Cynicism is high among the public if the latest opinion poll conducted for the CyBC is anything to go by. According to the poll conducted by IMR and the University of Nicosia, 28 per cent believe corruption is the most important problem facing Cyprus today and the majority do not see us getting rid of it.
Some 52 per cent of respondents agreed with the view that “Cyprus is a country where corruption will always exist,” while 39 per cent believed Cyprus “can become a country without corruption.” It was a show of no confidence for our political establishment, which, according to the majority of the people, is incapable of ridding the country of the most important problem it faces, more important than the pandemic and the Cyprus problem.
This lack trust in our ruling elite, was reflected in the low approval ratings recorded in the poll for the top politicians. President Anastasiades’ received an approval rating of 34 per cent for the way he performed his duties and just 28 per cent for the way he is governing the country and his handling of the Cyprus problem. Of the party leaders, only the new Greens chief, Charalambos Theopemptou had an approval rating higher than 50 per cent, probably because he is still an outsider, still not a fully-fledged member of the political leadership.
Even greater cynicism, understandably, was displayed in the way people view the Cyprus problem, which is no longer even regarded as one of the most important problems facing the country – corruption, the pandemic and the economy are above it. Eighty-one per cent believe we are no closer to settlement than we were a year ago (when we were not close at all) and just 13 per cent believe next month’s five-party conference will have positive results.
None of this could be a surprise. Our politicians foster this pessimism and cynicism with their actions. Is it any wonder that more than half the population believes there will always be corruption, despite the grandstanding on the issue by the opposition parties and the host of measures recently announced by the government to combat it? Most people, quite clearly, do not believe what the politicians are telling them about fighting corruption, let alone trust them to do something about it.
The same applies to the Cyprus problem. People have given up on it, not hoping or expecting anything to happen. Although the poll did not ask ‘why’ we suspect that Turkish intransigence is not the only reason. In the same way people do not trust them to eliminate corruption, they do not trust them to solve the Cyprus problem. Perhaps the next CyBC poll could enlighten us further by asking people why they do not trust the political establishment to do anything about corruption?