President Anastasiades made a televised speech for the Greek Orthodox Easter weekend.
He began by saying that since the “Turkish invasion”, four decades of economic growth and stability had given way to an “unprecedented economic crisis.”
The incremental effect of mistakes and omissions, the negligence and indecision of the recent past (doubtless a sideswipe at ex-President Christofias) as well as the unprecedented treatment of the South by the Troika, have led to the South’s current economic destitution.
He then said that he and his government felt the heavy burden of duty towards its citizens and the country; that he had been obliged to make difficult but necessary decisions to secure the country’s future.
The President acknowledged the sacrifices that the nation had to endure but said that there were no easy answers. It would take a “titanic effort” to restore bearable living standards.
He said, that they were all in it together and called on “all the political, productive and social forces of the country” to co-operate in this massive endeavour.
Anastasiades added that he was sure that gradually the country would pull through and intended to ensure that it was free of the ills that had plagued the country’s past.
He re-iterated his confidence in the people and said he had no doubt that they would succeed and leave behind “the past as a dark and irretrievable page of history.”
He then went on to say:
“At this time, our thoughts turn also to our territories enslaved by the Turkish occupier. The reunification of our homeland, the people, the institutions and the state as well as deliverance from the occupation, remain my priority, and my concern and my vision. I remain committed to a solution on the basis of the principles and decisions of the United Nations, with the safeguarding of all of the European acquis and all human rights. When circumstances allow it and the appropriate conditions are developed the Greek Cypriot side will readily respond to every procedure that would prospectively succeed.”
He concluded with:
With these thoughts, I wish you all a Happy Easter and rest assured that this year’s message of the Resurrection of the Lord will be the beginning of our own Resurrection, our exit from the economic impasse, and of the welfare and advancement of our people.
I wish you all a Happy Easter.”