CYPRUS: President disagrees with Troika on semi-government organisations
President Demetris Christofias has said he disagrees with the Troika on matters relating to semi-government organizations and natural gas.
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#2 Nov 21, 2012
"You don't get what you earn, you get what you negotiate"
#4 Nov 21, 2012
WHILE there seems to have been agreement with the troika over the measures for the banking sector, most parties and presidential candidates are taking the obligatory defiant stand on other issues, based either on incomplete information released by the government or their own populist agenda. We hear that they would never agree to a bailout that would cede our sovereignty, allow the troika to get its hands on our hydrocarbon reserves, lead to privatisation of semi-governmental organisations or radically change out pension system.
It is quite amazing that the parties and individual politicians are taking hard-line, public stances on issues they are not fully informed about. But we should not be surprised considering they are making a big fuss over non-issues, like the hydrocarbons and national sovereignty, as well. Is it possible for any country that is bailed out by international lenders not to cede some of its sovereignty? If it does not, it will get no money because lenders, understandably, are not prepared to give billions in loans, without having a big say over how these would be used by the recipient. Surrendering a part of its national sovereignty to lenders is the sacrifice a bankrupt state has to make to secure a bailout.
As regards the natural gas, everyone is taking a stand, without knowing what the troika has actually proposed. Is all the fuss about the couple of hundred million euro that the state would receive up front for exploration rights? There would be no other revenue from natural gas - assuming we find adequate quantities that we are able to market - for at least six to eight years. Of course it is impossible to draw any conclusions when there is inadequate information.
We assume that President Christofias would give the party leaders the full picture when he briefs them this morning about the discussions with the troika, because much will depend on this meeting. Negotiations with the troika have been wound up and all that remains now is for the government to give its response. Christofias, most probably, would like to secure the backing of the party leaders for his decision, whatever it is. But before this, he would have to brief them about the main contents of the bailout and the information would have to be much more comprehensive than what has seen the light of publicity.
Hopefully, his response would be positive and he would like to secure the backing of all the political parties for the unpopular measures of the bailout; he spoke of the need for national unity yesterday. The alternative, a united front for the rejection of a bailout is too frightening to even think about.
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