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20 June, 2019
 
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President Anastasiades: Political cost preferable to letting go of Finance Minister

Regarding UNFICYP Anastasiades said that 'we are acting in a way so that it will become apparent how dangerous it is if the peace force leaves'

Newsroom / CNA

‘’My conscience is clear in that I did not do anything that contradicts to the public feeling of justice, not by my own definition but based on objective data as recorded in the inquiry for the Cooperative Bank’’, said President Anastasiades responding to calls by opposition parties to fire his Finance Minister Haris Georgiades.

In an interview with CNA, he said that "it was a matter of consciousness for me, whether and how I would simply avoid the political cost by accepting the resignation of the Minister of Finance - but with the thought that I have committed a crime at the expense of a person – where the range of responsibilities attributed to him on the basis of the findings I disagree with - or I will bear the political cost".

Responding to a question on the decision by the Administrative Court that judged public sector salary cuts during the financial crisis as unconstitutional the President announced that he intends to convene a meeting of party leaders to discuss the issue further. He also said that he had a meeting with the Attorney General to coordinate the government's response. When asked whether the decisions concern only those who have filed the motion or all of the public sector employees, the President said that a request was forwarded to the Supreme Court in order to clarify the issue. He noted that the law of necessity should be taken into account.

President Anastasiades is seeking to meet with US President Donald Trump

For the Cyprus issue, President Anastasiades said that "first and foremost, our effort is to resume the dialogue on the Cyprus issue on a sound basis that gives us prospects".

Asked about Mrs. Lute's descent to Cyprus, the President said that this would happen in the coming days, but he could not foresee how close the two sides were to concluding the terms of reference because of the persistence and the interpretation given by the Turkish side on the issue of political equality.

With regard to the outcome of the Turkish municipal elections and whether there is to be any change in Ankara's attitude towards Cyprus, Anastasiades said that it was too early to consider to what degree Turkey's foreign policy could change.

Speaking on the renewal of UNFICYP's mandate, President Anastasiades said that "we are acting in a way so that it will become apparent how dangerous it is if the peace force leaves", while underlining that "we are not using the peacekeeping force to keep the Cyprus problem unresolved".

The President also said that Cyprus is gradually becoming a security provider by offering services to European countries, but also to other powers such as Russia and America. He said, however, that "it is not our goal to turn Cyprus into a base for warfare." Concerning consultations with France on the creation of sea port infrastructure, he said that it is a subject that is being discussed.

In the context of expanding and deepening good relations with all the permanent members of the Security Council, the President is seeking to meet with US President Donald Trump stating also that he would visit China in April for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

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