As a slew of expanded Covid measures came into effect on Thursday, President Nicos Anastasiades said the aim had been not to impose a new lockdown.
The president was speaking to reporters following a church service at Ayios Lazaros in Larnaca to mark Epiphany day, after which the ceremonial dive for the cross took place at Larnaca marina. The ceremonies were presided over by Archbishop Chrysostomos. Ceremonies also took place in other districts and at Ayia Triada in the north of the island.
Afterwards, asked by media if the measures taken by the cabinet on Wednesday could have been stricter, Anastasiades said: “We would not want in any way to do that after what the public in general have suffered and are suffering, and businesses, by creating conditions for a new lockdown.”
He said the government had acted within the framework of scientific views and said he believes that if the call is heard from all, to follow the vaccination regimen “that our state has generously provides to its citizens”, it will be a way to respond to the present evolution of the virus or any other possible evolutions”.
“What I would like to wish is for this year to return to normality in our lives again and to be free of the pandemic and the Turkish occupation,” he added.
On the Cyprus issue, Anastasiades said the effort would be focused on getting everyone back to the parameters laid out in UN resolutions.
To a question about the UN chief’s latest report that has been criticised by the Greek Cypriot side for not specifically calling out Turkey, Anastasiades was non-committal.
He said since his election, his goal and vision was to seek creative dialogue but more importantly to arrive at a functioning and viable solution, free of occupying armies and dependencies of third parties.
The remaining months of his presidency until February 2023, would be focused on getting everyone back to UN parameters.
“No one, for any reason, diplomatic or otherwise, can ignore the terms of reference and the decisions that the Security Council or UN resolutions dictate,” he said.
Touching on the presidential elections where a rift is brewing within the ruling party with Disy head Averof Neophytou announcing he would be running for election and Foreign Minister NIkos Christodoulides staying mum for the most part, Anastasiades said he believed the differences would be overcome.
“As a leader in the past of the party, as a servant of the party, I want to say that none of those whose names are mentioned has less love for the party, has less love for Cyprus and therefore I am sure that in the end any seeming differences will be overcome “.