Cyprus. For the first time since 2017, a decision was
made to initiate talks led by UN chief Ant車nio Guterres
between Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades and Turkish
Cypriot leader Mustafa Akıncı. The goal is to arrive at a
solution to the long-standing conflict between Greek and
The conflict between both parts of the island became less
strained when the EU decided in October to impose sanctions
on Turkey if the country does not cease its drilling for
natural gas inside Cyprus' economic sea zone. Turkey, for
its part, claims that it only protects the interests of its
and the island's Cypriots through the drilling. In addition,
the Turkish Cypriot part is not covered by Cyprus's rights
as an EU country.
At the EU elections in May, the ruling Democratic
Assembly (DISY) won by a narrow margin (29%). In second
place came the left party AKEL (27%). Both parties retain
their two seats each in the European Parliament.
In the Turkish Cypriot part of the island, Tufan
Erh邦rman's government resigned in early May after the
coalition partner the People's Party withdrew. Ersin Tatar
of the Opposition National Unity Party (UBP) was
commissioned by President Akıncı to form government, which
happened a few weeks later.
In June, 35-year-old former army officer Nikos Metaxas
was sentenced to a seven-year life sentence for the murder
of five foreign women and two children. According to
CountryAAH, Metaxas admitted the
crimes as early as April. When he got his verdict, he said:
※The Cypriot community will wonder how one of their own
could end up so wrong. I also asked myself why, but failed
to find any answer [...] to these heinous crimes. " Metaxas
goes to history as "Cyprus's first serial killer". Police
Chief Zachariah Chrysostomou and Justice Minister Ionas
Nicolau were forced to resign in May because of the murders.
The reason is the authorities' lack of interest in foreign
citizens (read refugees) because of racism and prejudice.
Three of the women and one six-year-old child came from the
Philippines; a woman and a child came from Romania.