Cyprus Mail
CM Regular Columnist

Annan rejectionists promised an EU solution. Where is it?

UN General Secretary Koffi Annan

By Loucas Charalambous

NOBODY could have been surprised in the slightest to hear Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras say that he strongly disagreed with a possible “resurrection of the notorious Annan plan”. The last thing we should expect from Samaras is prudence.

And we were not surprised to see our own demagogues applauding him, nor to hear the nonsense uttered by Papadopoulos junior who eagerly pointed out that Samaras’ statement “sent clear messages to all those, in and out of Cyprus eyeing or planning the return of the Annan plan”. This is the foolish rhetoric of the last 40 years, the rhetoric with which the preachers of rejectionism and champions of partition led us to the current malaise.

What is most astonishing is the limitless nerve of Papadopoulos and his fellow travellers. Under normal circumstances, today, nine years after the 2004 referendum, with Cyprus now permanently partitioned as a result of their paranoid behaviour they should at least keep quiet.

Can any sensible person believe that Papadopoulos, Garoyian, Omirou, Perdikis, the AKEL leadership and all others who rejected the Annan plan in 2004, cannot see where their decision has led to?

What had they told people?

“Vote ‘no’ and do not worry. In one week we will become a member of the EU and Turkey will have to deal with Europe and then she will have to accept a European solution, with everyone’s rights safeguarded, with the return of all refugees and all properties; everything will be done according to the European acquis.” This is what they were saying in 2004.

Now the demagogues should offer an explanation to all those people they deceived. Papadopoulos should tell us what happened to the ‘European solution’? Where is the full respect of all human rights he had promised people? And what about our occupied towns? The notorious plan would have given us back Famagusta in August 2004 and Morphou in 2007 and with these another 50 villages.

They of course, uttered a fighting ‘no’. But how many towns and villages did they liberate with their brave ‘struggle’? The Annan plan would have enabled 150,000 people (refugees and their descendants) to return to the towns and villages, if they wished to do so. How many refugees have the big patriots sent to their homes in these nine years, with their courageous struggle? And how many properties have been returned to their owners? Soon there will not be any properties left as Turkey is buying them. These are the achievements of the super-patriotic camp.

The notorious plan would have sent the occupation army back to Turkey. There would have only been 600 Turkish soldiers with light weaponry left. How many has Papadopoulos and Garoyian got rid of since 2004?

The Friday before last I was in the north. I saw a least 60 Turkish tanks in the Mesaoria plain, just before Lefkoniko. They were involved in an exercise and raised enough dust to obscure the sun. This was part of the occupation army that Turkey agreed to withdraw in 2004, but the super-patriots did not let her. They asked the occupation army to stay, as Egemen Bagis reminded us a few days ago.

And as the Turkish army was asked to stay it left its tanks here to carry out military exercises. It needs to carry out exercises because one day it might be ordered to head to Paphos by a new Turkish prime minister.

Papadopoulos’ audacity is quite astonishing. Does he not have a guilty conscience over these achievements? He and the rest of the superpatriots, like Garoyian, Omirous, Lyssarides and Christofias should feel shame for cementing partition. And so should Samaras who sent a defiant message from Thessaloniki and warned us to be careful that the notorious plan that would have got rid of the occupation troops was not resurrected.

If all these brave fighters could see reason they would have realised that the resurrection of the plan is their only hope of clearing their conscience for what they did in 2004.

But why are they and Samaras worried? After all, if the notorious plan were to be resurrected, the big patriots would again utter a heroic ‘no’ and send it to hell, choosing yet again that the Turkish army stay.

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