92. During our visit to Cyprus, we were warned by
almost every Greek Cypriot we met not to support international
moves to end the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot community. The
reasoning behind this was that, once Turkish Cypriots have the
economic benefits of direct trade with and travel to the rest
of Europe, they will cease to have any incentive to support a
political settlement on the island. This is the counterpart of
the argument used by Turkish Cypriots in the years leading up
to Cyprus's accession to the European Union, that Greek Cypriots
would have no incentive to resolve the island's problems once
they had achieved for themselves the benefits of membership of
93. We do not believe that either of these theories
holds true for the majority of Cypriots. On the contrary, we believe
that most people in both communities on Cyprus, well educated
and economically literate as they are, realise very well that
all Cypriots stand to gain from a politically and economically
secure united state of Cyprus which is within the EU. We certainly
gained the impression that most Greek Cypriots, although now enjoying
the benefits of EU membership, remain convinced of the need for
a settlement of their island's problems; and our discussions with
Turkish Cypriot politicians and business people persuaded us that
they, too, see the bigger picture. Together, both communities
can achieve so much more than they can apart.
94. However, there can be no perfect solution, no
magic formula which delivers all the demands of both communities.
Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots alike will need to make concessions
if a workable, lasting settlement is to be achieved. Their leaders
will have to show qualities of statesmanship which have not been
apparent thus far and to demonstrate their commitment to whatever
settlement may be agreed, by campaigning for a resounding 'Yes'.
95. Michael Attalides has written that Cyprus now
finds itself in the "third space" of the European Union,
a place where the atmosphere may be more conducive to a settlement
than on Cyprus itself, or even the United Nations.
In the next Chapter, we consider the Cyprus problem in relation
to the EU and the prospects for agreement on aid to and trade
with the North of the island.