AKEL considers the 10-year DISY government a failure
Its policy on the Cyprus problem has been a fiasco
7 December 2022, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia
The General Secretary of AKEL in his speech from the podium of the House of Representatives on the 2023 State budget made an extremely negative assessment of the DISY administration, stressing that, “In the ten years DISY has been in power, our country and society have taken steps backwards instead of forward”.
S.Stefanou went on to explain:
“The DISY government has failed to respond adequately to the challenges before us.
In addition to already existing problems, it has generated new ones while creating new deadlocks, especially for our young people.
Social and economic insecurity in recent years has increased for the majority of society. Today, social insecurity is increasing even more due to the high cost of living and price hikes that are draining the budgets of households and businesses.
The DISY government prefers to seek high budget surpluses derived from the additional revenues it has collected from increased tax revenues, instead of returning some of them to households and small and medium-sized enterprises.
Cyprus, according to Eurostat statistics, is ranked fourth from bottom in the table on the allocation of resources providing support to society and the economy in response to the energy crisis and poverty.
Long-standing problems instead of being solved have been exacerbated, especially with regards the issue of institutional corruption.
This is documented in numerous international reports that have been released. For example, the recent IMF Report which revealed that since 2014 there has been a profound downward slide in the areas of governance, particularly with regards corruption, governance effectiveness and delivering justice.
The rule of law has deteriorated, institutions have been undermined or do not have the independence they should have, as the European Commission’s 2021 Report on the unsatisfactory state of the rule of law in Cyprus concludes.
Social inequalities were not addressed, but have been perpetuated and increased on numerous levels.
This is primarily reflected in the fact that the share of profits in GDP increased in contrast to the reduction of the share of wages. The economy is growing, but working people are not getting what should be due to them. The distribution of the wealth produced is done in such a way that it constantly reinforces the process of reversing the capital-labour correlation.
Even on matters where the government has attempted to initiate reforms, such as in the health system, the National Health Scheme (GESY) is being attacked and undermined from within, by members of the government and ruling DISY party, as even former Ministers of the Anastasiades government suggest.
Cyprus continues to be among the world leaders in terms of the amount of private debt and number of non-performing loans. The transfer of these loans to credit companies may help the banks show an improved picture, but the loans remain on society and the economy.
Thousands of our fellow citizens are losing or at risk of losing their homes and property.
Rising interest rates will further aggravate an already difficult situation for borrowers and others too.
An abject failure on the Cyprus problem
The Cyprus problem is in the worst situation it has ever been in. Since 2017, our national problem has been in a prolonged negotiating stalemate. The biggest ever!
Turkey, despite engaging in provocative and aggressive actions, bears no responsibilities in the eyes of the international community.
In contrast to Turkey, the Greek Cypriot side is perceived by the international community – together with the Turkish Cypriot side – as being jointly responsible for both the deadlock and the negotiating vacuum [surrounding the Cyprus problem]..
Turkey is exploiting this situation to impose new occupation fait accompli on the ground without actually facing any reaction whatsoever and without suffering any cost. The status quo is sliding further and further towards permanent partition.
The above facts – namely Turkey issuing threats and the Greek Cypriot side also being apportioned the blame – demonstrates the abject failure of the President’s policy on the Cyprus problem. A policy that is contradictory and full of regressions/backtracking. The regressions the outgoing President has made has reached the point of sounding out numerous forces both inside and outside Cyprus in favor of a two state solution. This is precisely the solution that the Turkish side is seeking.
Against the backdrop of this difficult and extremely dangerous situation, the DISY government is passively and indifferently watching the continuous slide towards the consolidation of partition. Its only interest – as on other serious issues too – is to manage domestic public opinion by instrumentalising Turkey’s aggressive actions.
The partial opening of the enclosed area of Famagusta did not shake up the government ruling forces, given that – according to the then Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides – what Turkey was stating was merely communication tricks, while according to DISY President Averof Neofytou, Turkey was not going to proceed to such moves [the opening of the enclosed area of Famagusta and imposition of new fait accompli on the ground].
The government and DISY wandered around and misled the people about the supposed imposition of sanctions by the EU that would hypothetically hurt Turkey and about the forging of multilateral agreements [with other countries] that would supposedly shield the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, but all this proved to be big empty talk and cultivated illusions”.
Citizens expect change!
“We have a historical responsibility to wage the battle to restore our country’s moral authority”
It is no coincidence that the General Secretary of AKEL concluded his speech with an extensive reference to the upcoming elections and what is really at stake in this election campaign. Namely, change.
As the General Secretary of AKEL said, “Change is what citizens expect from us: to support a credible governance proposal that concerns the future of our country”. The change proposed by AKEL starts with the election of a President who should be:
- Honest so that citizens know what they are voting for.
- Genuinely and not falsely clean and untainted, so that he can combat corruption.
- Ethical and aware of the great responsibilities he assumes towards the country and the people and to take them on, not to shift them on TO others.
- Responsible to the country and not be indifferent when our country is disgraced all over the world by simply engaging in handling issues for internal consumption purposes.
- Put the economy on solid foundations so that it has prospects and not confine itself to or encouraging predatory “get-rich-quick” policies and circumstantial profit.
- Socially sensitive, to understand the anxieties, aspirations and problems citizens face and try to solve them.
- Act for the benefit of the many, not for the privileged few.
It is on the basis of all these factors outlined previously, that AKEL decided to back the candidacy of Andreas Mavroyiannis.
“We consider it our historical responsibility to wage the battle to restore our country’s moral standing. That is precisely why we are ready to agree to a new social contract that will ensure a promising future for our children and grandchildren,” the General Secretary of AKEL Stefanos Stefanou pointed out.