OPINION

A road of no return

The current period is not merely another crucial phase for the Cyprus question. This time, there’s no way back. Whatever future developments may hold, Cyprus will never be the same again. The UN plan will be the first trial. Current information about its content is alarming. But we still have no clear picture, and the phrasing can be of fundamental importance. Hence it would be premature to make any judgments at this point. Athens and Nicosia are seeking a solution before the EU’s Copenhagen summit next month. This is, first, because they wish to see the reunification of the island. Second, that would facilitate Cyprus’s accession. And, finally, Turkey could carry out its threat and respond with an indirect annexation of the breakaway state. The precondition, of course, is that any solution will not be detrimental to our national interest or incompatible with the EU’s acquis communautaire – which is in the interest of Cyprus and the Union alike. The acceptance of a bicommunal federation constitutes an historic compromise on the part of the Greek Cypriots. Also, it’s the only way that Cyprus can become a viable republic – also inside the EU. A federation, of course, signifies nothing else but a single state sovereignty exercised by a central government. Only the degree of self-administration of the two federal statelets is negotiable. It’s important that the Greek government has made clear to our EU peers that there will be no enlargement without Cyprus. Whatever the future of the UN proposal, Cyprus must share the fate of the other nine candidates. Athens must reject any attempt to separate Cyprus from that group. Greece is able to maintain this stance both at the institutional and the political level. Its EU partners do not wish to inherit the Cyprus dispute, but acknowledge that, particularly after the Helsinki decision, Cyprus has, politically speaking, qualified for membership.