Sunday, 14 July , 2024

Makarios

The Divisions of Cyprus, by Perry Anderson

Enlargement, widely regarded as the greatest single achievement of the European Union since the end of the Cold War, and occasion for more or less unqualified self-congratulation, has left one inconspicuous thorn in the palm of Brussels. The furthest east of all the EU’s new acquisitions, even if the most prosperous and democratic, has been a tribulation to its establishment, one that neither fits the uplifting narrative of the deliverance of captive nations from Communism, nor furthers the strategic aims of Union diplomacy, indeed impedes them.

Perry Anderson on Cyprus (and Obama in Athens)

One of the reasons, many observers believe, President Obama comes to Greece this week, is to press Athens to be “helpful” for a “solution” to the Cyprus problem. On the other hand the European Commission is also pressing hard both Nicosia and Athens to accept a solution, even worse than the one the Cypriot people had rejected back in 2004, by voting by an overwhelming majority NO in a referendum held in both the territories controlled by the Republic of Cyprus and those under the control of the Turkish Army, which invaded Cyprus in 1974 and does not seem in any way willing to leave the island, with or without an agreed solution.

Greece is not enough. They want Cyprus also. Why the EU...

By essentially denying the principle of popular sovereignty, it is also denying the principle of national sovereignty, the (relatively) independent character of the Greek state. Greece occupies a strategic place in the Eastern Mediterranean, on the route connecting Russia with the Mediterranean and Western Europe with the Middle East. Its independence was never completely tolerated by the British and then the American empires. Greeks were also suspected of leaning towards Russians, or at least this was the argument justifying the innumerable Western interventions in this country.