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Can we improve on the Amman plan?

Propose and discuss specific solutions to aspects of the Cyprus Problem

Can we improve on the Amman plan?

Postby maimou » Sat Jul 09, 2005 6:41 pm

Unfortunately the current Annan plan for Cyprus is unbalanced and would entrench the division between ethnic Greeks and Turks.

Follow the link to a list of elements which I feel should be incorporated into any workable plan:

http://www.hellenix.com/cyprus.html

I would like the opinions of ethnic Greeks and Turks as to whether they would support the inclusion of these elements.


Thanks.
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Postby Bananiot » Sat Jul 09, 2005 8:16 pm

This proposed plan has zero chances of being supported by any community. One could mention numerous reasons as to why but I feel it will be a waste of time and energy to deal with its shortcomings. The only plan that can be put on the table is the A plan and an agreement may be reached only if minor changes are made to it that will be accepted by both sides of course. Apart from the A plan, partition looms large and this is what we need to decide eventually. Shall we accept a slightly revised Annan plan or will we opt for partition? There are no other realistic options I am afraid and if our leaders want to be honest with us they should speak clearly to the people about the options.
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Postby gabaston » Sat Jul 09, 2005 9:22 pm

demetriou

i respect what you just wrote, i think the idea behind it is to start a new heritage, that being cypriot.

i have sometimes thought things like this might help in creating a new cypriot identity, along with doing away with religion too, but the practicalties would probably be too great, and met with great opposition.

what i do like about the plan is its attempt to create a non partisan new cypriot - if we could create that we are someway into creating a new non g/t cyprus.

anyway the plan is a brave attempt at equality and should be applauded as such. im not saying it will work, or that id vote for it but i respect its flavour.
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Postby Alexandros Lordos » Sat Jul 09, 2005 10:09 pm

Very interesting and original ideas, some workable and some not.

The most positive idea, in my view, is to strive for a bicommunal unitary state with substantial political equality for the two communities (similar to the Annan Plan, proportional lower house, communal upper house), but with freedom of residence for all Cypriots all over the island, within the framework of one united admimistration.

In an ideal world, this is probably the best kind of solution Cypriots can strive for. Unfortunately, the High Level Agreements have set a precedent, and combining that with the vested interest of many to have a "bizonal state", it won't be easy to achieve what you envision.

The issue of languages is definitely difficult, but I don't think the answer is cultural oppression, as this plan suggests. Bilingualism (i.e. people speaking both Greek and Turkish) is not that difficult to achieve, and it doesn't have to involve forced teaching. Just make it so that all public jobs require fluency in both languages, and people will rush to the language schools in droves!

Requiring an act of parliament to build a religious shrine is fascism, in my opinion, and totally unnecessary. It is enough to have separation of "church" and state, each minding its own affairs, plus a right by the state to intervene, if through the "church" of either community religious hatred is incited.

The proposal for the military is a bit odd, in my opinion, especially allowing only Turkish troops to remain while everyone else will leave! Cyprus will eventually need its own integrated army, we can't rely on the UN and on protection pacts with foreign powers forever.
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Hellenix explained

Postby maimou » Sun Jul 10, 2005 4:46 am

Thanks for the feedback.

Most of you were right. The Hellenix terms aim to create a united cultural identity rather than the continued division created by the current Annan plan.

It also tries to be practicle in a real world sense.

1. We want the students of Cyprus to compete intellectually with the rest of the world - in science, law, medicine, engineering, business etc. There are only so many hours in a student's day. The reality of Annan is that it forces students the study Greek, Turkish and English. This leaves far less time to develop the skills to compete with English focused students from US, UK, Australia etc.

The Hellenix plan allows Cypriots to keep their culture within their families while not handicapping them from competing intellectually with the rest of the world. Cyprus must get practical.

2. I agree that it is extreme to ask parliament for permission to build religious structures, however, Cyprus has special issues. Without this requirement, I foresee religious extremists deliberately building churches or mosques in inappropriate places merely to antagonise the other culture.

Asking parliament for approval will prevent the radical few causing problems for the majority of Cypriots.

3. Cyprus does not need a military force. Once the country is united, and the Greek-Turkish cold war has subsided, Cyprus has no military threats left. Why on earth would Cyprus be silly enough to spend billions on military hardware? There would be no threat, so invest the money in education, health, tourism etc! Without the draining cost of military expenditure, Cyprus could surge ahead of the rest of Europe on a per capita basis.

4. Alexandros is right. It is very odd to demilitarise the south when the Turkish military still occupies the north - but does anyone honestly believe that Turkey would dare to cross the Green Line if the south was demilitarised? The reality is that for the last 40 years, the Turks have had the military muscle to cross at any time - and have chosen not to.

If the south is demilitarised there can be no excuse for military in the north. International pressure on Turkey to withdraw troops from the north will be difficult for them to resist - and the ethnic Greeks will win the respect of the world and no one will doubt that it is the south that is making the greatest efforts for peace.

