The state ought to protect its social fabric and its demographics, ruling Disy chief Averof Neophytou said on Thursday, commenting on the problem Cyprus is facing with the influx of refugees from war-torn Syria.
The matter was raised by President Nicos Anastasiades during an informal EU summit on migration in Austria on Wednesday.
“The president was right to raise the issue of migration …” Neophytou said. “We often speak of the dangers of the alteration of demographics of the occupied areas, potentially ignoring the risks of the alteration of demographics” in the government-controlled areas.
Neophytou stressed that Disy was not a racist party and it respected international conventions and European principles relating to migration.
“But the state ought to protect its social fabric as well as its demographics,” he added.
Neophytou said a small country like Cyprus had limitations, which could not be exceeded because that would create social and possibly economic problems.
His comment was met with criticism on social media with users mainly pointing out that no one was concerned about the demographics when it came to foreign investors essentially buying Cypriot citizenships.
Cyprus has asked the EU for help in dealing with the issue, receiving a pledge for material and financial assistance.
Interior Minister Constantinos Petrides has said that Cyprus was now on the frontline and it was impossible for a country of its size to deploy disproportionate facilities to absorb the refugee pressures it was under.