| Politics |Phileleftheros



The surprising thing about Averof Neophytou’s racist rant in Emba is not – a week later – the obscenity of its content. It is that, in stark contrast to its pompous delivery, an attempt was made to keep it on the hush. And to a large extent, this was achieved, aided by the media and opposition parties. Isn’t it curious that DISY itself, in its announcement on the gathering in question, made no reference whatsoever to the repulsive content that spewed from the mouth of its president and candidate for the presidency of the Republic? So, if the relevant video had not been leaked, would we not have learnt what was said? But, it was leaked. As such, if DISY’s stance is curious, what is to be said of AKEL’s silence? Did the party of the left, which on similar occasions was up in arms for at least 10 days, neither hear nor see this time? Why, I wonder? Could it be the summer slump? Or perhaps elections-based political expediency? ‘One hand washes the other and both the face?’ The end justifies the means? A new moral code? And the media? Beyond all the other intolerant things he said, is it commonplace for the president of the ruling party, of the ‘great European political group’, to promise to build a fence across the entire length of the Green Line within just a few weeks, and for this not to be worthy of even the slightest of mentions? Mysterious things…

In essence

In Emba, Averof Neophytou did not address the ‘migration problem’, to which we have also referred many times in our articles. In Emba, Averof Neophytou gave a far-right recital of xenophobia and intolerance, drawing on all those arguments – the morbid ones – that EL@M and others pull up, in the hope of securing a few petty votes from this particular pool.

And it’s not the first time he does this – he is extremely skilled at it. But with the exception of his vulgar comments about Niyazi Kizilyurek during the European elections, this is perhaps the first time he has reached such a level of obscenity. The wording, innuendos and insinuations used also touched on the other side [of the island], while leaving (even more of) his positions riddled with holes. 

In Emba, Averof Neophytou did not address the ‘migration problem’. He most likely attempted to ‘prove’ or ‘convince’ even the most well intentioned that he has neither principles, nor boundaries, nor morals in the face of serving his selfish goals and ambitions. And it is precisely this, the fact that he does it for selfish goals and ambitions — always sprinkled with the usual babble – that makes his rant obscene. 

Three further observations

First: Averof Neophytou is not held in particularly high regard out there – he should have known that already. Perhaps in certain critical situations, in Cyprus of course, he proved to be more intelligent, or realistic, if you prefer, than others, which only goes to show how depressing our reality is, but out there, in the European arena, things are looking grim… I’m referring to the “international connections” he spoke of, which, he said, he would use to solve an issue that, for the past ten years his government not only failed to solve, but even magnified (!) or allowed to magnify (why, I wonder?). Averof Neophytou is not even appreciated in the European People’s Party [Translator’s note: the European political group to which DISY belongs], as proven in the 2019 election process for the 10 positions of vice-president. “Despite the honourable result,” the statement issued by DISY said after the vote (without any further comment!). Remember? What was the “honourable result” that the announcement referred to? 10 positions, 12 candidates, Averof among the two not elected! And with 10 votes fewer than the other person. In other words, last! “Honourably” of course!

Second: Averof Neophytou’s problem is twofold: on the one hand, his patriotic waffle is not convincing. He sounds ridiculous to his party’s hardcore audience – let’s call them the ‘traditional patriotic right’ – regardless of the fact his ‘patriotic party’ reflexes proved salutary in the recent past. On the other hand, with his eccentricity, populism and demagoguery, his extremes and inconsistencies, he is alienating every liberal, European, moderate voice. 

Third: Behind the words and the racist rant, behind the vulgarity that, yes, we have also heard from others in the past (but it’s especially something when it comes from the mouth of the leader of the ruling party, of the ‘great European, liberal political group’), there lurks (also) the Schengen area. With which those dreaming with insatiable hunger of ‘golden visas’ to replace ‘golden passports’ have long been flirting, if and when we ‘secure’ a hard border with the occupied 36% of the island. And because Averof Neophytou is well known for his ability to ‘synthesise’, do you suppose he thinks that by diving into dirty water he can kill two birds with one stone?


Born in Famagusta. He studied journalism in Athens and has been working as a journalist since 1995. He worked for the Dias Media Group magazines as well as for Special Editions. Since 2007 he has been a member of staff at the Phileleftheros Group as Editor-in-Chief of monthly and weekly magazines. At the same time, since 2021 he is in charge of the Sunday supplement “Elefthera” of the Phileleftheros newspaper. He also contributes as a columnist for the various publications of the Group.

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