PRESIDENT Anastasiades has finally decided to call the bluff of the rejectionist parties about the new strategy on the Cyprus problem they keep calling for. He has sent the parties a letter asking them to submit in writing their proposals for the new strategy that should be followed in the Cyprus problem and their vision of a settlement, ahead of Monday’s national council meeting.
It was about time the hollow rhetoric shamelessly served to the public every day by Diko, Alliance, Edek, Solidarity and Greens was exposed for what it is. The ‘new strategy’ is just another one of those meaningless Cyprus-problem inspired slogans that the parties supporting partition have traditionally resorted to. It is like the old assertion, repeated ad nauseam by parties like Edek and Diko that “all refugees will return to their homes.” Only Disy, to its credit, refused to make such a false promise and for this was accused of being unpatriotic and defeatist.
Deceiving the public with empty promises, for the parties of the so-called centre, is a show of patriotism and courage. Now they have decided that a new strategy, which they avoid clearly defining, would supposedly lead us to a fair and just settlement – withdrawal of the Turkish troops, abolition of guarantees and minority status for the Turkish Cypriots. And how would they achieve this?
According to their nebulous proposals, the new strategy would increase the cost of the occupation for Turkey; they would also make strategic alliances with other countries (the implication being that these strategic allies would defend us in the event of a Turkish attack); they would use the EU to apply pressure on Turkey; we would engage in an assertive foreign policy. This is the type of nonsense that Dr Lyssarides used to utter 30 years ago. It has been repackaged and is now marketed as the new strategy for the Cyprus problem.
Speaking to an audience in London on Monday night, Nicholas Papadopoulos said that “with the collapse of these myths (Turkey wanting a settlement), there must be a re-evaluation of our strategy.” Meanwhile the Alliance of Citizens, in answer to Anastasiades, released a proposal it had drafted in 2015 on “Strategic planning for the Cyprus problem,” which reads like an undergraduate’s thesis. Perhaps Anastasiades should ask the Alliance leader Giorgos Lillikas to read all 50 pages of his proposal at Monday’s meeting.
The fact is that for 42 years the hardliners have been cultivating unrealistic expectations and giving false hopes to people. Their promises, apart from winning a few votes from the naive and gullible, have achieved a big zero. So why would anyone buy the false hope they are now peddling through the new strategy rhetoric?