcs dans une voie d’élimination.

Par M. Costas Mavrides. M. Mavrides est député européen chypriote au sein de la famille de l’‘Alliance progressiste des socialistes et démocrates au Parlement européen (S&D) . Il est également Président de la Commission Politique pour la Méditerranée. costas.mavrides@europarl.europa.eu

How Political Corruption Weakens Democracy and Economic Growth in Cyprus and Malta


Today, the European Union has to take the role to protect and preserve democracy while authoritarianism is felt everyday by the state during the Covid-19 flu and in a lot of cases measures are unjustified. The COVID-19 crisis has offered corrupt and authoritarian leaders a dangerous combination of public distraction and reduced oversight.

This new authoritarianism made more obvious the problem of corruption in some weak democracies. To analyze the corruption problem and how it can destroy all the country’s system i’m taking as an example two small countries in the European bloc, Cyprus and Malta where the implications of corruption and political clientelism in these two countries is obvious in all country’s structures and has already done a lot of damage.

The two countries used to issue “Golden Passports” during the previous years, something that skyrocketed the rent prices while salaries remained very low. Corruption weakens democracy to produce a vicious cycle, where corruption undermines democratic institutions and, in turn, weak institutions are less able to control corruption

Why High Corruption Index hurts Democracy

The term corruption is defined as the misuse of public office for private gains which costs every country a large amount of financial, political and social resources every year. Research on the causes, consequences and combat strategies of corruption are manifold and very revealing. Worldwide studies indicate, for example, that well-established democracies show lower levels of corruption than authoritarian regimes or young democracies . At the same time, high levels of corruption undermine democracy. By diverting rare resources from disadvantaged people, it damages the rule of law, social justice and lowers the trust of citizens in political institutions and processes.

Economies that are afflicted by a high level of corruption, which involves the misuse of power in the form of money or authority to achieve certain goals in illegal, dishonest, or unfair ways, are not capable of prospering as fully as those with a low level of corruption. Corrupted economies are not able to function properly because corruption prevents the natural laws of the economy from functioning freely. As a result, corruption in a nation’s political and economic operations causes its entire society to suffer.

Political competitors in younger democracies have had less chance to develop policy reputations with voters and their political parties are likely to be less well-established as vehicles for conveying credible
policy stances. As a consequence, they should be more susceptible to reliance on patrons as a means to establish credible bonds with voters. This implies that the policy choices of young democracies should resemble most closely those predicted by the foregoing arguments: lower levels of public good provision, high levels of private, targeted goods, and high rent-seeking. More systematic empirical evidence comes to support this claim.

Looking now at the profiles of Ministers and politicians, in these two countries, we can take as common measures the rent-seeking tendencies, measures of bureaucratic quality, the rule of law, secondary school enrollment and government ownership of newspapers. The misuse of these measures affect directly the democratic system and there are disadvantages for the middle class and the poor.

Studies tend to conclude that political competitors in young democracies are less credible, more reliant on patrons, and more likely to focus public policy on transfers and rent-seeking than broad public good provision finds substantial implicit support in the case study literature. Various contributors in Malloy and Seligson (1987), looking at countries experiencing the transition from authoritarian to democratic government, repeatedly note the reliance of new political competitors on narrow benefits to targeted constituencies.

Corruption can lead to an uneven distribution of wealth as small businesses face unfair competition from large companies that have established illegal connections with government officials. In a corrupt economy, resources are inefficiently allocated and companies that otherwise would not be qualified to win government contracts are often awarded projects as a result of bribery or kickbacks. Moreover, the quality of education and healthcare also deteriorates under a corrupt economy, leading to an overall lower standard of living for the country’s citizens.

Uneven Distribution of Wealth

Corrupted economies are characterized by a disproportionately small middle class and significant divergence between the living standards of the upper class and lower class. Because most of the country’s capital is aggregated in the hands of oligarchs or persons who back corrupted public officials, most of the created wealth also flows to these individuals.

In a corrupt economy, small businesses are not widely spread and are usually discouraged because they face unfair competition and illegal pressures by large companies that are connected with government officials. Certain industries are more prone to corruption than others, making small businesses in these sectors even more vulnerable to unethical business practices.

