EDEK chief Marinos Sizopoulos kept his word and made more “revelations” about what President Anastasiades had been agreeing for a settlement “behind the back” of the Greek Cypriot people. On Monday he gave a three-page document, which compared provisions of the Annan plan and the Anastasiades-Akinci convergences, contained in the minutes of National Council meetings, and proved that the settlement the president was discussing “is exactly the same plan that the people rejected in 2004”.
This proved that the president and the leaderships of DISY and AKEL, which supported him, “had systematically and in an orchestrated way misinformed the Cypriot people about the course of the settlement talks, so far.” He also defiantly declared that if the aim of the attacks he came under after his earlier “revelations” was to intimidate him or silence him it would fail. His “responsible and documented briefing of the Cypriot people” would continue he assured everyone.
Presumably, releasing confidential information he was given in trust by the president in the hope of reversing his party’s poor election prospects is a responsible act. There is nothing else his childish, publicity-seeking antics could possibly achieve, as he is fast finding out. Apart from a few like-minded newspaper columnists and politicians nobody else appears to have taken much notice of Sizopoulos’ “revelations” – certainly not many of the Cypriot people that he wants to keep informed.
Most people know that if there is a deal there will be a referendum and also know that any deal must be judged in its entirety. There may be some provisions they disagree with, but the overall settlement may still be attractive. They also know that Sizopoulos has an agenda. He and his party are, in principle, opposed to a federal settlement so they will be critical of every single provision and do their best to turn people against it, using all means at their disposal. And if they fail to turn people against a deal, EDEK still hopes to win back some of the hard-line voters that have left the party, ahead of May’s parliamentary elections.
The Annan plan spin, put on Monday’s “revelation” was a sign of desperation, as it was an attempt to revive the negative climate of 2004, in the belief EDEK would benefit electorally from it. But is there any rational person who could believe that a new deal would be completely different from the Annan plan? Of course there would be many similar provisions because the basic guiding principles for a settlement remain the same.
If anyone is misinforming the Cypriot people it is Sizopoulos who is claiming a new settlement plan could be completely different from the Annan plan – the product of 30 years on talks.