Cyprus Mail

Budget debate gets underway, delves into Cyprob  

Photo: Christos Theodorides

Parliament on Monday kicked off the three-day discussion on the state budget, which as is customary, delved into the Cyprus problem, among others, as the opposition sought to score political points against an administration that has suffered quite a few blows in the past year across the board.

Main opposition leader Andros Kyprianou said the 2020 budget was being discussed against a particularly gloomy backdrop with the administration opting to exercise power in an autocratic and arrogant manner.

“It chooses to clash and divide. It is only interested in the few and select, being indifferent of the many,” Kyprianou said.

The leader of Akel accused the government of engaging in clientelism and nepotism and ignoring corruption, which has become a daily phenomenon.

People were indignant over the continuous cases of corruption, disappointed with the situation in the Cyprus problem, and pessimistic, without any hope of change, that Cyprus cannot be saved from the dangers and threats.

“Any measures do not have and cannot have any substantive results as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem,” he said. “Unfortunately, instead of learning from his mistakes, instead of drafting a comprehensive strategy to achieve a solution, Mr. Anastasiades improvises.”

Diko chief Nicolas Papadopoulos said 2019 was a difficult year for Cyprus and its people.

“It was the year when the narrative of the ‘success story’ clashed with the reality of the Cypriot economy,” he said.

Papadopoulos stressed that his party was not tarring everything with the same brush, acknowledging that positive steps to the right direction had been made. But there was no success story.

The economy continued to have significant imbalances and the “catastrophic” decisions imposed in 2013 have yet to be overcome, he said.

“Its not a coincidence that five years after the 2013 catastrophe our economy and our banking system in particular have not yet overcome their basic systemic weaknesses,” Papadopoulos said.

On the Cyprus problem, Papadopoulos said the reply to Turkey’s aggressiveness and expansionism was not despair and fatalism, not fear and capitulation.

“The response comes through the faith in the strength of Cypriot Hellenism; The response comes through our people’s struggles and sacrifices, despite the difficulties; 3,000 years of history must continue.”

Ruling Disy chief warned that time made finding a right solution to the island’s division harder.

Inaction only served Turkey, which was solidifying the outcome of its occupation.

“The (Turkish) settlers are increasing, the occupying troops are taking root, the properties of the refugees are sold off, the generations who experienced coexistence between Greek and Turkish Cypriots are dying, and the Turkish Cypriot community is turning into an extension of the Turkish community. With all the ills this entails,” Neophytou said.

The Disy leader said Greek Cypriots should never forget that the current prosperity and the sense of safety of the status quo were fragile without a functional and viable solution.

“That is why, as the Democratic Rally, we believe that the only possible path towards such a solution are the negotiations on the agreed basis of the bizonal, bicommunal federation.”

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