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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cyprus approves EU Lisbon Treaty ]

Cyprus approves EU Lisbon Treaty

THE Cyprus House of Representatives yesterday ratified the Lisbon Treaty, following discussions that lasted throughout the day.

With 31 votes in favour, 17 against and one abstention, Cyprus was the 20th EU member state to ratify the Treaty.

Under the presidency of House Speaker Marios Garoyian, all deputies, as well as party leaders, held their own speeches, analysing their reasons for the stance they were taking towards the Treaty.

Ruling party AKEL, as was expected, voted against the ratification, citing among others the lack of input by the people of Europe in the Treaty’s final formation.

DISY, EDEK, DIKO and EVROKO voted in favour, while the Green Party abstained.

The Green Party’s General Secretary, George Perdikis, remained true to his word and put his proposal forward for the execution of a referendum. “We are not euro-negative; but we are requesting a democratic ecological Europe,” he said. “The fact that the leaders of the states decided to move ahead without taking their citizens into consideration, without paying attention to the European citizens that are out on the streets and protesting the fact that the European Union failed to deal with the high cost of living crisis, we believe this is a crime against democracy.”

Perdikis’ proposal will be tabled at next week’s Plenum session.

DISY leader Nicos Anastassiades said the Treaty should be viewed as a step in the right direction for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. He rejected AKEL’s claims that the European Union was operating without its people’s best interests in mind.

“We need to recognise that the European Union is a force of democracy and not a threat to democracy,” Anastassiades pointed out. “That the procedure for European completion is necessary for the safety, progress and welfare of each European citizen and not something that is being inflicted on the citizens for political reasons.”

EDEK leader Yiannakis Omirou admitted the Treaty was not perfect; but it was an improvement from previous ones and the already-existing Treaty of Nice. “Despite the shortcomings and weaknesses, this Treaty is a step forward.”

He added, “Our positive vote indicates our consent to Europe’s unhindered path towards the future.”

EVROKO leader Demetris Syllouris, despite speaking in favour of the ratification, agreed that the public should have had a more active role in the Treaty’s formation.

But he said his party would vote in favour of it, “despite the shortcomings, despite the weaknesses and imperfections that exist, the reinforcement of European completion effectively promotes are country’s best interests.”

DIKO parliamentary spokesman Andreas Angelides pointed out that any new institution, as its effectiveness in relation to the 27 EU member states remains unknown and it affects the lives of millions of citizens, will provoke concerns and a variety of opinions.

“So why are we voting in favour this Treaty?” he wondered. “Because we believe that it was rightfully signed by the leaders of the member states. Because we want and demand to actively participate in the development of the EU’s institutions and the European acquis communautaire,” he replied, adding: “Because we believe in the unified legal personality of the EU.”

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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