OPINION

Healthy dose of realism

A businessman with interests in Cyprus recently visited President Dimitris Christofias. He was somewhat uncomfortable at first because in his mind he had the stereotype of a communist leader, with all the rigid ideologies and obsessions this entails. But he was in for a surprise and admits that he felt he had to pinch himself to believe that what he was hearing was true. The Cypriot leader was honest, almost brutally so, when he said that while he may be a staunch communist in tradition and ideology, since being elected by his people, the interests of his country have had to come first. He thanked the entrepreneur for investing in Cyprus and promised to do all he could to help on the condition that Cypriot laws and authorities were respected. He then shared his dreams for Cyprus. Christofias praised the private universities that have been operating on Cyprus for some time now, stressing the importance of a new MBA program that will attract students from all over the Middle East. I imagine that members of our paleolithic left would feel their skin crawl at hearing this. I also can’t help thinking that such programs should also be available in Thessaloniki so that the city might become a true hub in the Balkans. The Cypriot president said more. He mentioned an idea for a state-of-the-art healthcare facility that would serve the broader region and explained how he had formed a special team of businessmen and experts to find backers in Russia and elsewhere, or even how Qatar is investing in a major hotel development in Nicosia. The Cypriots have always been survivors, a fact that is most vividly illustrated by the realistic approach they took to their future survival following the 1974 occupation of the northern part of the island. A healthy dose of realism is exactly what Greece needs right now, just as the businessman said on his return from Cyprus. Maybe one way to go about achieving this would be to ask Christofias and other Cypriots to present a quick seminar to our own left-wing politicians, as well as to those who continue to believe that Greece will be able to attract investment and growth despite the path that the country is on right now.