Turkish-and-Greek Cypriot Unions Join Forces May 1
There is an increased bi-communal character to this year's trade union Labour Day celebrations on May 1st, said a spokesman for the bi-communal NGO United Cyprus (UC).
"Turkish Cypriots will cross over to participate at the events in the South and Greek Cypriots will cross to the North to take part at the events there," said Christos Efthymiou of the UC.
On Sunday, there will be strong T/C presence from most trade unions at the events organized by PEO in Nicosia with the leader of Dev-Is addressing the event.
At the event organized by SEK the leader of TURKSEN will deliver the address. The joint event in the north starts at 6:30pm on Sunday where the leaders of PEO and SEK will speak. Participants will meet outside Ledra Palace in Nicosia at around 6:00pm to march to the north.
"We invite everybody to take part at all these events to voice our message loud and clear. We shall walk together for Solution, Peace and Reunification!" said Efthymiou.
In its statement, UC said that the Cyprus reunification negotiations are slowing down because of the election process in Turkey. This has resulted in ordinary people on both sides feeling more pessimism which is amplified by an economic crisis and rising unemployment. This has "created the right atmosphere for nationalist and racist forces to gain ground," according to the statement.
"The election process in the South has further intensified the negative atmosphere with parties and candidates attempting to yield the fruits of nationalism and racism that they consider are governing within the electorate," says the UC.
The celebrations of 1st of May are "a unique opportunity for Turkish and Greek Cypriots to demonstrate their common will for the reunification of Cyprus and fight for the current process to yield results," says the UC.
In the next few weeks, the bi-communal platform plans a big concert under the banner of "Solution Now, for Peace and Reunification, for an inclusive, multicultural Cyprus, free from nationalism, racism and xenophobia."
It will also work with the local committees for opening further checkpoints along the buffer zone and call for increased cooperation between all sectors of society.
The UC plans more campaigns to halve the military budget and reduce all troops leading to full demilitarisation of the island.
"We declare our intention to organize a continuously escalating campaign, mobilizing all sectors of society on both sides of the divide until we are able to bring out to the open the common will of Turkish and Greek Cypriots to build a common peaceful future in a Bi-communal Bi-zonal Federation. The form of this Federation is already substantially agreed and we cannot leave this achievement to go in vain," says the UC.