November 19, 2006

Stravaraland Memories - Part 4

Clerides must have been as surprised to win in 1993 as Spyro K had been shocked when he lost back in 1988. Natural-born enemies until that time, partly because Clerides the statesman was at a rather different level of intellectual ability than the stiff and confused-looking Spyro K and partly because Glafcos could probably not understand (much like TeePee) how Spyro K had managed to succeed Makarios. Enemies in public can become the closest of bed-fellows when it comes to power-sharing, though, just as the recent elections for the current Archbishop proved.

Spyro K negotiated a bundle of spoils for his waning DIKO (supposed to stand for Democratic Party, it also means Mine in Greek). Glafcos was content to give him lots of power as long as he could be left alone to deal with the Cyprus problem. Glafcos knew that the EU application could potentially prove to be a sbstantial lever in dealing with the problem. Magnanimous in victory and in need of good marketing skills, Glafcos appointed Vassilliou to spearhead the campaign. EU diplomats at the time must have thought that these guys were living a fairy tale to believe that the EU would take on board a divided country. But Vassiliou would not give up in trying to convince the Europeans that the Greek Cypriots could not be doubly punished for the Turkish invasion and the subsequent intransigence of Denktash by preventing them from joining the Union.

The real story of the 90s, however, was the growth of Paphos. It is not clear why it happened then (as opposed to during the '80s. In the '70s it was way behind Famagusta, Kyrenia and Karpasia.) But the Paphians started booming and growing in the 90s and have never looked back. Their enlightened Despotas and his brother, Aristos (as in Aristo Developments), pushed forward the development of the second poorest district in the free Stravaraland to bring it, by the turn of the century, to the forefront of economic development in a mere 10 years.

In the meantime, the Clerides presidency was coming to an end in 1998 and things were quiet on the national obsession front, thus favouring the incumbent who stands for the status quo. The Denktash mantra that peace had arrived (in a painful way) in 1974, has by this time infiltrated the subconscious mind of the islanders, even though this will be vehemently denied in public by any Greek Cypriot, government official or not, young or old. But it is the reality on the island - even more so in 1998 as all the Greek Cypriots had repeatedly seen the pictures of the violent murders of of Solomou and Isaac in 1996.

Clerides was always a master of dealing with the Lazaros Mavroses of the island. Towards 1998, the concept of the Common Defense Pact with Greece was hatched, and orders were placed for the mightly S-300 missiles from Russia. Whether accidentally or not, while maintaining the established 1974 status quo, and at the same time claiming to be fighting for the rest of the occupied land (a common theme in the next President's policy) Glafcos marched to victory in 1998. He then went back to negotiating accession to the EU along with canceling the missiles and sending them on holidays to Crete. The demise of the Common Defense Pact would prove to be slower.

To recap, DIKO doing its thing, Glafcos dealing with the EU through Vassiliou, Pafos growing, in general the openness inaugurated in 1988 was very much around. The air seemed fresh and contributed to Glafcos' 1998 re-election.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Μπράβο απόδημε. Περιεκτικές και to the point οι αναμνήσεις σου. Σαν μικρή συμβολή θα πρόσθετα οτι στη περίοδο Δ' άρχισαν να λάμπουν οι νεοι αστέρες της πολιτικής μας ζωής που θα αναλάμβαναν να μεταφέρουν την πολύτιμη κληρονομιά των άξιων προκατόχων τους στον 21ο αιώνα. Λιλλήκας, Ρίκκος, Προδρομος, Κατσουρίδης, Αντρος Κυπριανού και άλλοι τηλεοπτικοί αστέρες ανέβαινουν τρία τρία τα σκαλιά των κομματικών ιεραρχιών. Τους αναφέρω γιατί θα τους συναντήσουμε παρακάτω.
Άλλο αξιοσημείωτο στή περίοδο που πραγματεύεσαι είναι η προσχώρηση του Τάσσου στη ηγεσία του ΔΗΚΟ. Αργά και μεθοδικά στρώνει το δρομο για την αναρρήχηση στην εξουσία.

19 November, 2006 19:38  

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