ON the occasion of the handover of the presidency of the European Union from Cyprus to Ireland Sir Graham Watson MEP for South West England and Gibraltar, gave the following address:
“President Christofias, I was rather critical of your Presidency at the outset, but I would like to congratulate your government on a fruitful first presidency – and to salute especially the excellent work of Andreas Mavroyiannis in difficult political and personal circumstances.
“Liberal Democrats regret that no progress has been made on matters on your island affecting hundreds of thousands of other EU citizens, such as reform of your land laws and the establishment of a banking ombudsman. And we are deeply concerned about discrimination by your broadcasters, especially CyBC or RIK as you call it, against our candidate in your current presidential election.
“But we hope that your experience of seeing how other member states function will inspire the domestic reforms, which will make your country a well-functioning modern democracy.”