The administration on Monday accused Diko leader and presidential hopeful Nicolas Papadopoulos of deliberately misinforming the public over the mooted allocation of funds to a Turkish Cypriot constituent state in the event of reunification.
“Distortion, misinformation and the attempt at creating false impressions have become routine for the election staff of [Diko] candidate Nicolas Papadopoulos,” read a statement by deputy government spokesman Viktoras Papadopoulos.
He was responding to an earlier statement put out by Papadopoulos who, evidently misconstruing remarks made a day earlier by Foreign Minister Ioannis Kasoulides, claimed that 6 per cent of the federal budget in a reunified Cyprus state would go towards the Turkish Cypriot constituent state.
Papadopoulos’ team even came up with a figure: €250 million.
“Does Mr. Anastasiades consider it reasonable that, once refugees will have lost their properties in the north, that Greek Cypriots should give €250 million a year to cover the deficits of what is today the breakaway regime?” Diko’s Papadopoulos asked.
Hitting back, the government suggested Diko was picking numbers out of a hat and intentionally twisting the facts.
And the party had no excuse to feign ignorance, he added, since Diko had received multiple briefings during National Council meetings where they were also shown documents.
The reality, the deputy spokesman said, was that 6 per cent of the federal government’s revenues – and after deducting all expenses – would be deposited into a special development fund.
From this fund, five-sixths would be diverted toward infrastructure projects within the Turkish Cypriot constituent state, and the rest to the Greek Cypriot state for the same purposes.
The arrangement would be in force for a period of 13 years, or until the standard of living of the Turkish Cypriots reached 85 per cent of the standard of living in the south.
“It therefore becomes clear that we are talking about an amount that is orders of magnitude less than the amount Diko is citing,” the deputy spokesman said.
“We call on Diko and its presidential candidate Mr Nicolas Papadopoulos to realise that the road to the presidential elections should have certain boundaries,” he added.
Speaking at an event on Sunday, the foreign minister had also clarified that the allocation of development funds to the Turkish Cypriot constituent state had nothing to do with revenues from hydrocarbons exploitation, which would be deposited in a special fund.