The Greek Cypriot parties of the so-called rejectionist camp all expressed their dissatisfaction on Tuesday after being briefed by Nikos Anastasiades on the progress in reunification talks.
It’s understood Anastasiades’ briefing focused on the hot-button issues of property and the status and rights of the people from Turkey.
Speaking to Greek Cypriot reporters later, DIKO chairman Nicholas Papadopoulos called the briefing ‘unacceptable’ and he called out Greek Cypriot Leader Nikos Anastasiades for ‘stubbornly’ refusing to hand over documents listing the convergences reached thus far between the two sides in the peace talks.
The refusal to hand over the documents, because they might be leaked is a lame excuse, Papadopoulos said.
The real reason for the ‘information blackout’, he argued, is that Anastasiades does not want the public to learn what is being discussed behind closed doors, especially with regard to the property rights of Greek Cypriots.
Papadopoulos said he came away with the impression that the talks are being conducted ‘on Turkish terms’.
“It cannot be that the property owner is equated to the user, and meanwhile some people keep claiming that this constitutes respect for the right to property,” he said. It seemed that the burden would fall on the owners to prove that their property in the north belonged to them before they could reap any benefits. “By this rationale, ownership of all properties will surely be brought into question” the DIKO leader warned.
Likewise EDEK’s Marinos Sizopoulos reiterated that the rights of the property owner should supersede those of the user. His party also disagreed with the inclusion into a settlement of guaranteed population majorities in the constituent states of a reunited Cyprus, part of which is known as bi-zonality.
The Greens’ George Perdikis called the briefing ‘solid and substantive’, but still complained that overall the Greek Cypriot Leader is keeping the parties in the dark. “Given we are seeking convergences with the Turkish Cypriots, we should first and foremost seek convergences among ourselves. Because it is a fact that there are disagreements.”
The Citizens Alliance said those quarters on the Greek Cypriot side who are cultivating a climate of optimism and euphoria among the people “should think again.”
DISY chief Averof Neophytou left the Presidential Palace without making any comments. The party later issued a generic statement, reiterating its support for a solution to the Cyprus problem.
Back in July, Greek Cypriot Leader Anastasiades and President Mustafa Akinci agreed on the creation of an independent property commission. It was revealed that dispossessed owners and current users would have various choices regarding their claims to affected properties. These would include compensation, exchange or reinstatement, but exercising any of these options would be subject to agreed criteria. Affected properties would be categorized. The property commission would be mandated to resolve property claims according to mutually agreed criteria, and would be comprised of an equal number of Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot members.