Speaking to the 21st Pancyprian Conference of Nedisy – Disy’s youth wing – at the weekend, President Anastasiades gave an astonishing piece of advice.
He told youths the following: “I feel really proud watching your actions and interventions. This is why I say, do not stop, claim what belongs to you. Do not hesitate to demand – whoever is in government – what you are owed by every government.”
It is unfortunate that the president did not elaborate, because it would be very interesting to know what he thinks youths are owed by every government.
What actually belongs to youths that they should not stop demanding? Was he referring to well-rewarded and undemanding jobs in the public sector? More indiscriminate appointments of graduates as teachers? Bigger allowances for university students or subsidies for their rents?
We would expect to hear this kind of advice from an Akelite that embraces socialism and believes the state should take care of its citizens, from the cradle to the grave, but Anastasiades is supposed to support the market economy and value free enterprise.
The sad truth, however, is that our politicians believe in nothing other than the populist ideas imposed on our society by Akel – that the big, all-encompassing state must also be a provider catering for all citizens’ needs.
Our populist president sees nothing wrong with cultivating the dependency culture and sense of entitlement that plagues our country, in which making demands and feeling hard-done by are national sports.
Anastasiades, with the rest of the politicians, is turning us into a society of scroungers, always demanding what we believe, in the words of the president, we are owed by the government.
And he is encouraging the younger generation to embrace the scrounger mentality and “claim what belongs to you.” Then we wonder why our youth are ultra-conservative, uncreative and risk-averse, the ambition of most limited to getting an easy job in the public sector.
It is because they have been encouraged to think they are owed a comfortable and well-paid working life by the government; and if they demand it, they will get it, according to the president.
What a pity nobody urges youth to show initiative, be independent, work hard, be adventurous, take risks and not fear failure. These are the qualities we need our youths to display if we are ever to progress as a society.
We do not need more scroungers claiming what they think belongs to them, as this created a society of dependents who believe taking and never giving is a human right.
When will one of our politicians ever have the guts to repeat President Kennedy’s plea to Americans in his inaugural speech in 1961? “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.”