THE PRESS release issued to publicise the launch of Demetris Christofias’ eagerly awaited autobiography, titled How Necessity Becomes History, highlights two of the pet hates that marked his political career – the West and acceptance of responsibility. The extreme Right backed by Anglo-American imperialism was to blame for all the country’s woes, while the Left and Christofias, personally, had never made a single mistake and could be held responsible for nothing in the 70 years the book covered.
It is nothing more than we would have expected from a president who was never man enough to take any responsibility for the meltdown of the economy his incompetent administration had caused. This was the president who was happy to shift blame on everyone around him for the Mari explosion that took 13 lives so he could claim he had done nothing wrong. He even refused to accept the principle of collective responsibility for a government, lest he had to take a portion of blame.
It is the political immaturity that characterises all fanatics and Christofias, a dyed in the wool Stalinist was certainly one. This is illustrated in his assertion that “the Cypriot people, in the last 70 or so years, have been fed with self-delusions and illusions and maintain false hopes and unattainable dreams that have been cultivated with consistency and obduracy by the Right and the extreme Right in Cyprus and in Greece.”
All these years, “the Turkish elite and the Turkish Cypriot reactionary Right have been waiting and exploiting, with the help of Anglo-American imperialism, Nato and Turkish governments, the continuous slips of the Greek Cypriot Right’s irredentism and promote their ‘vision’ of the partition of Cyprus,” he wrote. And of course the Greek Cypriot Left (Akel) which until 1989 obediently followed the orders of the Kremlin, was always the main obstacle to partition.
We could not expect Christofias to place any blame on Soviet-controlled Akel for helping Turkey realise its objective. Yet in 1978 Akel rejected a peace plan on the instruction of the Soviet Union. It twice elected as president Spyros Kyprianou who was vehemently opposed to a settlement, while in 2003, with a peace agreement in the offing, it elected Tassos Papadopoulos, the arch-rejectionist and leading member of the Greek Cypriot Right. In 2004 Akel played its part in bringing partition closer, by voting against the Annan plan. And when he was president, Christofias engaged in blatant delaying tactics while he was supposedly negotiating a settlement.
A more appropriate title for Christofias’ book would have been How Propaganda Becomes History, but the former president appears to suffer from the same “self-delusions and illusions” fed to the Cypriot people.