Prospects of a Cyprus solution, based on federation, must remain alive, Papadimoulis tells CNA

The people and the political leadership in Cyprus must leave the possibility of a solution of the Cyprus Problem open, on the basis of a bizonal bicommunal federation, Vice President of the European Parliament Dimitris Papadimoulis has told CNA in an interview, pointing out that the worst case scenario would be if the partition of the island, as a result of the 1974 Turkish invasion, is finalised.

The worst solution in Cyprus would be if the current division of the island becomes final. There are difficulties, which at the end of the day are called ‘Erdogan’, in efforts to solve the Cyprus question, to normalize Greco-Turkish ties and with regard to Ankara’s European prospects, he said.

Nonetheless, he stressed that in this difficult equation, one must not forget the other half of Turkey which calls for democracy, free expression of speech, advocated a European orientation and expects from us, Greeks, Greek Cypriots and the EU � to exert some kind of pressure to help defend democracy and human rights.

Commenting on the current status of Euro-Turkish relations, Papadimoulis acknowledged that the process of Turkey’s European integration is temporarily stalled, but this fact does not imply that Euro-Turkish relations are abolished. The deep economic relations between EU and Turkey, as well as the 3 million refugees living in Turkey, oblige both parts to maintain an open line of communication, Papadimoulis told CNA, adding that Greece’s government does not support the termination of Euro-Turkish relations.

Concerning the necessary reforms which Europe must undertake, Papadimoulis noted that the processes of political integration, economic governance and institutional democratization, should be reinforced. He stated that EU must accelerate the negotiations over EU enlargement, with the integration of Serbia and Montenegro. This enlargement is crucial, according to Papadimoulis, especially this time, when the EU will have to deal with the fallout from Brexit.

Questioned further on Brexit, he indicated that the ambiguity and the delay in the implementation of Brexit is a disadvantage both for the EU and the UK, and especially for the British people. As Papadimoulis pointed out, the result of the British referendum and the subsequent withdrawal of the UK from the EU, call on Brussels to stay coherent and proceed with the necessary democratic reforms.

During his interview with CNA, Papadimoulis also referred to the challenges that Spain is facing, regarding developments in Catalonia. The crisis in Spain and Catalonia is a political one. It can only be solved through dialogue. Political problems demand political solutions. This crisis cannot be solved either with plastic bullets or court orders.

He stressed that the dialogue process for a compromising solution, which should not be based on unilateral independence but on enlarged autonomy of Catalonia within a united, democratic Spain, is the only realistic path for Spain to overcome the current situation in Catalonia. Concerning the stance of European leadership towards the crisis in Catalonia, Papadimoulis said that the EU should express more firmly the condemnation of human and democratic rights violations.

Cyprus has been divided since the 1974 Turkish invasion. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have yet to yield results towards a political settlement that would reunite the country under a federal roof. The latest such attempt, in July this year, ended inconclusively due to unacceptable demands raised by Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side.

Source: Cyprus News Agency