If We Change...Change Will Come!

Mr. Anastasios Kyriakou Shakallis, is ready for a change. What about you?

The Life Winners spoke with Mr. Anastasios Kyriakou Shakallis, about his candidacy for the next parliamentary elections of May 30th, 2021. You can read the interview below.

1. What made you decide to run for the next parliamentary elections?

If we change….

The main reason I decided to take part in this year’s parliamentary elections is because I have given up on the way our country is governed.

The irresponsibility, sloppiness, injustice, bribery, indifference, unworthiness, partisanship, and many other things that happen in the outdated state system make me very angry.

This situation is one I can no longer tolerate and for me it was a one-way street. I had to do something, or I would feel guilty about this downfall that our country is taking.

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2. Mr. Shakallis, do you feel you are the suitable person for this position? If so, what do you base this on?

Yes, I think I am the right person for this position because I have experience, knowledge, and the will to serve society in the best way I can, for the best possible result.

I have organisational and creative skills, which I can make the most of for the benefit of society and my active involvement with the public for 30 years has equipped me enough for the position of being a representative of the people.

I want, I can, and I know how to make a difference.

If we change…

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3. Mr. Shakallis, please tell us a few words about yourself?

I have experienced firsthand the consequences of the Turkish invasion and the occupation since I was born in 1971 in occupied Makrasyka, Famagusta, and I grew up in Dasaki Achnas.

At the very young age of 14, I started working in a hotel, then I graduated from a Hotel School, served in the National Guard and by the age of 21 I was looking for ways to make a better future for myself. This is when I opened my own advertising agency believing in my abilities and especially in my organisation skills and creativity. All my hard work has paid off and now my small office has grown into an organised advertising company. I have been working at this company with my wife for 28 years.

During the time I spent building my company, I have always had a very strong interest in the public and wanted to engage in more activities. This lead to me being one of the pioneers of the dance group of the Achna Forest Youth Centre, in 1992, then in 1996 I founded the “Makrasika Association”, I am the co-founder of the “Friends of Lagia” association, I am a coordinator of the “neighbourhood observers”, a member of parent associations and I am on the Board of Directors of the “Cyprus Association for Sustainable Tourism” (CSTI).

I am a family man; I am married, and I have 3 wonderful children. I live in Aradippou.

tasos vision

4. Mr. Shakallis, what are your personal goals and what are your priorities?

There are 3 pillars that my personal goals and priorities are based on.

  1. The first pillar is to change the system of internal governance for the better because that is what we are entitled to and that is what we must have. The problems of the current internal governance make situations more difficult for all citizens on a daily basis and that is why I put it first.
  2. The second pillar is to upgrade the Education system, after all it does all start with education.  I regret to state that I find myself noticing that the government does not do what must be done to offer the best possible education in our country.
  3. The third pillar is the vindication of the refugees, as they are the main ones that have been wronged by the Turkish invasion and occupation for the last 46 years.

5. Do you have any specific solutions that can be implemented, in addition to your goals and expectations?

I have a lot of ideas and specific solutions that I want to implement but everything in its own time. Some of my ideas have already been included in the official positions of our Movement. However, I would like to focus on my biggest idea which, if implemented, will drastically change the way the country operates. I have given a title to this idea; Real Democracy Online and it is based on the participation of the citizens in all the governance processes. Real Democracy Online, will give citizens the opportunity to be able to exercise control, to be able to complain, suggest, and comment on anything related to state processes and our daily lives. The idea is fully feasible if there is real will from most of the parliament but also from the executive power. You can read about my idea in full on my website Real Democracy Online


6. What is the main problem we have in Cyprus? In your opinion.

Apart from the main Cyprus problem, the next big problem we have is the functionality of our government and state. Unfortunately, we are behind in all areas in this regard, and we are moving to the lowest positions in Europe regarding state functionality.

Since the founding of the Republic of Cyprus until today, state leaders, ministers, directors, deputy directors of ministries, heads of departments and so on, in my opinion, do not meet the criteria of a leader, a real executive. Most have taken this position by the so-called “meson” meaning that they got the job because of the people they know, so many civil servants live and serve daily with unworthiness, and irresponsibility. There are no incentives or pressure levers for real progress and development. All this unfortunately stems from the culture that has developed within the old and big parties of Cyprus. In short, the biggest problem in Cyprus, for me, is partisanship.

7. What do the politicians of today lack?

First, I would like to mention that in Cyprus, politicians have been misunderstood due to a portion of politicians who rob the state system and reap personal or partisan benefits. Politicians are people who work for the good of society, often deprived of important goods, such as family moments, peace and quiet.

Real political leaders is what is missing from Cyprus, people who are role models and who inspire confidence in the people.

8. What made you choose the Independent Movement and not a new or old party?

I chose the Independent Movement because, in my opinion, it is the only Movement that has the most chances to bring the best result in the elections as well as after the elections. In our Movement, Anna Theologou has set the course, who has been fighting for 5 years for the good of society and never for personal or party benefits. The people who make up the Movement are active citizens who have faith and will to bring change and hope to our country. I did not want to join an existing party, as I feel that the old parties are part of the problem, but neither do I want to join a completely unexperienced movement that would build its politics on theories.

9. If you achieve the change you desire, how do you envision Cyprus?

I envision Cyprus geographically still being in the Mediterranean but functionally being between Europe and Scandinavia. If we manage as an “Independent” movement to transfer our positions to most of the parliament and the executive power, we can make this happen.

To have a better Cyprus for everyone, the state must respect the citizens, the citizens the state and each other.

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