Assessment of the visit of the Greek PM in Cyprus

Assessment of the visit of the Greek PM in Cyprus

Nicosia, February 9, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency

By Pantelis Diomidous of MAXHnews

The post-Tsipras era

The assessment of the visit of the new Greek Prime Minister to Cyprus on Monday leaves a positive sign in Nicosia, which in any case was in a difficult position. The gains from the presence of the young Prime Minister in Nicosia were bilaterally and supportive of Nicosia’s positions.

National Unity

Starting from the most important, namely the open national issues of the Cyprus problem and the violation of the sovereignty of the Republic of Turkey, the visit of Tsipras, as strange as the sounds, showed a “greater consensus than with the previous government of Greece”.

The positions of the new Prime Minister of Athens Alexis Tsipras coincide, said a government source in the newspaper MAXH “to a much greater extent than with the previous coalition government”. The same sources said that what caused satisfaction to the Presidency is the fact that, both President Anastasiades and Alexis Tsipras regard as a sine qua priority, the finding of the shortest possible way to resume talks, since both believe that the continuing deadlock causes many more problems in the Greek Cypriot side than Turkey, which from the outset had prepared and lately has started to fully implement the so-called plan B for the de-recognition of the Republic of Cyprus and at the same time gradually upgrade the status of the pseudo-state”.

Whip and Carrot

From the analysis of Nicosia on the positions and views of Tsipras on the Cyprus matter, did not go unnoticed, but instead the “stick and carrot” tactic adopted by his government towards Turkey and the pseudo-state created feelings of discomfort.

“I think the statement of the representative of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs that they deliver free courses of international law to Eroglu is sufficiently indicative”, noted in MAXH news a top government official, indicating that the balance between the diplomatic initiatives and rigorous approach to the challenges is the best equation for the resolution of the impasse that the national issue has come to, due to the Turkish stance.

“This approach shows that the Tsipras government takes very seriously the balance to be kept, so that on the one hand the door of dialogue does not close once and for all and on the other hand to not leave unanswered the challenges of the Turkish side which has taken to a word game and passing of blame”, noted the same source.

Pragmatism

The other subject is related directly to a national issue, that of the hydrocarbons. The analysis of Nicosia is that Tsipras and his environment recognise the importance of the matter and at the same time they have their feet  firmly on earth, knowing full well that any hasty move can cause further problems. Beyond the self-evident, that Greece not only recognises but does everything diplomatically possible to safeguard the sovereignty of the Republic of Cyprus, the Greek government knows that any further moves on the chessboard of energy should be studied in depth and be accompanied by an “impact assessment”.

“The approach of the new Greek Prime Minister in the delimitation of the EEZ of Greece that any thoughts will be studied, shows pragmatism and respect to the proceedings the Republic of Cyprus has already started”, said the influential government official, underlining the consensus regarding trilateral relations with Egypt and the need to upgrade, where possible, partnerships with other countries in the region.

Financial discrepancies

Regarding the issues economy, Nicosia and Athens attempted to use diplomatic language to hide their divergent approaches under the carpet. At the very least they did not reveal them. Due to the need for national consultation, Prime Minister Tsipras and President Anastasiades gave emphasis on what they agree, most important of which is the need for immediate promotion of development solutions from the European family. This, however, is a vague approach that ignores the differences in the economic approaches of the two men.

“The verbal deconstruction of the Troika from the Greek Prime Minister cannot and should not be adopted by Nicosia because it would hurt our country a lot more than Greece. In Greece there is a new leadership that has the right to a different opinion. Something that does not apply to Cyprus and which possibly would be a spectacular U-turn with unpredictable consequences”, told MAXH news a government official who is part of the economic team of the Presidential.

Uncomfortable topic

What is clear, however, even if some people do not admit it, is that Nicosia trembles at the idea to be faced with a scenario where it would be called at European level to take a stand against the views of Athens. “It is no secret that it would cause an uncomfortable situation we want to avoid”, said a government source, noting that “the promotion of the diversity of the two cases, Cyprus and Greece, regarding their programs, with the Cyprus one centered on the financial sector and the Greek one on the fiscal sector, was not accidental. Instead it was a clever maneuver that gives a way out to both parties”, political analysts comment.

However, under no circumstances should one downgrade the fact that the new Greek PM chose to send a clear messages to the political leadership of Nicosia, from the parliamentary stand. “Can anyone considered a coincidence or mere figure of speech the fact that Mr. Tsipras at least on two occasions during his speech in the House wished or told that he counts on the support of Cyprus in the battle he gives for changes in addressing the humanitarian crisis Greece is facing?”, wondered an economic factor who disagrees with the approach of the Anastasiades government.