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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Our View: A Cold War mentality that’s obvious to the whole world ]

Our View: A Cold War mentality that’s obvious to the whole world

WAS THE leader of the European People’s Party Wilfried Martens, justified in claiming that the Demetris Christofias administration was Europhobic and had sidelined Europe in the last three years? These views were expressed in his congratulatory letter to the DISY leader for his party’s victory in Sunday’s parliamentary elections and were made public to the government’s dismay.

The government felt obliged to defend itself. acting government spokesman Christos Christofides rejected the accusation of Europhobia while AKEL issued a statement in which it said: “Cyprus participates creatively in European political affairs and any different views submitted by the Christofias government are not a rejection of the EU in general are aimed at countering the neo-liberal, anti-popular choices and policies of militarising the bloc.”

AKEL mouthpiece Haravghi took a more absolute position. Its editor said that Martens was “misinformed”. He “either does not know what is happening in Cyprus or someone from DISY told him what to write in his letter,” which “contradicts reality.”  After all, the good relations Christofias enjoyed with President Sarkozy and Chancellor Merkel were conclusive proof that Martens’ was wrong, the paper concluded.

But if there is anyone who is guilty of misinformation it is AKEL and the government which have proved their Europhobia time and again. Its statement about the supposedly “neo-liberal, anti-popular choices” which the bloc unanimously embraces, underlines the point. AKEL had consistently opposed EU membership. Once Cyprus joined it regularly attacked the free market principles that are the foundation of Union and opposed adoption of the euro. It has also accused the EU of serving the interests of big capital at the expense of the workers.

Martens showed restraint in describing the Christofias government as Europhobic when in fact it has been openly anti-European. The is the government that obdurately refuses to join Partnership for Peace, in spite of the wishes of all the political parties of Cyprus, because it is linked to NATO, which Christofias  and AKEL dogmatically dismiss as a criminal, imperialist organisation. They ignore the fact that all our EU partners are members of NATO or it’s ante-room Partnership for Peace (PfP).

When EU members met in London to discuss the situation in Libya, the government did not send a representative, while Christofias expressed opposition to the decision to bomb Colonel Gaddafi’s forces, by saying “we do not give our blessing to military operations, even of this type.” AKEL chief Andros Kyprianou declared the bombing “a violation of international law” and claimed, misleadingly, that the “UN resolution did not envisage this attack.”

With regard to the Syria crisis, the government headed opposition to sanctions agreed by most of our EU partners, according to the EU Observer, insisting that a softer line was taken. In fairness it was not the only state opposing the tougher sanctions, but as in the case of Libya, Cyprus took a stand against the majority of the EU member-states, acting as a defender of the totalitarian regimes.

In fact the Christofias’ administration’s stance on Syria and Libya was much closer to that taken by the Russian Federation than that of our EU partners. Our government could not even bring itself to support the UN resolution condemning the 2008 Russian invasion of Georgia, as the rest of the EU had done. Need we mention the frequent, fanatical outbursts against NATO by the president (during an official visit to Russia he stated Cyprus would never join) and his AKEL comrades, who have preserved their ideological hatred of the West that dates back to the Cold War, when the European Community and NATO were anathema to communists.

There is no shortage of concrete evidence to support Martens perception of the Christofias administration as Europhobic. This is a widely-held view among our EU partners, who do not need anyone from DISY to tell them about the government’s hostility towards Europe. Their ambassadors send back reports about the government’s anti-European, anti-NATO rhetoric, as a Cypriot foreign ministry official visiting Copenhagen was disappointed to have found out not so long ago.

The Cyprus government is perceived as Europhobic by our EU partners because it is exactly that. Its anti-Western rhetoric, its foreign policy choices and its attacks on free market economics advertise its traditional hostility towards the EU which is no secret. This is the reality and the government should have the courage of its convictions, instead denying what is blatantly obvious to the whole world.

 

 

 



(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.



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