Sunday, May 27, 2007

Nicos Rolandis

However, in a world in which the new French President Sarkozy paid his first foreign visit to German Chancellor Merkel, overlooking the German atrocities and the 50 million victims of the Second World War for the sake of European unity… In a world where the South Africans live together in peace and in Northern Ireland – after years of clashes – Protestants and Catholics have agreed to rule jointly… In a world where Greeks and Turks have set aside their wars and conflicts of four centuries and are building up a new prosperous era in their relations … In a world in which, after 56 years, the first train has crossed the heavily guarded border of North and South Korea “carrying with it a dream of peace”… In a world where the Cold War is over and confrontation has been replaced by a ray of hope for a better life… In such a world, should we Greek Cypriots remain glued to the differences which we carry with us for decades, as if these differences were more important than the death chambers and the Gestapo of Germany and more striking than the dozens of millions of victims of the international conflicts? Should we remain glued to the slogans and credos of the past: “The Rally party is as strong as an earthquake” on one side and “AKEL is there for ever and ever” on the other side? Should we be infatuated with figures and images, such as “Makarios”, “Grivas”, “patriots”, “resistance fighters”, “traitors”?

Unfortunately this is where we are. We live in the 1950s and 1960s. And we lose sight of the fact that through this attitude of ours we have gradually created a schism among the people, which will lead to partition, due to lack of co-operation among the Greek Cypriots themselves. Such a partition may end up in a future total occupation of Cyprus by Turkey. Because if in a few decades we have a population of 3 million Turks (settlers) in the north and of 1 million Greeks in the south of a divided Cyprus, it does not take a genius to figure out the predicament of this country. The former Syrian and now Turkish city of Iskenderun is a good example.

I firmly believe that a Grand Coalition between all those forces which aim at a historical settlement and at the reunification of Cyprus is neither a wish nor a target. It is a necessity. Whether Christofias or Kasoulides or somebody else is the new President, provided he believes in a realistic solution and in a united Cyprus (and that he will rid us of the political absurdities with which we are faced today) he is fit, as long as he commands the support of the majority of the people and he possesses the strength and the tenacity to work and achieve the solution.

Those who will dynamite this last glimmer of hope (if it still exists) for the sake of expediencies or power sharing will be responsible for the tragic denouement and for the catastrophe which will follow.


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