EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Zacharias Koulia at SotiraNews.com
He is perhaps one of the most militant MPs as he often supports his positions in a very dynamic way. He has been a Member of Parliament since 1999 and has been independent since June 2011 after his removal from the parliamentary group of DI.KO. He is currently a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Defense and the Parliamentary Committee on Refugees-Trapped-Missing-Victims. He gave us an interesting interview without hesitating to state his views clearly…
How did you see the departure of Mrs. Praxoula Antoniadou from the Ministry of Commerce? What was the background?
I think that from the moment that Ms. Praxoula joined the government, the way she reacted, I would say that her dismantling was delayed, because Praxoula's first measure was to behead the most important technocrat, which is the Republic of Cyprus. Solon Kasinis is a very authoritative and reputable gentleman, who has always fought for the well-meaning interests of the Republic of Cyprus and many times he is invited abroad for seminars. He is a personality of his kind with great prestige, which is respected abroad. The inadmissibility of the case is that the Government is for this reason that it appointed Mrs. Praxoula, in order to behead Cassini. And worst of all: when the conclusion ordered by the Government brought a result that did not suit them, under the pretext that it leaked, Mrs. Praxoula kept it and carried it in her bag as loot for a month. This demonstrates the logic, not of Mrs. Praxoula, but of the rulers. Because, they chose her, of course they knew her much better than us and I think that the press conference of Mr. Christofias himself is coming to an end, which is not much different from Praxoula, who sang the moon. That is to say, people have taken off from reality and have been hit by arrogance, I would say.
In other words, in your opinion, was the dismissal of Mrs. Praxoula correct?
I would say it as a natural consequence of the actions and actions of this Government that has become unbearable. That is, they did not pick it up themselves. Because Mrs. Praxoula was appointed to behead Mr. Kasini, which they did not dare to do and put the great and courageous Mrs. Praxoula to do the dirty work with the political rapes, but it turned out to be a little sour for them because they definitely passed the polls . A minister does not work this way. It is unacceptable behavior that affects the state institutions themselves.
Last week, however, she left tips to everyone without exception and spoke about behind-the-scenes services of interests from all political groups on the issue of Natural Gas and also about its targeting.
This does not correspond to reality at all and everything that Mrs. Praxoula said in Parliament was aerology I would say. While dealing with gas, it was aerology and all her arguments that someone turned against Ms. Praxoula personally. It is against her choices and actions. And she herself caused all this alalum. Let me give you a simple example: the state operates through coordinated bodies. What did Mrs. Praxoula do: she beheaded Mr. Cassini and the whole mechanism that was accountable to the law in this state and anointed five wise men. That is, five of their friends. These can not work. The Parliament rightly reacted, and reacted immediately and instantly and fortunately the Parliament and the Trade Committee were present.
Let me move on to another topic that may not be relevant, but in my opinion is just as important. You have some dynamic views on the issue of political refugees and the return of the allowance.
They are not dynamic views at all. These are simple questions, because in difficult and difficult times this Government turned Cyprus into an open vineyard and pushes us all these friends of Mr. Silikotis, whom they anoint themselves as political refugees and with various arts subsidize them not for six months but in a row years. All those who carried here in them had been brought with the aim and purpose to get them to vote. Hence in December in the Municipal Elections they brought a bill so that all of them have the right to the Elections. In fact, not only AKEL voted but also four deputies of the Alarm assisted AKEL's effort. Of course the legislation did not pass. Everything that Mr. Silikiotis did and is doing with Sotiroula Charalambous and Mr. Christofias is unacceptable. Not all of them are political refugees within the meaning of the law. There are several who found a way and toppled the system and a mechanism of informal economy was set up, I would say. And this Government made cuts from all over the world except them.
However, when asked about this issue, they answer that they follow the instructions of the European Union.
