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Sunday, April 14, 2024

The presidential candidate, Marios Iliadis, talks to “P” about a modern society that seeks a new vision

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The independent candidate for the presidency of the Republic, Marios Iliadis, is a lawyer by profession. He was, among others, Minister of Communications and Works, President of the Cyprus Refineries, Vice President of the Board of the University of Cyprus, Chairman of the Board of RIK and has written the book entitled, “For a Modern Society – In Search of a New Vision”. From the beginning when he announced his candidacy, Mr. Iliadis said that his goal was to serve the effort for cooperation and the formation of an opposition front to get rid of the current government. Today, despite the contacts he made, it seems that the effort is not bearing fruit and the opposition is heading to the elections divided and with different candidacies. Asked “what was wrong”, the candidate answered that he believes that there is still the opportunity and the possibility of such a broad cooperation of the opposition, and it is the duty of all parties and actors who want the end of the current government, and do not want to see it continue. the descent of the last 10 years, to take this step “. I believed and I believe, said Mr. Iliadis characteristically, that “my candidacy can unite the whole opposition around it”. This is the message I got from the contacts I had with all the parties (AKEL, DIKO, EDEK, DIPA, Ecologists), groups of citizens and personalities, he added. “Now, why do some parties seem to be moving in other directions, abdicating their historical responsibility? Let them explain why, while they said that co-operation with each other was a top priority in the forthcoming elections, acknowledging that only in this way can the re-election of the current government or its successors be prevented, they are now making other choices, which I am unfortunately afraid of losing. And I'm very afraid that the day after the elections we will see the current catastrophic government continue – with all that that entails for the country and the people – and our opposition is attributed to the usual phenomenon of exchanging accusations and blaming for the failure of the elections. “, He pointed out, adding that his own” union candidacy was and is here “. Marios Iliadis calls on “even now the forces of the opposition to realize, while there is still time, their responsibilities towards the people”.

Cyprus and '23

Can there be a new initiative to resolve the Cyprus issue before the '23 presidential elections? Possibly because of Ukrainian?

Unfortunately I do not see such a development and the reason is simple. The attention of the EU, the US, the UN and the entire international community is on Ukraine, on the need to end the war there and on dealing with its economic consequences around the world and especially in Europe. So, no one from abroad currently has the Cyprus issue as a priority and, unfortunately, without the active involvement of the international community, we have proved that we alone, as Cypriots, do not take initiatives to resolve the Cyprus issue. In order not to throw everything at the external factors, however, we have not done anything in recent years to revive the dialogue on the Cyprus issue and to create the necessary conditions for a new initiative. On the contrary, we let our Cyprus reach the fifth of the final division. The responsibility for & # 8217; this is borne exclusively by the current government and DISY, which persistently supported it. And it is ridiculous, but also outrageous, to see today those who were the mainstay of this catastrophic course claiming the presidency.


Why has the Cyprus issue not been resolved for so many years?

The Cyprus issue has not been resolved until today mainly due to the Turkish positions regarding its resolution and the wider Turkish targets in the region. This is something that no one can dispute, since the main responsibility for solving a problem of invasion and occupation presupposes above all the will and will on the part of the invader and occupier. To be honest, however, there are responsibilities on our side as well, because in important initiatives that were developed, and due to the current circumstances, Turkey was “angled” and was under pressure for a solution, we did not help, showing lack of courage, determination and realism. Another factor that contributed to the non-resolution of the Cyprus issue is the lack of a climate of trust between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

Fresh ideas

What different will you do in relation to the efforts so far to solve the problem if you are elected President of the Republic?

What I promise if I am elected is that I will give all my strength so that we can, finally, reunite our homeland and all together give it a new perspective. I believe that by taking advantage of the United Nations, our position in the European Union and the energy prospects of the SE Mediterranean, we can bring Turkey to the table of dialogue and seek an honest and mutually beneficial compromise. Clarifying that only the agreed basis for the solution of the Cyprus problem, ie the ICC, can bring the solution, I am ready to submit fresh ideas and to engage in an imaginary and convincing diplomacy which will convince the international community that we are ready and we want to find solution, but also to force Turkey to return to dialogue and agree on a viable and workable solution in Cyprus.

