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‘No new ideas’ from Greek Cypriots, says Burcu

Baris Burcu

CONTRARY to what it asserts, the Greek Cypriot side has not come up with new ideas on governance in a reunified state, rather it is serving up rehashed old ideas, the spokesman for the Turkish Cypriot leader said on Monday.

In a written statement, Baris Burcu accused president Nicos Anastasiades of engaging in shadow play with respect to the vital aspect of governance, in a bid to short-circuit the talks process.

“There are no new ideas. There are the old ones which are being bounced off the wall. They [Greek Cypriots] cannot come out and state that. They say that only new ideas should be tabled, but they haven’t put forth a single idea that would enjoy support from our community or the international community.”

He was referring to the matter raised by Anastasiades regarding political equality between the two constituent states. But according to Burcu, this subject had largely been agreed in previous talks.

Anastasiades is now seeking to overturn this agreement by bringing to the table ‘new ideas’ – without however specifying what these are. This was merely a ploy, Burcu claimed.

“He is now trying to change it up by presenting the one positive vote and political equality as a [Turkish Cypriot] veto. But the one positive vote is about the application of political equality that shapes effective participation in decision making; whereas the veto is something that occurs after a decision has already been made.

“The veto has nothing to do with effective participation.”

Burcu was alluding to Anastasiades’ recent proposal for a ‘decentralised’ federation. The president argues that the more decisions that will need to be taken jointly by the two federated states, the higher the risk of the Turkish Cypriot community misusing its ‘at least one-positive-vote’ prerogative (in respect of all matters that impact vital Turkish Cypriot interests) to intentionally lead the federal government into deadlock situations.

To mitigate this risk, Anastasiades argues, as many competencies as possible should be delegated to the federated states so that each state would decide on these issues without the need to liaise with or consult the other side for the purpose of reaching an agreement or a common understanding.

According to Burcu, those quarters which are now saying that the federal solution is dead, are deliberately trying to confuse people.

On the issue of hydrocarbons, he reiterated that the Greek Cypriots have decided to act alone, despite warnings from Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci as far back as 2015 that unilateral acts would heighten tensions.

An example of the unilateral Greek Cypriot approach was the recent passage of the legislation relating to the hydrocarbons fund, which made no mention of the Turkish Cypriots.

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