It is a big lie and they even said in the early stages that they get the money from the European Union. These are all zucchini. They cost us about 25 million on an annual basis who take them in their pockets and in addition employ schools, kindergartens, elementary schools, high schools and another special fund for teachers who have already put them to learn the language. An offer was also requested for who will teach them the Greek language and the University of Cyprus and PEO showed interest and PEO won the offer in the end! Here to see rot and corruption. Is it ever possible for a guild to teach illegal immigrants Greek? Also, in one month we had from the statistics of the Gynecology of Larnaca Hospital, 50 births and 18 came from Greek Cypriots and 32 from immigrants. And one who is persecuted in his own country cannot come, bring his wife, his second wife, and about a dozen children. One, for example, who has 9 children gets € 62.000 a year. They receive child benefit, subsidized electricity… They are outrageous, and in fact they are registered according to law. The same law was under Tassos Papadopoulos. Tassos for all the years he was President gave 4 million. They give 25 million a year, plus everything else that costs a state. In fact, they have short-circuited us and created huge problems for us, in education, in the courts, in society, they rent houses to them and do not pay the owners, says a couple that they are apart and they both get extra allowance. These are unacceptable and unbelievable things. On the other hand, the whole world is going through difficult times and all of them have become an elite in our society. And all of them are Muslims. Christofias' rage in favor of the Muslim element has exceeded all limits.
The proposal to increase the retirement age to 64 is being debated in Parliament these days and you are one of the rapporteurs. What is your opinion?
The retirement limit cannot but be increased because the state will collapse with the pension benefits it provides. In the European Union the year of retirement is the 67th. We can not try to go from 63rd to 64th because it must be done gradually. If this is not done we will lose the eggs and the baskets. We must understand that action must be taken. This state will not endure anymore. And if they want the social fabric of this society to remain, fiscal measures must be taken. First of all, there is a moratorium on not hiring anyone in the coming years. The conversion from 63rd to 64th will benefit the state economy by 70 million. Some can not understand this.
Because you are from Rizokarpaso, I could not help but ask you about the Apostle Andreas and his efforts to restore him. At what point do these actions stick?
They stick to the denial of occupied Turkey. Hundreds of schemes were carried out, until the Archbishop himself violated a basic principle, that he does not visit the occupied territories. For the sake of the Monastery of the Apostle Andrew, his counterparts on the other side promised that with his visit a way would be found to break the impasse. The Archbishop, indeed, did this accident too, but the occupying army did not change its behavior or position. Keep in mind the Turks never honored any deal. They say they agree but the next second they change their attitude. A simple example is the history of the Lausanne Agreement, where the stay of the Greek element in Constantinople, Imbros and Tenedos was ensured, but the result is what we have before us today. In Imvros and Tenedos, the Greeks were not told to leave, but they turned these areas into open prisons and released all the convicts. Would anyone stay with their family and company with convicts? These are the Turks, bloodthirsty, criminals, turning our churches into mosques, and so on. This is occupied Turkey. And until Mr. Christofias calms them down, things get worse. Like the myth of the Minotaur that as long as you take your children, he eats them and his appetite is aroused. To win you have to be assertive. And I have an example for the occupied Rizokarpaso: The High School in Rizokarpaso was opened during the reign of Tassos Papadopoulos because in the European Union they were quietly squeezed and they accepted and the Gymnasium operated. That is, it is so simple. But Mr. Christofias gives them presents. The result is not only that they do not respect him but that their bulimia is exacerbated.
I would like to ask you about a burning issue in the Province of Famagusta. Efforts have been made lately for the development of the Province and more specifically with the creation of a casino, which, however, apparently is rejected by the Government. Is there a prospect of development, especially through the construction of a casino in Free Famagusta?
Many people believe that the casino will solve the problem, but some things are necessarily bad. If you were to ask me I would tell you that every betting agency is a casino in itself. A few families have been ruined by seemingly innocent gambling agencies. As for the casino, since there are so many competitors in the occupied territories and too many Israelis are coming down and going to the occupied territories especially for the casinos, a reasonable person had to do 2-3 in the free areas. That is, to be able to collect as a state. We, on the other hand, have the infrastructure to channel them to the occupied areas in order to collect the occupation. But if you ask me, the Province of Famagusta was and is the blood donor of billions to the Republic of Cyprus due to tourism. But with this Government I am not optimistic that anything will happen. Do you know what is the biggest contribution made to Famagusta? They are the works of the interurban roads and the Southern Pipeline of Spyros Kyprianou. The basic infrastructure projects should be done by people with an interest in their place. All they do is tear it down. So do not ask me what will happen because they will not do anything. Put on your cross every morning so that no damage is done like the one in Marie.