Turkey is a teammate

How could the gas of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Cypriot EEZ help (s) the settlement of the Cyprus problem?

Yes, the need for energy independence of Europe from Russia creates new perspectives for the gas of the Eastern Mediterranean and upgrades the importance and role of the Cyprus EEZ, a development that if used properly can help resolve the Cyprus problem. In order for this to happen, however, we must not look for solutions that exclude Turkey, and we must finally understand this, but also accept it, if we want to move forward. So far we have excluded Turkey from any of our energy plans, for & # 8217; this and we managed to do absolutely nothing. We must see Turkey as a potential partner in energy, always on the basis of international law. And because, indeed, there are problems, competitions and national interests in energy, I am not talking about an individual Cypriot-Turkish cooperation, but always in the context of a wider cooperation of the countries in the region. So far, we have excluded Turkey from these collaborations from the outset, which has given it the opportunity to be arbitrary, to challenge our sovereign rights and to grossly violate international law. If we manage to convince her that we are changing our perspective and approach and treat her as a serious teammate who will benefit, we will bring her in front of serious dilemmas for the energy, but also for the Cyprus issue.

Danger from the far right

What can we learn from the French presidential election?

Congratulations on Macron's success as a victory for democracy, something that was finally achieved with the cooperation, even the last, of all the democratic forces and citizens of the country. At the same time, we must all wake up to the danger of the extreme right that threatens not only France but the entire European edifice and us here in Cyprus with the emergence and unfortunately continuous strengthening of the extreme right, neo-fascist ELAM, which is not only a danger but also a shame for our Cyprus and its democratic traditions.


Now that we have an Anti-Corruption Authority we will be able to reduce this phenomenon to our place? What breeds corruption in Cyprus?

Let me make it clear that the responsibility for eradicating the phenomenon of corruption is not simply a matter for a committee, to which I wish, of course, every success in the work it undertakes, but a debt to all of us. The fight against corruption must be a top priority for the new president. The effort will be long and multi-layered. To succeed, we need rigor in the hell of corruption with exemplary punishments based on legislation and the existence of flexible and effective control mechanisms. Most important of all, however, is the preventive action to avoid such phenomena by cultivating a new culture through education, which educates tomorrow's citizens from pre-school years on the basis of values ​​and principles and outside of today's egopathic and competitive standards. .

Gross economy

Which economic model should Cyprus turn to?

The model that Cyprus could and should build is that of a mixed market economy. The goal must be to increase the economic result which is utilized for the benefit of society as a whole, through well-thought-out and efficient development projects. We need to revisit and redesign some sectors of the economy (tourism, services) which we have given enormous importance in recent years, minimizing their dependence on external factors and focus on other sectors that we have either neglected so far or have not developed as much. ought. Such sectors are, for example, technology development, light industry, green energy, shipping, but also the agricultural and livestock sectors, which have been left behind by primary sectors of the economy that were once leading to complete decline. In short, I say “no” and I will end the economy where numbers are temporarily and occasionally prosperous, but one third of our population is playing.

“I consciously chose not to grow old” >

Asked to say “what education/education is envisioned for the place and what needs to change in our education system”, Marios Iliadis stated that he disagrees with those who say that our education needs reform. “Our education needs to be demolished and rebuilt from the beginning to the standards of modern European states. The center of gravity should be given to pre-primary education and extended to all other levels. “We need to stop teaching the parrot, bombarding children with a lot of unnecessary things and focus on teaching our children how to think, learn, respect themselves, but especially their fellow human beings.” From pre-primary education, Mr. Iliadis continued, we must cultivate in our children and tomorrow's citizens values ​​and principles of life and teach them how to become free and responsible citizens. “At the same time, education should be free and compulsory, from the pre-school to the university,” he added.

