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Rejectionists have a nerve to complain about settlers By Loucas Charal

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Joined: 17/06/2007
Posts: 657

Message Posted:
14/09/2008 18:28

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Rejectionists have a nerve to complain about settlers

By Loucas Charalambous

THE HYPOCRISY for which our politicians are renowned has been on display in the last few weeks, as the war of words over the president’s statement about the Turkish settlers rages among the government coalition parties.

His statement, that he did not object to 50,000 settlers remaining after a solution, outraged all the super-patriots of the island, particularly the members of EDEK, DIKO, EUROKO and the Perdikis party. A common element of all the indignant responses was the argument that the divulging of this position by the president, just before the start of direct talks would bind him to accept this or a bigger number of settlers; if he started from the position that he would not accept any settler remaining, he would supposedly have the ability to negotiate the stay of a smaller number.

This argument is based on the naïve assumption that every time a new Cyprus talks procedure commenced it started with a clean slate. The assumption is evident in the positions expressed by almost all our politicians. They pretend not to be aware of what had happened in Cyprus from 1963 to the present day. By the wave of a magic wand, they erase the past and start from zero.

Listening to them, one would think they had arrived from Mars just the other day. Neither 1963 nor 1967 seems to be registered in their brain, nor the 34 years that have elapsed since the invasion. They seem to be under the illusion that, all of a sudden, yesterday, 700,000 Greek Cypriots and 200,000 Turkish Cypriots fell on the island from the sky and that they are now having talks on how to establish the ideal state.

I do not know how many thousands of pages of material relating to the Cyprus problem have been amassed in the archives in the last 45 years. But whoever considers everything that happened in half a century as ‘non-events’ needs his head examined. For instance, that a sizeable number of Turkish citizens would stay on in Cyprus after a settlement is known to everyone.

Even the European acquis, which we are always referring to, safeguards this right for large numbers of settlers. It is a reality that neither Christofias nor anyone else has the power to change. Under the circumstances, his statement was far from harmful. On the contrary it could be turn to his advantage. By publicly accepting in advance of talks, something that he would have to accept anyway, he gives himself the opportunity to demand reciprocal shows of good intentions from the Turkish side.

Those who have been criticising the president should be ashamed to make a fuss about the settlers as they are partly responsible for the growing scale of the problem. Nicolas Papadopoulos, the son of the former president, is the last man who should issue warnings about the issue. Having accused Christofias – with an arrogance he could only have inherited from his father – of being concerned with “the conciliation of the Greek Cypriots with the unacceptable positions of the Turks”, he also warned that the number of settlers that would stay on could rise to 100 or 200 thousand.

But who is to blame for this danger, if not his father and the other hard-line rejectionists? Back in 2004, Talat had given a list containing only 41,000 names of settlers who would have stayed on the island. If this number has increased to 200,000 in the ensuing period, the people to blame are Nicolas, his father, Omirou, Garoyian, Koutsou, Perdikis and Christofias, who rejected the Annan plan.

Many of us who had voted in favour of a settlement in 2004 had warned that rejection of a settlement would lead to the multiplying of the number of settlers. Papadopoulos and his son and the other political pygmies who had voted for partition back then should feel ashamed of what they had done and kept quiet now. These hypocrites have a nerv

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