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New poll outlines ordinary Greek Cypriots’ ‘red lines’

File photo: Anastasiades with Akinci during the previous round of settlement talks.

A new poll of Greek Cypriots, released on Sunday,  has found the vast majority favour an end to guarantees, the withdrawal of all Turkish troops and settlers, and the non-equation of ‘current users’ of Greek Cypriot properties with the legal owners.

The islandwide poll of 1,000 people was carried out in September for Sigmalive by LS Prime Market Research & Consulting Ltd.

According to Sigmalive, it found that 80 per cent of Greek Cypriots did not want any guarantors post-solution, 90 per cent want the Turkish settlers gone, 88 per cent said users and owners of property should not have equal rights, and 77 per cent did not want to see a ‘virgin birth’ for the Republic of Cyprus. Almost 60 per cent of Greek Cypriots also oppose a rotating presidency but nearly 35 per cent said they could accept it.

However on a more positive note President Nicos Anastasiades, who is negotiating a settlement with Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinici, received a 51.3 per cent approval rating for his handling of the talks while 33 per cent disagreed.

Most of the approval – came from ruling DISY supporters but Anastasiades gleaned 60 per cent from AKEL supporters, while EDEK, which has renounced a bizonal bicommunal federation, was split 39 per cent to 34 per cent in favour of the president.

When asked whether they felt Akinci’s leadership would help the sides reach a solution, 52.7 per cent answered yes compared to 41.3 per cent who said no. Again it was DISY and AKEL voters who supported Akinci as the one to negotiate with.

When it came to trust in the party leaders, the vast majority, 39.3 per cent, said none of the party leaders had the correct policy on the Cyprus issue. DISY leader Averof Neophytou did best, with 18.6 per cent saying he had the correct policy, followed by rejectionist DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos at just over 13 per cent.

Support for AKEL leader Andros Kyprianou’s stance on the Cyprus issue came in at 10.9 per cent, EDEK’s Marinos Sizopoulos 4.5 per cent, Citizens Alliance leader Giorgos Lillikas 4.7 per cent, EVROKO’s Demetris Syllouris 1.3 per cent, and the Greens Giorgos Perdikis 0.6 per cent.

The poll also asked Greek Cypriots what were their two top concerns. The most important issue for respondents was security at almost 40 per cent, followed by property at 35 per cent. Maintaining the RoC, Turkish troops, territory, guarantees, governance, settlers and economy were also concerns but not the top two.

On the financing of a solution 62.5 per cent of Greek Cypriots said the money should come from third countries and internatonal organisations, while 20 per cent said Turkey should pay.

Asked what action the Turkish side could take the boost confidence and trust, 35.5 per cent said the rebuilding of all the destroyed Christian churches and cemeteries in the north. Almost 30 per cent said destroying the flags on the Pentadaktylos mountains and 13.7 per cent opted for opening new crossings.

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