The candidate for the Presidency of the Republic and President of DISY, Averof Neofytou, gave an interview with "SPOR FM 95.0" and the show "DIASPORA NEWS" with journalist Oriana Papantoniou at noon on Tuesday (31/01). Neofytou touched on a number of issues including the economy, his opponents, the people's debate and his vision for Cyprus.
Neofytou argued that the party-endorsed candidates Andreas Mavroyiannis and Nicos Christodoulides are not independent candidates but rather are "fully dependent." Asked to comment on his statement yesterday that "Mr. Christodoulides does not control them, they control him", he said: "When the proposal for a third suspension of divestments was tabled, Christodoulides took the position that the suspension would damage the economy and he did not limit himself to calling the parties to his staff to tell them that 'what you are doing is not right' but also went into consultation. The three parties supporting him voted in favor of the suspension. Who decided, Mr. Christodoulides or the parties?" He then added that if Mavroyiannis is elected president, he will govern with AKEL members.
In response to the tax reform he announced, Neofytou stated that "what I said about a supplement to ensure that no household is below the poverty line and tax cuts for the middle class should have been backed by the Left and Center, not proposed by Averoff and stoned, no matter if I am stoned every time I come out with an innovative idea."
When asked why these things hadn't been done a year ago, he explained that it was because "our first concern was to turn the economy from junk to investment grade, from recession to growth, to fight the budget deficits, to fight the unemployment rate from 18% to 6%." When asked if it would be a continuation of the current policy, he replied, "Of course, and it will be my first political act."
Support for the agricultural sector
Concerning farmers and whether we can provide incentives, the candidate stated that, in addition to income-boosting policies, the agricultural and livestock sectors require assistance, as energy, fertilizers, and medicines have increased in price. He also predicted that better days are on the way, but only if they survive the next crisis, which is the food crisis.
The public debate
When asked why he sent out an invitation to a debate with the people a week before the elections, with the comment that some of his rival candidates were talking about a ploy, Neofytou said that those who were present did not say it was a ploy and that he did not distinguish between big and small candidates, so he would be there with those who responded positively.
The significance of the elections
When asked what message he wants to send to those who will abstain or say that all candidates are the same because elections are in five days, Neofytou replied, "it is up to us to win back our lost credibility," expressing the position that people are tired of the last decisions and need hope. "I have big dreams for my country that don't fit in divided countries. I am aware of the difficulties and risks ahead so I can meet them head-on."
[This article was translated from its Greek original]