Outgoing European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said he lists the inability to solve the Cyprus issue among the disappointing moments of his term.
Presenting his end-of-term assessment before the EP plenary, in Strasbourg, Juncker said that we did not succeed to further the issues of the reunification of Cyprus. We lost time there and we could not conclude an agreement in Switzerland, he added.
The European Commission chief referred to the incomplete Banking Union as another disappointment. At the same time, he spoke about the achievements of his term, that focused on development, investments and jobs. He also mentioned the Juncker plan, as well as the EU’s social rights among his accomplishments.
Greece was another success during his five-year term, according to Juncker. “We gave back to Greece the dignity it deserves” he said noting that we want to restore order and offer back the Greek people the dignity they deserve.
The outgoing Commission President said that he is not sad, or very happy to leave, noting that his conscience is at peace because he made a great effort, as his collegues also did.
For the past 5 years I can proudly say that I have been a small piece of a bigger entity, of Europe, he concluded.
Political leaders and MEPs also joined the discussion, with EP President David Sassoli thanking Juncker for their cooperation.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkish troops invaded and occupied its northern third. Turkey has ignored numerous UN resolutions calling for the withdrawal of the Turkish troops and respect of the integrity and sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results. The last round of negotiations, in the summer of 2017, at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana ended inconclusively.
(Cyprus News Agency)