A politician with the ruling party was on Monday forced to water down comments she made earlier where she appeared to support ‘Enosis’ (union) with Greece.
On Sunday, Disy MP Eleni Stavrou, who is also running for Member of European Parliament, posted on her social media account pictures from her attendance at a memorial for General Georgios Grivas (Digenis), the military commander of the Eoka insurgency against British colonial rule from 1955 to 1959 and its later variant Eoka B in the 1960s.
The stated aim of the struggle was ridding Cyprus of British colonial rule and annexing it to Greece.
Stavrou wrote: “Digenis is not flesh to be consumed by the earth, he is a noble ideal! Immortal! Greece-Cyprus-Enosis. Cyprus is Greek – Macedonia is Greek.”
It caused a firestorm on social media, drawing hundreds of likes but also angry comments.
An Akel official fired back suggesting that, swayed by the emotion of the occasion, Stavrou could barely contain her far-right proclivities.
On social media, one Turkish Cypriot demanded from Disy leader Averof Neofytou that he state whether or not his party endorses Stavrou’s opinions.
Responding, Neofytou distanced himself from his MP, stating that the idea of ‘enosis’ ceased to exist decades ago.
“Our only concern is to reunite our country within the agreed UN framework and to live in peace alongside our Turkish Cypriot compatriots,” he posted.
Following this, Stavrou herself came back on Monday with a new post on Facebook.
She clarified that, although the people who fought in the struggle should be honoured and memorialised, union with Greece is no longer a political goal and that she had merely referred historically to the uprising against British rule.
“Shielding and safeguarding the statehood of the European Republic of Cyprus, with all its attendant institutional advantages, are our prime objectives,” she wrote.