Groups slam Green line 'hypocrisy'
By KEREM HASAN
In response to a joint letter signed by 17 Turkish Cypriot civil groups which ‘condemned’ the Greek Cypriot move which “violated the Green Line Regulation” on the free movement of people, the Europe Direct Contact Centre said: “The Republic of Cyprus have informed the Commission of certain crossing restrictions that have been imposed on public health grounds, in light of the coronavirus pandemic. . .such temporary restrictions may only be used in exceptional circumstances to respond to situations seriously affecting public policy or internal security, and as a last resort measure.”
The Commission will continue to monitor the restrictions very closely in light of developments regarding public health, and recalls that measures taken at the crossing points needs to be compatible with the Green Line regulation. The Commission will therefore continue close contact with the [Greek Cypriot] authorities”.
Cyprus Today understands that this response was sent to other individuals in response to their complaints.
Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce president Turgay Deniz, said: “If the restrictions have been taken solely on health grounds as the EU has accepted, then why are tourists and foreign nationals alone being prevented from crossing the checkpoints, while Cypriot nationals are being allowed?
“Is there a scientific and logical reasoning for this?
“Preventing the free movement of EU nationals to travel freely across the checkpoints violates the Green Line Regulation.
“The EU is insisting on turning a blind eye to this illegality,” he said.
British Residents Society (BRS) chairman Peter Wilkins said the standard letter sent to the civil groups which justified the Greek Cypriot action was “absolute hypocrisy”.
“Everyone knows why the Greek Cypriot side is preventing foreign nationals and tourists coming to the North.
“Doesn’t the virus exist in Cypriots and only infects foreign nationals? This is utterly nonsensical. “Jet2 [airline company] has had to cancel flights because they simply cannot fill their aircrafts. This decision is also causing a loss to the economy in both the South and the North,” he said.
A protest by 17 civil groups held at the Metehan checkpoint last month, that included industrial and tourism groups, called for an end to the restrictions.