AKEL C.C. Press Office, 5 July 2019, Nicosia
The 32nd Pancyprian Festival of Youth and Students of EDON.
Nothing has changed and nothing is like it was in the past. It's amazing how a person can be absent,butbe everywhere. Demetris Christofias is not with us tonight, but he is present. Hisstruggles, service, and legacy are here with us. The ideas he served as a Cypriot patriot, as a militant of EDON and AKEL, acommunist, internationalist, as President of the House of Representatives, as President of the Republic are all here. We shall keep his memory alive, not bymourning, nor with empty talk. We shall keep his memory alive with our actions, struggles and work for the salvation of Cyprus, the liberation and emancipation of People.
The militants and members of EDON also honour his memory with the tremendous work they are doing for the Festival. They deserve warm congratulations. The Festival of EDON is not just music. It isn’t just about the great artists whom we thank from the bottom of our hearts for their presence here. It is every corner of the Festivalthat is filled with reflections, fermentation and movement of ideas; ideas that relate to all issues of concern to students, school pupils, young working people, both young and older generations. The Festival of EDON is the discussions taking place, the theatre plays performed, the musical stages and our folk traditions that it revives, the presentations of amateur and professional bands, the projection of film documentaries and so much more.
The Festival's gates open every year to project before us a better, richer and more mass Festival. This is due to EDON's hard work which puts words into practice. It is the youth thatquestions everything and wants to have it all. The youth that resists, fighting for a better tomorrow with its struggles. The youth that grew upduring the crisis, with its rights curbed and living with uncertainty, but a youth that does not bow its head and yield!
Today more than ever before it is necessary for everyone to rally around in a broad front to struggle for Cyprus and prevent the nightmare of our homeland’s partition. Mr. Anastasiades is in danger of going down in history as the President of partition, if he does not quickly realize the need to work with consistency, determination and with commitment to the agreed framework of the solution. Unless he takessincere initiatives for a resumption of substantive negotiations as soon as possible from the point where the negotiations had remained at the Crans Montana conference and on the basis of the Guterres Framework.
As far as AKEL is concerned, we are always ready to join forces with those who want peace and the reunification of our country, in both the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities. We are always ready to devote all our forcesso that the crime that imperialism committed 45 years ago against our country is not vindicated.
We are equally determined to also struggle for the many. The Anastasiades government, together with DISY, DIKO and the supposedly anti-systemicfar-right party ELAM, have loaded billions of Euros on the backs of the future generations with the selloff of the Cyprus Cooperative Bank. Cyprus now records the third highest public debt across the European Union with 102.5% of GDP.
The government ruling forces have condemned young people to work for EUR 600 and EUR 700 a month, even though they have graduated and have postgraduate degrees.
They have condemned young people to not to being able to get on with their lives, not even being able to rent a 2-room apartment/flat, not being able to make dreams. The government’s golden passports scheme have raised rents and the cost of building a home sky high.
They have condemned the majority of the young generation to not beingable to acquiretheir own home, condemned dozens of people to not even having a roof over their heads.
None of this will change unless we wage struggles, unless we fight and assert. In these times where decisions need to be taken, as a poet has said, each and every one of us has to decide:
Do we want democracy for all or for elitesso as to serve the privileged few?
Do we want a state that takes care of all or circlesthat serve specific interests?
Do we want an economy that invests in production and knowledge or in a “get-rich-quick” mentality and policy with the construction of towers and casinos?
Do we want wealth to generate prosperity for all or to end up in the hands of a select few marked by increasing inequality?
We call on every worker, young person and logical person who wants to see a different Cyprus, who wants an alternative path for himself/herself, his/her family, society and country, to struggle with us. So long as people stay on their own, they’ll will be weak. So long as everyone is alone nothing will change.
Together, we all have the strength.
Together, we can turn things around.
Together with AKEL, together with EDON and together with the People's Movement of the Left, we shall fight for our own tomorrow; together we can win our own future!
Long live the 32nd Pancyprian Festival of Youth and Students of EDON!