Fates forever linked

The government and the opposition are indulging in a new political game. While they supposedly kept their opinion on the Cyprus reunification plan quiet – ostensibly out of political sensitivity ahead of the April 24 referendum – at the same time, they ensured their verdict was leaked to the public. It is up to the Greek Cypriots to decide, the so-called center of the nation says. Athens will stay out of it and only make a sober, in-depth assessment of Kofi Annan’s blueprint. However, although they had barely finished their thorough study of the plan, the government and the opposition thought it proper to hint that, according to political commentators, a «yes» vote would better serve our national interest. The Greek political leadership has said «yes» without actually saying so. Why is it doing this? When will it explain itself? Has it refrained from saying «yes» up to now out of embarrassment? And why would that be? And if the government really wanted to avoid influencing Greek-Cypriot public opinion, why did it so blatantly undermine its own intentions? If PASOK and New Democracy think that a «yes» vote best promotes the interests of the Greek side, then what is the point of this political coyness? What have the leaderships of the two main parties achieved with their muddled stance? For one thing, they hardly strengthened their political image. Greeks and Greek Cypriots can see through post-Buergenstock developments on the Cyprus issue. The two leaderships made no secret of their fear, they failed to look Greek Cypriots in the eye and take an unequivocal stand on a major national issue that will shape the future of the island. Whatever the outcome of the referendum, Cyprus will not cease to be a major foreign policy issue. Those who think that Greece will in one way or another rid itself of the issue are simply deluding themselves.

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