Settlement talks not to be shelved because of economic crisis in the south: says Kucuk

Prime Minister, Irsen Kucuk, has argued that the Cyprus talks could not be shelved because of the economic crisis in the Republic of Cyprus. He stated that: “In case persons supported by the EU and America win the elections to be held in February in the Greek administration of south Cyprus, I see that this is tantamount to the definite resumption of the negotiations afterwards from the point they are left [but] with new conditions”.

He also referred to the water which will be transferred from Turkey to the TRNC with pipelines and said that Turkey’s financial support of this project exceeds one billion Turkish lira. He added that they are also preparing a plan to transfer electricity to the north of Cyprus and noted that across the whole of the island, electricity is produced with “the world’s most expensive fuel”. He said that when the cable comes from Turkey, electricity prices will fall.

Referring to the decision of the court that said that the National Unity Party (UBP) should hold a congress again within ten days, Kucuk argued that the court had taken a political decision which violated his constitutional rights.

Mr Kucuk said that 50 to 90 million Turkish lira are needed for restructuring Nicosia council; for solving its problems and for being able to offer services to the people. Noting that restructuring was inevitable, Mr Kucuk recalled that he had agreed with the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan that a credit of 50 million TL should be given to the council by the Turkish Agricultural (Ziraat) Bank. He added that officials of Ziraat bank had carried out a study in the municipality and came to the conclusion that 90 million TL are needed. However, the municipality should be restructured in order for this amount to be secured. Mr Kucuk argued that the council’s fleet of vehicles should be reduced from 250 to 50 and added that the municipality should cut off its relations with persons who offer no services but received payments.

Referring to comments that his relations with President Eroglu are not good, Mr Kucuk said that “it is not possible to deny some realities”. He noted that the UBP’s congress was always on Mr Eroglu’s agenda and accused him of holding “backstage activities” by inviting some MPs or mayors to lunch or coffee. Mr Kucuk argued that Mr Eroglu held these social events in order to find a candidate against him in the congress. He also stated that President Eroglu supported Ahmet Kasif, who was the opponent of Kucuk for the presidency of the UBP.

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