Anastasiades Wins Big, New Cypriot President



Newely-elected Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades
Newely-elected Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades

Conservative Nicos Anastasiades, who backed an international bailout plan that comes with hard austerity measures similar to those imposed in Greece, rolled to victory in the Cypriot Presidential run-off election on Feb. 24 with a big victory over his Communist-backed challenger Stavros Malas.

The final result of the second round of the presidential election in Cyprus showed Anastasiades got 57.48 percent, while Malas collected 42.52 percent of the vote.

Turnout was slightly smaller than in the first round, at 81.5 percent against 83 percent, but the number of invalid votes was three times as high as the first round, the newspaper Kathimerini reported.

“What is paramount at the moment is the unity of the people. Now Cyprus takes priority,” said a calm Malas upon conceding his defeat.

Greece’s Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, a fellow Conservative who is implementing pay cuts, tax hikes and slashed pensions, telephoned Anastasiades and congratulated him on his election, according to Cypriot state broadcaster CyBC. Anastasiades, a lawyer born in Limassol 66 years ago and educated in Greece and in Great Britain, will be sworn in on March 1.

He takes over from outgoing Dimitris Christofias, a Communist whose single term was widely panned for his failure to re-unify the island with Turks occupying the northern third since a 1974 invasion, and the near-collapse of the economy because of the island’s banks heavy holdings of  Greek bonds that were devalued by 74 percent last year as Greece was desperate to write down its staggering $460 billion debt.

Anastasiades will have to hit the ground running as the banks are still near failure and the country frantically needs a bailout of up to 17 billion euros ($22.44 billion,) an amount nearly equivalent to its Gross Domestic Product. Officials of the Troika of the European Union-International Monetary Fund-European Central Bank (EU-IMF-ECB) are scheduled to meet next month to discuss the rescue package that is being eyed warily by some because of Cyprus’ reputation as a bank haven for organized crime and money-launderers.

The vote was “a clear and strong mandate for change and reforms to lift our country out of the vicious circle of crisis,” Anastasiades spokesman Tasos Mitsopoulos said after exit polls showed he would be a clear winner, the Associated Press reported. As results came in just after polls closed, Anastasiades’ supporters celebrated outside his campaign headquarters in the capital Nicosia, honking horns and waving flags.

Anastasiades will let the world know that, “We’re determined to assume our responsibilities, restore Cyprius’ credibility, fight to implement change and reform while demanding form our (EU) partners to stand in solidarity with us,” Mitsopoulos added. His defeated rival said the new president could count on his support if it would help their country.

“I state that we will stand by the new president if we assess his actions and policies to be for the good of the country because the unity of our people is what’s most important right now,” Malas said as he conceded the election. “At the same time, we will be strong critics of whichever actions and decisions that we deem not to serve the country’s best interests.”


13 COMMENTS

  1. The Cypriots gave the ranting incompetent commies a chance. The commies, unsurprisingly, then preceded to do absolutely nothing but rant more hot air empty speeches about “the workers, pensioners and the poor”. Thus the Cypriots, quite wisely, kicked these self-righteous incompetent loud mouths out of office.

    It is a good day for the Greeks. Some Greeks are starting to clue into the fact wealth is not created on government trees then handed to the people in monthly checks. Wealth is not created by endless empty speeches by claiming to care about the poor, pensioners, and the workers. It is not created by obsessive self-righteous rants about corruption… by professional letches. It is not created by running through the streets like madmen throwing rocks at police, setting fires to banks, and killing pregnant women.

    Wealth is created by producing goods or services others are willing to pay for (rather than say just hot air speeches) It is the  responsibility of all Greeks to create wealth not just some segment of our society

    Greece’s biggest problem isn’t our politicians or our rich people. Its the portion of our population (whether rich or poor) that shamelessly sit around waiting and whining for our government to fix their lives – rather than taking responsibility for their own lives. We do not need any more Greeks that only “care” about other Greeks when it comes time to mooching money from them.

  2. I claim to have voted for Golden Dawn. This is why I have nothing to say against communists (or Skopians). Instead I constantly rush to defend communists (and Skopians). Perhaps if I keep getting reminded of that I’ll once and awhile denouce them so everyone believes what I have to say.

     I am a Greek patriot. I swear. I also swear “Alex Prime Minister of Greece” is my only handle on Greek reporter.

  3. Hopefully Anastasiades doesn’t desert the people and blow everyone’s money on luxuries for himself and his comrades like Christofias.

  4. The “anti-corruption” communists are always generous giving themselves great perks at the expense of citizens.  Mao lived in luxury while millions of his citizens starved to death. Ditto for the current communist leader of China  Wen Jiabao,who was worth an estimated 2.7 billion.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/26/business/global/family-of-wen-jiabao-holds-a-hidden-fortune-in-china.html?pagewanted=all

    This was all hidden from the Chinese people. Communists around the world also constantly fail to mention details like that about their beloved system. (this pattern has been repeated in every communist country).

