Setting red lines is really not a good idea. When one sets a red line, he proclaims that some options are off the table. He specifies how much he is willing to go in relation to a contested issue, effectively showing off all of his cards at once. Sometimes red lines are genuine, other times they are symbolic or a product of political maneuvering. Proclaiming something as non-negotiable is costly and should be done only with full awareness of the potential cost. Red lines are maybe useful when discussing the terms of the negotiations; that is, the conditions and the format of the negotiations, especially when there is room for getting once’s own prior to the actual diplomatic process. Otherwise, red lines render one vulnerable to the label of the aggressor; you become the person to...
This article has been published yesterday by BusinessInsider under the title CYPRUS ONE MONTH LATER: Uncertainty Has Broken The Morale Of The People. I have previously contributed to BI, with pictures of the Bank of Cyprus protest outside the Central Bank and with a brief comment on the first reactions to the Eurogroup meeting.
Today the people of my country were united. We have been attacked by the countries of the Eurozone. We have even been betrayed by the Greeks that many Greek Cypriots naively consider their allies. Today, instead of running to the banks and maximising the damage caused by the European ‘partners’, the Cypriots were civilised and dignified and did not rush to get their money out. The international news agencies surprised from this reaction tried to find something to report. Instead of panic and chaos, they reported the Cypriot determination to survive the attack.
I am a bit shocked about the way Cypriots of my age conceptualise and analyse the riots in the UK. I was a recipient of quite a few remarks against what they described as people who live on benefits and who are driven by consumerism rather than by a genuine anger against the conservative policies. Not only they dismiss the people on the streets as thieves who seized the chance to steal things, they also challenge the whole idea of the welfare state. The latter point is the most worrying.