What should change regarding the current Church-State relations?

Although I am personally a religious person, I believe in the need for a new relationship between the State and the Church, adapted to the modern needs of society. Recognizing the secularism of a modern and European state like ours, I believe that the Church must abstain directly or indirectly from issues related to the governance of the country and be limited to its purely religious and humanitarian work. At the same time, the State must cooperate well and choose creatively with the Church.

Funds are available

to the common man. Where will you find the funds for & # 8217; this promise of yours?

We need to find ways to distribute all the wealth that the country produces – and that with the cuts I mentioned above that will increase significantly – more fairly to the entire population. Popular politics means focusing on the less privileged in life, securing the right to work in decent terms of employment and pay, combating the current phenomena of scandal and uncontrolled increase in the prices of basic goods, and improving our social policy. Funds, even today, exist, it is enough to be distributed more fairly and for the benefit of the many and not the few.

Affordable housing

How do you plan to solve the mortgage? That is, cheap house, affordable rent?

Providing affordable housing, either by purchase or by rent, must be high on the economic and social policies of a modern government, as I envision it and want to bring it about. The roof must cease to be considered a good which is regulated only by the laws of the market. Prices should be in line with the standard of living of the place and not to see – as we see today – prices in London, New York and other big cities. For us it will be a key pillar of our policy and we will focus mainly on ensuring the right of affordable housing for young couples and the low income strata of the population, a right they can not enjoy today due to unrealistic prices. In this direction, we will utilize existing bodies such as the Land Development Organization, the Housing Financing Organization, but also the Local Government that have an important role to play. My own government will work with these agencies to prepare new affordable housing programs and plans and channel significant funds into them.

Right of choice

Yes or no to cremation?

I am in favor of giving the citizen the right to choose the way of burial. The issue has nothing to do with the religious beliefs of everyone, but with the conscience of each of us, since there will be both the right and the choice of today's traditional burial. Let us not forget that we now live in multinational and multi-religious societies and everyone's right to choose must be guaranteed. We can not force anyone to have a religious funeral or burial. Just as compulsory baptism or only religious marriage has been rightly abandoned, so must burial.

Yes or no to the adoption of children by LGBTQ people?

< p>LGBT people are equal citizens and must enjoy all the rights that everyone has. They are part of our society, they pay taxes and the state can not deprive them of basic rights because of their sexual orientation. Personally, I fully respect the right of everyone to sexual self-determination. At the same time, however, we must not allow the institution of the traditional family to be eroded, which has been proven to have made a decisive contribution to the maintenance of human society from the beginning of the world. The whole issue concerns and concerns even many societies more advanced and liberal than us and needs special attention.

Healthy, prosperous, active

How do you respond to the criticism you receive regarding your age in relation to claiming the presidency of the Republic?

I have always believed that growing up is inevitable. However, getting older and being marginalized is an option and a choice of each of us. I feel and am perfectly healthy and prosperous, and I have consciously chosen not to grow old and to remain an active and fully active citizen and professional. In the international arena, after all, there are many examples of politicians who continued to be on the ramparts in old age (Simon Peres, Winston Churchill, Konstantinos Karamanlis), while in Cyprus we had the example of Glafkos Clerides who led the country successfully in old age . In fact, I can say that as Glafkos Clerides grew up he became wiser, as a result of which he became completely accepted and loved by almost the entire population.


For months now you have started your election campaign which seems to be costly. Who is funding your campaign?

I have no hidden sources of funding, nor of course a lot of money behind me. I was thrown into the election campaign with limited expenses and compared to other anti-candidates or anti-candidate candidates I have neither armies of collaborators, nor communicators, nor party funds and mechanisms to support me. My campaign so far has been supported solely by my own personal resources and with a little help from personal friends and people who appreciate my effort. When the time does not come I will submit based on the provisions of the legislation all the financial elements of my campaign (expenses, income) and what I say will be established.

Source: politis.com.cy

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