Cyprus will proceed with the reforms promised to the European Union for the disbursement of 1.2 billion euros from the Recovery Fund. There may be parties in the opposition that would like to be more or less, but this is an issue that should be resolved in the 2023 presidential election and not now in Parliament. The legislators for the time being have in front of them the Brussels Euros, of which we have already put 157 million in the “pocket”. It is for what they either like or do not like, the reality is that they have an elected government with very specific commitments. Do the opposition parties really want to take responsibility and return the money back to the Europeans? I say no.
“Nothing can be ruled out,” commented my colleague Giannis Seitanidis, on the radio show “Show me the Money” that we present together on “Politis 107.6”. And indeed, we have seen a lot over the years that we did not expect to see and we certainly expected more responsibility from Members on specific issues. From the ridiculousness of March 2013 that turned into a tragedy, to the “games” and “gossip” with the laws that finally burned us, justify not only the skepticism of the colleague, but also the worst possible predictions. Even worse, the government and parties are playing the “zucchini” to the Europeans with “I want but I can not” to pass what I promised you that did not deceive any “puppet”. However, I insist that it does not make sense for the opposition to “protect” the government from the “eggs” that will be broken when changes and reforms are made, just to load the “we do not want your euros” or even worse, “will we will return to you what we took from you “. We do not have so many thugs in Parliament, nor do the proposed reforms tragically change the fate of specific subgroups. Even the public service reform, which affects a large part of the electorate, has the stamp of approval of the trade unionists.
Those in Parliament who are able to understand this, understand that their hands are “tied”. At worst they should abstain from the proceedings and at best they should vote in favor if it is something with which their own audience agrees. Otherwise it will be just the “irresponsible”, the “tsampa houvardades” and the “populists”, who do not want us to take the hot European money. I doubt if they can afford to go to the polls with these accusations even the suspicions that they are protest parties. Let us not forget that in contrast to the parliamentary elections, which are there, one can claim a vote of protest or dissatisfaction in the presidential elections. In them, pragmatism and realistic approaches bring votes, as the citizens in 2023 will be looking for a “Captain” and not someone to break out. Unless of course it is a party of the fringes and extremists that never intends to participate in government.
Of course, this does not mean that the opposition should not express its disagreements where it feels it should or that it should not try to complete the reform bills, haggle its vote or even undermine them in the eyes of the public by serving micropolitical expediencies. No one will blame them even if they are tempted to make “hollow promises” to those who are dissatisfied with change and improvement, or even counter-reforms when they rule in the “political game”. Can the politicians in our country no longer “play” this either, or is the vote against the government bills a matter of honor and obsession? If this is the rationale, in the eyes of voters, even their own “hard core”, they will have become dangerous.