Socialist party Edek on Thursday held an event protesting the planned opening of a crossing point at Dherynia, calling on the government to reconsider its decision.
At the event, taking place at the Famagusta municipality’s cultural centre in Dherynia, party boss Marinos Sizopoulos delivered a 3,500-word speech.
Going on a long diatribe covering the entire history of the Cyprus problem, Sizopoulos spent barely 30 seconds speaking about the Dherynia crossing itself – ostensibly the purpose of the gathering.
He reiterated Edek’s position that having a crossing there would hurt financially Greek Cypriot businesspeople living in Dherynia, given the ‘unfair’ competition from cheaper goods on the other side.
The move, he added, would facilitate the movement of tourists to the north with consequences for tourism and would contribute to the possible development of the fenced-off area of Famagusta.
“To all those who pretend to care about so-called contact with Turkish Cypriots: why do they not exert pressure so that the opening of this crossing point is coupled with the return of Famagusta?” he asked rhetorically.
“Since 2003, when crossing points were first opened, are we closer to a settlement or farther away?”
In previous days, Edek had distributed flyers to all Dherynia homes inviting everyone to attend their protest event.
This irked a section of local residents, including the local mayor, who suggested Edek should leave the community out of partisan politics.
The mayor said the opening of the crossing represented an opportunity for the two communities on either side of the divide to come close.
The crossing at Dherynia had been scheduled to open on July 1, but has been delayed apparently due to complications in the north concerning the relocation of a Turkish military outpost.