Poverty in Cyprus



3_1_1 In the absence of true democracy and justice, the misconception that people elect a government in the interest of the people is a fallacy and more so today than ever before. The ideals of direct democracy were never applied as envisioned by the great minds and forefathers of democracy.

Historically, events are forever changing and yet forever remain the same! This is apparent in politics where ideologies have fused together and there is no much difference between one political party and another. The system, instead, has cultivated a political culture that measures success on the basis of economics and wealth rather than social coherence or consciousness. The new religion of the day has become none other than “profit at all costs.” The attitude of “winner takes it all” has added without a doubt to the erosion of political and social life that has shaped inequality.

In a modern society, some would say the free market philosophy has brought prosperity and higher standards of living. That might well be true for a vast number of people and would defend it with their lives if necessary. It stands to reason to say that affluence is accumulated at the expense of the less privileged. Somewhere along the way things have turned sour and the principle of fairness has undoubtedly been lost in translation.

There are millions upon millions of people living in utter poverty without a sliver of hope to improve their living conditions except to await death. The gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” in a world of excess is widening by the day. This disparity is experienced almost in all countries; in countries they often pride themselves on practicing equality.

They certainly do not speak about “home-grown poverty” that dwells in their midst in the form of ghettos, homelessness and people living under rough conditions or sleeping under bridges. Those dehumanizing conditions certainly do exist in civilized societies; one simply has to know where to look and discover the dark side of this social crime that dwells at the very fringes of opulence. The destitute are shunned and treated not with compassion but as disposable statistics for social manipulation.

Utter poverty is in fact the biggest human killer globally. Too weak from malnutrition to do any work, the destitute find themselves in a self-perpetuating rollercoaster where they are unable to help their plight and soon shrivel up in a corner and die. Absolute hunger has neither enemy nor envy, the old, young and infants soon perish while populations have become desensitized and look on with pity.

The terrible pictures of starvation in poorer nations are a disgrace to human dignity and yet those who could make a difference, tolerate this malign injustice. According to the United Nations, about 21,000 people die every day of hunger, yet there is plenty of food for everyone. The fact that everyone is aware of those statistics indicates how rich nations have failed to resolve famine and put an end to the dehumanizing plight of the hungry. The reason is a hypocritical political indifference, which also includes church organizations.

There is plenty of food for all, but subsidized monopolies and corporate farming prefer to dump excess foodstuff to sustain high retail prices for greater returns into the coffers of institutional shareholders. The EU especially has been notorious for this type of unfair practices. Nearly one third (38%) of its 146.6-billion budget is spent to support large agriculture conglomerates! Unable to compete, smaller EU farmers are forced to reduce production and destroy their farms.

Food shortages have been a myth for years. This fable is peddled by industry lobbyists and “commodity hoarders” alike. They are the speculators and spin doctors who deliberately manipulate the commodities market to create artificial food shortages and boost up profit margins. Hundreds of EU lobbyists work day and night for food multinationals in order to influence rules and regulations in their favor.

Today, Cyprus is smacked in the middle of this chaos. One in four citizens in Cyprus (200,000) are now experiencing the brutality of poverty. There are over 100,000 unemployed with little chance of getting a job in order to earn a decent living; meanwhile shopkeepers and small businesses are vanishing by the day. For a low populated country, this tragedy is not only unacceptable but also deplorable and a disgrace for those who are supposed to govern the nation wisely. They should all be ashamed for their failure!

Food lines and soup kitchens have become a part of life for a vast number (40,000) of Cypriot families. The unsightly signs of begging and “sleeping rough” have also appeared in the big cities. The Church of Cyprus has reported that in Paphos alone, it provides food provisions for 800-1000 families each day; those are appalling figures of citizens reduced to utter poverty! The Sophia Foundation and other charities are busy feeding school children and citizens in destitution. Commendable as they are, under no terms can such deplorable conditions be justified or condoned in an EU member-state.

NGO Volunteer Groups report that over 12,000 families are urgently in desperate need of provisions and those numbers are much higher but due to pride and self-dignity, many are too embarrassed to seek assistance and prefer to remain hungry.

Yet the government plays political games with peoples’ lives and continues to spin that Cyprus is on the mend. Those fables certainly do not represent reality on the streets. People will never forgive the current and previous government for their incompetence. They have both brought ruin to a once thriving and prosperous nation that enjoyed zero unemployment but today it’s a different story. The bulldozers of prosperity have now stopped and a new phase in the history of Cyprus has begun; one of grave uncertainty.

In fact, Cypriots have so far been tolerant and behaved in a civilized manner toward bad governments but that mood is drastically changing. A recent poll by the University of Cyprus found that 80% of the people no longer trust or believe the government, the authorities or the political elite. They directly blame them and the current politicocracy (Kommatokratia) for the economic collapse and social tragedy in poverty and hunger.

Adding insult to injury, the banks are pressing for mass foreclosures and a willing government insists that parliament approves its Troika Foreclosure Bill in support of the banks. For Cypriots losing their homes to those same corrupt banks that stole their money in the first place, would be the last straw.

If the bill becomes law, people will lash out and no one can anticipate the final outcome; the government may end up with a mass violent uprising on its hands and will not be able to cope with peoples’ wrath. The word on the street it’s one of anger and citizens are no longer prepared to remain guinea pigs to the EU-Troika.

The government, on the other hand, seems willing to make people homeless and for many, prison would be their next place of residence. Sadly, this is the new submissive face of EU-Cyprus today; one that protects banking institutions in exchange for poisoned loans at the expense of its own citizens!

When the people no longer trust the government, the executive or the judiciary, there is no state. Poverty, hunger and anger are a volatile brew that can spark chaos in an already fragmented society.


2 COMMENTS

  1. I could not agree more with the above statement. Before the EU embraced it’s precious Euro, the European member States at that time were thriving communities. The EU dream of a common currency has turned to be an absolute nightmare for so many countries, with the UN ELECTED Brussels bureaucrats turning a blind eye to the poverty & suffering of SO many thousands of it’s citizens. When will they see, the European dream is not working, but they will never admit this, as there are far too many fat cats at the feeding bowl in Brussels, paid for I may add, by fools like us that pay their high salaries & exorbitant expense accounts through our taxes. Just try to find out how many people actually work for the EU. I have tried without success. I found one site from 2008 that “thought” it was in the region of 170,000. Before the EU, each country only had to pay for it’s own politicians, now they have an additional EU unpublished thousands.

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