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So, what is in the current Cyprus Talks package?

It is now becoming more clear what the two Presidents are negotiating about and what is in the package which in theory eventually will be given to the Cypriot people to vote on.

One suggestion is that there should be 4:3 representation of GCs:TCs in the decision making “high boards” in the two states, e.g. those involved with the regulation and supervision of the financial sector, the competition board and the many other boards involved in running the country. The decisions of those boards require at least two yes votes from members coming from each of the two constituent states. This was apparently the sticking point in the 1960 constitution where TCs were accused of withholding votes in order to negotiate for acceptance of policies they wanted enacted.

TCs are also demanding a reflection of their equality in the new Cyprus with regards to foreign relations and relations with international bodies including with the EU. They believe they have the right to conclude international treaties with other states and international organizations but this was considered by the GCs to be an ‘unacceptable and provocative’ demand. This was despite the fact that the demand also included the right of the President and the Vice President, separately or together, to take any breach of the Constitution to the Constitutional Court before TCs were able to conclude such international agreements.

Another element of the package that GCs were unhappy with was, prior to their EU entry, giving citizens of Turkey the four freedoms – the freedom of movement, settlement, owning property and employment throughout the whole of Cyprus. This entitlement would then theoretically allow the TCs to bolster their voting numbers by adding Turkish votes in order to try to change voting pattern much as Roman Catholics were supposedly doing, through large families, in Ireland.

TCs also demanded separate flight information regions, or FIRs, so they could control flights into and out of their state. So far, GCs seem unhappy with allowing many of the power-sharing elements to be included in the package and with any suggestion of political equality. When GC leader Dimitris Christofias presents his written ideas regarding governance this will show more clearly what the GCs want and do not want in their image of a new Cyprus.

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