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A polls-based Comprehensive Settlement Proposal

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Which aspect of this proposal needs the most work in order to become acceptable?

Security
1
6%
Governance
2
13%
Property
5
31%
Legal Status
3
19%
Settlers
0
No votes
Education
1
6%
Economics
1
6%
Implementation Guarantees
2
13%
Evolution of the New State of Affairs
1
6%
 
Total votes : 16

A polls-based Comprehensive Settlement Proposal

Postby Alexandros Lordos » Sun Feb 20, 2005 12:08 am

Hi friends,

based on the polls of the GC and the TC community, I've been trying to develop a list of possible amendments to the Annan Plan, such as would procure a strong "Yes" vote from both communities ...

Please have a look through this list - which is still provisional - and let me know how it can be improved ... I am available to answer any queries, if aspects of this proposal are unclear.

The finalized list will form the basis for the next round of polls.


P.S. Please also vote, which aspect of this proposal you believe needs the most work until it becomes acceptable.


Security

• The treaty of guarantee will cease to apply from day one of the solution. In its place, a Protection Pact will be signed between the United Cyprus Republic, Greece, Turkey and the European Union.

• Intervention rights will be as follows: To protect the integrity of the Republic from external aggression, only the European Union will be entitled to intervene. Greece and Turkey may only intervene to protect Cyprus from external aggression, if they are invited to do so by the Federal Presidential Council. To protect the security of each constituent state against potential aggression from the other constituent state or its “motherland”, and for no other reason, Turkey will have the right of intervention in the north and Greece will have the right of intervention in the south, so long as authorization from the UN Security Council and an invitation from the constituent state’s government are first procured.

• Troop presence will be as follows: Within six months of the agreement, all military units currently on the island will be dismantled. In their place, an integrated Cyprus Army will be established, with its units stationed mainly along the administrative boundary between the two constituent states. The structure of this army will be as follows: All soldiers up to the rank of captain will be non-Cypriot Europeans, and all officers from that rank upwards to the rank of Colonel will be Cypriot, with 50% of the officers being Greek Cypriots and the other 50% being Turkish Cypriots. The joint chiefs-of-staff will be Europeans, while the Army will, overall, be under the direct orders of the Federal Presidential Council.

• For purposes of cost-saving, the new Cyprus Army will take over all the military equipment of the Cyprus National Guard.


Governance

On the Federal Government level, the following adaptations will be made:

• The Presidential Council will be elected directly by the People, from an integrated ticket, and with an Electoral College system based on the US Constitution. Each constituent state will appoint its own electors proportionately to population, but with each state having no less than 40% of the total electors.
• The Senate will still be elected along ethnic lines, but the system of weighted cross-voting will also be introduced. The weighting will be such that Greek Cypriots will have a 25% say in the election of the Turkish Cypriot Senators, while the Turkish Cypriots will have a 25% say in the election of the Greek Cypriot Senators.
• The three non-Cypriot judges in the Supreme Court will be required to originate from European Countries.
• The ratification of the annual Federal Budget by the Senate will not require Special Majority approval.
• For senior administrative posts within the Federal Government, a 6:4 quota between Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot appointees will be instituted, as opposed to appointing a Greek Cypriot chairman and a Turkish Cypriot vice-chairman to each service.

On the constituent state level, the following adaptations will be made:

• The constitutions of the two constituent states will be harmonized, so that the same system of governance and the same level of human rights observance will apply in both.
• Each state will have a Governor, to be elected directly by the people, and a State Senate, to be elected on a uniform ticket (i.e. not according to electoral constituencies). Furthermore each state will have a House of Deputies, which will be elected according to electoral constituencies.
• A weighted voting system will also apply here, for the State Senate and the State Governor, to provide positive discrimination but also permanent limits to Greek Cypriots living in the north and Turkish Cypriots living in the south. The system will be as follows: If Greek Cypriots in the north (or Turkish Cypriots in the south) form up to 2% of the population, then their vote will be weighted upwards to 5% of the total vote. If they form from 2% to 7% of the total population, then their vote will be weighted upwards to 10% of the total vote. If they form more than 7% of the total population, then their vote will be weighted upwards to 20% of the total vote, and that will be the maximum limit of Greek Cypriot voting participation, however many the Greek Cypriots are – and equivalently with T/C voting participation in the south.
• The weighted voting system will not apply in the case of municipal elections and State House of Deputies elections, where a simple one-man, one-vote system will apply, according to municipal district or electoral constituency.
• Extra-constitutional Ruling Bodies or Advisory Bodies will be banned by Federal Law, and any violations of this law will be punishable with a prison sentence or with deportation if aliens are involved.
• Amendments to the constitution of a constituent state will require ratification by the Federal Senate.


