Dear Cypriot Brothers,
Thank you for the honor to invite me in order to be here, among you, this important day for the United Democrats.
It is a great pleasure for me to visit Cyprus. Besides, I will never forget the invaluable offer and help you gave to my homeland, Ileia, during the horrific fire in August 2007. People of Ileia will always be grateful to their Cypriot brothers.
Above all, I would like to give you the warmest greetings of the Democratic Alliance leader, Ms. Dora Bakoyannis, who yesterday arrived from Brussels, where she participated in the Leaders, Ministers and Commissioners Meeting of the ELDR party. Today, she is in Thessaly, on a schedule visit.
Many things in Cyprus have changed, since my last visit. Unfortunately, all these changes are not always positive. The economic crisis has also changed many things in Greece and the whole Europe, too.
We are in front of a critical crossroad. Realities and balances that exist since ages are ready to be reshaped. Like Ms. Bakoyannis declared in Brussels, the response to the crisis should not be only the fiscal discipline. The response should mainly be a political decision for a stronger and more integrated Europe.
The European Union must realize that apart from its defined financial obligations, it has also the obligation to protect its borders, both at defense and illegal immigration levels.
Especially the illegal immigration issue should not be faced – and must not be faced – only by the southern EU countries. The obligations are the same for both the northern and the southern states.
In such a changing environment, Cyprus is obliged to face old and new challenges. Unfortunately, in these difficult and dangerous times, your country’s wounds are still open. During such turmoil, many things can happen.
We, the Democratic Alliance, support a bi-zonal, bi-communal federal solution for Cyprus, which will be free from the obsolete guarantees system and will be based on the UN Security Council’s resolutions, the International Law and the Acquis Communautaire.
Having in mind that time always counts against us, that Cyprus’ population composition is altered and that the generations that lived the peaceful coexistence of the two communities, the solution should be decisively forwarded and based on two matters: the European vision of Cyprus’ reunification and the participation of both Greek-Cypriots and Turkish-Cypriots in the EU.
We have crucial times to face, in which we must work with severity and determination. We have to do exactly what people want. We have to outreach ourselves and the old stereotypes. We have to forget all the old mentalities and pathogeneses.
The reality obliges us to reject the close party frameworks and to move according the national interests instead of anything else. We have to move with total transparency, not only in all our national issues, but also in our political activity.
This is the only way to regain our lost credibility and to prove that we have been taught by our past mistakes.
In the new political environment that is being formed, I am strongly confident that the United Democrats, under the inspired leadership of Praxoulla Antoniadou Kyriakou, will play a pivotal role.
I wish you all the best in your struggle and, of course, in your Congress.