President Nicos Anastasiades
President Nicos Anastasiades said on Saturday he wanted to send an Easter message of hope and optimism that Cypriots would weather the current global crises in the same way Cyprus had faced the adversities of the past and the recent past.
In his Easter address, in addition to referencing the ongoing Cyprus issue and issuing a message to Turkish Cypriots, he said this did not however distract him from the other trials that have been faced and are currently being faced by the Cypriot people.
“That is why I would like to send a message of hope and optimism, a message based on the determination of the government, but especially on your own strength, on the sense of survival, hard work, perseverance and stubbornness that distinguishes our people,” he said.
Cyprus, he said had not only survived but also managed to become a full member of the European Union, and at the same time has become a pillar of stability and peace in the region.
He also cited the 2013 financial crisis, which “we managed not only to reverse the negative effects, but also to exit the [troika] memorandum by achieving growth indicators that were the highest in the eurozone”.
In 2020, he added “we faced another test” with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic that had unprecedented consequences for health, the economy and society.
He paid tribute to the government, the health sector and its workers, and to the scientific team but also as a result of the “discipline and the patience we have shown as a people, we are on the way out of this crisis”.
“Today, unfortunately, as a result of the war in Ukraine, we are facing new challenges, with economic and social implications worldwide,” Anastasiades said, adding that the most important thing was to see an end to the bloodshed and the devastating consequences for the Ukrainian people.
“At the same time, however, not ignoring the fact that the consequences of the war will inevitably affect our country, we are determined in cooperation with the political forces and the social partners, to take those measures that will contribute to the mitigation of this new unforeseen crisis,” he added.
Addressing the Turkish Cypriot community, Anastasiades said the catastrophic the war in Ukraine shows how fragile peace is when the interests of the powerful violate the principles of international law.
It was time, he said, “for our love for our common homeland to allow us to redress the injustice imposed on us by separation”.
“This homeland is yours and ours. Blood was shed for this homeland, for this country we suffered, we cried, sometimes together and sometimes separately but the pain was always the same for everyone,” Anastasiades said.
Mutual respect for the rights of everyone was the only foundation for coexistence, lasting prosperity and peace.
“Not only the two communities will benefit, but also all those involved in the Cyprus problem, if, abandoning their [Turkey’s] unattainable goals, we work consciously and honestly to build a state that will not lag behind the principles and values of the other European Union states,” he said.
The basis for a solution has already been agreed and recorded in dozens of United Nations resolutions, and what was now needed was genuine political will and a joint effort to establish a state that respects the equality and human rights of every Cypriot European citizen, but that will also guarantee functionality and complete and absolute independence.
“I once again declare our readiness to work resolutely to achieve lasting peace and lasting prosperity for all,” he said.
Anastasiades said he would refrain from bragging about government projects but addressed all of the island’s political forces, urging them to unite to ensure the disbursement and utilization of the billions that will come through the EU for the Recovery and Resilience Plan, which he said would contribute to the further modernization of the country, along with reforms that the country needs.
“These are works and policies that do not have ideological orientations or party stripe,” he said. “To repeat, the experiences of recent years have confirmed the great potential we have as a country”.