Stress test on Cyprus

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY NIKOS KONSTANDARAS

Of course the Cypri­ots know bet­ter than any­one else whether it is in their best in­ter­ests to move to­ward a fed­er­a­tion or whether they find to­day’s sit­u­a­tion vi­able and sat­is­fac­tory. No one else should try to af­fect their judg­ment, but it would be use­ful to know whether there is a third choice, where those who op­pose to­day’s process can see a vi­able so­lu­tion that is nei­ther the sta­tus quo nor a fed­er­a­tion. Ankara might imag­ine that the best out­come would be its an­nex­ing the ter­ri­tory it oc­cu­pies, but what could Greek Cypri­ots and Greece see as an im­prove­ment beyond to­day’s divi­sion or a fed­er­a­tion? We of­ten see ex­trem­ists de­ter­min­ing de­vel­op­ments in so­ci­eties with their de­mands and hy­per- bole. In most cases, though, the re­spon­si­ble, cen­trist parties try to re­sist. So how can we in­ter­pret the ease with which so many parties in the Cypriot Par­lia­ment sided with the ex­trem­ist ELAM with its two MPs? Did they not see that in other coun­tries when­ever main­stream parties adopt the lan­guage and meth­ods of ex­trem­ists it is the lat­ter who gain, as they gain cred­i­bil­ity among more cit­i­zens? Or do they think that ten­sion be­tween the is­land’s two com­mu­ni­ties serves their in­ter­ests? In any case the break­down in trust be­tween Anas­tasi­ades and Ak­inci is a great loss and it is hard to imag­ine how ei­ther of their com­mu­ni­ties will ben­e­fit. Anas­tasi­ades has his eye on the al­liances that he needs for next year’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tions, while

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