The murder of a number of immigrant women, manly Filipino that has surfaced over the past two weeks is unprecedented in Cyprus and is something society cannot tolerate, President Nicos Anastasiades said in his Easter message on Saturday.
In his televised address, the president said that during a day when the feeling of love should be what prevails, “we have unfortunately witnessed a series of horrendous crimes” involving people who had to seek employment abroad, just as tens of thousands of Cypriots had done in the past during difficult times, he said.
“This is an unprecedented (case), which neither our conscience nor our society can tolerate,” Anastasiades said.
He said he would have liked to extend his Easter wishes from Cyprus but his duty to the country dictated his attendance to a very important summit in China – the second Belt and Road forum – “aiming on the one hand to promote and strengthen efforts to solve the Cyprus problem and to further strengthen our bilateral and multilateral partnerships that we have developed over the last few years with many benefits to Cyprus.”
This, he said, is his duty. “I owe to all of you, who, through your hard work, perseverance and sacrifices, have helped deal with one of the biggest economic crises that our country has experienced.”
But despite the recovery and steady growth, he said, there is still a lot to be done. “I am sure, however, that, as in the past, political forces and social partners will show the same responsibility to create a modern and efficient state that meets the expectations of every citizen.”
This is a responsibility that dictates the implementation of reforms, he said, among other things, in the fields of education, public service, justice, local government and support for vulnerable populations.
A sample of the cooperation between the political forces and the social partners is one of the major reforms in the health sector, he said, which will be implemented from June 1.
Anastasiades welcomed the mass registration of citizens in the national health scheme’s (Gesy) electronic system and called on all the actors involved “to assume their share of responsibility in order to minimise any initial problems that might arise from similar reforms.”
The president also said that the message of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ “strengthens our will to seek a solution that will end the Golgotha that our country has been experiencing over the last 45 years.”
This will be achieved through a sustainable and functional solution that will create prospects for a peaceful future for all the residents of the country, he said.
The Greek Cypriot side is seeking, through initiatives and new ideas, to create the conditions for resuming a creative dialogue with a prospect of a successful outcome, he said adding that the unacceptable current situation “continues to be an open wound, with all the adverse consequences it entails.”
He said he has and would continue to convey the determination, political will and the sincere desire of the Greek Cypriot community for the reunification of the country at every opportunity, both to the UN Secretary-General and to his international contacts, “as I did this week during my meetings with the presidents of China and Russia.”
Anastasiades said he would like “to once again call on our Turkish Cypriot compatriots to understand that the unacceptable situation that currently prevails does not negatively affect only the one, but both communities.”
He reiterated that “demands for domination of one community over the other through privileges not met in any other internationally recognised state do not lead to a modern, viable and completely sovereign state.”
This is why, above all, the fundamental principles of international law, the principles and values of the European Union must be respected, he said, to ensure the human rights of everyone and the creation of conditions for peaceful coexistence.
“Even if our long-suffering Golgotha disappoints us, the determination to fight for the resurrection and well-being of our homeland makes us even more stubborn,” he said.
“I wish everyone a Good Easter,” the president said.