The Draft of a possible Cyprus Settlement?
shared by Steven Roberts
Omphalos news service in the south of Cyprus has translated an article from Politis newspaper about the current talks aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus Problem.
Politis newspaper says that the atmosphere around the Cyprus talks has changed for the better over the last few weeks, according to well informed sources on both sides, in contrast to the feeling a while back that things had reached a deadlock.
Differences in the chapters on government, economy and the European Union have been greatly reduced with only a few details left to iron out, some of which may be being held as last minute bargaining cards.
Two large differences remain, namely the property issue, which seems to be hanging on the issue of guarantees/security and to a lesser degree, how the solution will be financed.
President Anastasiades has made clear that he will not accept any guarantees and nor will the Greek Cypriots vote for any solution that contains any. Politis notes that the Greek Cypriot side is cautiously optimistic that some commonly acceptable formula may be found on this matter based on the fact that they haven’t been pressured by any external powers in this direction.
The financial aspect of the property issue is the other aspect that will determine whether a solution will be found. The Turkish Cypriots believe that the money for compensation will easily be found, whereas the Greek Cypriots and the IMF feel the cost of a solution must be reduced as much as possible because there is no easily available money and investors will only come to the island after the solution is implemented to reduce their risk. Thus the effort is focused on finding a formula for the property issue, as well as on the size of the federal government in order to limit bureaucracy and avoid inefficiency.
It seems everything depends on what will happen in the twenty days between 23 August and 14 September. It is hoped that on the first meeting the leaders will put the property issue to rest or at the very least to agree that it hinges on the territorial issue. The leaders have agreed to hold three meetings in August (on the 23rd, 29th and 31st) and four meetings in Septemebr (2nd, 6th, 8th and 14th) when they will discuss all the chapters in depth. If all goes well, this will pave the way for a joint meeting between Anastasiades, Akinci and Ban Ki-Moon in New York during which they will discuss the possibility of holding a conference in the fall on the external aspects of the Cyprus problem.
The paper notes that the coup in Turkey has created an atmosphere of uncertainty around Turkey’s intentions. However, it has strengthened the Greek Cypriot side’s position that the guarantees be abolished, while making the Turkish Cypriots more anxious than ever to disconnect themselves from Turkey’s internal strife.
The paper stresses that President Anastasiades is pleased with what has been agreed so far which he considers an improvement on the Annan plan. He is particularly pleased with the four freedoms, namely that people will be able to own property, reside, work and travel freely all over the island, as well as with the 4:1 agreement whereby for a Turk to acquire Cypriot citizenship a further four Greeks must also acquire citizenship. The population ratio has been agreed at 78.5% Greek Cypriots to 21.5% Turkish Cypriots, or 803,000 to 220,000, making the total population of Cypriot citizens on day one at 1,023,000.
So far, the paper says, the following has been agreed…… Continue reading