What did you think, broadly, about the Christofias government? Incompetent bunglers? I suspect that could be quite a widely held view. ‘They have destroyed Cyprus’ – I have heard this comment on many occasions in recent years. I used to think that they were simply Romantic Communists’ – a bunch of ageing Che Guevaras with a weight problem and that it was that romantic notion that made them look detached from the realities of their five years in government.
Now I think that I was almost totally wrong, far from being bunglers with their collective heads in the clouds, they knew exactly what they were doing and we are ‘on track’ for their intended destination for Cyprus.
It is quite hard, (but not impossible), to contemplate communist revolution in Europe through violence or intimidation so as a communist party, you have to work slowly but methodically to be sure that everything that you do, or don’t do, contributes to the weakening of capitalism, so that over time you change the people’s perception of ‘what is good for them’. Then they depend more on ‘The State’ and ‘slowly slowly’ the nation starts to look the way a communist state should look, and without a fight.
The banking crisis was fomented during the Christofias tenure and all was done to postpone any action until a change of government. Postponement of action aided and abetted by the EU who could not countenance a failure of the state holding the rotating presidency, so great ELA flexibility was shown until Anastasiades was in charge, then ‘chop’! No bungling here but a deliberate attempt to tarnish the private banks and reduce the wealth of all citizens to less than €100,000, except in the co-ops, the communist banks. The haircut has also brought the surviving private banks closer to nationalisation permitting greater government control should any government want to exercise that, ie the next AKEL government.
The next AKEL government? The misery of the last one will keep them out, you say? Not a bit of it, the misery of unemployment will become a factor of Anastasiades government. The next banking crisis, born of massive ‘NPLs’ will deprive ‘the wealthy’ of their second and third homes, but the proposed new law protecting ‘primary residences’ will bring us all down to ‘one house’. Thus we approach equality of wealth, to a greater extent.
Expanding civil service employment which was considerable and acquisition of new commercial buildings was all part of this, aspects of state dependence, equality of income and intimidation, plus rewarding the party faithful.
The enthusiastic courting of China and Russia, countries that have no historic or cultural links with us and are not even geographically close to Cyprus (yet), is probably propelled more by ‘common ideology’ and a wish to show Cypriots ‘that it was communists that helped us when the going got tough!’ (Forget that they told Sarris to go away when the chips were down).
The message is that we can only get outside help – like real money without boring ‘troika’ conditions – if it’s AKEL in the chair.
So now I think that they (AKEL) have done very well under the cover of buffoonery, but when will this be widely realised? I believe that it might dawn more widely when it is seen that there will be an overarching communist alliance in any ‘United Cyprus’. It will take control of the federal government, which will until that moment be seen only as a weak ‘figurehead’.
Why else did Christofias move so quickly to engage Mehmet Ali Talat, of similar political complexion, six years ago? Why is AKEL on its best behaviour right now towards the talks?
The upcoming banking ‘wobble’ can do the necessary damage to Anastasiades all by itself. Doing nothing to contest these talks, will help them succeed and AKEL will be an achiever again. If they flounder, AKEL will be blameless and could well be in charge next time.
If you never see me in print again, you will know that all the above is accurate enough to have had a run in with the secret police, but you will know that rather than being ‘not really communist’ there is a clear totalitarian agenda in full force here.
Philip Beardwood, via email