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Media Watch 2004

28 September 2004
Source: Cyprus Mail
Author: Jean Christou
Comment: The following article appeared in the Cyprus Mail of Nicosia on 28 September 2004.
Withering attack on 'absurd' plan
"... when 76 per cent, freely, democratically and fully-informed voted 'no', in deed and words, they do not respect the verdict of the people or the majority but instead mock the decision and exercise psychological terror and project real or invented dangers..."

PRESIDENT Tassos Papadopoulos yesterday began a three-day working visit to Belgium after departing from New York with a final scathing attack on the Annan plan.

While Papadopoulos had used diplomatic language to make his feelings about the plan clear to the UN General Assembly on Thursday, he made no such effort during a gathering of Cypriots at New York University on Saturday night.

The Annan plan, he said, “perpetuated divisive tendencies and institutions instead of bringing about reunification and unity”.

He also used the opportunity to lash out at critics of the Greek Cypriot rejection of the plan in April’s referendum.

He said those who voted ‘no’ were accused of being rejectionists and unrealistic for refusing to “accept the absurd and the unfair”, disagreeing with the view of the international community that the plan was “fair and uniquely balanced”.

“They use as a threat the suffering and difficulties that will arise, supposedly because the great majority of our people decided on the 24th April to say ‘no’ to a plan which as it was did not secure a workable and viable solution,” said Papadopoulos.

“Although they say they respect the democratic right of the people to decide their fate, when the large majority of the people, 76 per cent, freely, democratically and fully-informed voted ‘no’, in deed and words, they do not respect the verdict of the people or the majority but instead mock the decision and exercise psychological terror and project real or invented dangers that are incited from the ‘no’ vote in order to indirectly promote a ‘yes’.”

Papadopoulos added, however, that the Greek Cypriot side was still committed to a bizonal, bicommunal federal solution “that would bring about the reunification of our homeland, which would be workable, viable and make a reality the gradual rapprochement of the communities in Cyprus and social and economic reunification, and which will not institute the division of the communities and institutions.”

During his visit to Belgium, Papdopoulos will meet Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt and other officials.

The president returns to the island tomorrow evening."