The government on Tuesday sought to re-direct the discussion away from the ‘zeros’ controversy of the past few days, saying its main disagreement with Akel is the latter’s euro-scepticism.
“We have no intention of pursuing a confrontation that favours Akel’s nihilistic criticism,” government spokesman Prodromos Prodromou told reporters.
“We leave it to Akel to dismiss economic growth, rising employment and projects as ‘bubbles’.”
The administration’s achievements in the last six years speak for themselves, he added.
Prodromou hit back at what he said is Akel’s agenda of personalising the current election cycle, by their focusing on president Nicos Anastasiades.
The upcoming European elections have nothing to do with the presidency, Prodromou said, adding: “For the presidential elections, the people voted only 14 months ago by 56 per cent.”
He went on to accuse Akel of being ‘closet euro-sceptics’.
“What is at stake in this ballot, is choosing between political forces and policies that believe in and support our proactive and positive participation in European actions, to the benefit of Cypriot citizens, and certain forces opposed to the trajectory of Europe.
“Forces like Akel,” he added, “who are against the Treaty of Lisbon and who, faced with the fallout of their own policies in this country, did not hesitate to suggest withdrawal from the eurozone and, consequently, Cyprus’ exit from the EU.”
The spokesman declined to respond to Akel leader Andros Kyprianou, who accused president Anastasiades of interfering with Akel’s internal affairs.
“We do not wish to continue this sterile controversy. Come Sunday, we shall be electing our representatives to the European Parliament.
“The people know which parties are vying to achieve a better Europe, and which parties are constantly seeking to undermine Europe, under various pretexts.”
The ‘zeros’ fracas began on Friday evening when Anastasiades used the word to refer to the Akel leadership.
Evidently vexed by Akel’s incessant criticism of his administration – including its handling of the recent Turkish violations of Cyprus’ maritime zones – the president lashed out at the main opposition party.
“How can the zeros comment on those who have excelled?” Anastasiades asked rhetorically.
Ahead of the European Parliament elections, a recent poll by Noverna Analytics & Research showed that ruling Disy is expected to garner 16.7 per cent of the vote, Akel 14.4 per cent.
Around one third of voters are undecided.