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21 May, 2024
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Politics blog: Moscow on the Mediterranean

'Christodoulides...declares that we will not let anyone tarnish the name of Cyprus...We won't allow any foreigner to soil our reputation when we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves'



While some talk behind our backs, The Guardian is unabashedly labeling our country, especially our banking system, as the "Moscow of the Mediterranean". And unfortunately, this is not even accurate, as most of the Russian funds have long left our shores. All we have left is the "tatsa"!

Christodoulides, meek and always wearing his enigmatic Joker smile, declares that we will not let anyone tarnish the name of Cyprus. Of course not. We won't allow any foreigner to soil our reputation when we are perfectly capable of doing it ourselves. After all, this is Cyprus. As we say, "This is Sparta"...

The label "Moscow of the Mediterranean" brings back memories for the older generation.   During Makarios' time, the Americans referred to us as the "Cuba of the Mediterranean", while a foul-mouthed Greek Prime Minister warned us that we could end up as the cash-strapped island of the Mediterranean, occasionally finding ourselves in the embrace of the English, Americans, and others. In that case, Greece was not in the mood to play the role of the benefactor! Holy shit.

The President has announced trips to various European Union countries in an attempt to break the Cyprus deadlock and restart talks. But let's be honest, Mr. President. The Europeans are suspicious of you due to your attitude in Crans-Montana. So first, find a way to convince them that you are genuinely interested in a solution, and then you can make as many trips as you like. Otherwise, you'll be wasting your time in airports, and we'll be footing the bill for no real reason, just for domestic popularity.

Some claim that the warming of Greek-Turkish relations could create conditions for a decline in Turkish intransigence. Others are more pessimistic, seeing more risks than opportunities. But the question is valid: do we have any other ally on this planet other than Greece, with all its strengths and weaknesses?

Whether we like it or not, for there to be any real progress on the Cyprus problem and the possibility of a solution, Greece needs to have harmonious, or at least manageable, relations with Turkey. Because, as much as "the earth has no griffins to take it and run away", the fact remains: Turkey is visible from the Tylliria Tower, while Greece occasionally tells us that it "lies far away", both geographically and otherwise. Tough times for princes, and even tougher for Cypriots. But let's not lose our smile, as Rouvas says, "Everything will be fine".

[This op-ed piece was translated from its Greek original]


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