Cyprus talks on the brink of collapse
A decision by the parliament of the Republic of Cyprus has sparked a dispute between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot negotiators and led to a suspension of their talks. The parliament had ruled that the country's schools will in future commemorate the vote in favour of Enosis with which the Greek Cypriots voted to be incorporated into the Greek state in 1950. Is the process of coming to terms with the past getting in the way of peace?
Will Anastasiades take a hard line?
Cypriot President Anastasiades must take a clear stand now, the Cyprus Mail demands:
“At the news conference he gave on Thursday to explain why the meeting had ended prematurely, he did not speak like someone who remained committed to the process and wanted to keep it alive at all costs. Instead he went on the offensive, suggesting that Akinci had lied in claiming he had abandoned the meeting and accusing him of finding pretexts to avoid negotiations. ... Anastasiades, lately, is sounding like the rejectionists, with whom he was fully aligned on the issue of the enosis referendum. Akinci’s demand for the president to take a clear public stand against it might not be about the issue itself, but a way of gauging how committed the president was to a deal, given his recent backpedalling.”
Greek identity must be celebrated
The Cypriots have every right to celebrate the anniversary of the Enosis referendum, the conservative daily Simerini believes:
“This vote is a legal, political and cultural act on the part of a people who were subject to British rule and who - without firing a single shot - strived for freedom and independence in order to unite Cyprus with Greece. ... So if Mr Akıncı really has a problem with the commemoration, it's because he doesn't want any celebrations of historic movements against the occupation forces which remind us of our freedom and our Greek identity. ... This vote is a political, diplomatic, legal and cultural ode to freedom and democracy. It is a peaceful manifesto against occupation and colonialism. It is a sign of our people's dignity; and we are proud of it - regardless of which party or ideology we adhere to.”