You either have democracy and you’ve got a good economy, or you have partition called ‘bi-zonal’ and you don’t have an economy, that’s my understanding of things. Now, compensations. The reports usually avoid the issue of compensations, and they say that this is not part of the scope of the study. Why do they avoid it? 

They avoid it because the numbers don’t tally. If you take the occupied areas in where the Turkish state – because there is not going to be a Turkish Cypriot state, there is going to be a Turkish state – so what the Turkish state will have, it will have roughly 3,000 square kilometers of land under its own jurisdiction. Just think of 3,000 square kilometers of land, and starting the compensation of the owners. The moment you get into that, we are talking about 40, or maybe even 50 billion Euros of compensation.”

But doesn’t it depend on the value that’s going to be ascribed to the exchange of  properties and so on? It’s not just compensation; if you remember, there are twenty two categories of ownership that we are discussing.”

Let’s not confuse ourselves with categories. The issues are very simple. In the occupied area 90% of the properties belong to the Greek Cypriots. That’s end of it.”

I didn’t know it was that high.”

Absolutely. 70% of private property, but 90% of property including church property belongs to the Greek Cypriots. So we are talking about 90% of 3,000 square kilometers to be compensated. I don’t think anyone can compensate this. Now, if we come to the free areas, controlled by the government, roughly 80% of the property belongs to Greek Cypriots, and 20% belongs to Turkish Cypriots. So even if you have an exchange, figures don’t tally. That’s why all these studies avoid this issue, they don’t make these assumptions that I told you, of how they are going to be the compensations, and how they’re going to value the land. So if we take the median value of land in the free territories, versus the median value of the new Turkish territory, then you will see that any sensible calculation will not be less than 40 billion, which is roughly 200% of the combined GDP of the free areas plus the occupied areas.”

But the one suggestion is that there is going to be grants from international organizations, there are going to be grants from the United States, and so people are going to give us money in order to implement the settlement. Will that not be enough to cover the difference? You are suggesting that it won’t.”

When we start talking about countries coming and giving us money free, I think we live in a Cloud Cuckoo Land, because last time we needed 8 billion Euros to keep our banking system on its feet…”

“This is back in 2013 you are talking about.”

“Yes, back in 2013. And we didn’t get the single penny. When the (unclear) was here, and he was trying to promote, with all sorts of propaganda, the Annan Plan, he went to the donor’s conference, and he managed to get, I think, 67 million or 65 million Euros as pledges. So the moment you hear that somebody pledges 67, assume 7, because the other 60 will never come. So in other words, if somebody is saying that the American government will go to congress – because you need congressional approval – and will tell them that Cyprus wishes to have an anomaly, and they are asking us to pay for the anomaly, and the American congress will come and give money to the American government to compensate us… At this moment as we talk now, there are 80,000 veterans from Iraq that are homeless and living under bridges.”

Source: ERPIC