NICOSIA - Opposition parties in Cyprus have reacted angrily to calls by European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso to strongly support the President in his bid to reunite the divided island.
The Portuguese politician’s statement in Sunday’s ‘Phileleftheros’ that this is not the time for partisan approaches prompted main Opposition Akel party leader Andros Kyprianou to say:
“We are a serious party, we don’t need Mr Barroso’s words of wisdom. We don’t need anyone’s intervention into our own affairs … these interventions bring back bad memories of the past.”
He was referring to interventions by EU officials in 2004 at the time of the referenda on the Annan plan – the UN blueprint on the island’s reunification. The vast majority of Greek Cypriots rejected that plan which was viewed as unjust and non-viable.
Stalled UN-brokered Cyprus peace talks resumed on February 11 amid strong endorsement from the EU, US, UN, Russia and the rest of the international community.
Socialist Edek described the words of Barroso (pictured) as “not elegant” and said the top issue for Cypriots should not be a subject of talk by outsiders.
Yiorgos Lillikas who heads the fledgling Citizens Alliance went a step further describing Barroso’s statements as an intrusion into the domestic policy of a member-state.
The former minister and chief aide of former hardliner president Tassos Anastasiades also said: “Rather than Mr Barroso trying to support Mr Anastasiades who has embarked on a very dangerous policy on the Cyprus issue, the EU official should try his best to support - in a practical matter - the Cyprus Republic and its sovereignty”.