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Cyprus

Opposition reacts to presidential conference

Main opposition AKEL on Friday accused President Nicos Anastasiades of participating in ruling DISY’s election campaign by holding a news conference to present the government’s achievements.

“His participation in DISY’s election campaign is a negative development for democratic institutions,” AKEL spokesman Giorgos Loukaides said.

Despite the clear separation of powers, “the president is participating in an election campaign for the parliamentary elections.”

Anastasiades held a news conference on Thursday in which he outlined the government’s fiscal achievements, touched on the Cyprus issue and defended often unpopular policies.

The AKEL spokesman also accused Anastasiades of denying his responsibilities and reiterating, as a party leader, that the previous administration – AKEL – was to blame for everything.

AKEL rejected Anastasiades’ suggestions that the economy was on the mend and Cyprus was on the road to recovery after the collapse in 2013 just a month after he took over.

“If his government has really accomplished such significant work, why then are conditions experienced by workers, pensioners, the youth and families worsening all the time?” Loukaides said.

“What President Anastasiades said clashes with what the people in Cyprus are living through,” he added.

DIKO suggested that the government had no plan for the real economy.

“The fact that the condition of the economy is better today than it was in March 2013 does not make it a success story, as President Anastasiades tried to convince us yesterday (Thursday),” party spokeswoman Christiana Eorotokritou said.

She said Cypriot society was experiencing poverty, unemployment, social inequality and an increased risk of social exclusion.

Non-performing loans were a serious problem and further reforms were needed, she added.

“But what is dangerous is that President Anastasiades declared that since he considers he achieved a success story he will not change anything in his policy,” she said.

“That is, he will not try to find ways to support the middle sections of the population, which are being strangled by non-performing loans.”

EDEK chairman Marinos Sizopoulos said the government was hiding reality, the difficulties and the condition of the Cypriot economy.

“We understand the government’s effort just before the crucial parliamentary elections to present possible achievements in the economy,” Sizopoulos said.

Ruling DISY spokesman Nicos Tornaritis said Anastasiades not only presented a detailed account but he also outlined his strategy for the future. Anastasiades also recognised the maturity displayed by the parties and the social partners “stressing that the people’s sacrifice contributed decisively to the positive result and should not go in vain.”

“ …already during the first quarter we are seeing growth return and the efforts and sacrifices of the workers and business people starting to bear fruit,” Tornaritis said.

“The prospects for the next years are even more promising.”

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