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14 Jul 2017
Week’s Top Stories

Никос Анасасиадис

Who will benefit from collapse of Cyprus talks? President addressed

One of the week’s highlights was Cyprus presidents appeal to the republic’s citizens. Nikos Anastasiades presented a speech on national television dedicated to the results of the conference in Switzerland, which ended in failure.

The desire for united Cyprus was drowned in mutual accusations and unwillingness of parties to compromise. The president noted that now new negotiations could be only possible under certain conditions. Namely, all previous guarantees should be cancelled after the signing of the agreement, which should be based on the proposals, made by Greek Cypriot party and would include terms for withdrawal of the occupation troops.

Disappointment of Anastasiades is understandable: huge efforts were put into finding a solution. However, it was obvious that at the last conference in Switzerland, Cypriot delegation was not showing any enthusiasm, despite  the dedication they showed after the failure of Geneva conference.

As a result, the negotiation process turned into a series of mutual ultimatums and accusations. Turkey refused to withdraw its troops from the island, while demanding access to the energy resources of Cyprus.

Special Representative of the UN Secretary General Espen Barth Eide, in the opinion of many, discredited himself as an independent mediator, taking a pro-Turkish position from time to time, which was pointed by Greek Cypriot side several times.

It is difficult to say how things around Cyprus reunification will be developing further. But it is obvious that this failure will be used by candidates during the upcoming presidential election campaigns. Elections are coming soon, and this is why Anastasiades is making tough statements …

Drilling has started! Why the platform is being guarded by French frigates?

French company Total started exploratory drilling off the coast of Cyprus. Company’s main goal is to find gas at the Aphrodite field, which was discovered recently near the land.

In case if both attempts will turn out to be successful, a full-fledged gas exploration will be started. The process is not fast – drilling will be carried out at the depth of almost 6 km, so the first results can be released by Total only by September.

In order to avoid provocations by Turkey, two French navy frigates will be guarding the coasts of Cyprus. Turkey, however, has also sent it’s military ships to the drilling area.

Big fire in Paphos. Fire was put out from air

Big forest fire was put out this week near Paphos. Fire was quickly spread by the wind and approached residential area.

People in nearby houses were already getting ready for the emergency evacuation, thankfully, firefighters reacted quick enough and were able to take fire under control from using special helicopters.

Causes of fire are being investigated.

Speed limit will be increased? Officials are discussing a new initiative

Maximum driving speed limit on major Cyprus highways might be increased to 120 km/h. A new initiative is now being discussed in government offices.

Earlier, officials suggested tightening road safety measures and increasing fines for violations of traffic rules almost 5 times.

Emergency landing. Airbus А-380 landed in Larnaca airport

Airbus А-380 – the world’s biggest passenger aircraft landed in Larnaca airport unexpectedly.  Massive aircrafts like Airbus A-380 do not operate regular flights in Cyprus airports. The aircraft made an emergency landing because of the passenger, who got sick while travelling from Dubai to London.

The landing was successful despite the size of А-380 and associated risks. Soon after the emergency landing, the passenger was take to the hospital and the aircraft took off and continued the journey.

Observatory park in Cyprus. Where should it be located?

An Observatory Park might soon appear in Cyprus. Even though the project was not publicly discussed, the international competition for the best observatory park proposal is now concluded.

More than 60 participants took part in the competition. The project presented by Belgian participant was considered the best. Project details and timeline is not confirmed yet, in the meantime, Akamas national park was mentioned as the possible location for park construction.

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