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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Editorial ]


SUPPORTERS of the previous president’s sterile policy on the Cyprus problem are finding it increasingly difficult to come to terms with the steps of progress made in the few weeks since the election of President Christofias. They seem to be in a state of confusion over what stand to take about the developments, after four years of extolling Papadopoulos’ negativity and the resultant lack of movement, all of which they unanimously blamed on the Turkish side.

This world of certainty, which provided the anti-settlement politicians with an easy and undemanding professional life, has been shattered by Christofias’ determination to make things happen. The new approach has been welcomed by the international community and re-kindled the UN’s interest in undertaking a new peace initiative, something the former Papadopoulos cheerleaders cannot openly oppose without running the risk of being lambasted as champions of partition.

It would also be difficult for them to attack the president for agreeing to the establishment of the technical and working committees, the first meeting of which took place yesterday, after they had spent the last 18 months calling for the implementation of the July 8 agreement. This was exactly what the much-trumpeted agreement, which had become the rallying cry of the Papadopoulos camp, during the election campaign, envisaged. Now the leaders of DIKO, EDEK and EUROKO have got what they wanted, they cannot exactly turn around and criticise Christofias for satisfying their demand.

New ways of attacking the procedure needed to be found. First, they objected to the three-month time-frame imposed for completing the work of the committees. Then, in the last week they have been voicing objections to the composition of the committees, claiming that the majority of the Greek Cypriots heading the committees were “sworn promoters and zealots of the Annan plan”, as if this constituted a crime. Would they have preferred Christofias to have appointed people opposed to a federal settlement so the meetings produced no results?

The president’s choice of people for the committees and working groups was excellent. Most are proven professionals and technocrats who will, hopefully, engage in imaginative problem-solving rather than negotiating a settlement. They will try to find ways of bridging differences on a range of issues with their Turkish Cypriot counterparts and their proposals would be made available to the two leaders once negotiations begin. The committees will try to find compromises for long-standing differences as well as come up with suggestions, at technical committee level, for co-operation on a range of matters.

Only if Christofias did not want any progress would he have appointed members of DIKO and EDEK on the committees. But times have changed. The era of negativity, when we were pursuing stalemate or deadlock, belongs to the past. And the party leaders who pursued the Papadopoulos philosophy must realise that in the new era there is no place for moaning minnies.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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