Economic revival and bizonal - bicommunal solution to the Cyprus problem
Saturday, 23 November, 2013
Admiring Germany’s vibrant economy one tends to forget that the country became a nation just 7 years before Cyprus was ceded to the British by the Ottomans. One equally forgets the violent past of the country during the twentieth century: two defeats in two world wars that divided the country into West and East Germany for over 45 years.
How then has Germany managed to make such great leaps into success, transforming itself so quickly into the undisputed leader of the European Union? In his article in the Financial Times (21/22 September, 2013) ο Tony Barber supports, “Today’s Germany is special because of the maturity and modernization of its politics, the stability of its centralized system of government, the strength of its law-based democratic institutions and the power of its economy.”
Here are some of Germany’s monumental and remarkable achievements: a.) unified West and East in an exemplary democratic manner, b.) ranks first amongst the nations of Europe on exports, industrial expertise and industrial output, c.) boasts the second lowest unemployment rate in the EU at 5%, second only to Austria’s, d.) operates a model democratic system, where each person is respected as citizen and no-one receives any special favours on account of his/her ethnic origins, e.) the country is unified and bereft of secession tendencies by any of its component states; no nonsensical references to “bizonality” and “bicommunality” that no self-respecting country can even begin to contemplate, let alone tolerate. Germany is made up of 16 states organised on citizenship (repeat: 16 and not 2 states that are organised on racial grounds) with none of these states based on ethnic origins. The constitutional court is staffed by German judges (and not by foreigners) that operate in an exemplary fashion keeping in check the legislative and executive powers. The above apply to Switzerland that the world so admires for its much acclaimed referendums which give citizens the power to make decisions directly on major issues. Switzerland is organised on the basis of 26 cantons (and not 2 as some in Cyprus cunningly try to hoodwink people.) Germany was the aggressor in 2 world wars and was defeated in both; yet it has no “guarantor” powers to threaten its survival. All in all Germany operates a model functioning democracy that acts as the engine of economic growth providing prosperity to its people.
The US Secretary of State John Kerry told a press conference (ΒΒC 03.11.2013) that, "History has demonstrated that democracies are more stable, viable and prosperous than any alternative." The near-shutting down of the Federal Government because of the democrat-republican deadlock (note: dead-lock will be the chief characteristic of a bizonal – bicommunal arrangement in Cyprus) threatened the very democratic fiber of the nation and also its economy. Political deadlocks are known to cause instant death to economies. In his book “A Short History of Reconstruction” Eric Foner recognizes “….the inextricable relationship between economic, political, social and ideological issues.”
In conclusion: any solution to the Cyprus problem that does not rest on democratic rule and values will for certain destroy the economy. A bizonal – bicommunal solution does not meet even basic democratic values, because it is based on the ethnic origins of people, on racism and on blatant violation of human rights; worst, it puts the country under the control of its current occupiers.
Dr Aris Petasis, Member, Board of Trustees, International Fund, Moscow State Aviation University.