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Cyprus’ bluff has failed

21 March 2013 / 22:03:47  GRReporter
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Things that are even more unreal have appeared in this regard. They are saying that they will use the money from the insurance funds, which means that they will take the money that people have been paying for their pensions for years to give it to whom? Is it in order for the extremely rich depositor who has benefitted from the system the most not to pay anything? This is ridiculous, shameful and immoral.

Or that the church would give its property to the state. The church that does not pay taxes suddenly is becoming very anxious to save these people and then, it will have no funds to provide free lunches, which the majority of Cypriots will need very soon.

It is simply impossible to say such things and to call them patriotism.

During all these years, the opinion that the Turkish Cypriots are the only obstacle to the solution of the political problem in Cyprus has been imposed in Greece. Do you think so?

No, I do not think so. It is just that the Greek Cypriots had a long diplomatic tradition of managing to keep the role of the victim, without yielding to anything. As a result, each subsequent plan for resolving the Cyprus issue is worse than the previous one. Time cannot stop just because you are trying to stop the process.

Greek Cypriots kicked the last chance to settle the matter with the rejection of the Annan Plan. Perhaps they are now paying the price of this shock, which they had caused among the international community then. Because before that, they had created the impression that they were open to the final solution, that they would accept it if it was proposed by the United Nations. In general, they had almost stated that if they accessed the European Union they would solve the problem quickly. Instead, they have become members but have not solved it.

It is curious that the Greek-Cypriot side was in a better position to negotiate. Turkish Cypriots made many serious mistakes such as the invasion and the establishment of a regime in which democracy was questionable. They violated the international law in many respects and it was logical for a democratic state to have a clearer voice than a dictatorship. But tolerance, patience and good will dry up at some point. In this case, they were completely exhausted by the Cypriot Greeks.

The Greek government bears major responsibility for failing to exert any pressure for the acceptance of the Annan Plan. The "common national policy" doctrine was 100 percent wrong from the beginning to the end.

How do you see Cyprus in 10 years? United, yet divided, inside or outside the euro zone?

I cannot answer for sure. It depends on the Cypriots’ composure and on the presentation of a plan B, which has to be sustainable and to convince the Europeans, even if they have to close their eyes, if not to the whole amount, then at least of a large part of these 5.8 billion euro. They should grant the loan of 10 billion euro to allow Cyprus to stay in the game.

But whatever happens, the Cypriot economy has suffered great damage. Even the closure of banks for so many days has caused much damage. Moreover, I completely exclude the possibility that the country will continue to be the financial haven it was before. It was over anyway, but after the moves of the Cypriot government, the economic contraction will be more dramatic. It could have been a little smoother and they bear the burden of the fact that it is not.

I hope that they will learn their lesson if logic prevails and Cyprus remains in the euro zone. I do not know whether the country will be united in 10 years, but probably the two parts will be closer to unification.

It is doubtful that things would turn out this way. I would not think about the opposite scenario, which is very painful and will have negative consequences for Greece. Another negative feeling will be created in the minds of the people, which will be adopted as national humiliation.

The criticisms to the position of Greek Finance Minister Yiannis Stournaras during the meeting of Eurogroup have already started. And it was very proper, fair and adopted after a discussion with the Cypriot side. I also believe that such a development would stifle the voices of reformers and enhance these of political extremes.

Tags: PoliticsBanks.CyprusEurogroupAntigone Lyberaki
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