Corruption in the way deals are made, contracts are awarded, or economic operations are carried out, leads to monopolies or oligopolies in the economy. Those business owners who can use their connections or money to bribe government officials can manipulate policies and market mechanisms to ensure they are the sole provider of goods or services in the market.

Small businesses in corrupt countries tend to avoid having their businesses officially registered with tax authorities to avoid taxation. As a result, the income generated by many businesses exists outside the official economy, and thus are not subject to state taxation or included in the calculation of the country’s GDP.

Another negative of shadow businesses is they usually pay their employees decreased wages, lower than the minimum amount designated by the government. Also, they do not provide acceptable working conditions, including appropriate health insurance benefits for employees.

Press Freedom and Corruption

Press Freedom is at risk in these two countries. This factor leaves a window open to more and more corruption of the country’s system. In Malta, Daphne Caruana Galizia, a prominent investigative journalist, was murdered in 2017 after writing about alleged money laundering by powerful officials, as well as the business dealings of the prime minister’s wife. The investigations and public demonstrations that followed her death eventually led to the resignation of the prime minister, Joseph Muscat, and to the arrest of his chief of staff, Keith Schembri.

On the other hand, although press freedom in the Republic of Cyprus is guaranteed by the constitution, political parties, the Orthodox Church and commercial interests have a great deal of influence over the media. In both sides of the island (greek and turkish) according to Reporters without Borders , journalism is also hampered by certain bans on the use of geographical names not accepted by the state; on the denial of crimes against humanity, and war crimes not recognised by the state.

The Golden Passport Scheme and its links to Corruption Risk

Last October, in a plenary debate with Justice Commissioner Didier Reynders, MEPs stressed the inherent risks that these programmes give rise to, namely money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. They insisted that Europe must not have “a fast-track entrance for criminals”.

The Cyprus Papers – a series by Al Jazeera’s Investigative Unit – shows that the European Union (EU) is currently defenceless against the haphazard sale of EU citizenship and residency to criminals and the corrupt.

On October 20, the European Commission launched an infringement procedure against Cyprus and Malta over so-called “golden passport” schemes, in which individuals can get a fast track to citizenship after investing between € 1 and 2.5 million in the countries’ economies.  

This practice has been lucrative for both governments. Since 2013, Cyprus raised € 4.8 billion, amounting to 5% of its GDP, by selling thousands of passports to foreign investors. Malta gained about € 718 million in this manner in foreign direct investment since 2014. 

This in turn undermines the integrity of the status of EU citizenship and is incompatible with the principle of sincere cooperation between the EU and member states.  In addition, journalists revealed that high-profile criminals were able to obtain Cypriot passports. The Commission argues that this represents a security threat for the EU as a whole, and increases the risk of money laundering, tax evasion and corruption. 

Without ensuring individuals applying for citizenship have a  genuine connection to their countries – an internationally recognized legal standard for citizenship – they have been taking risks for the EU as a whole.  Corruption in any country, however small, affects the EU as a whole. Every country has a veto over some crucial policies, such as the EU budget. Each country also gets a turn at chairing the EU and shaping its agenda. A passport from any EU country confers the right to live and work anywhere in the EU27.

For example, many of the new owners of a Cypriot passport sought to evade criminal prosecution in their home countries. Mykola Zlochevsky, the owner of the Burisma energy company who is wanted in Ukraine, obtained his passport in 2017. At the time, he was already under investigation in Ukraine for corruption where he offered prosecutors a $ 6 million bribe in cash. 

The government of Cyprus was also accused of issuing passports to foreign criminals and the relatives of despots such as Syria’s Bashar al-Assad and Cambodia’s Hun Sen.

Not only were the lax requirements to “buy” citizenship in Cyprus and Malta legally and morally questionable, in practice, these schemes were also a harbour of corruption. Anyone willing to pay for it could get a passport with no difficulty. The most direct result of this is to give access to the EU to wealthy people evading criminal charges at home. 

Thank you for your time!

