Chronicle of (yet another) heralded death
Sunday 23 January 2022, “Haravgi” newspaper
By Aristos Damianou, AKEL Political Bureau member and MP`
Those who have studied the specifications of the EastMed pipeline project and analysed the geopolitical and energy given situation in an objective manner and in the essential time, knew that this project was on the verge of the unfeasible. This is the analysis AKEL has been making since 2018. There have been more than twenty public statements issued by AKEL on EastMed, in which we have underlined that it is the sovereign right of the Republic of Cyprus to enter into agreements and energy planning, while warning of the near-impossibility of East Med’s implementation and calling on the government not to cultivate illusions and spread disillusion citizens. As has been very aptly stated over the past few days, if the informal US document had not been leaked, the government ruling forces would have kept the EastMed issue going on a life line. This is called populism and refusing to assume responsibility.
Regardless of any considerations (and there are such things on the geopolitical chessboard), the facts were known that made the implementation of EastMed problematic. These concern issues relating to its security, economic viability and environmental impact, as well as the technical challenges. Due to the unacceptable Turkish machinations on the one hand and the handling of the drilling programme by the companies on the other, the Republic of Cyprus has not yet determined the exact volume of the Cypriot deposits. The State of Israel has given priority to its domestic market. Egypt has opted for liquefaction and maritime transport. Most importantly, the EU’s own priority is renewable energy sources and promoting energy interconnection through electricity. Without any doubt whatsoever, most negative of all, with the Cyprus problem unresolved, Turkey is showing who is in charge and bossing in the south-eastern Mediterranean to the detriment – first and foremost – of Cyprus.
All this has been known for a long time. But for the government ruling forces, the priority was the handling of the EastMed issue to serve communication expediencies. After the illusions that had been cultivated by the government ruling forces had collapsed, Mr. Anastasiades pledged to elaborate a plan B with his associates. The least he should have done was to issue an apology. Instead, he is attacking AKEL and chooses to criticise his Foreign Minister in public, who told the truth. Namely that he has always perceived EastMed as a tool for problems, while DISY President Averof Neophytou is keeping silent on the issue – after all, he has been busy criticising former Foreign Minister Christodoulides.
AKEL is not rejoicing, as some people untruthfully write and are saying. AKEL is worried, as the DISY government itself should be worrying. […} In a way, the outcome of EastMed is strongly reminiscent of the failure of the assessments made by the Anastasiades-Averof-Christodoulides trio, when they were pompously declaring that the Republic of Cyprus had supposedly shielded its Exclusive Economic Zone through the trilateral cooperations it had forged, that supposedly Cyprus’ EU partners will impose sanctions that will ‘hurt Turkey’ and that Turkey’s threats to colonise Varosha are a bluff and communication tricks.
This is what happens when communication tricks are placed above politics itself to serve political considerations, but also the obligation of every government to serve the truth and public interest. Besides, the fact that the government ruling forces were speaking about a supposedly “historic agreement” when they knew that the State of Israel was refusing to sign a co-exploitation agreement with the Republic of Cyprus is a characteristic example of the government ruling force’s cunningness.
The real challenge in politics is to make correct assessments as developments themselves are unfolding. The President’s belated inventions after developments have unfolded are a lame excuse. An apology to citizens would not suffice – but it would be something.