President acknowledges TRNC issues – stresses need for change

President Dervis Eroglu held a reception yesterday for journalists at the Nicosia Merit hotel where he addressed a wide range of issues on both the foreign and domestic front.

He said that that his preference for the next round of Cyprus negotiations is to have deadlines set and to reach a conclusion no matter what it is. However he felt that the Greek Cypriot side was not of the same opinion and were using their recognition to constrain the Turkish Cypriots in all areas, including trade and sport.

The President then turned to domestic issues, saying that he was well aware of the current problems impacting the TRNC. He called for major reforms and also for constitutional changes.

He said that we were marketing our tourism and education sectors around the world. However the world was changing at a ‘dizzying pace’ and that we needed to show more determination to change also.

However when asked directly, he said that if he was in the government now, he would not contemplate an early election. He said that the ruling party, the UBP, still have more than a year left to govern and have a large majority in government. It should use this to push through reforms and be more responsive to the population.

Separately, it is understood that Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk will be travelling to Turkey on Monday where he will spend the day meeting with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan. Topics on the agenda will include the internal disputes within the ruling UBP party, early election considerations and lack of leadership.

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