Cyprus Mail
CM Regular ColumnistOpinion

Placing bombs and hiding behind trivialities

By Loucas Charalambous

THE VIEW that President Anastasiades is no longer interested in a Cyprus settlement is reinforced with every passing day. Some could even go as far as to claim that his stance was undermining the negotiating procedure.

I have written about the bomb he placed under the negotiating table with his out-of-the-blue proposal of a Greek Cypriot president and Turkish Cypriot vice-president being elected on the same ballot ticket – in other words the election of both by the Greek Cypriots. In effect, he wants the Turkish Cypriots to lose the right they had under the 1960 constitution to elect the vice-president.

In the meantime he has embarked on a game of tactical manoeuvres and spin doctoring, which he thinks will conceal his own responsibility for the imminent collapse of the peace process.

Another illustration of Anastasiades’ intentions was the ridiculous row he sparked over the presence of foreign ambassadors at lunches or dinners as guests of the ‘foreign minister’ Ozdil Nami. He is just looking for pretexts. He has given up the real objective of solving the problem and is dealing with trivialities.

For 40 years now, the ambassadors of the main countries based in Nicosia have been meeting with Turkish Cypriot politicians to contribute towards solving the problem that remained unsolved thanks, to a large extent, to our erratic choices. Only now has Anastasiades become bothered and decided that it was a provocation for ambassadors to share a meal with a Turkish Cypriot politician.

We should note that among the ambassadors that provoked the president were those of Germany, Italy, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Australia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, Ireland and Poland. All 14 ambassadors were labelled as naive by the government spokesman “for falling into Ozdil Nami’s trap”.

This appalling rhetoric about traps and conspiracies, plus the idiotic attacks against the representatives of foreign countries are reminiscent of Spyros Kyprianou and Tassos Papadopoulos. I think every rational person is in a position to judge whether this schizophrenic insistence on clashing with the whole world, harms or benefits the country.

The stand taken by the government spokesman was particularly interesting. There was no problem with ambassadors having meetings with Dervis Eroglu. The problem arises when they meet his ‘ministers’. How is that for consistency? We are not bothered if ambassadors eat with the pseudo-president, but it is a provocation when they eat with a pseudo-minister.

Only Nami sets up traps. Eroglu does not, presumably because Anastasiades also meets up with him and has lunch or dinner. I also liked the government spokesman’s threat to take measures against the ambassadors. If they carried on meeting Nami, “they would have downgraded contacts with the representatives of the Cyprus Republic.” I somehow doubt the ambassadors would be losing any sleep over the prospect of not being seen by Ioannis Kasoulides any longer.

By sheer coincidence, on the day Anastasiades and Kasoulides had met to draft the statement directed at the foreign ambassadors, it was reported that the Immovable Properties Commission had paid Greek Cypriots 3.6 million pounds sterling for properties in Nicosia totalling 259,323 square metres. The press also reported that the pseudo-committee had paid out a total of 168 million sterling pounds to 556 Greek Cypriots for their properties in the north.

Property is the only word that is not placed within inverted commas. These are properties and not pseudo-properties. This does not seem to concern Anastasiades and the government spokesman who do not seem to understand that while they are engaging in tactical manoeuvres and idiotic blame-games, the Cyprus problem is being solved by default.

Turkey is buying Cyprus with its money and they are dealing with trivialities. What really concerns them is that ambassadors had a meal with Nami, and not that Cyprus is being bought up Turkey.

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