30 March 2012 12:41

 By Charlie Charalambous
When attention wasn’t focused on the big Champions League game there was a huge overreaction – this is Cyprus – to an unconfirmed Turkish report that Varosha was going to open its doors to the general public.
There was a steady flow of politicians decrying Turkish trickery while warning Greek Cypriots not to be fooled by another PR stunt – which obviously made no sense. Reading between the lines it seemed the establishment was put out because the Turks might actually out manoeuvre them again on the Cyprus problem while feeling quite comfy in the deadlock zone.
Any sign of movement on the Cyprus issue prompts gravity-defying knee-jerk reactions from politicians who treat original ideas as child molesters.
This is not to say that making the fenced-off town of Varosha accessible to its legitimate inhabitants is a ground-breaking concept.
It has always been on the talks agenda.
The much maligned Annan Plan was rejected by most refugees even though Varosha would have been returned to Greek Cypriots within 100 days following the April 2004 vote.
Then again there were trust issues over whether Turkey would actually hold their end of the bargain and we can argue ourselves silly over whether the UN blueprint would have worked.
Arguably Varosha serves as a metaphor for the failure of political compromise – an essential component of peace deals – a decaying dysfunctional town unfit to live in.
Only a massive injection of cash, reconciliation and infrastructure work can save the ghost town from becoming dust in the wind like so many ancient ruins.
Varosha is an emotive subject because it is a symbol of a proud past and the tragedy that has befallen this island. What Varosha is crying out for – and the thousands of refugees from Famagusta – is a fresh start.
Unfortunately, Cyprus doesn’t do new beginnings.
But it does do variations of a theme which usually end in a crescendo of blaming foreigners as if our destiny was pre-determined.
Maybe the most worrying chapter of this saga was how the usual suspects got themselves into a lather over an unconfirmed story in a Turkish daily.
It was if the next phase of Turkish expansionism had already been declared.
Nevertheless it was reassuring that the government confirmed that nothing was going to happen because there were UN resolutions that were still being ignored.
Anyway how dare the Turks try to upset the government’s EU presidency love-in by reminding it the Cyprus problem is still a festering wound.
And god forbid the UN should call an international conference as President Christofias would need his own Plan B which so far amounts to scuppering any notion such a summit would succeed because the Turks have nothing in their locker. Sounding optimistic on a possible Cyprus peace accord earned Christofias a shot at being President but he has slowly begun to realise that this also requires courage to stick one’s neck out.
He is loath to do that while another Presidential election looms where negativity is a sure-fire vote winner as most Cypriots are convinced a Cyprus settlement is more remote than life on Mars.
There is some truth in the adage that we get the leaders we deserve (please discuss among yourselves I’m already bored of this).
Apparently cockney rhyming slang is brown bread since saucepan lids don’t comprehend it.
A survey found that "awesome" was top of the modern slang phrases along with "oh em jee" (OMG), "epic fail" and "innit".
I’m feeling a bit Damien Duff after going to the Fat Boy Slim so to save Ricky Gervais I skipped Captain Kirk. Are you havin’ a laugh?