Interview with A.Kyprianou, former AKEL General Secretary
Light must be shed on the wiretapping/surveillance case
Christodoulides-Neophytou competing with each other to be the most authentic candidate to continue Anastasiades’ policies
6 November 2022, “Haravgi” newspaper
QUESTION: Israeli businessman Shahak Avni appears to have been in charge of installing security systems at the ruling DISY party’s offices, while A.S. is mentioned as Avni and Dillian’s lawyer and also as a key person who held a leading position in DISY. Isn’t it at least worrying that some reports of involvement or that DISY was involved in the wiretapping/surveillance are being confirmed?
AK: The issue is extremely important because it concerns the privacy of citizens, human rights and democracy itself, in addition to the fact that it violates the laws and Constitution of the Republic of Cyprus. Certainly DISY’s links with Avni, Dillian and the black spy van are worrying and raise many questions about how much the ruling party knew about them.
However, what is more worrying is the fact that the government knew about the activities of these and other similar agencies and allowed them to operate undisturbed. What is also worrying is the fact that the Legal Service dropped the charges against Dillian and merely fined his firm. The investigation being conducted by the PEGA Committee of Inquiry of the European Parliament is a good opportunity to shed a lot of light on this case.
AKEL’s demand is that the whole matter must be fully investigated, that public opinion should be informed and that those who permitted, tolerated or contributed to the wiretapping/surveillance be held accountable.
QUESTION: What’s your comment on President Anastasiades’ statement that he is delivering a better Cyprus than the one he inherited?
AK: This statement by Mr. Anastasiades is provocative and insulting and reveals the audacity and arrogance that characterises him. Let us see what the results of his policies in key areas are in order to judge him.
Price hikes/expensiveness are galloping and wages stagnating. The share of wages has fallen from 55% to 46%, while profits have increased by 10%. The few get richer and the many are living worse. Corruption has reached unprecedented levels. We, easily, top the table across the European Union under the administration of N. Anastasiades and Av. Neophytou and N. Christodoulides who do not ascertain corruption.
What can one begin to remember?
The President’s pledge not to accept a haircut on bank deposits and the ease with which the accepted Cyprus to become a guinea pig? The flow of money of the President’s extended family abroad during the period banks were closed? The family’s involvement in the ‘golden’ passport scandal? The dismantling of the Cyprus Co-operative Bank? The jailing of the Deputy Attorney General whom the President appointed and much more?
As far as the Cyprus problem is concerned, we are just one breath away from the permanent partition of Cyprus. The President of the Republic himself flirted with the idea of a two state solution and his backtracking and contradictions made it easy for Turkey to act provocatively without facing any consequences. Do these and many other reasons make him feel proud? Does he have a grasp of reality, or is he simply overconfident and arrogant?
QUESTION: Bearing in mind the conditions we are facing on the Cyprus problem, with Turkey’s attempt to pursue the recognition of the pseudo-state, along with the stalemate in the talks, is there any hope that we will see a resumption of the negotiations at some point?
AK: The Cyprus problem is at its worst point ever. Turkey is demanding a two state solution, while its puppet in the leadership of the Turkish Cypriot community is doing the same too. Turkey is engaging in provocative actions in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus and threatening that it will not permit us to exploit our natural wealth. It is proceeding with the imposition of fait accompli in Varosha, which, if not reversed, will permanently consolidate the de facto partition.
In short, we are a stone’s throw away from partition, which will be disastrous for Cyprus and our people. We did not get to this point by chance. For sure the main responsibility lies with Turkey. Unfortunately, however, Mr. Anastasiades’ handling of the situation has also contributed to this. Things are extremely difficult objectively.
The little room for manoeuvre that exists could be exploited if the next President were to demonstrate the political will to work hard towards this end. N. Christodoulides and Av. Neophytou are competing with each other to be the most authentic candidate to continue Mr. Anastasiades’ policies that led us to this point. N. Christodoulides has handled the Cyprus problem for 9 years and bears huge responsibilities. Averof Neophytou supported Mr. Anastasiades during critical phases of the Cyprus problem with similar responsibilities.
Andreas Mavroyiannis was a negotiator, but he did not take the decisions [on the Cyprus problem]. At critical moments, such as the President’s demand for a study of two EEZ’s to be carried out, he refused to do so. Most importantly, he understands the position we are in and his proposals are aimed precisely at creating the preconditions for breaking the deadlock and resuming the negotiations within the agreed framework.