Those who have the impression that the Cyprus talks will continue from where they left off in Crans Montana, “just do not have proper understanding of what Greek Cypriots want”, Diko leader and presidential candidate Nicolas Papadopoulos said on Sunday.
On the sidelines of a memorial event in Limassol to mark the 1974 coup, Papadopoulos also suggested that President Nicos Anastasiades was afraid to have the minutes of the negotiations in Switzerland out in the public arena because the world would then know “what he gave away”.
Papadopoulos was commenting on the interview with Anastasiades published in Kathimerini on Sunday where the president said the talks were merely on a break.
“The conference on Cyprus was a failure and it was not a failure of a process, it was the failure of a policy that has been followed for nine years,” Papadopoulos said.
“If some people have the impression that we will continue from where we left off after a break, they just do not have the proper understanding of what Greek Cypriots seek,” he added.
“There is no instance in which Cypriot Hellenism will accept the rotating presidency, numerical equality or the four freedoms for Turkish nationals, guarantees, intervention rights, troops, users’ rights to property and retention of all of the settlers. ”
“The only question left to ask is whether those who bring such proposals to us are really seeking partition because such a solution will not pass from Cypriot Hellenism,” he added.
Papadopoulos said the only option was to prepare the next steps “with care and responsibility, and unity”. What was needed, he said was a new strategy on the Cyprus issue. “We need a new strategy to free ourselves from a solution that is not going to pass through a referendum,” he said, saying everything Anastasiades had negotiated was a retreat.
The Diko leader who will be the candidate for the so-called ‘centre-space’ or hardline parties, has been accused by ruling Disy and main opposition Akel of always talking about a new strategy but never producing one.
Asked by reporters on Sunday what this new strategy might entail, Papadopoulos said it was based on “a very simple argument”. “We cannot solve the Cyprus problem unless Turkey is persuaded to change its intransigent positions. We cannot solve the Cyprus issue with generous offers and concessions, but only by provoking a political and economic costs on Turkey in order to convince it that its failure to resolve the Cyprus problem has unpleasant consequences for it,” he said. “So far we have done exactly the opposite.”