Saturday, 13 December 2008

Shoddy coverage by the media of Tassos Papadopoulos' Death

So i just finished seeing the coverage over Tasso's death. It is quite frankly ridiculous. They idea of a eulogy is to portray the man as the dynamic power of Cypriot politics- "warts and all" and with all his faults. I was not expecting RIK to mention his unhealthy close relationship with Georgkajis but everybody else also lied through their teeth. You serve a man with remembering his legacy not by covering his errors.
Only Anastasiades had the guts to tell it as it is - he mentioned the loss of an opposite point of view at a time of intense political negotiation, and praised his strong points. He did mention some of the things that made them political rivals and never pretended to be friends with Tassos.
There were also some legacies of TP that no one seemed to mention:
1) TP introduced the welfare system in Cyprus, including the Swedish model of tripartite national negotiation of wages. That is a great legacy to the smooth running of Cypriot manufacturing and tourism.
2) SEK is Tassos' child- using money donated by the Kennedy administration, Tassos built up SEK to counter the "communist influence" within the labour movement. Although this did introduce nepotism in government and hurt PEO, the establishment of SEK resulted to the trade union movement becoming mainstream and part of the pillars that underpinned the society of the new democracy.
3) Tassos was the president when we joined the EU and when we joined the Euro - but his fights for the Euro are not mentioned.
4) For better or worse he was instrumental in saying No to the annan plan - the only plan were Cypriots were asked for their fate. His active encouragement of no meant that he became a divisive personality that gave Cypriots intestine Love/Hate emotions. During his presidency the national consensus on the Cyprus problem shattered irrevocably.

Instead of all this the journalists, who were a bit too lazy , write high school style essays were the truth was buried in elephant droppings.
These are some of the lies i happen to remember now:
1) Tassos has an great friendly disposition with people and a generosity of spirit. NOW COME ON - He had a tremendous intellect but Tassos was not a friendly and communicative person. Many believe that his conflict with journalists during his premiership cost him the re-election. The wealth, Straka and his replies created a barrier between him and the average Cypriot.
2) TP was a leader of the young who respected and him and followed his lead in politics. In the last elections, Tassos came third because of the abnormally low % of young people voting for him. Tassos was an "old guard " politician, and had no connection to the new Cyprus. If he could attract as many young as the younger politicians he was facing then he would have been president until his death.

I don't expect all of you to agree - but you must admit this fair portrayal of TP does him more credit that the glossed over bullshit of the press.
Alex

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