Cyprus Mail

Our View: Tiny Cyprus could never sway the EU over Greece, and why should it anyway?

IT WAS inevitable that the political parties would use the stand-off between the EU and the Tsipras government to attack the Cyprus government and in particular Finance Minister Harris Georgiades. These attacks involve claims that Georgiades had failed to show solidarity with the Greek government at the euro group meetings and had allegedly sided with rest of his colleagues.

Several parties demanded explanations from Georgiades, regarding the stance he took at the last euro group meeting on Saturday. EDEK demanded that he proved “he did not show ingratitude to Greece”. The Greens also wanted clarifications because the “the impression created by most accounts was that the Cypriot minister consented to the tough response to Greece’s decision to hold a referendum.” The Alliance of Citizens also questioned Georgiades’ stance.

AKEL chief Andros Kyprianou, expressing sadness for the government’s failure to support Greece, said “it is astonishing that Georgiades identified with those who, two-and-a-half years earlier, placed the pistol to President Anastasiades’ head and caused the destruction of the Cyprus economy and impoverishment of society.” Alliance chief Giorgos Lillikas yesterday accused Georgiades of lying in saying there had been no Greek request at the last euro group meeting for an extension of the assistance programme; Lillikas who was not present knew better than the man that was there.

But what were the government’s critics proposing that tiny Cyprus could have done to help Greece? EDEK said it would table a resolution of support for Greece at the legislature, expressing “full support”. It would be interesting to know how such a meaningless resolution would help Greece. Meanwhile Lillikas, exhibiting his usual delusions of grandeur, said that Anastasiades should not only support the Greek request for the extension of the programme, but should talk to other EU leaders so that a political solution was found for the dispute. Is Lillikas so naive to believe that the president of tiny Cyprus could shape the decisions of the EU, or is he just engaging in some cheap point-scoring?

The reality our politicians refused to see is that neither Anastasiades nor Georgiades could do anything to help Greece, which is facing problems of its own government’s making. Most of Greece’s political parties have slammed the stance of the Tsipras government at negotiations with the euro group as well as its call for a referendum. So why on earth should the Anastasiades government support the reckless actions of the Tsipras government which is hell-bent on leading Greece towards the euro exit door and in so doing has sparked the opposition of the half the population of Greece? Our politicians should give an answer.

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