Property

• Fundamental Exceptions to property restitution, as per the Annan Plan, will be respected. These exceptions in favor of current occupants include allowing for refugees to remain in their current residences, by exchanging their original properties, and also allowing for significantly invested properties to remain in the hands of the investors.
• The “fundamental exceptions” will only protect Citizens of Cyprus. Aliens will either be entitled to the original property of the refugee from whom they bought their property, or they will be entitled to compensation for their investment.
• Private individuals will be entitled to the free enjoyment of all their property, except any property which falls under the “fundamental exception” clauses.
• Any refugee that is forced to defer to a current occupant of his original residence will be entitled to a new home of equivalent value, either in the same town / village as his original home or alternatively in the constituent state where he currently resides.
• Owners of corporate property that does not fall under the fundamental exceptions will either have the option to lease their holdings or to invest upon them and operate them from within the framework of a bi-communal business venture which will have at least 30% shareholding of the other ethnicity.
• Church and Evkaf properties in the opposite constituent states, except sacred sites, will be nationalized and handed over to the control of a specially instituted trust, the Housing Trust, whose responsibility it will be to build new houses for Turkish Cypriots who will have to relocate and for Greek Cypriots who will not be entitled to their original homes. In return, the Federal Government will apportion an agreed part of its annual budget towards covering the annual expenses of the Church and of the Evkaf, ad perpetuum.
• As well as being endowed with Church and Evkaf Property, the Housing Trust will also receive agreed lump sum contributions from Greece and Turkey. In return, only Greek, Turkish and Cypriot companies will be entitled to compete for the construction contracts of the Housing Trust. If any other countries also choose to contribute in an equal manner for the expenses of the Housing Trust, then their companies may also compete for the contracts.
• Compensation for loss of use will be paid by Greece for Turkish Cypriot refugees and by Turkey for Greek Cypriot refugees, in accordance with a “net-rent” system: Nominal rent for property that was deprived minus nominal rent for property that was granted in return during the intervening period. Furthermore, damages for emotional distress will be paid out, to all refugees that were born before 1963 or 1974, whichever date is appropriate, at an agreed bulk sum to each individual refugee.
• Compensation for the value of exchanged property will be the responsibility of the Property Board, which will operate in the same way as prescribed in the Annan Plan, except that all compensation will be paid out in cash, on the strength of low-interest long term loans guaranteed by Greece and Turkey. Furthermore, the constituent states will be obliged to purchase a proportion of the Property Board’s holdings each year, thus assisting its finances and relieving the pressure on the Property Market.


Legal Status

• The “virgin birth” approach from the Annan Plan is to be rejected, because it opens the way for future controversies and disputes. In its place a “historical approach” to the issue of continuity will be adopted.
• The 1963 to 2005 Greek Cypriot administration will henceforth be retrospectively known as the “Caretaker Government of the Republic of Cyprus”.
• The 1963 to 2005 Turkish Cypriot administration will henceforth be known as the “Interim Turkish Cypriot Administration”.
• The new state of affairs will be officially described as “the return to normal constitutional order and bi-communal administration of the Republic of Cyprus, through its evolution into a Federal System”.
• A new flag-and-anthem competition will be called, with slightly adapted rules: The rule that “the flag has to be simple enough for a child to easily draw” will be withdrawn, because it is prejudicial to any flag that bears any resemblance to the 1960 Republic of Cyprus Flag, and in its place will be added the requirement that “the Flag should reflect both the continuity of the Republic and its evolution into a new state of affairs”.
• As for the anthem competition, the requirement that “it should be based on the cultural heritage of Cyprus” should be inserted, and also the requirement that “it should inspire peace, co-operation and reconciliation of the two communities in Cyprus”.
• The two constituent states will simply be called “the Northern State” and the Southern State”, or some other geographically-based and ethnically neutral description after the New Zealand model, so as not to be culturally threatening to the Greek Cypriots who will choose to live in the north or to the Turkish Cypriots who will choose to live in the south. To select the precise names, such that will reflect both the history and the culture of each constituent state, a competition will be held.
• Similarly, the constitutions, flags and anthems of the two constituent states will be free of nationalist symbols and expressions, in respect for those of their residents who will hail from the opposite ethnic group.
• The flags and anthems of the constituent states will also be decided through competitions in advance of the Comprehensive Settlement, and they will also be a part of the package that people will vote on, in the referendums.


