Article by Yiorgos Loukaides, member of the Political Bureau of the C.C. of AKEL, AKEL Parliamentary Group Representative
“Haravgi” newspaper, 13th May 2017
Are we really following the same theatrical play as we did in 1992, 1997 and 2009, or is the accusation perhaps unfair that we are once again witnessing a new pre-election transformation and mutation by Mr. Anastasiades on the Cyprus problem?
Let developments themselves over the last few days bear witness to the truth:
President Anastasiades chose through public statements, apparently for domestic consumption reasons, to wage an attack on the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Cyprus Mr. Eide in exactly the same aphoristic way that he rightfully criticized until yesterday as counterproductive and damaging. We say rightly, because we already have UN Secretary-General Mr. Guiterres’ well-known response, which, as expected, offered full support to Mr. Eide.
Instead of referring the Nazi ELAM party’s bill on the Enosis referendum, the President of the Republic chose to refer his Party’s draft bill to the Supreme Court, aware of the likelihood of repeating the interruption of the negotiations on the part of Akinci, as the latter wrongly did previously.
Mr. Anastasiades called evidently those who criticize him for his lack of consistency and steadfastness on the Cyprus problem as supporters of any solution who are ready to accept everything. That is, he called them “sell-outs”, by doing so joining the patriotic camp of Mrs. Eleni Theocharous!
In his statements, the government spokesman interpreted as an arbitration the UN’s intention to informally and unofficially sound out the sides about ideas, which if rejected by any side will be considered as null and void. This is a procedure that does not change, nor upgrade in the slightest the mandate of the UN Secretary-General and his Special Representative on Cyprus, and which a few weeks before was adopted by Foreign Minister Mr. Kasoulides himself.
The public rhetoric of the government and ruling forces, obviously, now has a confrontational content and reeks negativity, comparable to that of the so-called intermediate political formations.
As in all similar cases in the past, so now, the cost for the Cyprus problem and our country will be heavy from the apparent domination of pre-election expediencies and mutations.
However, the President of the Republic should realize that it is primarily his own responsibility to protect the interests of the Republic of Cyprus by preventing serious dangers with which our people will be confronted with. It is primarily the responsibility of Mr. Anastasiades to act effectively to prevent new, possibly painful faits accomplis in the occupied territories, on the Cyprus problem or in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Cyprus; to prevent through preemptive actions from provoking tensions that could harm the Cyprus economy.
That is, it must ensure that the sovereign rights of the Republic of Cyprus in the EEZ of Cyprus are exercised unhindered, as well as to ensure everything that the previous government has successfully managed to secure. Despite the adverse conditions and Ankara’s threats and aggression the previous Christofias government accomplished the historic achievement of putting Cyprus on the energy map of Europe and the world. Back then and as now, Cyprus’ political protective shield against Turkish provocations will be better and more effectively assured if our side is and will be seen as ready, until the end, for an honorable compromise on the Cyprus problem as this has been agreed over time.
Otherwise, if responsibilities are apportioned on our side after a possible collapse of the talks, the dangers we described previously will multiply, as the whole history of the talks testify. Consequently, to the extent that it will continue to act by having pre-election considerations and not the Cyprus problem as a priority, Mr. Anastasiades’ responsibilities will be grave with regards any subsequent possible negative developments for our country and people.
Finally, for the government and ruling forces to preemptively look for scapegoats among those criticizing their actions and omissions by overlooking and ignoring their own actions, is a provocation from which they are judged exclusively, not only on the domestic front, but also by third parties who are involved and closely following developments surrounding the Cyprus problem