Si­zopou­los has a chance not to be missed

E DII TO RII A L

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

One of the bet­ter at­tributes of Mari­nos Si­zopou­los is that he lis­tens and he smiles. Whether he is gen­uine or not, this is some­thing that will de­ter­mine the fu­ture of his own po­lit­i­cal ca­reer, as well as that of the fledg­ling so­cial­ist party EDEK that has strug­gled in re­cent years with an iden­tity cri­sis and a fall­ing voter count.

How­ever, the party’s strength seems to have sta­bilised at just be­low the 10% bench­mark, un­de­cided if it is a small po­lit­i­cal voice or if it can be taken se­ri­ously.

Gone are the days when or­a­tor-founder Vas­sos Lys­sarides used to drum up popular sup­port with his fiery speeches that sec­onded none other than fel­low pro­gres­sive leader An­dreas Pa­pan­dreou, founder of the Pasok move­ment that has been con­victed to the dol­drums of Greek pol­i­tics due to its rigid­ity, cor­rup­tion scan­dals and lack of vi­sion.

EDEK was never a ma­jor player in the is­land’s pol­i­tics, which is why it has been in bed as a ju­nior coali­tion part­ner with al­most all group­ings, and also why its labour arm, DEOK, has been shunned by the dinosaurs of the trades union sec­tor, cen­tre-right SEK and com­mu­nist PEO.

Si­zopou­los has of­ten

been

in

and

out

of par­lia­ment and has tried to in­ject a breath of fresh air into the po­lit­i­cally-stale party, at­tempt­ing on many oc­ca­sions to play a lead­ing role and not sit on the side­lines. But his brash, some say ar­ro­gant, at­ti­tude is some­thing he needs to work on if he wants EDEK to ride the pop­u­lar­ity wave that Syriza so clev­erly ma­nip­u­lated in Greece.

The good thing is that he has an opin­ion about the econ­omy, so­ci­ety, health and the dreaded Cyprob, and must ap­peal to the younger gen­er­a­tion of frus­trated non-vot­ers.

The peo­ple of Cyprus are fed up of the Do­dos that run the place, namely DISY, AKEL and DIKO. Then again, smaller voices such as the Euro­pean Party (Evroko), the Greens and the Cit­i­zens’ Al­liance have yet to prove their worth and gain enough pop­u­lar­ity in or­der to be taken se­ri­ously.

The foun­da­tions of EDEK are strong, but have col­lected dust in re­cent years. Their membership is loyal, but is age­ing, which is where new blood comes in. Si­zopou­los has been granted a 15-month mission to raise the im­age of the so­cial­ist party in time for the par­lia­men­tary elec­tions, where he needs to com­pete with the var­i­ous plat­forms and col­lec­tions of dis­grun­tled or­di­nary folk to earn the party the place it de­serves.

And the best way to do that is to be frank and truth­ful. No­body ex­pects any­thing else of a young politi­cian.

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