Cyprus Mail
CM Regular ColumnistOpinion

Don’t look back, but look forward instead

IT MIGHT take a decade, but it is increasingly apparent that Cyprus is designated to become an important Middle East energy hub – intensification of talks in search of a Cyprob solution, tripartite agreements between Cyprus, Greece and Israel, bi-partite between Cyprus and Egypt, visible rapprochement between Turkey and the Republic, increased interest in economic zones by major players (British Gas and Total) have all been blessed by ‘God’ (the United States).

Possible credible scenarios, should this round of Cyprob talks fail to arrive at a ‘satisfactory solution’, are too frightening to contemplate.

The world has changed – covertly instigating coup d’états is no longer the norm. Overnight mass slaughter of civilian populations is how great powers, who first desensitise public opinion, now protect their ‘energy’ interests. Ten thousand children are registered as lost, drowned, shot, bombed or unaccounted for since the beginning of last autumn’s refugee exodus from Syria. Could the same happen to Cyprus?

This Tuesday at 8am al Jazeera asked, ‘Will Cyprus become a Turkish village?’

You don’t mess around with Uncle Sam, and if He says Cyprus must reunify then we better damn well had because, if we don’t, the alternatives could be horrendous; besides, the sooner we accept reunification the better for our children who, if we don’t, might never have children of their own.

It’s just no good saying ‘1974’ won’t ever happen again because it could, and this time we’ll lose the lot and not just 38 percent, so stop dwelling on the past. Try to envisage a bountiful future for your children with what’s left; most of the National Council have already had theirs!

Do you recall the 15-year maturity property compensation bonds on offer on ‘page 642’ of the 2004 Annan Plan. I wonder what they’d be worth today. Then stop thinking that compensation for lost land is what the talks are all about, because by the time ‘the lawyers’ have finished with valuations, you’ll be dead!

It’s also no good worrying that the northern federal state will overrun the south with Turkish mainlanders, because they won’t unless we are forced to emigrate.

The south and north have had a pretty peaceful time of things this past 42 years – uninterrupted and lavish. Both sides have been held in a state of suspended animation since 1974 – the killing stopped and we have felt secure in our homes, Uncle Sam choosing to keep persistently squabbling ‘cousins’ apart until the drilling began.

What both sides need to understand is: there is no such thing as a ‘satisfactory solution’, no such thing as an ideal world, no such thing as justice for those who lost their homes, lives and dreams. Nothing is perfect, and if all was, we’d soon be bored to tears.

Those who remember the strife will recall that we all knew what Makarios was up to in 1963 – knew that George Grivas and EOKA B were criminally insane – knew that we, the man in the street, were complicit in Makarios’ corruption of the 1960 Zurich Agreements, thinking we would profit from fleeing Turkish Cypriots – houses, land, businesses. But we also knew in our hearts that sooner or later we’d pay, preferring to live in denial for eleven years, until the Five Mile Beach landings and Mesaoria Plain parachute drop rammed that denial down our throats.

Then the few culpably shrewd among us cried out, ‘We’ve lost half the island and we’ll never get the Turks out!’ And retribution was displaced for 42 years by the five stages of grief; denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance by the shrewd.

But the less shrewd are still griping. And to what avail?

If that curse of a National Council is not silenced, Cyprus will become a Turkish village.

If either side vote ‘No’ in the next referendum, whatever the deal, they will first be broken economically by Uncle Sam’s bankers in Brussels. Then, when on their knees financially, violence will erupt – fomented by ‘patriotic schizophrenics’ in the pay of disrupters. Disorder and chaos will reign and …well, you know the rest. Just look around at what’s happened to many of our squabbling neighbours – barbaric! We must not assume that we are eternally immune.

Let’s instead imagine the advantages of a two federal state Cyprus, what benefits reconciliation will bring to tourism, shipping, construction of ports, harbours, energy storage and transit facilities, banking and investment – a politically and militarily secure safe haven for energy giants in the Eastern Med. – an energy hub, whether it’s ours or somebody else’s gas – a euro denominated education hub, medical hub, hellim hub – sorry, halloumi hub, agricultural hub, etc. The advantages more than outweigh me getting my hillside mud shack back – clouds of flies, black snakes, dust and all!

Stop looking over your shoulder into that distorted cracked mirror and instead look out of a crystal clear window – the future potential for a new federal Republic is boundless!

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