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Petridis (YPOIK) in “P” for the municipal and presidential elections, but also for his relationship with Fr. Anastasiadis

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From Nicosia he went to Britain to study and from there he moved to work in Brussels. Mikros believed that he could change the world. He studied economics and was found, almost by chance, to be today one of the closest associates of President Anastasiadis, with whom he even admits that over the years they have acquired a special relationship. A child remembers playing with his friends and then walking around the bars of Nicosia on their motorcycles, with his parents often losing him. As a young man, he decided to study economics, as he did not like to be limited, while engaging in politics was not an end in itself. In fact, it states that it has an expiration date. In a different interview, Konstantinos Petridis is not satisfied with the probably more personal answers outside his responsibilities, but also answers openly to the script that they want from the mayor of Nicosia to the δρο President of the Republic.

“I was born on July 1, 1974, so I am a child of war. I grew up in Nicosia, but I was baptized in Agios Trimithias when my father was in Pentadachtylos and he found me baptized. I got my name from my grandfather, my mother's father. The mother won the battle (smiles).

My childhood was very beautiful. I grew up in a traditional but progressive family, which always wanted to leave our horizons open and take initiatives. I think our family environment was ideal for someone to grow up. Being both teachers in the profession, they paid special attention to our education.

I miss those years of carelessness. As a child I had more time, without many obligations. I would probably describe myself as unruly and young I felt like I had my whole life ahead of me. Then everything was purer, life easier, without the technology that today makes time pass faster.

I was lively and a little rebellious as a teenager. We had, I remember, some small machines and we went to the hangouts in Nicosia, and our parents lost us for hours. Our hangouts? Myth, Piccadilly, Rekles.

The English School, of which I am a graduate, emerged . He had a good reputation and my parents, due to the pathogens that started appearing in the public school, thought that it would be better for me to study there. In the exams I was in the top five and that was a motivation for me. My sister, however, went to public school.

I keep in touch with many friends from those years of school. In fact, at such an age I think it is easier to keep in touch because there is this connecting link between schools, and especially us who studied for seven years and many of us followed parallel paths. It is difficult to break this link.

What I do not think my friends like about me is that I am sometimes a little irritable and impatient. What I want to believe they like is that I am trustworthy and good company when we go out.

Now I combine fun with obligations. More in houses, but also in specific hangouts, like Babylon where I went as a student and still enjoy going. In fact, younger, when we were students, we played billiards in competitions. In 1994/95 I got a second prize.

I studied economics because it is a study that does not limit you. Then I studied political economy. Both left me with open horizons for anything. I was not limited. I basically wanted to have good degrees from good universities.

I live in the walled city of Nicosia. By choice. That is why I recently took the initiative to move the Department of Architecture to Faneromeni. I want Nicosia to move forward. I personally love my city. Every afternoon my daughter, Penelope, and I walk to the old town. Everyone knows us, locals, but also foreigners.

My daughter is now beginning to understand a little about her father's work. He once asks me: “Papa, are you a minister?” I think he has now begun to consolidate it, although I do not think he really understands what that means.

Politics came from a child. I have always been a political being. In 1992-1993 I was the president of MA.KI (Student Movement DISY). And then in my studies I was a member of the executive of FPK Protoporia and the EFEK of the United Kingdom.

In my job – it is the truth – both as Minister of Interior, and later as Minister of Finance, I was pressured for a bribe. Mostly they ask for an appointment or some wanted to be approved for a project when they were not entitled. Many times I think that people do not understand how far a minister's hand can go, there are procedures and regulations that everyone must understand.

In the general sense of the word, I do not have a mentor. Of course I owe it to Nikos Anastasiadis, who trusted me and appointed me to a sensitive position and through my work upgraded me.

I admired Glafkos Clerides. I had the good fortune to meet him as the president of MAKI and then as a student trade unionist. I admired his progressiveness and courage. And I believe that it is now recognized that there was an important chapter in the modern history of Cyprus.

The proposal of President Anastasiadis emerged in 2011, after the parliamentary elections. At that time, Haris Georgiadis was the director of his office and he had been elected member of parliament for Nicosia. I considered it an opportunity to take leave and return from Brussels where I had lived and worked for the European Commission. It was a temporary arrangement for me, but I am here by chance today as I have never been involved with the so-called “high roofs of politics”.

The cooperation with President Anastasiadis, after so many years, is special. In other words, we have a relationship that may be different from others, due to the many years we have been together. That is, he knows my good and my bad. He once called me “tatsizin”. On the other hand, I also know his quirks. At the end of the day we find them in politics. I act, moreover, with instructions of the President of the Republic, however where I have disagreements I will say them, as he is a man who listens to the other point of view. Of course, he does not cease to be the President of the Republic. We have a good cooperation, especially if one considers that Nikos Anastasiadis took over the leadership of the country in a period of continuous crises. And I would say that it is an honor for me the trust that he shows in my face and that respects my point of view, and I recognize that.

There is no so-called English School clique in government. We happened to graduate several people from this school which is one of the best, but it was not targeted. After all, most of us did not know each other before, since we come from different years.

I thought about leaving many times . We recently discussed with President Anastasiadis the possibility of me leaving. Especially in 2013 when we took over the government and it was the most difficult time, it was quite a difficult period. I remember I lost 10 pounds in a month from stress (smiles). The challenges were constant. In politics, of course, you have to know when to leave and that politics has an expiration date. If I had left early, I might not have completed a political cycle with some projects and reforms that I have actually delivered, while my personal political circle had not closed. As things stand, I think this cycle will be completed little by little.

No, I did not intend to run for mayor of Nicosia. I am a native of Nicosia, I was beaten, not by the Democratic Alarm. It was from social factors but I quickly clarified that I would not be a candidate.

The decision for the presidency of the Republic is clearly a matter for the party. I belong to a faction and the faction has its own president. Its president, Averof Neophytou, for me rightly must be a candidate of the party and has all the background to be a successful President of the Republic. If he decides not to go down, then as a member of the party I will have both a role and a say.

If I could change anything for Cyprus from a position of power, it would be a change of government from a presidential to a parliamentary system. It is unfair that the elected by the people cannot implement the program that he put before him that was chosen for that. I believe that this together with the solution of the Cyprus problem – which for me is the biggest reform of the country – will move us forward.

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Source: politis.com.cy

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