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Opting for agreement

The University of Cyprus has published a very interesting survey documenting how Greek Cypriots perceive the main aspects of the political problem and how they wish “thorny” issues to be resolved.

The researchers completed their finding at the beginning of May. Peace talks had restarted after the sides patched up differences over the RoC parliament’s decision to celebrate the 1950 “Enosis” (Union with Greece) referendum in schools.

According to the UCY survey, Greek Cypriots responded in ways markedly different than the leaders’ positions.
On security and guarantees, just over 50% of the participants said they would accept an Amity treaty between Greece, Turkey and Federal Cyprus. Just shy of 60% accepted the 1960 formula of 650 Turkish and 950 Greek troops to remain on the island. More than 86% favoured the abolition of Turkey’s unilateral right to intervene, and a bit less than 50% were ready to substitute guarantees with a solution implementation treaty.

Greek Cypriots also proved leaders wrong on other issues. Not taking into account a recent systematic effort to build negative public opinion, the survey found that 47% of participants would vote “yes” in a referendum, despite not having seen a solution plan yet.

Another 33.3% were undecided and only 19.6% were determined to vote “no”. A respectable majority (58%) also rejected outright the notion of “Enosis” with Greece.

The above findings should guide the Cyprus leaders to focus on bridging their remaining differences as quickly as possible.

A tall order, given the fact that Anastasiades and Akinci seem to have lost touch with peoples’ wishes and expectations.

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