Revealed statue of Modesto Pantelis in Liopetri by President of the Republic (video)

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The unveiling ceremony of the statue of the hero of EOKA, Modestos Pantelis, in Liopetri was attended by the President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis on Wednesday, April 6. With deep emotion, Mr. Nikos Anastasiadis unveiled the statue of the first witness of the EOKA struggle, awarding his warm congratulations to the community of Liopetri and to the head of EOKA, Mr. Pavlos Pavlakis, who contributed money to the EOKA.

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Progress but also difficulties in the Cyprus issue

There is progress in the Cyprus talks, but there are also difficulties, said the President of the Republic, Nikos Anastasiadis, adding that the intensive dialogue is the only conscious choice, to get rid of the occupying armies and the barbed wire of division.

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Any other recipe, he stressed, merely perpetuates the insecurity, the uncertainty and the inability to fully develop the potential of the homeland.

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In his speech, he assured that he is negotiating, stubbornly seeking the reunification of Cyprus. He also assured that he does not seek any solution, stressing at the same time that first and foremost, the one who will become aware, if and when an agreement is reached, will be the people.

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If, he added, he feels that he has achieved what is possible, which is the reunification of the homeland, then he will call on the people to vote for him, if not then he will assume his responsibilities.

I never want it to be considered, stressed President Anastasiadis, that under negative circumstances we can succumb and accept a solution that the people will reject.

The full speech of President Anastasiadis

Modern everyday life often does not allow us to go back to the past and retrieve memories and knowledge from our history.

It is, however, fortunate that there are still people who do not allow us to put aside our past, but instead force us with events like today, to retrieve pages of our modern history and the experience of the years that have passed over us. to be able to reflect on the paths we have taken, what we have gained and what we have lost, where we have succeeded, but also where we have failed and why.

I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all the contributors who contributed to the completion of this project. Special mention deserves the competitor of the hero and head of EOKA Pavlos Pavlakis, who undertook the costs for the statue. Those who contributed to the erection of the monument, the Patriotic Associations and of course the competent Local Authorities contribute with their contribution to our historical collective memory.

After 60 years, the birthplace of the first witness of the struggle against colonialism Modestos Pantelis honors the man who opened the pantheon of heroes of that epic period. The man who with his enthusiasm and love for our country, freedom and Greece hurried from the first to give everything he had to give for the liberation of our country. And he did his duty in full. He undertook one of the first missions and carried it out, even if it cost him his life.

Modestos Pantelis was a farmer. He took the oath for the liberation of Cyprus and organized in EMAK at the beginning of February 1955. With the leader of the group, Grigoris Afxentiou, and other fellow villagers, they began to prepare for the start of the armed action.

At midnight on March 31st to April 1st, 1955, he undertook to help Andreas Karyos cause a short circuit just outside Avgorou, to obscure Famagusta at the time when the first EOKA bombs were dropped.

With his energy to cut off the electricity supply in the city of Famagusta he allowed other fighters, such as Grigoris Afxentiou, to implement their plans, giving with explosions the signal for the start of the fight that defined the modern history of Cyprus.

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That struggle ended, resulting in the creation of our current state. It did not give the desired results, as was the will of the fighters. But this does not burden the fighters. Their struggles have given us a state, a state in which, for very few years, unfortunately, we have been required to live in a peaceful and stable environment.

Today, 42 years after the betrayal and the Turkish invasion, we are engaged in an intensive dialogue for the resolution of the Cyprus problem. We seek to close wounds of decades. There is no - this was the conscious choice - another way to get rid of the occupying armies and the barbed wire of division.

We claim a homeland, where all its inhabitants will fight daily for progress and perspective, to make this piece of land an example of peaceful coexistence and prosperity. This is the only recipe from which I believe that all the people will win, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots. Any other simply maintains the insecurity, the uncertainty and the impossibility of fully developing the possibilities of this homeland.

What I want to assure you about is that we do not seek any solution. We want a homeland that is free, reunited, that guarantees to all residents without exception the freedom of movement, the freedom of establishment, the freedom to acquire property and the profession so that we can feel and experience what our semi-occupied homeland is experiencing today. We are in complete agreement with the rest of our European partners that the greatest diplomatic success since independence, the accession of our country to the large EU family, has borne fruit. And it is through these actions, taking advantage of our presence in Europe, that for the first time the Union is involved in the whole process in order to defend the European acquis, human rights, most importantly the freedom for which he gave his life Modestos Pantelis.

We have made progress, but I do not hide it and I want to be honest with the people: we are also facing difficulties. They were expected, but I want to hope that for this "expected difficulties", for those who at least claim that they seek and want the solution of the Cyprus problem, in practice will finally prove that it is not enough to share the anxieties or worries of our compatriots, but they must also realize that, if we want lasting peace, lasting prospects for development, prospects for the future, they must also share the worries, anxieties, worries, demands of the Greek Cypriots. Only in this way can we build a homeland that guarantees the future of all. A homeland that will not be anyone's protectorate, that will not depend on anyone, that will not want and does not need guarantors or guarantor forces or, in particular, troops to protect it quickly.

What God has endowed us with, with natural wealth, but also with a homeland with a geographical location and with all the privileges a place can have, can be the common home of all as long as there is respect for human rights, to man, to freedom.

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I want to assure the Cypriot Hellenism: We negotiate and we mean it, because we stubbornly seek the reunification of our homeland. Time does not act in favor, unfortunately, of the rights of the Cypriot Hellenism. Of course, time will not bend us, the intransigence that often occurs in some places will not bend us. However, we must all realize that the slogans are not enough, that the vague words that are said are not enough in order to achieve reunification, liberation from occupation, the perspective for the future.

I want to assure you that first and foremost, the one who will become aware, even if we reach an agreement, will be the people, who will decide on their future. But before the referendum reaches the people it must be, first and foremost, accepted by the one who negotiates it. If I feel that I have achieved with the help of God and the political forces what we all want, the possible, the reunification of our homeland, then, yes, I will call on the people to vote for it. If not, I will take on my responsibilities. I will take on my responsibilities, as every leader must take on his responsibilities. If rejection is required, it should be rejection and not the attribution of responsibilities to the people.

It is under these circumstances and with these data that I negotiate and I want to hope and believe that beyond and far from any expediencies we will all give our hands to face more serious dangers, to protect first and foremost the Cypriot Hellenism . I do not want to refer to anything negative that time records. I never want it to be considered that under negative circumstances we can succumb and accept a solution that the people will reject.

I would like to thank you for giving me the opportunity to unveil the first hero of EOKA Modestos Pantelis. I consider it my personal honor and I would like to congratulate the contributors of this project again.

But especially I want to pay tribute to the family of the hero. As other fighters of everyday life, the wife and children of Modestos Pantelis kept the memory, kept the honor as an amulet for themselves and the homeland. I thank them warmly on behalf of the State, but also on behalf of the Cypriot Hellenism.