By Loucas Charalambous
THE ROLE being played by the news media in the rabid fight against a possible agreement for the settlement of the Cyprus problem has been highlighted before. But I am returning to it because the Dias media group which runs Simerini and Sigma TV among others has overstepped all boundaries. It is a planned campaign designed to misinform and terrify the public with methods that would have been envied by Goebbels.
The funny thing is that between 1976 and 1983, the founder and boss of the group, Costas Hadjicostis, was the theorist of DISY’s realist policy on the Cyprus problem and his paper Simerini championed this view. The message from the realist school was “we need to save what can be saved.” He coined the term “rejectionism”, while his views on the responsibilities of Makarios and his associates for the dissolution of the state in the 60s were harsher than mine.
Every time he wrote about those events he would say “there were sinners for all rungs of hell”, meaning Makarios, Yiorkadjis and the other protagonists of inter-communal strife. But after 1984 and following an impressive volte face, Hadjicostis’ media group became the main flag bearer of rejectionism. In 2004, it played a leading role in the rejection of the Annan plan, while today it is campaigning even more fanatically to crush every chance of the talks resulting in a deal.
It is not even a question of differing views or evaluations over whether the settlement being sought is good or bad. They just do not want a settlement, any settlement, and are resorting to a devious campaign of black propaganda to frighten people and predispose them against any possible agreement. (In 2004, among other things, they claimed the Greek national anthem would be banned). They are ruthless.
Last Sunday, Sigma TV used a self-styled “political analyst” and presenter of the same calibre to show us how they work. (I refer to the same “political analyst” who, on November 29, through a hilarious analysis came up with the theory that Russia had allowed Turkey to shoot down its fighter jet in order to undermine the credibility of the US). He was as entertaining last Sunday when he came up with another theory.
It went like this: “If in the end there is a bizonal federation for a settlement, I believe the Americans would intervene so that Turkey and Israel could share the oil and gas as well as the geo-political area of the region. This means that we would lose the opportunity to create an axis with Israel and transfer that axis, after a settlement, to Turkey.”
I require help from readers to understand what this utter nonsense means. If any reader has understood, I would appreciate their help in understanding this “axis” that we would create with Israel and subsequently transfer to Turkey.
This was not the end of the analyst’s wisdom. He also revealed that Russia now had a new option for its oil “that would change the geo-political map of Europe, but in Nicosia they are sleeping”. He explained that with “north stream 2” Russia would supply natural gas to Germany which would become the hub of the gas supply network. This “Berlin-Moscow axis pushes Poland and the Baltic countries towards the US and simultaneously the France-Germany axis breaks and France turns to America… Consequently, a Cyprus solution probably does not help as it gives the gas and oil to Turkey and we lose our geo-strategic role.”
At this point, the alarmed presenter, who was listening to the satanic scenario of a Berlin-Moscow axis depriving us of our geo-strategic role with fear on her face, ended the conversation with a cry of despair. “If they are really sleeping, I hope they wake up soon. That is all I have to say.”
I know that many readers are wondering why I am repeating this paranoid mumbo-jumbo. I am doing it because people like the analyst on Sigma TV are the ones shaping public opinion. They are the ones deciding our future. This unfortunately is the quality of the people that the “proud Cypriot people” followed in 2004 when they voted to continue partition, and I have no doubt the same will happen in the future if the current talks end in an agreement.