Almost 3000 Cypriots live in France and the organised Cypriot community is trying to locate all Cypriots in the country and at the same time cooperate with other communities, mainly the Greek and Armenian, to promote the Cyprus issue, according to the president of the Cypriot community in France, Evagoras Mavrommatis.
In an interview with CNA, Mavrommatis, who was in Cyprus to take part in the Overseas Cypriots` Conference last month, pointed out that if we count the last Cypriots that arrived in France, the number rose to 3000 throughout the country.
Mavrommatis, who lives in France for the last 35 years, said the community wants to discover all Cypriots in France and social media is helping to locate them. “We have managed to find Cypriots, third generation families in Strasbourg, doctors and other professionals in large companies, scholars”.
In New Caledonia, he said, “much to our surprise we have discovered Cypriots, as well as in Martinique and we registered them in the community and we are inviting them to events”.
Because of the small size of the community, Cypriots had to become more active throughout France. “We have the Cyprus issue and that is why we work with other communities, the Armenians and Israelis. The latter are very active in the US and France and have people in all key posts,” he added.
“With the Armenians, we maintain more friendly, brotherly relations. We share the same problem. There are many of them, they have deputies in Lyon, in Paris and have also helped with the election of the Greek deputy Luk Karvouna. This means a lot, said Mavrommatis, “they know about the Cyprus problem, they know that they have to support it and since they number around 546 thousand in France, therefore their contribution is vital”.
According to Mavrommatis, the Cypriot community supported the Armenians in the effort to have France pass legislation recognizing the Armenian genocide. “When we started the campaign it was just two Armenians and myself. There were moments when I didn`t believe we would succeed. But we did. We supported them when they needed us”, he remarked.
Speaking about the presence of the community in France, he said that “as Greeks, generally, have no problem in France, the French are friends of Greeks and this was proven by President Hollande. And Nikola Sarkozy said he feels Greek. In all of Cyprus` issues, France always supported us”.
Mavrommatis also pointed out the cooperation between the Cyprus and Greek communities.
“Our community depends on the Greek Foreign Ministry on language issues. We have 500 children at the Greek school. The Greek community has grown very big in the last years and we have always worked closely with them”, he said.
The Cypriot community`s main offices are housed in the premises of the Greek community. “Whatever we do, they support us. We never had an issue with any of their presidents”, Mavrommatis added.
Mavrommatis further said that the community always stands by and supports the Cypriot governments.