Greek side’s ‘No’ seems irreversible

Greek Cypriots are overwhelmingly opposed to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s proposal for their island’s reunification ahead of its EU accession on May 1. President Tassos Papadopoulos’s call for the plan’s rejection in the April 24 referendum, and the decision by the largest political party, AKEL, to call for a postponement of the referendum or, otherwise, a «no» vote, appears to have made the plan’s rejection irreversible. Athens’s Mega Channel last night presented a poll conducted by the RAI company, which showed close to 80 percent of Greek Cypriots rejected the plan. It found that 62 percent would definitely vote «no» and 16 percent would probably vote «no,» while 8 percent would definitely vote «yes» and 9 percent would probably do so. A week earlier, on April 6, 42 percent said they would certainly reject the plan and 25 percent said they would probably reject it. Most of them (43 percent) also appeared to follow Papadopoulos’s thinking that their rejection of the plan, even if Turkish Cypriots approved it, would be beneficial toward finding a solution, while 38 percent thought things would worsen. Furthermore, 71 percent said the Greek government should take an open stand. Former Prime Minister Constantine Mitsotakis, honorary chairman of Greece’s ruling New Democracy party, told Mega, «If the Cypriot people had been informed honestly and fully, things would have been different.» He urged Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis to take a position on the Annan plan.

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