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Our View: Sizopoulos should be banned from National Council

Marinos Sizopoulos

A DAY before the news conference by Marinos Sizopoulos it was reported that big revelations would be made by the EDEK chief. His meeting with journalists did not live up to its billing as his big revelations consisted of giving out excerpts of minutes from two National Council meetings at which President Anastasiades had given the party leaders details about some of the things he had agreed with Mustafa Akinci at the talks.

Sizopoulos did not exactly cause a stir with his rather childish, attention-seeking stunt, much as he tried to convince us that his intention was to inform the Greek Cypriots, who had a right to know about the convergences at the talks. People needed to know that what President Anastasiades was negotiating was a confederation and not a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation, said Sizopoulos. What did it matter to him, considering his party decided last year that it would oppose a federation anyway?

In the end, all that he achieved was to spark the moral indignation of President Anastasiades who described the divulging of classified National Council minutes as “unacceptable” as it “undermined our efforts for a viable solution to our national problem.” Deputy government spokesman, Victoras Papadopoulos went over the top in claiming that Sizopoulos had handed “unexpected weapons” to Akinci.

Everyone worked to over-dramatize an irresponsible publicity stunt by a party that opinion polls suggest might fail to elect a single deputy in May’s parliamentary elections. EDEK would have us believe that it uncovered a major conspiracy against the Greek Cypriot people by revealing a few details of the prospective agreement. The party’s deputy chairman Costis Efstathiou, declared that “the truth never hurt anyone” and what caused harm was “the conspiracies of silence.” Sizopoulos took the role of saviour in reporting the “systematic and organised misinformation of the Cypriot people about everything the president discusses and agrees behind their back.”

In what way we had been misinformed neither of them explained. This superficiality – dealing in meaningless slogans and labels dressed in moral platitudes – has always been an EDEK tradition. If there had been any misinformation the sources were Sizopoulos, Papadopoulos and Lillikas who kept claiming that Anastasiades had kept them in the dark about the talks. The minutes proved that they were briefed about what was being discussed and agreed at the talks.

Meanwhile, yesterday Efstathiou announced EDEK would release more minutes from meetings. This would provide Anastasiades with ample justification not to invite the EDEK leader to another National Council meeting. A leader that has so brazenly betrayed the trust of the president has no place sitting at meetings. In fact he should never have been there once his party decided that it was opposed to a federal settlement, which is the stated objective of the president. Sizopoulos could not make a meaningful contribution to meetings given that his objective is the failure of the talks.

Anastasiades should not be afraid to ban this untrustworthy and irresponsible leader from future meetings of the National Council.



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