Settlers

• The list of 45,000 individuals from each constituent state that may remain on the island will not be changed in size, but various measures will be taken to ensure that only those 45,000 will be allowed to remain, and no one else.
• The “naturalization clause” will be adapted so that the nine years required for naturalization begin from the day of the solution agreement, not five years earlier. The “facilitated naturalization clause” will contain safeguards against abuse, so that a minor who should have been declared in the list of 45,000 but wasn’t, will not be able to later claim citizenship through facilitated naturalization.
• There will not be an extra quota of “5% of the constituent state population”. 45,000 will be the final number.
• The 45,000 will not be granted automatic Citizenship, but rather a residence permit to be upgraded to full citizenship by naturalization nine years later. This implies that they will only be given full voting rights nine years after the agreement.
• All aliens who are not on the list of 45,000 will be granted temporary and non-renewable work permits for three years, after which time they will be required to leave the island.
• The relocation of those who will be obliged to depart will be the financial responsibility of Turkey.
• The USA will allocate 5,000 of its 300,000 Green-Cards-by-lottery each year, to Turkish Settlers who live in Cyprus, for the first nine years after the agreement, thus encouraging many Settlers to leave voluntarily.
• The clause in the Annan Plan which grants Settlers the right to claim Greek Cypriot properties if they have lived in them for at least ten years, will be removed.
• The Federal Law to safeguard the long term demographic balance of Cyprus, will be a part of the Comprehensive Settlement rather than it being deferred for 18 years later.


Education

• A Federal Ministry of Education will be instituted, which will be responsible for cross-state schooling (i.e. the schooling of Greek Cypriots in the north and Turkish Cypriots in the south) and integrated schooling (i.e. bi-communal schools where Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots will be educated together). Otherwise, Education will remain the responsibility of the constituent states.
• The teaching of Modern and Medieval Greek, Turkish and Cypriot history will be under the guidance and supervision of a special bureau within the Federal Ministry of Education, which bureau will prepare the books and set the curricula island-wide.
• The teaching of Greek and Turkish in secondary schools island-wide will be obligatory for six years, not just three as per the Annan Plan.
• The teaching of Greek and Turkish will also be available for free to the wider adult population, through a special development grant of the European Union. Especially for Turkish Cypriots, free instruction in English will also be available in order to help improve their employment prospects within the European job market.
• For the first ten years after the agreement, the Reconciliation Committee will be entitled to free media time (or space) in all newspapers, radio and TV stations of the island, in order to more effectively promote the message of reconciliation.


Economics

• The Federal Government will have the authority to limit the public borrowing of the constituent states, through a Federal Macro-economic Stability Board.
• For the first ten years after the agreement, the Federal Budget will be pre-allocated in such a way, so that each constituent state receives back VAT proceeds in the same proportion as it was collected.
• For the same ten-year period, the Turkish Cypriot constituent state’s budget will be reinforced with an annual contribution from Turkey, to a level that will be pre-agreed.
• The personnel costs for the staff of the Federal Government will be deducted from the VAT returns to each constituent state, according to the internal citizenship of the federal employees, so that each constituent state ends up paying for its own people employed in the Federal Government.
• To the fifteen year limitation on investments in the northern constituent state, the following two exceptions will be allowed: From day one of the solution, joint business ventures will be allowed to make investments in the north so long as at least 30% of the share-holding is in Turkish Cypriot hands. And secondly, from the seventh year of the agreement onwards, residents of the southern constituent state will be able to purchase up to one house or residential plot per family, in the northern constituent state, if they do not already own such a property.
• Infrastructure investments and vocational training programs by the European Union, to bring up the income potential of the northern constituent state, will be decided and agreed upon before the comprehensive settlement is put into effect, and they will be a part of the package that is voted on, in the referenda.


Implementation Guarantees

• The timely withdrawal of Greek and Turkish troops, as well as the timely disbanding of the Cyprus National Guard, will be guaranteed through a Security Council resolution under article 7 of the UN Chapter.
• The ECHR will be asked, by letter of the co-presidents, to accept all ethnically derived restrictions that are in the Plan as essential to the functioning of the state to everyone’s benefit, and that therefore they should not be considered a violation of human rights.
• Furthermore, in informing the ECHR that an internal mechanism for compensation of refugees has been established, it shall be made clear that, in the case where the new internal mechanism is not adhered to, then the affected individual will have the right of recourse to the Court, against the United Cyprus Republic, or against either constituent state, or against Greece or Turkey, depending on which party it was that failed to fulfill its obligations.
• The timely withdrawal of unauthorized settlers will be the joint responsibility of Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot constituent state, linked on the one hand to Turkey’s EU accession criteria, and on the other hand to possible penalties from the EU towards the Turkish Cypriot constituent state.


