Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Cyprus roundup

Here's a roundup of a few issues regarding Cyprus that have attracted my attention recently.

Today, Cypriot newspapers are concentrating on two issues:

First: the towns and villages that will be returned to Greek control and for Greek resettlement in any proposed deal. Turkish occupation leader Mehmet Ali Talat said over the weekend that the Turks, who currently control 37 percent of the island, will not give up more than eight percent of what they hold. This has led to speculation that the towns and villages to be returned will be Famagusta and a few of its satellite villages, plus Morphou and some of its satellite villages. This is roughly the territorial settlement envisaged by the Annan Plan and will leave Kyrenia, the Mesaoria and Karpasia in Turkish hands. (For more, see report in Greek here).

Another scenario doing the rounds is that because of Morphou's economic significance and the amount of Turks now living in Morphou – around 50,000 – the occupation regime is reluctant to give up the western Cyprus town and will instead offer the Greek side five or six Greek villages at the tip of the Karpasia peninsular, including Yialousa, Rizokarpaso, Agia Triada and Leonarisso. Karpasia's economic significance is less and would require that only 10,000 Turks be moved.

Second: Simerini is reporting that Alexander Downer, the so-called UN special envoy to Cyprus, whose role in the negotiations is supposed to be as a mediator/facilitator and not an Annan-style arbitrator, has been telling Cypriot NGOs and others in private meetings that in a settlement not only will Turkey's 'security' guarantee remain but so will the 200,000 Turkish settlers brought to the island since 1974. Downer is also reported to have turned on the Cypriot media and its coverage of the Christofias-Talat talks. 'I feel disgust,' Downer allegedly said, 'at the stuff put out by [daily newspapers] Simerini and Phileleftheros and by [TV stations] Sigma and ΑΝΤ1.'

President Christofias said today he will investigate Downer's statements and interventions, while leader of EVROKO Dimitris Syllouris said Downer should understand that Cyprus is a democracy with a free media, and added that if Downer is telling us that Turkish 'guarantees' and settlers will stay, then he is no longer acting as a mediator but as a representative of Turkish interests. (For more, see report in Greek here).

Third: even though like everywhere else, Cyprus has been hit by the global economic crisis, it is the only EU country that will post positive growth for 2009, a testament to the relative success of the island's economy. And yet in a Daily Telegraph article, I read this from Howard Davies, former chairman of the Financial Services Authority and currently director of the London School of Economics: 'The European economic forecast is pretty grim. About the only place that doesn't look too bad is Cyprus and that's really due to money laundering by crooked Russians.'

Now, Cyprus' financial regulation system is as tight as anywhere in the EU – and tighter it seems than in the USA and UK, whose banking systems have been exposed as true exponents of casino capitalism – and Russian economic interest in Cyprus is entirely legitimate. All Davies reflects is the prejudice that only the Anglo-Americans are capable of genuine economic enterprise while the rest of the world's business activities are 'crooked'. The truth is that Russian money is no more dirty than American or British money, and it seems, following recent events, a whole lot more secure, while Cyprus' economic stability is down to hard work and sound management. (Also, read Antipodean's article on how Anglo-American political and economic interests are targetting Cyprus).

Fourth: I like a lot the cartoon above, which I came across on the Ινφογνώμων Πολιτικά blog and refers to a whole series of recent British moves aimed at undermining the Republic of Cyprus – see my post here. Last week in Ankara, we even had Britain's foreign minister David Miliband and his Turk counterpart Ahmet Davoutoglou declaring that Turkey and the UK have the same 'vision' for Cyprus. As if we didn't know that Britain and Turkey down the years have shared a 'vision' for Cyprus – partition – and have acted hand in glove to realise it, as they continue to do so today.

1 comment:

Hermes said...

Ha ha the Anglo-American hegemons cannot fathom or tolerate that other nations are legimitate. They always need to hire these so-called academics from so-called respected educational institutions to carry out their propaganda work for them. Its a pity though when I hear Greeks peddle these same lies.