    It is easy to spend other people’s money vis-a-vis government. Much harder to earn it ourselves. If Anastasiades sticks to principle he won’t be offering empty free things to buy votes like the communists constantly do . We will be telling them the hard truth. The current priority is balancing our budgets not handouts. We have to make cuts.

  5. Meanwhile the opposition was talking about spending more money on civil servants… The mind boggles.

  6. The problem stems not from the left or right political persuasions but from cultural attitudes. Yet, you are wrong to think that politicians of either side are also (like many in Greek society) not at fault.

    The whole economic mismanagement that led to the Greek financial abyss is the responsibility of successive govenments since the overthrow of the fascist junta in 1974. Every government in power for nearly the past 40 years functioned under nepotism, clientelism, and rampant corruption in the public services.

    That people are also at fault goes without saying, as there will always be corruption in every level of society. So whether commies or conservatives are in power it means nothing unless socio-economic attitudes change.

    Cyprus went downhill because their cultural attitudes are Greek and thus the state functioned accordingly regardless of political colour. Can Anastasiades make any lasting cultural reforms that would match the economic reforms will remain to be seen. If we look at Greece, the example is clear, the coalition are failing miserably as economic reform hasn’t even scratched the surface of any cultural reform and thus socio-economic attitudes remain as they’ve had.

  7. “Yet, you are wrong to think that politicians of either side are also (like many in Greek society) not at fault”

    You are wrong to think Greeks problems stem primarily from a handful of politicians.

    “the overthrow of the fascist junta in 1974. ”

    It was a dictatorship but not “fascist”.

    “it means nothing unless socio-economic attitudes change”

    I dont’ know what vague terms like :”socio-economic” means in your head but if int the real world if it means Greeks need to change… no kiddding. My suggestion is quit the whining about our government and focus on actually creating wealth.

    ‘The coalition are failing miserably as economic reform ”

    Actually it seems to be succeeding. There has been a dramatic cut in spending in the last year. Our govenrment cannot rebuild our economy though. For that the Greek people need to get back to work rather than rioting for handouts .

  8. Anastasiades has been saying he will support cuts to bring spending under control; Hopefully he doesn’t turn into an unprincipled coward like Mitsotakis when the envitable happens and the leftists are out in the street rioting for handouts.

    Some of the posters on this forum keep claiming they want change. What they really mean is they don’t want change. They want the money to keep flowing to themselves. Change is the austerity. Austarity isn’t a choice. Its the reality of having to match our inputs to outputs. (rather than live on credit as we have been doing)

    Its also a wake up call that if Greeks want money from now on they are going to have to work both hard and smart to earn it. The mooching days are over.

  9.  Hey dude using my handle…. didn’t you claim to be “German” before? I noticed you claim to be Greek now. You should write down all your online personas. You are confusing yourself

  10. Obviously there must be a huge issue for some people if their historical interpretation of the junta dictatorship is believed to be a non-fascist entity. For your infomation the Greek junta used Mussolini, Hitler and Metaxa as its political ideologues. 

    You must be living in a different world to us in Greece! Obviously you must be a diasporic analyst on Greek issues, am I right!

    As for our politicians not being at fault.
    No, they only all looked the other way for the past 40 years while fiscal mismanagement became a way of life thoughout our country’s state administration. If you begin to understand the socio-economic stuctures of any society (especially ours) then you can implement reform, otherwise we are back where we began.

    And I don’t know where your getting your news my diasporic friend but the coalition are not succeeding. Every fiscal figure to date has been refuted, even Stounaras admits that we have yet to create any stable socio-economic foundations where-upon the EU handouts can provide economic growth.  

    So, yes ‘SOME’ strike but the ‘MAJORITY’ of us keep working through thick and thin. Everyone is working as much as they can here in Greece but as I mentioned before, we need cultural attitudes to change, and so I advise you to not hold your breath.

    Cyprus also needs to take a page out of current Greek politics and show its people the dilemma in Greece. It should show the Cypriots that their financial sacrifices will provide long term socio-economic advantages and incentives to a restructured state system possibly modeled after one of the northern countries. This hasn’t happened in Greece and as you can see the problems.

    Both Greece and Cyprus have to remove a mentality of clientelism, nepotism, and corrupt public services before people can begin to see an alternative to self-interests in every level of society. In other words, if the state and its politicians (who the people look to) don’t change their behaviour and can’t be brought to account for corruption and collusion because of our outdated constitution then our people will maintain the status quo (not to mention a little confused and disillusioned).

  11. The irony in your post is that Greece (and not Cyprus) did not have a Communist government, ever. It had a a Dictatorship though and that did create a national complex of making it “cool” to be leftist and “fascist” to be even moderate right.
    The problem is that Greece may never realize it unless it does have a far-leftist government (SYRIZA).

    Dictatorships and generally extremist regimes have a bigger problem than the problem they create during their reign. They also create national complexes. So be careful when you wish for your extremist idea (right wing, or left wing). It will probably create a deep wound that won’t be healed without the other side getting their chance.

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