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Akel ‘unprecedently divisive’ in 60th anniversary speech

Akel leader Andros Kyprianou

Government spokesman Kyriacos Kousios on Tuesday accused Akel leader Andros Kyprianou of choosing to mark the 60th anniversary of independence with an “unprecedently divisive speech”.

Commenting on Kyprianou’s speech on Monday evening at an event in Limassol to mark the 60th anniversary of independence, Kousios said the main opposition leader’s attack on the government provided a cover for Turkey’s aggressive policy.

“Mr Andros Kyprianou ‘honoured’ yesterday the anniversary of Cyprus’ independence, with an unprecedentedly divisive speech,” Kousios said.

In his speech, Kyprianou said the right wing “had created the Cyprus problem”. Among other accusations, he said the nationalist right wing rallied around the Ethnarchy and various archbishops putting Enosis (union with Greece) as its first and immediate goal and excluded the Turkish Cypriots and the left.

He also said that the right wing turned against Akel for its position of a joint Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot struggle against colonialism, and, “driven by the anti-communist hysteria that prevailed at that time, sought to exclude Akel from any field of action, from the struggle in general”.

“The intolerance and fanaticism that the right systematically cultivated against Akel led to the murder of executives of the Popular Movement, by the masked men of (Eoka leader) Grivas, on the charge of treason,” he said. He added that the British colonialists found the reason they were looking for to outlaw Akel, imprisoning dozens of its executives.

Akel, he said, sought a united anti-colonial front, while the right wing insisted on armed anti-colonial struggle.

“We had warned that this road would end in a dead end, but we were not heard,” he said.

The Akel leader warned that the possibility of partition was now a direct threat and that the only way to stop it was insisting on the agreed solution framework.

Kyprianou accused President Nicos Anastasiades of inconsistency and going back and forth which helped Turkey to constantly slip away from its responsibilities.

“The stagnation that prevailed especially after Crans-Montana allowed Turkey to escalate its aggression and violate the Cypriot exclusive economic zone (EEZ), threaten with faits accomplis in Famagusta while Cyprus does not seem capable of reacting effectively with tragic consequences for the future,” Kyprianou said.

Kyprianou also took a swipe at Foreign Minister Nikos Christodoulides accusing him of “amateurism” while adding that Anastasiades did not have the political will to go all the way in the negotiations.

Kyprianou accused the government of resorting to PR stunts for internal consumption “and policies that bring to mind apprentice wizards”.

He also accused the government and the ruling party of trying to tarnish Akel arguing they will not succeed.

Kousios called on Kyprianou to “finally see the big picture, without distorting lenses and petty party expediencies”. He asked whether was Anastasiades’ policy that brought Turkey a few weeks ago to the brink of war and that allowed it to claim the right to conduct seismic surveys off Crete and Kastelorizo by military means.

“Is it Anastasiades’ policy that provided the excuse for Turkey to sign the illegal Turkish-Libyan pact and to intervene militarily in the Libyan crisis? Is it Anastasiades’ policy that allows Turkey to invade Iraq, Syria and even today to intervene militarily in the Nagorno-Karabakh war?” Kousios asked.

He also called on Akel to decide on its position. Was it its statement in the morning on the ‘Turkish demonstration of militarism and chauvinism that provokes the states and peoples of the eastern Mediterranean’? Or Kyprianou’s statements in the evening that “the policy of apprentice magicians leads to division”?


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