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Friday, July 19, 2024

Loukas Fourlas: By voting for reliable voices, we strengthen Cyprus and Europe

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    MEP and re-election candidate Loukas Fourlas in Cyprus Times – The actions and the work within the European Parliament, the trust of the people and the poll lead – The obsolescence of politics and what Europe we want

    We are only a few days before the European elections and all the candidates are running for the final stretch. Analytica research gives you a clear lead for re-election. We've seen other surveys, one of which even gave you a lead against the second MEP with 23% in the question of who is believed to have stood out more for his work and action. How do you comment on this assessment from the world?

    First of all, I am glad that my work, actions and actions inside and outside the European Parliament have reached the citizens, because I am of the opinion that it is not what we say, but what we do. Every public figure is evaluated on a daily basis by the citizens and it is gratifying that what I have done is judged with a positive sign by a large part of the world. I repeat, that citizens judge actions and not words and on the basis of this we must work.

    The trust of the world, for me, has always been translated into a heavy responsibility. We must listen to them, be reliable by solving everyday problems and this is only achieved when you yourself are part of Civil Society. That's what I've always done and that's exactly what I continue to do.

    Admittedly, your activity was intense during your term in the European Parliament, since you are a very active MEP. If you are re-elected, is there anything that you would like to claim?

    As I have already said, much has been done, but much more remains to be done, as it is clear that the developments in all levels are rapid. Through them, however, in addition to challenges, perspectives also arise. Perspectives for our Cyprus and to put it in the first wagon of development.

    This is something I tried to do with the European Year of Skills. The fact that I have been nominated as the Rapporteur of the Report by the European Parliament makes me particularly proud as it highlights Cyprus, which is a winner from this process. In a Europe that is changing and evolving, I believe that the time has come for a Cypriot MEP to claim again after his friend Ioannis Kasoulidis, the Vice Presidency of the largest political faction in the European Parliament, the European People's Party. And in the event of my re-election, it is something I will do and it will be to the benefit of Cyprus.

    Recently we have been watching some people accuse the DISY MEPs of not voting against the debate on repealing the veto and that they did nothing to push for an end to European arms sales to Turkey. Tell us, what is actually true?

    Nothing could be truer. I voted against petitions to overturn the veto and abstained from the report, disagreeing with my political group who voted in favour. Thus, I gave the message that I am in favor of the changes and reforms in Europe that are necessary, but clearly not in favor of the repeal of the veto. A position, which I fully justified, repeating my constant position that they cannot remove the veto from the small states, because it is the only weapon they have to protect their national interests.

    As far as European arms sales are concerned, fortunately the technology is at our disposal and anyone can check, search and find both articles, letters and Questions that I submitted to the Commission on this subject. And to be more specific, there is my Question deposited on the website of the European Parliament from October 2022, with which I ask the Commission, whether we show credibility as the European Union, when member states sell military equipment to Turkey. I also ask if the possibility of imposing an end to this unacceptable tactic on the part of the Member States is being considered.

    Other Questions, interventions and articles followed, so let some people stop lying. All they manage to do is expose themselves.

    There is a discredit on politics in general and people have turned their backs on the polls. Do you think that there is a distance between politicians and citizens and that more or less the day after the elections we will hear elected and non-elected people say trivial things?

    You have gotten used to me with clear and concise speech. The obsolescence of politics is a diverse phenomenon that did not emerge overnight. It is the result of a lack of communication between officials and citizens, it is the result of a lack of trust in institutions, which was formed over the years and was mistakenly interpreted as something transitory and temporary. And unfortunately, every election after, everyone gets the message.

    Now, specifically as far as the European elections are concerned, many of our compatriots feel that Europe is far away both because of its geographical location and because of its non-substantial involvement in the Cyprus issue. Something I want to emphasize, however, is that by abstaining or voting in reaction, we are punishing Cyprus and not the so-called system. By voting for reliable voices, we strengthen Cyprus and Europe. Because the stake is which Cyprus and which Europe do we want. A Cyprus and a Europe stronger and closer to the citizens or populism and unattainable positions.

    Personally, my purpose was and remains to be close to the citizens, listening to their concerns and concerns with the aim of the best possible solution and not to sell fairy tales and big unattainable words. Because the message and pulse of the world, we must receive them every day.

    Explain to us what exactly is meant when you say that the stake is which Cyprus and which Europe we want. Are you referring to the rise of the far right and the positions they advocate?

    In the European elections, we vote for the course of Europe in the coming years. That is, if we want a Europe of cohesion, solidarity, logic, if we want a Europe with a Common Foreign and Security Policy or a Europe where each member state goes its own way.

    Today, the European Union it remains one of the few places in the world that harmoniously combines the market economy with social protection, the security of the rule of law with democratic freedoms. Extreme positions, whether they come from the extreme right or the extreme left, have no place in honest dialogue and are isolated in the European Parliament. Therefore, the so-called reaction or punishment vote is lost. And what strikes me is that the voices of the extreme right and the extreme left often meet and agree on many things. That Europe is doing it all wrong and if so why are they claiming positions on something they don't believe in anyway? Their goal is the dissolution of the European Union with their extreme populism.

    ANALYSIS

    Source: cyprustimes.com

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