Cyprus Mail
Opinion

Our View: EDEK is returning to the witch-hunts of 2004

EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos

THE MORALLY upright socialists of EDEK have already begun their intimidation campaign against people that support the peace process and are keen to see a settlement. Last Friday, the party issued a statement claiming that the recently-formed group Team Cyprus had received funding from suspicious sources to pay for an opinion poll that was being carried out on its behalf. The implication was that the group had been bribed by those who wanted to harm Cyprus’ interests.

EDEK’s statement said: “Everyone knows that such a survey requires substantial expenditure of several thousand euros and it is puzzling how an organisation, after a month’s operation secured this funding. We are very much afraid that the above survey, like similar actions with unknown sources of funding and ‘unknown’ contributors, is reminiscent of the machinations of 2004. Everyone knows the then backers of the Annan plan spent millions of pounds on several ‘personalities’ and ‘NGOs’ to undertake the propaganda of the plan for the partition of Cyprus.”

This gossip-level positioning is quite astonishing. It is also incredibly hypocritical, because EDEK, like the rest of the political parties, has for years refused to approve legislation that would oblige all parties to make public the identities of their funders. By EDEK’s reasoning, the socialist party’s virulent opposition to a settlement could have been dictated by its funders, whom it refuses to name. Perhaps the ‘unknown’ contributors to EDEK’s coffers would like to see partition formalised and are funding parties to oppose a settlement. Or should we accept EDEK’s absurd assumption opponents of an agreement are more patriotic?

Team Cyprus could not be trusted because it consisted of people who had supported the Annan Plan, argued the wise socialists, as if this were a criminal offence. EDEK said that as long as questions about the funding remained unanswered, the findings of the survey were “untrustworthy from the outset”. Should we say the same regarding the positions taken by EDEK, given that the party’s funders are a carefully-guarded secret?

Team Cyprus responded by describing this statement as “vile” and explaining that all its funding came from Cypriots and that it followed all the laws governing the finances of clubs. It had no obligation to give an explanation to the mud-slinging bullies of EDEK, who have commenced their intimidation of people actively supporting a settlement, alleging they were agents of foreign interests.

The same tactics were employed by EDEK and the hard-liners in 2004, in what turned into a scary witch-hunt, with claims that tens of millions of pounds were paid by the US to people to support the Annan plan. Not a shred of evidence was ever produced to back these claims. EDEK’s vile statement was in the spirit of the 2004 witch-hunts.


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