The step of the European Parliament was and is for AKEL first of all a step of action for the case of the reunification of our country, said on Saturday the Secretary General of the party Stefanos Stefanou, in a press conference of the action report of AKEL in the European Parliament for the first half of the term 2019-2024.
In his greeting read by AKEL parliamentary representative George Loukaidis, as Mr. Stefanou is in quarantine due to coronavirus, he said that AKEL's presence in the European Parliament is first and foremost a responsibility towards the Cypriot people, the Greek Cypriots and workers and the younger generation and towards European citizens.
“This is how AKEL is. A party that participates and is not far away. A party that claims and is not limited to findings. “A party that has proposals and proposes solutions in favor of the many and does not stop at reaction and rejection,” he said.
Mr. Stefanou said that the inclusion of a Turkish Cypriot in the AKEL ballot was a historic decision for Cyprus and its importance became clear when, he said, after the election of Niazi Kizilgiurek, the whole of Europe dealt with it, noting its enormous political weight. for the prospect of reunification of Cyprus.
“At AKEL we are proud to have opened this historic page,” he said.
The party's secretary general noted that AKEL's criticism of the policies prevailing in the European Union is often distorted as Euroscepticism, but he said that no special effort is needed to convince the Left of its warnings about the character and policies of today. EU verified as reflected in all the dramatic statistics on unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Mr. Stefanou stressed that AKEL's presence in the European Parliament is and will continue to be assertive and creative and referred to the action of the two MEPs in the participating committees and their questions.
Statements by MEPs
Giorgos Georgiou said that with the AKEL bi-communal ballot and the election of Niazi Kizilgiurek, “we managed to cancel the narrative of the supporters of the division, here and there of the barbed wire, and to write history together, sending a strong message to Cyprus necessity for the lifting of the occupation and the reunification of our homeland and our people. And that was, only, the first step “.
He said that AKEL is the only force that dares to speak about the need for fundamental changes in the Union, in order to get rid of the neoliberal model and to promote development policies, to fight poverty, to create new quality jobs, especially for them. young people, for real gender equality, for environmental protection, for social justice and peace.
Mr. Georgiou spoke of a democratic deficit and stressed that the Left is openly and unceasingly resisting the forces that challenge the popular conquests, democratic freedoms and social rights.
“Our presence in our political group is crucial. “That is why we have been entrusted to participate in very important committees, which decide on crucial issues, such as Turkey's accession process, the Union's foreign policy, the European Energy Strategy, the Environment and Health,” he said.
Indicatively, he referred to what the party has achieved or to what it has contributed and contributed, such as, among other things, the inclusion in Turkey's progress report of the need to fulfill its Cypriot obligations, strengthen labor rights, ensure a decent minimum wage and support the very young the abolition of abusive clauses and the protection of the right to housing, the increase of the budget for the health sector, the proposal to give 4.3 million euros from the 2022 Community budget for pediatric cancer and the implementation of the Convention on United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Niazi Kizilyurek stressed the importance of cooperating with Turkish Cypriot forces, expressing the belief that the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot political forces, especially the forces of solution, should continue such cooperation in the future as it is the best response to nationalism and a nationalist will get the country out of the vicious circle of nationalism and chauvinism.
“We have no illusions and are fully aware that Parliament's role is limited. “Nevertheless, together with AKEL and the Group of the Left, we have sought in these two and a half years to put the interests of the underprivileged at the center of our political priorities,” he noted.
He referred to actions in the field of Education and Culture in the EU, in particular in support of artists in times of pandemic, in the teaching of history, in the renewable resources of the EU islands, in the suppression of human rights in Turkey, with particular reference to cases of Kavala and Demirtas and issues concerning the Turkish Cypriot community.
These included promoting the Turkish language, securing the halloumi and supporting the community during the pandemic, Turkey's allegations of interference in the community's internal affairs and demographic change, as well as better implementation of the Green Line Regulation.