The two Cypriot communities, Greek and Turkish, will vote this weekend on a UN-sponsored referendum on whether the two halves of the island should be reunited politicially. Opinion polls estimate 65% of Greek Cypriots are opposed, whereas a similar proportion of Turkish Cypriots are thought to be in favour. The Greek Cypriot Communist party has now withdrawn its support for reunification.
The consequences: if there is no reunification only the southern Greek Cypriot part of the island will accede to the EU on 1st May. In other words they have managed to engineer a win-win situation for themselves, at the expense of their bitter rivals to the north of the island. As the EU's Gunter Verheugen has said of the Greek Cypriot government, they:
|"had taken him for a ride."|
- and he is reported to have directly criticised the Greek Cypriot leader, Tassos Papadopoulos. He is reported to have said also that said the Greek Cypriot government had cheated the EU by pretending to support the unification plan while in reality campaigning against it.
A remarkable claim if true. I have already called for Slovenia's membership to be suspended until the question of its 'missing' former citizens is resolved. I think now that Cyprus must similarly be suspended, or both parts given the right to join the EU independently. This whole scheme seems to be part of a Greek effort to ensure that Turkey can never join the EU either.