September 14, 2007

Does supporting a loose federation imply voting for the incumbent?

In a previous post I argued (a bit vaguely, but will make it more detailed in the future) that a loose federation is a viable solution that can win a separate majority on both sides of the island. It is actually, in my view, the only possible road to avoid complete and irreversible partition, uncontrolled population inflows, an irreversible division of the two communities along an Iron-Curtain border, and a continuous military buildup with all the risks (and waste) this entails. One may agree or disagree with the above assessment, my view is that under current circumstances and recent events, a loose federation is the only way out of the psychological fear, the diplomatic distrust and the enmity that has been allowed to develop over the years and in the last three years in particular.

The question is: if the majority of G/C think like that, should they vote for TeePee? He seems to be potentially closer to the above “ideal” of a loose federation. His supporters, a cacophony of cheerleaders, ranging from commando fighter, “two-state” Matsakis, one-person-one-vote neo-democrat Sillouris, no-comment-no-problem DIKO president Karoyian, solution-lies-in-legal-EU-treaties Angelides, crypto-YES-anti-Anastasiades EDEK pseudo-president Omirou, EDEK president-emeritus-and-at-large Lyssarides, and more generally many voters who live in fear of the Turkish army and just want to keep the situation as it is, erroneously thinking that this is the most stable situation, on the basis of the experience in the last 30 years. With such supporters, one might argue that a for very loose federation, one might be better off voting for the incumbent.

I want to argue that this is the wrong inference. I hope you are convinced that what unites the above group is either a mistaken world-view of the power of a legalistic approach to solve political problems (Angelides and maybe Lyssarides) or a complete denial that T/C actually exist and have political rights guaranteed in the Constitution since 1960 (Syllouris etc) or are simply driven by personal enmities (Omirou), or simply think that partition is not such a bad idea (Matsakis).

The current President simply accepts the support of these groups and tries to act as a “unifier” of diverse voices, competently arguing that “the official position remains the goal of a federal solution and I have never said anything to contradict that myself”. So the final call is up to the voter to decide whether the president means what he says given the diverse support he inspires or not. In particular, can a loose federation be acceptable to this diverse group, and the President himself?

I don’t think that a loose federation will ever by accepted by this group. A loose federation recognizes the right of one area to be governed by the T/C without interference from the G/C. One-man-one-vote Sillouris will not agree to that, and neither will human-rights EU legal activist Angelides. Two-state Matsakis would rather have his two states than a loose federation that maintains some possibility of tighter union in the future. Omirou will go against whatever Anastasiades supports, and Karoyian will not want to rock the boat and will therefore side with TeePee. Now will TeePee ever agree to the creation of a loose federation? I don’t know. What I do know, is that on one Wednesday in April 2004 he proclaimed:

I have received an internationally recognized state. I will not hand down a “Community” without an international voice


That proclamation is suggestive that a loose federation can never be achieved under the current incumbent. If the current incumbent thinks like that, I do not see how a federal state can be created under his watch. That is why, beginning to think towards a loose federation, still implies not voting for the incumbent.

6 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Apodime Kypree, instead of worrying about the shape of a future solution and the person with the wherewithall to deliver it, mull over the fact that it takes two to tango. This type of intellectual masturbation that some like to indulge in is pointless because it never figures the "other" into the equation. This amounts to self-flaggelation, as if the Greek Cypriots screwed up and have to make good all over again with Captain Visionary at the helm. First, we have no visionary leaders, or at least leaders with guts to forge a vision. Second, instead of Papadopoulos bashing, ask yourself this question - do Greek Cypriots have a trustworthy partner to create a "loose/tight, federation/confederation" or any other name you wish to attach to any future settlement? What is Turkey? How do Turkish Cypriots figure into the equation? And I suggest you grapple with the real concerns of Greek Cypriots today. First, everything's getting more expensive and the paycheque is static. Second, as witnessed by the referendum, Greek Cyrpiots - either out of narrow self interest or otherwise - won't hand their sovereignty they consider their absolute and final last line of defence against a bellicose neighbour - without ironclad guarantees. And talk about loose federations and whatnot doesn't address that fundamental mistrust. Get me?

14 September, 2007 16:35  
Blogger Noullis said...

@anonymous:

1. I once had a girlfriend who had bellicose veins. We broke up and settled in separate apartments, at the insistence of foreign lawyers and other meddling parties. I have never visited San Francisco since the break-up

2. The Greek Cypriots never screwed up. They were merely indulging in mental masturbation when, for example they insisted on bringing the consumption of electricity in Kofinou by removing some of the inhabitants who were running their radios round the clock.

3. Another instance of bad timing was when the Greek Cypriot National Guard threw a Quatorze Juillet after-party which may have gotten somewhat out of hand. That's when the Varicose Turks joined in, as if it were a BYOB (Bring Your Own Bombs) party.

7. My grandmother had quite a collection of gold sovereigns. I still recognise them when I see them.

14 September, 2007 16:55  
Anonymous pg said...

Apodimos,

I agree that a loose federation is the most feasible way out of the present leathal situation. However, it is probably not the final solution.

Above all the loose one will give the T/Cs a chance to develop a Cypriot partnership instead of only a Turkish one.

In the long run though peace is most likely best secured by insuring the T/C has an economic development on par with the G/C - and that is best achieved by isolating the T/C as little as possible. At that stage the T/C will ask for a bi-communal unitary state (perhaps a 50/50 parliament where MPs needs votes from both types of Cypriots - and a parliamentary system) and then the gang of the present incumbent will argue for an even looser federation...

Considering this, perhaps we should go for a loose federation now, and leave the property question for later... We need to get away from the concept that "the solution" is the final one and the end of the world history - where we will happily ever after and all Turks dissappear.

Once we come to terms with the fact that Turkey will always be our largest neighbour we can move forward again. If we can make millions laundering Russian money, how much can be make laundering Turkish - with the help of our T/C compatriots?

14 September, 2007 22:17  
Blogger Demetris said...

@noullis: Big Kiss.

15 September, 2007 02:54  
Blogger Illantros (Ιλλαντρος) said...

pg mentioned "the fact that Turkey will always be our largest neighbour". And it's a good thing he did because after reading anonymous' post I started thinking that we are complete idiots for thinking about forming a federation with the Turks and that we should approach the Swedes or the Canadians instead.

Then I woke up.

15 September, 2007 13:44  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

@Anonymous: You said

"do Greek Cypriots have a trustworthy partner to create a "loose/tight, federation/confederation""

Well, if we do not try to find out, then for sure we will not (find that out), will we?

I will respond to the connection between the cyprus problem and the economy in a future post, as it is an intellectual masturbation of a more intricate sort.

17 September, 2007 12:02  

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