Evolution of the New State of Affairs

Twenty years after the agreement, and every twenty years after that, a Constitutional Assembly will be held, comprised of equal numbers of Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, to inquire whether:

• The participation of non-Cypriots in the administration of Cyprus is still required.
• Internal distinctions based on ethnicity are still required.
• A Federal System of governance is still appropriate.

The Assembly will only have the authority to alter the Constitution if a particular amendment is supported by separate majorities of the Greek Cypriots and of the Turkish Cypriots.
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Postby insan » Sun Feb 20, 2005 12:35 am

Alexandros;

Under the present circumstances of Cyprus, your proposal seems to me perfectly satisfactory for all concerned parties. I have nothing to critisize in this basic draft framework.

Thanks for your objective work. :D


PS: I voted for education.
Last edited by insan on Sun Feb 20, 2005 3:13 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby insan » Sun Feb 20, 2005 12:48 am

• The 1963 to 2005 Greek Cypriot administration will henceforth be retrospectively known as the “Caretaker Government of the Republic of Cyprus”.
• The 1963 to 2005 Turkish Cypriot administration will henceforth be known as the “Interim Turkish Cypriot Administration”.


The above quoted part of your draft proposal, impressed me a lot as a very clever invention. :D
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Postby Piratis » Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:38 am

Some questions before I make any comments:

1) What percentage of land will be under the TC state?

2) We have presidential council, senate, parliaments etc. Will the TCs have an effective blocking power on everything after we combine all these things?

3) I am a non refugee. In what ways will the "northern state" be more of my own country than lets say UK or any other EU country.
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Postby -PatlicaN- » Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:43 am

I voted for Honesty and Trust :D
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Postby -mikkie2- » Sun Feb 20, 2005 1:52 am

• The Senate will still be elected along ethnic lines, but the system of weighted cross-voting will also be introduced. The weighting will be such that Greek Cypriots will have a 25% say in the election of the Turkish Cypriot Senators, while the Turkish Cypriots will have a 25% say in the election of the Greek Cypriot Senators.


This particular point I would have to argue, because it still does not encourage effective GC or TC participation in the opposing state. My suggestion would be that political parties in either respective state should be allowed to field candidates which would attract the votes of the minority. So a TC party in the north should be able to field a GC canditate if that meant that that party would gain votes. This would encourage cross-ethnic political parties to be created , or merging of existing ones, which would obviously benefit everyone and move us towards a single Cypriot identity in the future. I have no problem with the weighting - it effectively redistributes political power and maintains political equality of the two communities - the magic formula!

My main concern however is still the property issue. The right of return should be respected for ALL refugees. Instaed of giving compensation to the refugee why not give compensation to the person residing in refugee property, taking account of the amount of money invested? The choice should be left to the refugee - if they want their property back they get it, if not then they get compensation and they can use that to build a home wherever they wish. My vote goes to the property issue.
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Postby metecyp » Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:03 am

The “virgin birth” approach from the Annan Plan is to be rejected, because it opens the way for future controversies and disputes. In its place a “historical approach” to the issue of continuity will be adopted.

I think many TCs might have a problem with not having "the virgin birth" approach of the Annan plan. Most TCs consider themselves kicked out from the RoC, therefore, by accepting that the new structure is a continuation of the RoC, many TCs will feel like they are asked to accept 40 years of exclusion. But maybe this is ok since we're asking GC refugees to accept some realities as well. Just thinking aloud here.
A weighted voting system will also apply here, for the State Senate and the State Governor, to provide positive discrimination but also permanent limits to Greek Cypriots living in the north and Turkish Cypriots living in the south.

So this will apply to only GCs living in the north and TCs living in the south, correct? I think this will mainy apply to GCs living in the north because they are more likely to compose 20% of the population in the north. I don't expect TCs population in the south being more than 5%. Having said that, this effectively means TCs will have less control of Turkish/Northern constituent state than GCs control of Greek/Southern state which might be hard for TCs to accept. One change could be the following. Regardless of where they will, all TCs vote in the Northern state and all GCs vote in the Southern state but final results are subject to a weighted voting system of equal percentage. For example, TCs will have, say 10%, influence in Southern State Senate and the Governer and GCs will have the same 10% influence in the Northern State Senate and the Governer.
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Postby magikthrill » Sun Feb 20, 2005 4:22 am

Will there be a maximum amount of GCs who can live in the north and TCs who live in the south?
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Re: A polls-based Comprehensive Settlement Proposal

Postby Saint Jimmy » Sun Feb 20, 2005 7:00 am

Alex, this is a truly amazing proposal :shock:
I can't help but to congratulate you for the ingenious ideas you have put together and the obvious hard work you have done.

