Under the title “Akinci: Thanks to the government, we give leverage to South”, Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (11.05.17) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader met yesterday with Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, the Director General of the Structural Reform Support Service of the European Commission Maarten Verwey and the EU Commission’s representative at the talks Peter Van Nuffel.
In statements to the press following his meeting, Akinci called the “government” of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus to support the efforts for the harmonization with the EU standards and the banking sector. He stressed that in case of a Cyprus settlement based on a federal basis is found, then the “TRNC” will become one of the constituent (founding) states of the Federal Republic and for this reason it is very important to be in line from now with existing EU norms.
Stating that they had agreed to establish a bi-communal ad-hoc committee on EU matters with the aim of bringing the Turkish Cypriot community closer to the Union at his very first meeting with Juncker in 2015, Akinci explained that Juncker appointed then Maarten Verwey for this issue.
On the same issue, illegal Bayrak television (online, 11.05.17) reports that during the meeting, they discussed findings by an ad hoc committee that is looking into progress in the Turkish Cypriot side regarding reforms, aimed at the adaptation of the “TRNC” with the European acquis in case of a solution in Cyprus.
Explaining that the EU had allocated a 3 million euro budget for the harmonisation of the banking system with the EU, Akinci said that the “government” opposed this citing security reasons. He claimed that Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has been given leverage for no good reason because of this.
Akinci said that close to 200 experts have visited the “TRNC” for 34 times over the past two years and added: “Of course the goal, the preference is to reach a solution in Cyprus. EU standards will come into force immediately if we are ready, if we are not after a transition period. However if we are unable to reach a settlement this does not mean we shall be abandoning EU standards. Solution or not, to live a better quality life is the right way to go. We shall continue to work for this”.
Asked to comment on Anastasiades’ remarks that the Turkish Cypriot side is not sharing data with the Greek Cypriot side regarding the banks, Akinci pointed out that the banks in the occupied area of Cyprus must go through stress tests. He pointed out that 3 million euro had been allocated by the EU for the job and added: “The EU wanted to give us this money but we’ve had problems with the government on this issue. Our finance minister turned down the EU offer stating that we do not need anyone’s money and that we can do with our own reserves. Time went by and we reached a formula. The finance minister does not want this data to fall into the hands of the Greek Cypriots. The agreement was reached that this data would be made available once a settlement is reached. Let alone the banks would not be releasing information regarding private accounts. This would have been a general evaluation. Unfortunately due to the government’s stance we have given the Greek Cypriot leader leverage on this issue”.
Asked to comment on the Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa research vessel conducting surveys in the area, Akinci claimed that the Turkish Cypriots have equal rights over the island’s resources and added: “The answer to your question is yes. No one can object to the ship conducting research. What is wrong is what the Greek Cypriots are doing?conducting unilateral research. I told Mr Anastasiades about this at our first meeting 2 years ago. I told him that there would be problems if they continued with their exploration activities. We had reached a verbal agreement back then. Now look where we stand”.