by Upstate NY
Wed May 24th, 2006 at 06:05:13 PM EST
What has changed in Cyprus in the last few months?
Yesterday's election didn't change things either. In fact, the numbers break down almost exactly as they did in 2004. sure, the most popular party on the island (AKEL-Communist) received the most votes. They were down 3% from the mid 30's in 2004. The parties on the right received the same amount as in 2004, and the governing middle of the road DIKO party received 17%, up from 14%. DIKO and AKEL have a coalition going which exists, obviously, at AKEL's behest. Because they have a common stance on the Annan Plan solution for Cyprus (they're against it), it stands to reason that DIKO's additional 3% came from AKEL's loss of 3%. Net effect? Nada.
From the front page - whataboutbob
A majority of southern Cypriots favors the rejection of the Annan Plan by 3 to 1. Still. A majority also favors a solution based on bizonal communities under full EU integration (i.e. the acquis communitaire applies). Small small minorities exist that want solution under the Annan plan (which are widely perceived to favor Turkey) and that don't want a solution (probably for racist reasons). Of the 25% who favor the Annan plan, a large chunk of this group actually owns land in the north, so they have a direct economic reason for settling matters now.
Not much has changed since the Cyprus issue was diaried last and discussed in February. Here's the last discussion on the impasse of the Customs Protocol with Turkey. Not much has changed:
The only thing that might have changed is that the President of Cyprus agreed with Annan that technical committees should be started which bring the Turkish Cypriots up to speed with EU laws and begin workable cooperation between the two sides in the interim. This relieved some of the PR pressure off the Greek side. The Cypriot President also newly proposed an EU run port in the North (rejected again). Both Turkey and Cyprus repeatedly make the same proposals, which are rejected by each side again and again. Oddly enough, they do this because the EU has a short attention span, and each new iteration is treated as a new idea in the international press. And meanwhile the hard work is pushed off to the side.
As well, as we approach autumn, certain EU critics (Ollie Rehn) are demanding that Turkey pass the customs protocol as it agreed to do last year. Turkey is refusing.
Prediction: a trainwreck in Turkey's EU aspirations to come this fall.