By Loucas Charalambous
MANY have dismissed the National Council as a national coffeeshop. Giorgos Perdikis, one of its regular customers, described it a few years ago as a national chicken coop. Personally, I prefer to call it a national circus, because this best describes what takes place.
In the circus, each performer – acrobats, dancers, clowns – has a specific role and together they make up the show. In the same way, each one of our politicians has a role, performing his own set piece every time there is a meeting at the presidential palace.
The only difference is that at the real circus the audience is seated inside the auditorium watching the show, whereas at the national circus there are no spectators inside the palace watching the performances.
Spectators cannot even watch the actual performance on television because there is never a live broadcast. What is broadcast, from another room at the palace, is the personal account given by each politician of the performance he gave at the meeting.
Last Monday’s national circus show was one of the most successful to date. On top of the agenda, sent by President Nicos Anastasiades ahead of the meeting, was the discussion over whether the present procedure for a settlement should continue or be abandoned and replaced with ‘another strategy’.
No doubt, Anastasiades had hoped that this cunning tactical manoeuvre would have put Papadopoulos, Omirou and Perdikis on the spot forcing them to admit that they had no credible, alternative policy to propose.
At the time when a serious effort, perhaps the last, was being made to reach a settlement and while Anastasiades was accusing the Turkish side of delaying tactics he inexplicably decided to raise, at the National Council, the issue of abandoning the talks and a supposed change of strategy. And he does not understand that this is not serious behaviour.
He is obviously not bothered that outsiders are laughing at his behaviour. “He seems less serious than Christofias,” a foreign journalist told me with regard to Anastasiades’ actions.
The president, it appears, does not understand that it is not Papadopoulos and Omirou he is making fools of with his antics.
He is making a fool of himself and our side, by illustrating that we are not really interested in a settlement and are content to play silly games.
Another farce was staged at Monday’s meeting.
In an attempt to ingratiate himself with the rejectionists, Anastasiades proposed and the national circus approved the creation of a ‘Council of Geostrategic Studies’ that will submit proposals to the National Council, “which will study them and subsequently formulate the strategy of the Greek Cypriot side for overturning the Turkish designs.”
This will save us! After 50 years of the Cyprus problem and with partition already a reality, Anastasiades will set up a council of geostrategic studies to block the Turkish designs.
But the Turkish designs, with the valuable help of our politicians, who have never wanted a settlement have been achieved. What other Turkish designs could our national circus overturn from now on?
Who does Anastasiades think he is taking for a ride, having given up the only thing he should have pursued with the utmost urgency – the settlement that would allow us to salvage what is still salvageable – and taken up silly games?
For once the president and the members of our national circus must inform us in which century they hope to solve the Cyprus problem. Will it be when Turkey has finally bought all of Cyprus?