President Nicos Ansastasiades has called on all Cypriot citizens to prove polls wrong and to take part in the forthcoming European elections on May 25.
President Anastasiades, who was speaking, on Sunday, during a congress of his ruling party, the Democratic Rally (DISY), said that the European elections signal a vote of confidence in Europe, adding that “we have the same say and we are equal partners in the EU”.
Referring to the Cyprus issue and in particular to a joint declaration agreed between himself and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on February 11, he said, he stressed that it is important to proceed in a united front and see what can be achieved through the joint declaration.
He pointed out that the joint declaration is a shield which will allow for a solution of the Cyprus issue based on European principles and values. It will allow us, he noted, to create the conditions for a country, which having ridden itself of the occupation and reunited can establish the prerequisites so that all its legal citizens can prosper, and look forward to a secure, European future.
UN-led peace talks resumed in February this year, after the agreement on the joint communique, with a view to reuniting the island, divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion.
The President said that his government seeks to put in place the basis for new political start.
The objective, he noted, is through the financial crisis to seize the opportunity and turn a new page.
“This is why we are working hard and will continue to work even harder in order to meet the expectations of all the people of Cyprus and not only of DISY supporters,” he said, adding that he will not show contempt for the opposite view, even if criticism at times has no basis.
It is important to learn from the past and look ahead, he remarked. Sticking to the past would undoubtedly have a negative outcome, he added.
President Anastasiades continued outlining recent developments in the economy, referring, inter alia, to Cyprus receiving the first upgrade by an international credit rating ten months after he assumed office and the three positive reviews Cyprus has got from its international lenders, the Troika, who visit the island on a regular basis reviewing the implementation of a Memorandum of Understanding, the basis of a 10 billion euro bailout agreement of March 2013.
Referring to the Eurogroup decision of March 25, last year, which featured an unprecedented haircut of uninsured deposits in Cyprus` two largest lenders, he said that despite that harsh and painful decision, the government has managed to regain the trust and hope of society, which together with its European partners can lead the country to better days.
“We believed and still believe that Europe remains the answer”, he stressed, adding that Cyprus expects solidarity from Europe. He further said that this has been and will become evident in the coming months.
The President thanked the people of Cyprus for their patience and trust and pledged that he will under no circumstances allow this trust to turn to disappointment.
He also spoke of efforts by the government to attract investments from abroad. He talked about his foreign policy which saw a deepening of relations with Israel and the US on the one hand, whilst maintaining the traditionally excellent relations with the Arab world and Russia on the other.
President Anastasiades also referred to his visit next week to Germany to meet Chancellor Angela Merkel. He expressed his conviction that Cyprus will find the same solidarity and the same principled position that the EPP`s candidate for the position of European President Commission, former Eurogroup President Jean – Claude Juncker has steadily maintained for the country.
He praised Juncker, calling him an honest politician who despite coming from a small country had the guts, the courage and personality to stand up to large states when it came to defending positions on social solidarity and the prospects of young people and future generations.
Get all the latest news and videos in your inbox. Register FREE