Sources:

How Racism Is Fueled By Fear 


Cyprus, New York Times, 1964:

WAS Aphrodite, who rose from the sea at Paphos on the island of Cyprus, really the Goddess of Love? As bullets cracked through the air and spattered the mud‐brick walls of Ayios Theodoros; as 18‐year­old Mustapha, the son of the Turkish mukhtar (headman) of the village, lay nn his iron bedstead steadying his rifle on the windowsill and took aim at a window down the street (where in all probability a Greek youth of the same age, with whom he had talked in friendship a matter of days before, was steadying his own gun); as one gazed down on the waxen, lifeless face of Andreas, a Greek youth with dark curly hair and long black eyelashes, shot in the back as he tried to run for his life, it seemed that the island of Cyprus was bewitched with evil, hate and fear.

I’m writing this not because I’m writing anything new. In fact, I don’t even write that much. I’m writing because I see no other way to express myself.When i asked my mother what happened back in 1974 in Cyprus she simply answered to me two worlds  “war” and “religion conflict” but she never mentioned what happened during that war and she always kept telling me about her life before the war and how simple were their lives back then before the killings, before Junta before the Turkish army.

In a reality of fear and terror, it’s easy to forget that sometimes fear can lead to racism. Living in constant fear can influence our attitude towards the source of our stress. Sometimes the source of the stress is another social group that we have political conflict with. Often we call them terrorists or murderers, and we generalize all the people of their ethnicity as potential terrorists. That’s why we need to be careful about justifying racist acts as self defense.

Racism and discrimination have been used as powerful weapons encouraging fear or hatred of others in times of conflict and war, and even during economic downturns.

racism-psych-discrimination-scheme

The illusion of equality in recent years has been shattered and the whole European Union is forced to look itself in a mirror that had been avoiding for years: the mirror of racism, intolerance toward others, toward the diverse in color, religion, sexual orientation, economic status of other member states. Each country has lights and shadows inside and has to mediate between these two forces as the Cyprus case.

I keep an eye while i read some blogs or news sites around the web and here to find where’s the truth and where there is an indoctrination of propaganda in the text. Sometimes people who come from outside the Near East and they present theirselves  as experts are often one-sided experts who follow pathetically the thoughts of someone without any critical thinking and this without talking with both sides of the story but just hear and read or watched a video somewhere. But this is their “truth” or how the world is represented/ given to them and is hard to change their minds or their truth or is even harder to change the truth of the far-right wing nationalists as they believe that they are always correct when they spread fear and hate. Sometimes you just need to intervene and say “Stop” but they are going to tell you you are a “mongol” as well and you should keep your mouth shut. Indeed, the present time is not favourable for leftish “Princess and the Pea” fairytales in the Near East.

Racism hides a great fear beneath it, a fear to face what is unknown, a fear to leave certainties. It is the intolerance of who is convinced of its superiority and fears to abandon the rigid structures that supports it. Without a shadow of doubt, fear is the number one factor that creates ignorance. And once ignorance is involved then people get hurt…or even die.

Walter Lippmann:“We must remember that in time of war what is said on the enemy’s side of the front is always propaganda, and what is said on our side of the front is truth and righteousness, the cause of humanity and a crusade for peace.”

Two worlds coexist today in Cyprus. Probably every conflict is fought on at least two grounds: the battlefield and the minds of the people via propaganda. The good guys and the bad guys can often both be guilty of misleading their people with distortions, exaggerations, subjectivity, inaccuracy and even fabrications, in order to receive support and a sense of legitimacy.

Whether we are talking about ethnic cleansings, group hatred or retraction of equity laws under the guise that these are unfair, the underlying issue is the same. One group, threatened by the perceived loss of power, exercises social, economic and political muscle against the Other to retain privilege by restructuring for social advantage. The majority of Turkish Cypriots has left the island and the Turkish Cypriot Youth which remains in the North struggles with the embargo and the new dictatorship in Turkey under Erdogan’s new Era.

