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20 July, 2024
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Fidias' victory brings new hope to Cypriot politics

New MEP Fidias calls for unity and real change in Cyprus



By  Xenophon Hasapis

In modern pedagogy, one can distinguish between a young person who reacts to various situations and suggestions of expected behaviour, and another who remains apathetic, withdrawn, and silent. In the first case, your nerves become tense and calm is disturbed. In the second, you experience a plunge into the void. It is easier to manage negative behaviours than the cold attitude of a parent or educator in the face of apathy.

In this light, we can only feel optimistic with the election of Fidias as a Cypriot MEP. First of all, many citizens who would have reluctantly voted for the least objectionable of the established parties felt that this election offered a clearer political stance. Moreover, the profile of Phidias—a young man known for his honesty and vivacity, who speaks in a relatable manner—convinced many who would otherwise abstain to come to the ballot box. Ultimately, the conversion of citizens from indifference to reaction, even if negative, is a gain.

However, you might ask, is it appropriate to elect an influencer to represent us? It is unfair to demonise social media when we have superficially chosen actors, singers, footballers, TV personalities, and others who had not previously engaged in public affairs, for similar roles in Cyprus and Greece.

Phidias displayed commendable political sense by identifying the wide divergence underlying citizens' concerns and the clichéd language of established parties. People are not gullible, even if they do not organise protests as in other European countries. The pandemic, accompanied by new drug experiments, unfortunately left many with side effects, while others profited unexpectedly. People are anxious about inflation, which has made the rich richer and many people reliant on their savings to get through the month. Citizens are also struggling to accept Europe's involvement in the war in Ukraine. Now, we have a second war that is destroying Palestine without eliminating Hamas. It is hard to ignore that both wars serve the interests of the defence industries, belligerents, and plutocrats, at the cost of thousands of deaths, shortages of goods, and soaring living costs.

The Cypriot family is experiencing yet another shock. We have succumbed to the apotheosis of individualism and consumption, leading to a spread of drugs and a rise in school and youth delinquency. The proposed solution is more policing, more psychologists and social workers, fences, and cameras. Are the leaders missing something? In an age where we advocate tolerance, multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion, which is commendable, we must also dare to talk about the importance of cultivating the human soul with values that protect it.

These overwhelming anxieties affect citizens while parties fight amongst themselves, even candidates within the same party. Is there a way out? Some hope Phidias offers one. For a more radical solution, party leaders need to go further. They need to accept the necessity of uniting, agreeing on common programmes, and speaking with fairness and truth. Things can improve if we stop chasing party votes and start building a healthy youth.

Xenophon Hasapis is a consultant and trainer of business executives and youth.

[This article was translated from its Greek original]

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