Cyprus Mail

Elam seeking to prevent opening of new crossing points

Elam leader Christos Christou:

Far right Elam party said on Wednesday that it would deliver a signed petition to the Presidential Palace on Thursday calling for two new checkpoints not to be opened next week and for the existing ones to be closed.

New checkpoints at Dherynia and Lefka are due to be opened on November 12.

The party said that a delegation, headed by its leader Christos Christou would deliver the petition at noon.

It said that the government’s actions did not take into consideration the impact of opening the Dherynia crossing. It would “with mathematical precision, bring enormous problems to the economy, since the free part of the Famagusta district constitutes Cyprus’ tourist economic lung.”

The party had launched a campaign to collect signatures against the opening of the Dherynia and Lefka crossings.

Socialist Edek had also voiced its opposition to the opening of the Dherynia crossing. Famagusta mayor, Alexis Galanos, also expressed reservations as have Famagusta businesses circles and the mayor of Ayia Napa, expressing concerns that it would hurt business in the south.

Earlier in the year, a declaration of around 200 refugees from Famagusta, including former state officials, also expressed their opposition, arguing it would not contribute to efforts towards the return of their properties but turn them instead into tourists in their own town.

President Nicos Anastasiades said on Tuesday that he did not believe that the crossing would hinder plans for the return of Varosha, or that it should not be opened to avoid competition by businesses in the north.

“These are not serious arguments,” he said.

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