Nicosia.- (GreekNewsOnline, CNA)
It is our duty to vote in the European Elections, President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday, after casting his vote at a polling station in Limassol.
“This is yet another day that democracy is celebrating, a day we decide on the large family of the European Union, a day when we wan to send a strong message about the Europe we want, a Europe with a common foreign policy, a single monetary policy, a policy that will be a policy of cohesion and solidarity, and especially a Europe with common borders,” President Anastasiades said.
He noted that “we must not forget the importance of our participation, the importance of security for our country,” adding that “it was different being isolated and it is different today when we feel we belong to a family of 27 states, and not only.”
President Anastasiades said that it was for this reason that he called on everyone to vote. “It is our obligation to participate in these elections and that is why I welcome the fact that in this election process more and more Turkish Cypriots acknowledge the importance of Europe, because if we are speaking about European citizens, we are speaking about all legitimate citizens of the Republic of Cyprus,” he pointed out.
Asked if he believed there would be a lower percentage of abstention today, President Anastasiades said he hoped so, adding that it was not only a Cypriot problem, but there were countries with a minimum turnout.
Cyprus needs the EU more than ever, President of the Democratic Rally (DISY) Averof Neofytou said on Sunday, and pointed out the importance of voting in today’s European Elections.
Speaking after casting his vote at a polling station in Nicosia, Neofytou said that “today is the time of the European Union, the moment when all of us should weigh the benefits of our participation, but also the responsibility of our abstention.”
“It is wrong to take the benefits for granted and believe the dangers are inexistent. Our country does not have the luxury of turning back, it does not have the luxury of being marginalized again, especially today. Our country needs Europe more than ever. The message should be loud and clear that Cyprus belongs to the countries with a clear European direction and does not belong to the countries that are fighting against Europe and European integration,” he said.
The EU “determines our lives to a great extent and it is important to give our own opinion about the course we should take in Cyprus and in Europe,” AKEL General Secretary Andros Kyprianou said on Sunday, and called on all citizens to vote in the European Elections.
Speaking after casting his vote at a polling station in Nicosia, Kyprianou said that “this whole period, we were doing the talking, and now it is time for the people to express their own opinion with their vote.”
“I hope that they will participate in this process,” he said and noted that as of tomorrow a new effort will begin “to address the many important problems faced by the Cypriot society, especially regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem and handling the small and large everyday problems of the people of Cyprus.”
He also expressed hope that “today will run smoothly in order to confirm that we are a European, modern and democratic country, especially as regards the participation of out Turkish Cypriot compatriots in this election process.”
Replying to questions regarding the low turnout so far, Kyprianou said “the EU is not something far away, the European Parliament is not something indifferent to us.”
“The EU decides on about 85% of our lives and thus it is of outmost importance to express our own view on where we want to go,” he added.
Sunday’s European Elections are a good opportunity to send the message that “our future can and must be free and democratic,” President of the Democratic Party (DIKO) Nikolas Papadopoulos said, after casting his vote at a polling station in Nicosia.
“I exercised my right to vote as a proud Cypriot and a European citizen,” Papadopoulos said, adding that “today is a beautiful Summer day and we can all together send the message that our future can and must be free and democratic.”
He said the message should be that “the failed policy on the Cyprus problem, arrogance and political mockery must stop” and should focus on “demands for the Cyprus problem, solutions for the problems of the economy and punishment for those responsible.”
Sunday’s European Elections are crucial for Cyprus due Turkey’s provocative actions and its invasion of the exclusive economic zone of the Republic of Cyprus, President of EDEK Marinos Sizopoulos has said.
Speaking after casting his vote at a polling station in Limassol, Sizopoulos said that the European Union “with proper handling and unity can protect our sovereign rights and our homeland,” adding that this is the time “to promote everything that unites us”.
“We believe that through proper planning and the unity of political forces we can promote financial and political measures to the EU to deter Turkish provocations,” he said and called on all voters to exercise their right to vote.
Decisions that affect our lives are taken at the European Parliament, President of the Citizens’ Alliance Yiorgos Lillikas said on Sunday, and called on all Cypriot citizens to exercise their right to vote in the European Elections.
Speaking after casting his vote at a polling station in Nicosia, Lillikas said “decisions concerning us, decisions that affect our lives, are taken at the European Parliament, and that is why I call on all Cypriot citizens to participate in the elections, to vote freely, far from extremities, with mutual respect, to vote and choose those they believe are the best to represent us at the European parliament, those they consider to be the most suitable to promote our rights, to strive and demand our rights, and for a better democratic European Union with democratic freedoms, which will be interested in the people and the citizens.”
“Cyprus belongs to the European family and is called upon to elect its representatives to the European Parliament. All European citizens have the democratic right to choose, and that is why I call on the Cypriot citizens to do so, to select those they believe are the best to represent our country at the European Parliament, those six MEPs who in the opinion of every citizens can promote our rights,” he said.
He added that, “by exercising their right to vote, the citizens also have the right to demand from their representatives the best and criticise any weaknesses.”