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Our View: Akel chief’s nonsense has no end

The Christofias government defended and strengthened the social state and public wealth according to AKEL's Andros Kyprianou

If it were not so infuriating, the total nonsense uttered by the Akel chief Andros Kyprianou and his lieutenants would have been mildly entertaining. After all, it is quite amusing hearing a party leader twisting the truth and distorting reality in such a crude fashion and expecting to be taken seriously. But his low regard – some would say contempt – for people’s intelligence is galling.

For Kyprianou and his party, the Cyprus economy had been doing very well until the election of Nicos Anastasiades. Speaking to the party’s Central Committee on Tuesday, he said: “Despite any mistakes and omissions, nobody could deny that the Christofias government drew a line of defence, and of strengthening, of the social state, public wealth, the workers, small businesses and generally of all those who needed help against the attacks launched by the neo-liberal, anti-popular policies of the dominant class in the European Union and the Troika. This line (of defence) was dismantled and is being dismantled, day by day by the Anastasiades government.”

It is as if it was the Anastasiades government that emptied the coffers of the state, which needed €10 billion in financial assistance from the “anti-popular, neo-liberals” of the EU in order to avoid bankruptcy. Was it not the Christofias government that had to raid the pension funds of SGOs (this was how it protected public wealth) in December 2012, in order to pay public sector wages, because the state had run out of money and a payment default loomed? And the state was bankrupt because the Christofias government was squandering money the state did not have on strengthening the social state protecting the privileges and high pay of public sector workers.

The truth is that if the populists of Akel had pursued some neo-liberal policies they had been repeatedly advised by the EU – cutting state spending – the economy would not have been in the disastrous mess it was in when Christofias left office last February. And if Christofias had sought financial assistance as soon as Cyprus was excluded from the markets in May 2011, instead of waiting another year before doing so and then refusing to agree to a MoU for six months, the situation could have been salvaged with much less pain. But instead, he defended the social state and public wealth; he also boasted that he saved CoLA!

Perhaps Kyprianou, who also had the nerve to lament the “violent contraction and restructuring of the banking sector” that Akel helped achieve, and his comrades are just ignorant Marxists in need of a few lessons in basic economics. This might help them understand that to have a social state and to protect workers (not public employees) and small businesses it is essential to have a strong and healthy economy, not a bankrupt one.

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