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The British troop issue is off-the-table as long as the Cyprus problem is still there. Antagonizing the Brits is useful only in terms of friendly threats.

For the longterm, this is a Falklands situation inside the EU. The British attitude toward the Cyprus bases is still one of a colonial master. And I'm especially referring to the fact that the Cypriots living on the bases (the bases themselves are HUGE, look at a map) do not have rights as EU citizens.

As for Christofias' background, his moves might be circumscribed by the fact that Cyprus's tax base and social safety net is (probably) the lowest in the EU. There is easily a lot of headroom for raising taxes, but it smacks into the main business of Cyprus (banking, tourism, shipping).

by Upstate NY on Sun Feb 24th, 2008 at 05:54:39 PM EST
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