Now, I wouldn't be a true Cypriot if I didn't have my objections to everything. :lol:
Therefore, my 'gray areas' are listed below. Please accept my apologies in advance, because I am sure that some, if not all, of these questions have been discussed, and possibly answered, elsewhere in this forum. I must have missed them.


Alexandros Lordos wrote:The treaty of guarantee will cease to apply from day one of the solution. In its place, a Protection Pact will be signed between the United Cyprus Republic, Greece, Turkey and the European Union.

Why would the Protection Pact to be signed involve Greece (when it already involves the EU)? Why not just Turkey (the Pact to be applicable only in the ‘Northern State’), with the provision for Turkey’s role to end with its accession to the EU?

Alexandros Lordos wrote:Troop presence will be as follows: Within six months of the agreement, all military units currently on the island will be dismantled. In their place, an integrated Cyprus Army will be established, with its units stationed mainly along the administrative boundary between the two constituent states.

What need is there to maintain an army?

Alexandros Lordos wrote:Furthermore, damages for emotional distress will be paid out, to all refugees that were born before 1963 or 1974, whichever date is appropriate, at an agreed bulk sum to each individual refugee.

What body is to decide the amount of the ‘emotional distress damages’? I understand that these damages are to be paid by Greece and Turkey. What, then, guarantees that Greece and Turkey would accept every single decision of this body? Should they be represented, as well, in the body?

Alexandros Lordos wrote:There will not be an extra quota of “5% of the constituent state population”. 45,000 will be the final number.

What exactly is the meaning here? Is that to say that no more than these 45,000 will be entitled to citizenship (ever)? Obviously not, so what am I missing?

Alexandros Lordos wrote:For the first ten years after the agreement, the Reconciliation Committee will be entitled to free media time (or space) in all newspapers, radio and TV stations of the island, in order to more effectively promote the message of reconciliation.

Who is to pay for the free media time to be made available to the Reconciliation Committee?

Alexandros Lordos wrote:The Assembly will only have the authority to alter the Constitution if a particular amendment is supported by separate majorities of the Greek Cypriots and of the Turkish Cypriots.

The Constitutional Assembly will have the power to amend the Constitution? Why not simply propose amendments, to be voted upon by means of separate referenda, thus employing the 'people's will' principle?


Once again, accept my congratulations.
These are mere questions, aiming at providing a better understanding.
Thanks for just taking the trouble to read this! :wink:

P.S.: I voted 'Property'.
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Postby Alexandros Lordos » Sun Feb 20, 2005 11:37 am

Piratis wrote:Some questions before I make any comments:

1) What percentage of land will be under the TC state?

2) We have presidential council, senate, parliaments etc. Will the TCs have an effective blocking power on everything after we combine all these things?

3) I am a non refugee. In what ways will the "northern state" be more of my own country than lets say UK or any other EU country.


Piratis,

I haven't yet given much thought to the "map" of the solution. My impression so far is that there are two approaches to improving the map. Firstly, to make mutually acceptable adjustments without affecting the percentage, and secondly to change the percentage in favor of the Greek Cypriots.

In the first approach, what could be done is to "straighten the border somewhat" (a TC demand), while at the same time "giving more coastline to GCs" (a GC demand. This could be done by allowing the regions north of Morfou to remain under TC administration, while allocating the coastline west of Morfou to GC administration.

Another mutually acceptable improvement might be to hand over Karpasia under GC administration, and in return offer Kokkina to remain under TC administration (so we will have two incontiguous cantons, one of GCs and one of TCs).

As to the percentage of territory, I have heard from many GCs that a 25% share for the TC state would be more acceptable. I don't know however if the TCs would tolerate this, it's worth checking in the next poll. In my view however, it is not that important to make this change - it wouldn't make anybody's life better, and it would sidetrack the negotiations from other, more critical matters.

Concerning blocking powers, the way this particular proposal deals with the problem is through cross-voting. Because TC senators will need GC votes as well to get elected, they will have a vested personal interest in not appearing intransigent and uncooperative. So the system would self-regulate, and blocking powers would only be used on issues that are really critical to the TC community.

Concerning what you, as a GC non-refugee, "will have to gain" from the northern constituent state, here follows a list:
a. You could opt to buy a home in the north after 7 years have elapsed.
b. You could opt to become a permanent resident of the TC state (even if you haven't yet purchased your own home, since property and residence are separate issues), and enjoy extended political rights as well as guaranteed education for your children under the Federal Government.
c. You could opt to work in the north, returning to your permanent residence in the south for weekends.
d. You could opt to have your holiday home in the north, in any region which you find attractive (see "point a" above).
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