Christodoulidis: “My priority is to solve the Cyprus problem.” Top news and events in EUROPE

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South Cyprus leader Nikos Christodoulides, who was sworn in as president after winning a runoff election on February 12, has vowed to make finding a solution to the “Cyprus problem” his top priority.

Christodoulidis, 49, inherited a stalemate over problems with reunification talks on the ethnically divided island, labor disputes linked to high inflation and what he calls “extremely difficult” illegal migration.

Christodoulides was sworn into Parliament. Southern Cyprus has an executive government system with powers vested in the president and council of ministers.

Backed by centrist and right-wing parties, Christodoulidis, who served as foreign minister until early 2022, won 52 percent of the vote against his main rival, the left wing Andreas Mavroyiannis.

Stating that “solving the Cyprus problem is my top priority,” Christodoulides met with TRNC President Ersin Tatar last week.

Christodoulidis has already gone to his first debate, having failed to deliver on his campaign promises that women would make up 50 percent of his cabinet and avoiding appointments from people who have served in past governments.

The opposition left-wing party AKEL said: “The bar has been raised, but it was not enough.”

Of the 25 appointments announced yesterday, there are 14 men and 11 women, but fewer women in key positions.

Two cabinet ministers have served in previous administrations, including Interior Minister Konstantinos Ioannou, who served as Minister of Health in the government of former President Nikos Anastasiadis, and Finance Minister Makis Keravnos, who held the same post 20 years ago.

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