By George Psyllides
THE Cypriot state that was created in 1960 has run its course and what is needed now is a new model for a new era that will eliminate indecisiveness, petty politics, ambition, and bad decisions, President Nicos Anastasiades, said on Monday.
He also said a federal Cyprus, even if it was once considered to be a painful compromise had become “an inevitable national need”.
Anastasiades was speaking in a televised address on the eve of the 53rd anniversary of the Cyprus Republic where he issued a plea for unity to face the unprecedented challenges currently facing the country.
“The 1960 state has run its course,” the president said. “It is time to build a new state model that will respond to the new era. That will respect and serve the public, restore meritocracy and social justice, inspire confidence, and also define the responsibilities of politicians,” the President said.
Anastasiades said the 53rd anniversary of its independence found Cyprus in a very difficult position.
“Without a doubt, we are going through the most critical period since the 1974 Turkish invasion,” he said. “Never before did we face so many challenges and deadlocks on a national, economic and social level.”
Timeless problems, indecisiveness, diffidence, and fear of taking responsibility, petty politics and ambition, as well as wrong strategic choices led the country to the brink of destruction, the president said.
It could have been possibly avoided if politicians had acted with prudence and realism, correctly judging the conditions and balance of powers, he added.
He warned against taking his words as criticism towards certain people.
“It is time – assessing the past objectively — to stand united and look at the future, to regroup and move forward to revive our homeland,” Anastasiades said.
He said his administration had four goals: to reform the state, tackle the economic crisis, redesign the Republic’s foreign policy, and reunify the island.
“Ending the occupation and reunifying our country should remain our utmost priority, under conditions that will allow all Cypriots without exception, to live peacefully,” he said.
“It is time we all realised that the evolution of the Republic of Cyprus into a federal state entity – if it was ever a painful compromise – has become today an inevitable national need.”
Addressing the Turkish Cypriot community, Anastasiades said that while they should take his honest desire and determination to find a solution for granted, they should not expect that he would accept a solution that did not meet the expectations of Greek Cypriots or one that would turn Greek or Turkish Cypriots into second class EU citizens.
“I feel absolutely certain that we all want, can, and will succeed in achieving our goals and realise our visions, provided we are united,” the president said. “Cyprus can and will soon be a different country. A European, united, robust and safe country, an agent of peace and stability in our region.”
Independence Day celebrations will kick off with speeches and ceremonies and the annual military parade.
The parade will take place on Iosif Hadjiosif Avenue in Strovolos and will be attended by the Greek Defence Minister Dimitris Avramopoulos among other dignitaries.
This year the parade has been scaled back to only include participants from the infantry. This has been done to save money and also in an attempt to modernise the parade.