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Funding the solution – will Turkey contribute?

6 February 2016

The Cyprus negotiations have reached the stage where funding a solution is being researched.

A source told Cyprus Weekly that: “We don’t have the necessary billions to make reunification feasible and sustainable and to help the President [Anastasiades] sell a proposed settlement”.

He added: “This is the point of responsibility for all involved, especially Turkey which refuses to even commit to the relief of the North’s public debt that now stands at €16 billion”.

For the past couple of months, members of the IMF and World Bank experts have visited North Cyprus to assess the state of banks and the public sector.

Turkey, Cyprus Weekly says, has not yet said that it would commit to debt relief in the North.

Observers regard the serious attention to details over funding as a reason for optimism about the negotiations. However, recently Greek Cypriot Finance Minister Harris Georgiades recently described the North’s banking system as “a bit of a wild-west situation, nobody knows enough about ownership, capitalisation and supervision”.

About 80% of Turkish Cypriots are employed in the public sector, a small percentage are farmers and an even smaller percentage are doing business with Turkey.

Also, sources say that Turkey is unwilling to compromise when it comes to other problematic issues such as territorial adjustments and settlers from Anatolia.

“For example, the Turkish Cypriot leader cannot commit to any territorial adjustments, he does not have the answer to the question where settlers who now live in areas to be returned to Greek Cypriots will go post-reunification,” a source said.

“Only Turkey has that answer, a number of these settlers will have to go back where they came from and they will certainly need incentives to do so. Incentives that only Turkey can offer.”

Cyprus Weekly

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