On the other hand some Greeks still say that Cyprus should be unified with Greece as it’s greek That’s why a vote passed through the Cypriot Parliament to “celebrate” every year the referendum that took place back in 1950 in which 97% of masculine voters (Greek Cypriots) voted  in favor of the Union with Greece (Enosis). Some stupid Greeks burnt Turkish Cypriot houses back in 1963 after the independance. Historically speaking the Greek government rejected  twice the demand of Greek Cypriots for Enosis even when they had the opportunity to claim it.

turkish cypriot

turkish cypriotsTURKISH CYPRIOTS CLEANSING

missing cypriots
1974: credit: ΔΩΡΟΣ ΠΑΡΤΑΣΙΔΗΣ

Indeed, many Greek Cypriots blame the nationalist ideology of the military dictatorship of Greece 1967-1974 as ultimately responsible for dividing their country in the name of Enosis, destroying its political force as a national aspiration in the process.

The recent vote in the Cypriot parliament is a bad piece of legislation sponsored and supported by people with hate in their hearts with the sole aim of scuppering the talks currently taking place to bring peace and reconciliation in Cyprus.

For the history, Great Empires as the British one, have always conquered by dividing and ruling.  Without giving an excuse to anyone,  British wanted to keep their colonialism on the island by any means. Therefore they hired Turkish Cypriots to fight against the Greeks. It has been documented that Kissinger planed the coup d’état in Cyprus by the  US-controlled Athens military junta and the turkish invasion at the same time just 5 days later. The fear of the other won prevailed and we’re still living the result of this conflict until today. This may be an example of how many years other countries around will have to wait until finding a peaceful solution.

invasion of cyprus

cyprus children british military
cyprus children british military

CYPRUS TURKISH INVASION

 Oranges and apples can not live together they say. But i don’t see something different that one nose two legs one face two hands : too simple for them.  Some Turkish as the Grey Wolves “commando” Bahceli say that Cyprus is Turkish and we must throw all Greeks into the sea again as they did one century ago in Turkey:

“If they (Greeks) want to fall into the sea again, if they want to be hunted down, they are welcome, the Turkish army is ready. Someone must explain to the Greek Government what happened in 1921 and 1922. If there is no one to explain it to them, we can come like a bullet in the Aegean and teach them history all over again,” Bahceli threatened.

The greater the tension, the more the Turkish current government needs new enemies, the more it divides society.

Abroad, the continual drive to find enemies for domestic consumption leads to haphazard foreign policy. Today, Erdogan invests in division, in fear, in populism. Cynicism benefits the government for as long as citizens tolerate it.

In the past, before the border opening in Cyprus, as a very young boy, I had thought about meeting a Turkish and been horrified about them and wished that there was some way to remove them from the planet. That is what they used to teach you at school: fear. But I had never understood their fear. Why Turkish are afraid of us? I had never seen them as fellow human beings struggling with the issues of being human and having fears just as I struggled with being human and my fears. As we know, if fear is allowed to rule in our life it leads to much negative and violent behavior. But for those of us who believe in God or to humanity, there is a call to us to work to find positive ways to channel the energy that is generated in us by fear.

Fear breeds misunderstanding of different people, different races. And, it is this misunderstanding that then breeds hatred. This type of hatred is founded on lies, mistruths and mistrust of ‘others’, simply because of religion, skin colour or nationality. Again, the lack of communication between people of different religions and cultures is stark. This breeds animosity, misunderstanding and hostility – which then leads to hatred.

Greece and Cyprus were for more than 400 years occupied by Turks (Ottomans), and we were taught to believe that for every crime committed towards the Greeks, Islam was responsible. The Turks were Muslims and their crimes were reflecting their religious beliefs.

Fear is immobilizing and it keeps us separated. Our “them and us” mentality has no place in a country that is working to be a democracy, an EU state and it certainly has no place in our communities. We are challenged by the difficulties to see everyone as being connected to us and to understand that our overall wellbeing is related to theirs.

It is unsurprising that the black shirts of the Greek Cypriot nazi party  Elam sponsored legislation for children to celebrate the plebiscite that treated Turkish Cypriots as non existent. Their ideology holds that it is right to discriminate against whole sections of the population on grounds of race and religion and to wallow in the celebration of such hateful intolerance.

The Nazis used to do it on the back of Jewish people and celebrated their intolerance in the torch-lit marches of the Hitler Youth. Racism has played its part in the destruction of whole generations of families who knew nothing but fear.

