PRESIDENT Nicos Anastasiades and ruling DISY should focus on working towards a solution to the Cyprus problem, instead of attacking Demetris Christofias, the former president said on Thursday.
Christofias, who has had been keeping a low profile recently, was responding to a statement by DISY criticising his reference to the government in a Wednesday speech at an event marking the 42nd anniversary of the Turkish invasion.
“And those who brought Cyprus to this state? The leaders of this evil are at the country’s helm, and they even preach to us about unity every July,” Christofias had said.
“In recent years, we have heard ‘mea culpa’ many times. But we have heard no mea culpas for the coup, which uprooted us and scattered us all across the non-occupied part of the island, or even abroad,” he told the gathering organised by refugees from Dikomo, the village from which the former president hails.
DISY shot back with a harsh statement, saying that for Christofias to ask others for a ‘mea culpa’ – Latin for ‘my mistake’ – was the “most provocative farce”.
“The man who destroyed the country in cold blood, sinking our people in misery, from the murderous Mari incident to the country’s bankruptcy and invitation of the Troika within a few months, instead of hiding, audaciously provokes, leaving his party and himself exposed,” DISY said.
“We even recall that, even in July 2011, following the Mari disaster, Demetris Christofias attempted to exploit the unforgettable anniversaries, and did not hesitate to draw parallels between those days’ protests (demanding his resignation), with a… coup!”
Christofias issued a response to the criticism on Thursday, saying he would not stoop to DISY’s level, but did not fail to accuse the party of giving political shelter to coupists, effectively absolving them of their crime.
“I hope DISY might one day be able to handle its guilt over being the political party that gave a home to the protagonists of Cyprus’ betrayal more sensibly, next time someone dares to point it out,” Christofias charged.
In fact, Christofias’ Wednesday speech said that those who perpetrated the coup are “at the country’s helm” – a departure from his assertions on Thursday.
“In my speech on Wednesday I expressed my agony and my take on recent events in Turkey, and called on Messrs Anastasiades and [Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa] Akinci to stop playing games and focus on how to achieve progress on the Cyprus problem,” he said.
“This should be President Anastasiades’ and DISY’s concern, not the effort to work their way out of the corner they have put themselves in by attacking Christofias. Besides, my term ended long ago. I hope they do what they can so that their own terms do not end at the same time as the Cyprus issue.”