I have absolutely no interest in the World Cup. Until yesterday I didn’t even know which country was hosting it. My relationship with football is rather peculiar. When I was young I used to attend all the games of my local football club, OMONOIA Nicosia. Football in Cyprus is politicised and OMONOIA reflects my political views — it is supported by left wing working class people and it emerged as a reaction to the ethnic nationalism of APOEL, the other big football club in Cyprus. I never liked football though. I grew up in a politically active household where both mum and dad claimed to be socialists, with football being at the centre of their social relations. Naturally, I tried to like football. I remember going to OMONOIA games with my walkman listening to music and trying to find the...
Professor Athanasios Orphanides published an article titled What Happened in Cyprus? The Economic Consequences of the Last Communist Government in Europe. You can find the MIT Sloan Research Paper that Professor Orphanides published on May 28th here. I include the abstract of the paper below: This paper reviews developments in the Cypriot economy following the introduction of the euro on 1 January 2008 and leading to the economic collapse of the island five years later. The main cause of the collapse is identified with the election of a communist government in February 2008, within two months of the introduction of the euro, and its subsequent choices for action and inaction on economic policy matters. The government allowed a rapid deterioration of public finances, and despite repeated...
Costas Constantinou and Giorgos Skordis created a documentary back in 2001, called The Third Motherland. It contains a series of informal interviews at the village of Kormakitis. The interviews show the internal exclusion that Maronites have experienced. As Constantinou himself says: “the film reveals the dilemmas of identification and belonging and accounts for opposing feelings and beliefs within and beyond the community”. It is “a film about cultural loss, co-option, denial of rights and everyday social problems, but also of ethnic pride, cultural revival, communal joy and resistance”.
DIKO is in an awkward position. Papadopoulos threatened president Anastasiades that if he did not withdraw the document he suggested as a joint-statement, he would leave the government. Today, Eroğlu, the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, agreed on the joint-declaration. What will DIKO do?
My previous article, titled Elections at DIKO: change of leadership, change of direction?, published the day after the elections at DIKO, briefly examines whether the outcome of the elections is going to affect the negotiations for the solution to the Cyprus problem. This article has been translated into Turkish and published in the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Kibris Postasi (Cyprus Post) in December 3rd. It took a while to upload but better late than never.
Nicolas Papadopoulos, the newly elected president of DIKO, is the son of the former president of the Republic of Cyprus Tassos Papadopoulos and is largely expected to follow the political path of his late father.
Nicolas has more robust preferences when it comes to the Cyprus problem, whereas the former president of DIKO, Marios Garoyian, was more flexible; something that can be verified by his alliances with both leftist AKEL and right wing DISY at the last two presidential elections.
Yesterday an article of mine on the rise of the Golden Dawn has been published in Guardian’s Comment is Free section. I will not open the comments here, since you can comment on the original article. I have made a few more remarks on the practical side of things on my facebook wall, which you can check out as well.
A circular published by the Ministry of Education of Cyprus [pdf, Greek, pp. 48-9] yesterday marks a new low in the already problematic relationship between Church and State in Cyprus .
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.
There is a view, prevalent amongst the supporters of the European Union in the countries of the South, that the Euro is too big to fail and that it will survive whatever the costs. Thus, the argument goes, a country in dire economic situation, like Cyprus, should hang in there until the eurocrisis is over.
Ι remember this day back in 2008. On 21 April 2008 I wrote:
Το άνοιγμα του οδοφράγματος της Λήδρας δεν σημαίνει λύση στο Κυπριακό πρόβλημα. Είναι όμως ακόμα ένα βήμα προς αυτήν. Σήμερα η ώρα 5μμ θα είμαστε εκεί, με σκοπό να δώσουμε ξεκάθαρο το μήνυμα της επανένωσης.
The opening of the checkpoint at Ledras does not signify the solution of the Cyprus problem. Nonetheless, it is another step towards finding a solution. Today at 5pm we will be there in order to send a clear message for reunification.
Reuters is saying that Cyprus will sell around 400 million euros worth of gold. This is a very bad idea. Let me repeat it. It is a very bad idea to sell the gold reserves. Cyprus is going down very fast or as Alexantra put it, ‘it is like watching a train wreck in super slow motion’.The gold reserves will be the only thing left to built something out of the ruins. By selling its gold reserves, Cyprus is selling the only asset that can support an alternative currency in the very possible post-eurozone era. I am not arguing for an exit from the eurozone. I am saying that it is a very realistic possibility that Cyprus will either bankrupt or get forced out of the eurozone. To remove the only asset that can minimise the devaluation of the new pound is a horrible decision. Even the...
Yesterday I took part in Al Jazeera’s The Stream, where we talked about Cyprus. Video conferencing failed me, so I participated via phone. I talked twice. The first question was about who I thought is mostly to blame for the situation in Cyprus. I argued that the Eurozone Ministers of Finance are mostly to blame for making Cyprus a guinea pig case and for destroying one of the two productive sectors of Cyprus overnight. I said that the three days ultimatum that Cyprus was given is nothing short of an extortion and that the ‘deposits haircut’ is actually a confiscation of already taxed money. Of course, I mentioned that the bankers and the Cypriot governments are also to blame but I stressed that it was the mishandling of Cyprus during the Eurogroup meeting that destroyed...
Cyprus has been at the centre of international attention for a couple of weeks. Information was flowing from every direction and the local and international news agencies reproduced everything – from unverified rumours about the resignation of the Minister of Finance during his visit in Russia, to imaginary offers to buy one of the two local banks. In all the crossfire of information, twitter saved the day. It helped verify information, collect information, alter pre-determined attitudes, translate economic jargon to human language and most importantly, mobilise people. The role of social media, specifically twitter, was pivotal in navigating this minefield of false and distorted information. The first example has been the day after the return of the president before the arrival of...
I don’t see how Cyprus can remain within the Eurozone and potentially recover. The overnight destruction of the financial sector left the economy of Cyprus devastated. All of us already know people who have lost their jobs and people that will soon lose them. The hope is that new productive sectors will be developed that will help the economy recover from the loss of the financial sector. I list four challenges to this scenario. I neither am nor pretend to be an economist, so I would be glad to be proven wrong.