We are in this journey together and we need one another to create the world that supports the highest quality of life for everyone. Our work continues to be that of making it clear that there is no place for any racist ways of thinking and to make the effort to build bridges to one another so we can support the highest quality of life possible for everyone in this country and across this planet.

*Victims pictures are from both communities 

 

La nouvelle politique énergétique de l’Union Européenne met des obstacles à l’extraction du gaz naturel chypriote


La nouvelle politique de l’Union Européenne concernant le règlement de l’extraction du gaz naturel s’avère être un nouveau problème ayant des implications économiques et politiques énormes pour la République de Chypre, dans l’étape transitoire vers la mise en place de l’approche économique durable à horizon 2050.

En effet, jusqu’à récemment, l’Union Européenne reconnaissait clairement la nécessité des États membres insulaires, en particulier ceux qui sont géographiquement isolés tel que l’état chypriote et elle incluait notamment le gaz naturel à leurs choix énergétiques visant la transition vers une économie verte. Maintenant, la Commission Européenne propose de tels critères techniques admissibles pour tous les polluants, mais qui, dans la pratique excluent le financement ou le soutien européen des projets et des infrastructures pour l’exploitation du gaz naturel.

Les nouveaux critères proposés sont en train de bouleverser la politique d’investissement actuelle de l’Union Européenne dans l’industrie d’approvisionnement en gaz naturel portant sur la transition économique sur un futur durable. En outre, le risque que ces « critères techniques » soient intégrés dans les futures politiques et législations de l’Union Européenne est bien visible, et par conséquent, dans le cadre des futures programmes de financement de l’Union Européenne ayant des impacts défavorables, en plus du niveau de l’investissement des infrastructures de gazoduc et de gaz naturel, dans des secteurs tels que l’eau, l’agriculture et d’autres.

costas mavrides
M. Costas Mavrides au Parlement Européen

Ainsi, lors d’une conversation houleuse ayant pour objet la révision du règlement européen concernant la perspective des orientations pour les infrastructures énergétiques transeuropéennes, (dans lesquelles on trouve le gazoduc East-Med), j’ai été surpris par les … déclarations assez vagues des ministres compétents à Chypre, et en m’appuyant sur leurs déclarations, si je ne connaissais pas la réalité, je pourrais penser que tout va bien !

La semaine dernière, j’ai insisté auprès du Commissaire européen responsable pour signaler que sa proposition ignore la géographie des certains États membres , tels que les Etats membres insulaires isolés et que celle-ci renverse les politiques et la législation européennes en vigueur relatives à la transition écologique pour la croissance verte. En plus, tout en ignorant la position désavantageuse de pays comme la République de Chypre, des pays comme l’Allemagne, disposant d’une infrastructure gazière existante, continueront de bénéficier du gaz naturel. La politique de l’Union Européenne devrait être la reconnaissance de la particularité géographique et de ne pas punir les États membres insulaires isolés.

La décision finale sera prise par l’Union Européenne au cours du mois d’avril. Avec la Représentation permanente de la République de Chypre auprès de l’Union Européenne, nous continuerons de poursuivre notre coopération sur cette question préoccupante ! Cependant, la question a d’énormes implications économiques et politiques pour la République de Chypre et elle ne peut pas être abordée que par un seul député européen, ni seulement par la Représentation permanente. La question doit être soulevée au sein de l’Union Européenne au plus haut niveau politique !

Note: La cheffe du bureau du procureur de la Cour pénale internationale (La Haye) décidera d'ici juin 2021 s'il y a lieu de renvoyer ou non l'affaire (depuis 2014) contre des responsables turcs concernant l'affaire de colonisation illégale à Chypre. Le gouvernement de la République Chypriote est dans un silence absolu. Depuis des semaines, nous demandons au Président et aux ministres concernés de prendre une position officielle sur ce sujet. Préfèrent-ils, dans le cadre d'un bon climat des négociations sur la question chypriote, perdre l'affaire plutôt que de documenter le crime de la colonisation illégale devant la Cour ?

Costas Mavrides, député européen DIKO (S&D), Président de la Commission politique pour la Méditerranée costas.mavrides@europarl.europa.eu

costas mavrides diko