Vice President of the European Commission, Margaritis Schinas, said on Monday he is still hopeful of a European solution in the Cyprus problem.

Schinas was speaking during a discussion on the promotion of the European Way of Life in the University of Cyprus, organised by the University, the European Commission representation in Cyprus and Europe Direct Nicosia.

Responding to questions regarding EU support of Cyprus against violations by Turkey, he said that if someone were to follow the course of Cyprus since 2004, it would be evident that the EU has acted both as “a springboard and a shield” for Cyprus.

He also said that Cyprus appears to be strong, with the support provided by the EU, but the country “may need to get over the syndrome that “everyone is out to get us”.

The European Commission Vice President explained that that the differences between Cyprus and Turkey are being handled by the EU within the wider framework of Euro-Turkish issues. He added that the EU has created a framework of incentives and sanctions towards Turkey, which allowed the de-escalation of tension in the area.

Replying to a question about the Cyprus problem he pointed out that “the future of Cyprus and the reunification of island is in the hands of Cypriots.” No one else will do it for you, he added.

If Cypriots decide the terms of a reunified Cyprus, the reunified state should operate from the day one as an EU and eurozone member, he noted. This means, he explained that there could be no deviation from the European acquis.

The Cypriots and the EU will be the big winners of a European solution, he stressed, expressing his conviction that “hope is not yet lost for such a development.”

Cyprus has been divided since 1974, when Turkey invaded and occupied its northern third. Repeated rounds of UN-led peace talks have so far failed to yield results.

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