| Cyprus Problem |To Thema Online



Have you noticed that typically the more and the louder one proclaims one’s patriotism, the greater the chances that that person will eventually turn out to be the biggest fraud?

From the concealed military trenches on the prime plots of land of a well-known ultra-patriotic MP, the companies brutally exploiting foreign delivery workers, which are owned by far-right nationalists (who simultaneously rally against them chanting “throw them into the sea”) and the lucrative business dealings of an outright patriotic media group with a big shot Turkish producer, to the laundering of dirty money and the issuing of golden passports to internationally wanted fraudsters, the sacred bribes and the recent revelations about the (by all accounts legal) registration of a company in Cyprus linked to a major T/C developer who is plundering Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas, by the firm of an outspoken anti-federal lawyer, the connection between the fervour of their patriotic outbursts and the magnitude of their hypocrisy has now gone beyond the stage of a mere phenomenon – it is becoming the norm.

Although I didn’t live through it, I imagine there must have been a time when patriotism was really about one’s homeland and not about self-interest, personal advancement, and the accumulation of wealth. Of course, regardless of the motives, hatred is still a disease that consumes you from the inside and should not be encouraged, but there is a twisted version of romanticism in the nationalist who is humiliated, marginalised, who may even lose jobs, friends and relationships for views that stem from pure ideology and that are driven solely by a completely misguided love for their country.

By contrast, there is a special place in hell reserved for all those who sell cheap and tawdry patriotism for personal gain and at the expense of the people who have really suffered (and are still suffering) from it. Because you’re able to single out the ideologue and accept him (I will not write “respect” because respect is a different beast altogether) even if you disagree with him completely, but the professional patriot, who not only puts economic interest above their country, but – even worse – dresses it up in a traditional national frock [‘foustanela’] and presents it to the blind and ignorant as “patriotism”, is someone who is not even wanted by one’s own  mother (if they haven’t sold her out as well).

And you can easily spot the cheater. We live in a small place and we all know each other well, more or less. You can see who built careers, got rich or gained power and immunity by selling patriotism, xenophobia, and Turko-phobic nationalism to anyone who was willing to buy it (and there were quite a few). Just one look at their meteoric rise or their outrageous accumulation of wealth and you immediately understand the reason behind the urge to maintain the status quo. We are not saying that all those who are opposed to a solution to the Cyprus problem fall into this category (that’s why I write that it’s the “professionals” who stand out) or that they are doing business with the pseudo-state behind our backs, but fighting tooth and nail to demonise any solution plan, the T/Cs themselves and any G/Cs who are fighting for reunification, in order to maintain the status quo at all costs and forever (until the inevitable partition or annexation), is no less despicable than doing business directly with Attila. Let’s not forget that shouting for half a century now for a “just, viable and functional solution” while rejecting everything that has ever been put on the table sounds a lot better than saying “I don’t want a solution because it will spoil my good looks”.

But we’ve learned by now. The more stentorian the patriotic outburst, especially when accompanied by a wagging of the finger at the “lowest bidders”, the greater the hypocrisy. After all, the first reaction of any con man caught with their hand in the honeypot is that they’re “being persecuted because they are a patriot and their views are bothersome to others.” They know who they are addressing…



A journalist for over 20 years, Marinos Nomikos has been a constant thorn in the side of the Establishment, thanks to his sharp humour and insightful social commentary. He has collaborated, among others, with the newspapers Politis, Kathimerini and Phileleftheros, the magazines TV Mania and Down Town, and the radio stations Active, Sfera and Kanali 6. He currently writes for the websites ToThemaOnline and LimassolToday and presents the podcast ‘TV Stories’ by Alpha.

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