By Loucas Charalambous
IT WAS EXPECTED that our many political demagogues would go wild about the agreement over the resumption of the talks. The surprise would have been if they had not gone wild.
Many, including the president, have told them: ‘Why are you in such a hurry? We have not started yet. Let us start, and if you see things going wrong or we reach somewhere you do not like you have all the time to react and do what you like.’
But it is not the joint declaration that really bothered our political wasteland. It was the start itself. They do not want any start; they do not want any solution. They want the perpetuation of the status quo, that is, partition. They do not want Famagusta, Morphou or the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation army.
Support for partition, weird as it may seem, wins votes. We should not delude ourselves, because this is the choice of the ‘proud’ Greek Cypriot people. Whoever takes a stand against the settlement – any settlement – wins votes.
For the sake of these votes, Nicholas Papadopoulos, Yiannakis Omirou, Giorgos Lillikas and Giorgos Perdikis are prepared to say anything, no matter how stupid. They do not care that 500 or a thousand rational people will laugh at them. They are more concerned that their nonsense impresses the many, those who have become used to partition, are comfortable with it and want it to continue.
I have written before that adopting the idea of the referendum was the biggest mistake foreign mediators involved in the talks have committed. It was not justified by the conditions. The situation prevailing in Cyprus since 1974 is in effect a long-term ceasefire to a war.
Wars often drastically change social, economic and other balances. Wars bring destruction and suffering, but also offer new opportunities and new sources of wealth; they also create new classes of rich and poor, destroying old interests and giving rise to new ones. This is why peace agreements, always necessary after a war, are drafted by political leaders.
No war has ever been ended through a referendum. This irrationality has only been attempted in Cyprus. And this is the reason why, at least in my opinion, it would be tremendously difficult to have a Cyprus settlement through referenda. The ‘resounding no’ of 2004 is a shining example.
Our political demagogues feel that they have to align themselves with the new interests that were born by the 1974 war, the interests that are served – or think they are served – by perpetuating partition. These win votes. All the ludicrous, technical arguments they come up with are nothing more than pretexts because they are ashamed to tell the truth; namely they want no settlement because politically they are served by partition.
The case of Tassos Papadopoulos’ son, Nicolas, is symptomatic of this attitude. Nicolas has found that, among other things, President Anastasiades “has ceded sovereignty to the Turkish Cypriots for the first time since 1960”. But the Turkish Cypriots for 40 years now have been exercising absolute sovereignty over half over Cyprus and, unfortunately, nobody can prevent them from carrying on doing so for the next 100 years.
They have the level of sovereignty that many normal states cannot exercise over their territories. They do not need Anastasiades to give them sovereignty. This stupid statement alone exposes the politically disreputable objective of Nicolas based on the warped morality that dominates our political culture – to show up Anastasiades as a ‘traitor’, because who else but a ‘traitor’ would cede sovereignty to the Turks for “the first time since 1960”? It also is aimed at cultivating hatred towards the Turkish Cypriots who are supposedly taking sovereignty after 50 years.
This nonsense, this political garbage, even in the 21st century, wins votes in our country. And this is the only thing that interests Nicolas who is proving even worse than his father.