Monday, 30 August 2010

May you live in interesting times?

Terry Practhet wrote a fantasy book whereby two characters that had a different view of the world: One thought the title above was a curse and the other thought the ability to live in interesting times was heaven.

What fascinates me most when I switch between Malta and Cyprus is how reassuringly boring Maltese news are. Coming from a country that has seen, felt and is still experiencing the fruits of war and communal violence, I am struck by the fact that a great many of the social and economic problems of Cyprus are held behind due to the massive and continual exposure to the Cyprus problem.

A case in point: The front line in the times of malta was that "Birdwatchers return to look out for illegal hunting and trapping", while in Cyprus the front page of Kathimerini was about the possibility (if the hard negotiations work out) that famagusta might be returned to its citizens, who have been displaced since 1974.

We in Cyprus are being constantly ignoring issues that are just overshadowed by our collective national tragedy. I am struck at the potentially huge benefit that the society and economy that a solution would bring: we can finally then concentrate on the issues that have not been resolved not because of the their direct connection to the Cyprus problem but due to the fact they have been sidelined for over 40 years.

While the issue remains unsolved, we all suffer the consequences of a society with one tracked mind. Pyrgos, who followed the general trend of Greek Cypriot in voting no in the 2004 referendum, has remained dependent on government handouts for survival, while a solution would have solved the area's problems of communication and employment near instantly.

So give me boring news, over interesting times any day, and lets hope that there is a solution imminent in order for us to shift our attention on things that affect the everyday lives of Cypriots.

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