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Protestors fear talks will collapse soon

Protestors at Ledra St on Monday night (Prodromos Taliotis)

While President Nicos Anastasiades was preparing his address on Monday to explain to the people his new proposal as regards the settlement talks, scores of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots gathered at the Ledra street crossing in the buffer zone calling for results.

The organisers of the event, said that the aim is to “protest and plea alike for the leaders to get the job done”.

Protesters gathered in the buffer zone with placards calling for reunification.

According to one of the participants, Andreas Paralikis, the talks are at a very critical stage.

“I wish that this is not the end. We fear that it is, and that the talks will collapse soon,” Paralikis said.

But Paralikis was wary of the reasons behind Anastasiades’ address. “Why is he doing it? We are expecting (UN special envoy Espen Barth) Eide to return for a last effort. Why is he addressing the people today, is it because he begun working toward the presidential elections?” he asked.

Another protester said it was the people, not the leaders that would achieve peace.

“I am not here because I believe the leaders will do something, nor do I expect anything from them. It is the people that will bring the solution, if we start living as in a federation in our everyday lives. For every problem, there must be organisations on both sides working federally,” said Demetris who did not want his last named used.

For Despina Michaelidou, too, a member of several organisations promoting a federal solution, the way to the reunification is common struggle.

“Since our leaders do not assume their responsibilities, it is ours to take to the streets. Even if they fail, we should take it upon us, to take action. We must not give up,” Michaelidou said.

This is the second such gathering taking place at the same location. On Thursday, a couple of hundred people gathered at the same crossing, with placards urging the two leaders, Nicos Anastasiades and Mustafa Akinci, to solve the Cyprus problem.

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