OPINION

Hollow rhetoric

Like a spell no one believes in anymore, we have for years been producing platitudinous reassurances that «Cyprus decides and Greece backs her up.» But though we often repeat these words, we hardly mean them. Neither party leaders and party cadres mean them, nor the media commentators, nor TV journalists. And now, once again, in response to Kofi Annan’s plan and the looming referenda, we are rehashing the familiar mantra: «Cyprus decides and Greece backs her up.» But once again, we don’t really mean what we say. Perhaps, to our calls for sobriety and farsightedness, we should also add a call for responsibility, meaning the genuine, sincere relationship between the most profound thoughts of a politician and his public statements. For none of those who are elected to decide the fate of countries and people has the right to serve up two truths, a private (and more sober) one and a public (more emotional or sensationalist) one. Furthermore, no one should play at politics – particularly on crucial issues – using innuendos, half-truths and information that is carefully leaked so as to support all sides, even the incompatible ones. The spontaneous rejection of the UN plan, which was a surprise to many people (who were also surprised to see that Cyprus continues to sell in Greece), was followed by a somewhat unfair game of rumors, leaks and speculation. Athens, theoretically supportive, appears to be pushing Nicosia to accept the plan, perhaps in an attempt to offset the pressure it is receiving from the big powers. Political leaders have avoided taking a clear stand on the issue and are all expecting the others to make the first move as, even on national issues, they have one eye fixed on the political cost for their parties. Even monosyllables like «yes» or «no» require consideration. Consideration, however, is not the same as evasion or rumormongering.