As for the Savior, what is left to become competitive with its neighbors, Ayia Napa and Protaras? I ask you why we have a coastal front which so far is untapped.
The problem is that local government was created but without weapons. Local government is essentially dependent on the state for sponsorships and so on. If you see what Sotira received during Adamos Kaikkis and count the numbers you will see them. Adamos Kaikkis did great work and succeeded and got a lot of resources. But do not think that a small local authority can change the course of history. But in Sotira, because it is geographically convenient and it is a central point, I think that some things can be done that will give a boost to tourism, such as agritourism. But substantial resources are needed. Adam asked for eight hundred thousand to build the road network, the sidewalks and so on. But these in themselves were respectable projects and I believe that both the Mayor and the Community Advisors did a remarkable job. For me, however, the local government in Cyprus is the orphan infrastructure. Because while we want local governments to create projects, we forbid them to collect. That is, I would say that a good measure would be for the Municipality to collect the traffic licenses of the vehicles circulating in Sotira.
Let's go back to the news. The candidacy of Nikos Anastasiadis has been announced. The middle ground is still looking for the ideal candidate. Who do you think is the right candidate? Is there a suitable personality to support the middle ground?
There are many personalities and capable people but the key for me is eligibility. Of course the middle ground is a space with several difficulties in choosing its candidate. But he is on a good path and I hope the right person will be chosen. The right person is known who can accumulate eligibility.
That is, is there a person for the middle space?
Yes, there is a person and he is on the right track but for reasons that affect the process I do not want to mention names. But I know very well that I am aware that important steps are being taken and I hope that they will soon come to fruition.
Mr Christofias said his friends in Europe were asking him to run again. Do you think he will run again?
I am sure that Mr. Christofias will run because he believes that Mr. Anastasiadis is in his hands. In the opposite way, Mr. Anastasiadis also believes that Mr. Christofias is vulnerable and will win him over. But for me who knows people and situations and why the politicians in AKEL are dishonest and because they have passed many millions in their hands due to the government. Sertis writes to them that they mixed the public treasury with the party fund and he is absolutely right. So Mr. Anastasiadis should not think that Mr. Christofias is an easy opponent, because the latter has two more cards to play, hence he made moves. The first paper is that he transferred his secret and confidant to the Ministry of Commerce. Praxoula said a correct word, that Silikiotis is a prime minister. So Christofias took him to the gas tap and he will play with this issue that if he handles it properly, he will definitely be credited as a Government and as President. I wish he played it right. The second paper is that he wants to show that the Europeans choose him. Of course, it would be good for the Europeans to paddle to see what Christofias means. However, if he plays these cards correctly, he will be a crucial opponent for Mr. Anastasiadis. That is why here it is necessary to have a reliable choice in the intermediate space for the good of the place.
However, in case Anastasiadis and Christofias are opponents in the second round, who will you support?
Neither one nor the other, I have said it a hundred times in public and I tell you that I can not help either one or the other because I firmly believe that they are the sides of the same coin. And for me the crucial issue is not only the economy but also our national issue. In order to have an economy, you must first be able to have a state.
Regarding the background of your departure from DIKO, do you think that Marios Karoyan is suitable for the position of President of DIKO?
I said publicly that he is the most inappropriate person because he is only interested in the spoils of power. But I did not leave DIKO. I am in the center of DIKO. I'm in, out and on. They are the ones who were expelled from the principles of the Democratic Party and not me. I consider Mr. Karoyan to be a strictly inappropriate person. Because in DIKO were Makarios, Spyros, Tassos, people who performed works with respect and so we have a measure of comparison. You can look everywhere for the works of each of the Presidents we had.
Markos Kyprianou, who was in the position of Minister during the explosion in Marie and resigned, is now claiming a position in DIKO. What do you have to say;
While he was in the Minister's chair helping Christofias, now he will pay for the deeds and sins of Christofias. In fact, along with Papakostas and Kyprianou, the entire Council of Ministers, as well as the President himself, should have resigned.
Will you run again in the next parliamentary elections as a candidate either alone or with DIKO in a possible case? I am an ardent supporter of the elections and I started running since 1985. I was present in all the electoral contests. But I will still be present in the alpha or beta way. I will not do them the favor of giving them space to play.