Cyprus Mail
Opinion Our View

Do our extremists know better than the Greek government?

When the Parliament of Greece votes on the ratification of the agreement between the governments of Athens and Skopje over the renaming of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Thursday, the fascists of Elam will be holding a demonstration outside the embassy of Greece in Nicosia. In an announcement it called on people to join the protest against the “traitorous agreement of Prespes which erases history and sells the name of Macedonia to Skopjians,” which is how Greeks refer to the people of the tiny former Yugoslav republic.

The extreme nationalists of Elam referred to the Syriza government of Greece as “anti-Hellenic” arguing the “name of Macedonia is an issue for Cyprus as well.” Elam’s fellow-traveller Dr Eleni Theocharous also issued an announcement on Tuesday accusing the government of Greece of “behaviours reminiscent of Stalinist eras,” resorting to “misinformation, fake news and vile propaganda,” while ignoring the objections to the deal of 80 per cent of the Greek people. Dr Theocharous demanded that the Prespes agreement was put to a referendum, because like Elam, she felt the government of Greece betrayed the country.

In Cyprus, the extremist nationalists have solved all our problems and now we are advising other countries how to solve theirs as well. It is quite incredible that the fascists have no hesitation in labelling Greece’s government as “traitorous” for agreeing to the name Republic of North Macedonia in an agreement that will normalise relations between the two countries and allow its neighbour to apply for EU and Nato membership. As a member of both, Greece had been blocking Macedonia’s membership to these organisations over the name dispute, which dates back to the early nineties.

The Syriza government of Alexis Tspiras, unlike its predecessors, had the political mettle to solve a problem that did not serve the country’s interests. In fact, the dispute was supported only by the Russian Federation which would see its influence in the Balkans restricted once Macedonia joined the EU and Nato. This was why its Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov had censured the Greek government over the agreement and openly opposed it. Russia tried to rally opposition to the agreement in Greece, forcing the Tsipras government to expel several of its diplomats. None of the great Greek patriots of Elam or Theocharous held a protest outside the Russian embassy over Moscow’s blatant attempt to scupper the deal.

Perhaps Theocharous and Elam believe that President Putin is better placed to decide what is in the national interest of Greece than the elected government of Greece. And of course Greek Cypriot extremists also know better than the Athens government.

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