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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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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ AKEL avoid responsibility yet again ]

AKEL avoid responsibility yet again

WHEN IT COMES to political theatre, nobody does it better than the communist party AKEL and its leader President Christofias who are in a class of their own. Its opportunistic populism surfaced once again in relation to the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, with the party leader going in one direction and the party in another. When the central committee was going to vote on the treaty, Christofias left the meeting, so he would not be part of the decision. This is the sort of thing that could only happen in Cyprus where politicians consistently underestimate public intelligence.

Anywhere else in the democratic world, where theatre does not play such a prominent part in politics such behaviour would have sparked a major crisis. Would it ever be possible for the head of government of any country to back a Treaty and his entire party to vote against it? But in Cyprus it is considered perfectly normal for the president to sign the ratification of a treaty that the entire party which he is leader of opposes. And we are not talking about some inconsequential treaty, but one that could have a big influence on our future, if the European Commission finds a way, as is widely expected, to get round Ireland’s ‘no-vote’.

The president is committed to a Treaty that his party unanimously believes would be bad for the country. But if AKEL is so strongly opposed to the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty, that it will vote against it in the legislature next Thursday, why does it not try to persuade the other parties to do the same? Why does it not try to persuade its leader to oppose the catastrophic treaty? It is because AKEL has traditionally avoided taking responsibility for important decisions?

This is exactly what happened during the referendum, when it took the colossally absurd decision for a ‘soft no so that we can cement the yes’. The party did the same thing with regard to the introduction of the euro, resorting to the political theatre that is becoming tiresomely familiar. It demanded that the euro’s adoption be put back a year – knowing that it was impossible for this to happen once all preparatory work had been completed – and used the fact it did not get its way to vote unanimously against its introduction.

For the Lisbon Treaty, as in the case of the euro, AKEL can play its theatre, because it knows that the other parties would at least show a sense of responsibility and vote it through. The other big party, DISY, which will vote in favour of the Treaty, has been complaining about this opportunistic political behaviour, claiming it undermined the credibility of the government among its partners. But the truth is that a party that indulges in political theatre whenever there is an important national decision to be taken does not have much credibility to lose.

(Source: Cyprus Mail)

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