| Cyprus Problem |Alithia



Twenty years after the accession of the Republic of Cyprus to the European Union, we suddenly discover that Europe, instead of supporting the Republic of Cyprus, that is, instead of supporting the Greek Cypriots, is endowing the Turkish Cypriots with assets. “From 2006 to 2023, the European Union gave 688 million euros to the Turkish Cypriot community,” the respected columnist complains, noting that: “They are given for the implementation of projects ‘to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus’, as the relevant reports state. To facilitate reunification.” And he adds:

“The funds continue to flow without anyone examining whether or not the objectives are being achieved. To what extent has reunification really been facilitated? It has certainly made it easier for Turkish Cypriots to access the benefits of the EU as European citizens. However, they have not so much benefitted from the funds themselves, but rather from the decision of the Republic of Cyprus not to deprive them of their citizenship, given that they hold citizenship under an illegal secessionist regime. Trade with the EU was also facilitated through the Republic of Cyprus, again not so much by the funds as by the Green Line Regulation.”

First of all, EU funds to Turkish Cypriots are not given arbitrarily by the EU, but with the approval of the Cypriot government which has no Turkish Cypriots in its composition but only pure Greek Cypriots. Let me remind you that the first 280 million euros were given on the proposal of the Greek Cypriot President of the Republic of Cyprus in 2004, immediately after our accession. The then President suggested this as a means to cover for the rejection (by 76%) of the solution framework that the international community put before us, which in turn exposed us to accusations of not solving the Cyprus problem.

The EU, however, did not allocate 688 million to the Turkish Cypriots to implement projects “to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus”. To facilitate the reunification of Cyprus, the EU did something much greater and much more drastic: the accession of the United Republic of Cyprus. The offer of membership was the EU’s most convincing move to facilitate the reunification of Cyprus. But those who today cry over the millions that the EU has allocated to Turkish Cypriots, rejected the reunification of Cyprus, telling people to vote ‘no’, ‘because in a week we would become European and the Cyprus problem would become a European problem too…’. Why didn’t they tell people that a Greek Cypriot ‘no’ vote would “certainly make it easier for Turkish Cypriots to access the benefits of the EU as European citizens”? Why did they say that with a “no” the Republic of Cyprus (as much as the Turkish troops have left us) would join the EU and in that way, facilitate a solution of the Cyprus problem?


Pambos Charalambous was born in Larnaca. He studied journalism in Athens, where he also worked in newspapers during his studies. Since 1982, he has been working at the newspaper "Alithia" as editor, editor-in-chief and director. He has a daily column and has been writing articles continuously for 40 years, apart from the period 2013-2018 when he was director of the Press Office of president Nicos Anastasiades. Their collaboration was terminated due to his disagreement with president Anastasiades' handling of the Cyprus issue.

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