By demilitarising the south, the citizens of Turkey will start to look at Cyprus and wonder why their government is spending millions of dollars every year maintaining a costly force. Citizens of Turkey will demand that their tax dollars be spent differently.

It is a very bold move, but it is a strategic chess move. With the appropriate UN guarantees, it is the move most likely to unite Cyprus.

I hope this has answered a few questions about the Hellenix plan.
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Postby maimou » Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:01 am

Oops...
Point 4: meant 30 years, not 40 years...
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Re: Hellenix explained

Postby cannedmoose » Sun Jul 10, 2005 11:28 am

Firstly maimou, welcome to the forum...

Secondly, I have some issues with the response you posted below:

maimou wrote:1. We want the students of Cyprus to compete intellectually with the rest of the world - in science, law, medicine, engineering, business etc. There are only so many hours in a student's day. The reality of Annan is that it forces students the study Greek, Turkish and English. This leaves far less time to develop the skills to compete with English focused students from US, UK, Australia etc.

The Hellenix plan allows Cypriots to keep their culture within their families while not handicapping them from competing intellectually with the rest of the world. Cyprus must get practical.


It's currently a big debate in the UK as to how our speaking English actually hampers us intellectually and economically, hence the government's attempt to introduce language tuition at the age of 8 rather than 11. It's fair enough to say that being 'forced' to study Greek and Turkish will reduce time for english, but look at many people across Europe who are conversant in 4,5 or 6 languages. When did most of these people start learning? When they were very young. Therefore, if mandatory language lessons in all three languages were introduced as kids start school, Cyprus would emerge as a trilingual society, thus facilitating trade not just with English-speaking countries but with her near neighbours as well.

Cypriot students already compete on an equal basis with the rest of the world - in terms of people holding higher qualifications, Cyprus ranks in the upper echelons of educated societies. What would help with this process would be a properly administered higher education system that brings to Cyprus the high-quality university-level education that many go abroad to seek. As a consequence, this would lead to the establishment of research centres to further develop the island's intellectual profile. I admire your attempt to radically change the profile of the language divide, but I don't see a monolingual future for Cyprus, rather maintenance of one's own culture (of which language is a key facet) PLUS the ability to converse in a common medium is the way forward.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4665411.stm

On another point, I was impressed by your position on settlers. I too feel that it will be an almost impossible task to forceably return all post-1974 settlers to Turkey. I would however say that those who have arrived in recent years should return as they have not fulfilled the time requirement for permanent residency, this would account for many of the people 'imported' by Denktas during the final years of his government.

I would also qualify this support on the settlers issue with a further proviso. Post-1974 settlers should be offered the opportunity to register for Cypriot citizenship. Those that take up the offer of being Cypriot rather than Turkish citizens should obviously be allowed to remain, however, those who decide not to do this should be given a visa offering leave to remain for a limited period, after which they will be expected to leave the island. Ideally the same would work for Greek citizens, but since Greece is a member of the EU this is not possible, hence the one-sided nature of this.

At the end of the day, if settlers wish to make their future and see their descendants future in Cyprus, there should be no problem in adopting the citizenship of their new homeland. Obviously once Turkey enters the EU, assuming there are no derogations from the EU side on movement (which I think there will be), Turkish citizens will be free to move to the island if they so choose to.

I'll return to the demilitarisation aspect later, I need to go to the airport and pick someone up...
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Postby Piratis » Sun Jul 10, 2005 7:07 pm

The only plan that can be put on the table is the A plan and an agreement may be reached only if minor changes are made to it that will be accepted by both sides of course.


What was the point of the referendum again?

I say lets put in a referendum a unitary state using the model of France. Maybe this will be accepted by both communities, we know for a fact that the Annan plan was not accepted.
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Postby cannedmoose » Sun Jul 10, 2005 7:21 pm

Piratis wrote:I say lets put in a referendum a unitary state using the model of France. Maybe this will be accepted by both communities, we know for a fact that the Annan plan was not accepted.


France? You cannot be serious man. France has numerous internal problems due to the centralised nature of the state, a centralisation that is in the process of being reversed - with areas like Corsica and Brittany being given a greater deal of autonomy after years of campaigning in the case of Brittany and decades of violence in the case of Corsica.

If you're looking for a good model of how to structure a country, you should look no further than Germany or Canada, in which the lander/provinces have a significant degree of autonomy, yet overall authority remains with the federal government in Berlin/Ottawa. Cyprus is far more likely to function well with minimal agitation if a federal system is adopted, centralisation of powers is not the answer - which is why the modern trend of governance is away from the centralisation of the state, rather than towards it.
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Postby Piratis » Sun Jul 10, 2005 8:25 pm

cannedmoose, you missed the spirit of my post. What I mean is that if there is one thing we know for sure that can not be accepted this is the Annan plan since it was rejected by a referendum by the great majority.

Therefore talking about Annan plan with mimor modifications is a total waste of time. Annan plan needs huge modifications if its going to be placed in referendum again. If this huge modifications will make the plan unacceptable to the TCs so be it. Thats why we make referenda. They will let us know that it is unacceptable for them by voting no to it.
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