Letters To The Editor

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

May 07, 2004

Plan for Cyprus was a recipe for instability

The Sun's editorial "Missed opportunity" (May 3) casts an unfair, divisive and counterproductive light on what we hope will be the ongoing pursuit of a workable settlement for lasting peace on Cyprus.

The government of Cyprus and the Greek Cypriot community very much want a unified Cyprus, but they want a viable plan that makes sense for both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots.

The Greek Cypriots strongly favor reunification and have worked very hard for years to end the forcible division of their country. But they were not willing to accept a framework that would risk a safe, secure and democratic Cyprus and that grants unacceptable privileges to Turkey, whose military aggression has kept Cyprus divided.

The Greek Cypriots who voted no so overwhelmingly did so because of serious concerns about certain provisions of the proposed plan:

75 percent of those who voted no did so because of security concerns; the plan would allow the continued presence of foreign troops in our country and would prevent the full and genuine independence of Cyprus.

The vast majority of illegal settlers from Turkey would also be allowed to stay under the plan, and it would allow a potential permanent flow of settlers from Turkey into Cyprus.

Provisions for property restitution and compensation, and property rights for Greek Cypriot refugees were unfair and insufficient.

The form of government the plan outlined would risk deadlock and breakdown.

The government and people of Cyprus are dedicated to bringing about a just reunification of the island, and it is our hope that the United States and the international community will support a continuing dialogue toward a real and lasting solution.

The result of the referendum must act as a catalyst for unification and not as a pretext for further division.

Miltos Miltiadou

Washington

The writer is press counselor for the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus.

Republic of Cyprus has joined the EU

We share The Sun's dismay and disappointment at the result of the recent referendum in the Republic of Cyprus ("Missed opportunity," editorial, May 3).

However, it is not Greece which joined the European Union on May 1. Greece has enjoyed the benefits and responsibilities of EU membership since 1981, when it joined what was then called the European Economic Community. The Republic of Cyprus, on the other hand, did indeed join the EU on May 1. It will limit itself to representing the people of the Republic of Cyprus, and not those in the Turkish Cypriot community.

Although the EU did everything in its power, together with the United Nations and the United States, to create the conditions whereby accession to the EU could serve as the catalyst to end the long-running conflict on the island, the idea of making membership an explicit condition of such a resolution was never part of the equation.

The EU is built on democratic principles and respect for human rights. And however much we can regret this unique missed opportunity, we must respect the will of the people of the Republic of Cyprus and hope that, in time, they will show the same enthusiasm for reuniting Cyprus as for being part of the EU.

We should also be careful not to let this cast too long a shadow on what is a unique achievement in history with the accession of 10 new countries to the EU, many of which only 15 years ago were under the yoke of the Soviet Union.

For them to have been successful in transforming themselves, in such short order, into fully functioning democracies and healthy market economies, and to become members of the EU, is nothing short of miraculous and deserves all of our recognition.

Anthony Gooch

Washington

The writer is a spokesman for the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States.

Schaefer's diatribe is reason to impeach

Comptroller William Donald Schaefer's habit of unleashing public tirades laced with vile language on unsuspecting subordinates is unacceptable ("Delayed fast-food order fodder for comptroller," May 6).

Mr. Schaefer's latest tirade against a foreign-born worker struggling with English while trying to serve him at McDonald's indicates that he is an extreme bigot.

We live in a multicultural society where everyone is entitled to be treated with dignity.

Mr. Schaefer's public behavior is grounds for immediate impeachment. Government is supposed to be by and for the people, not just old, white men who speak only English.

Stephanie Arthur-Town

Landenberg, Pa.

Comptroller voiced public's frustration

Kudos to state Comptroller William Donald Schaefer for having the courage to speak for the majority of us, who also are tired of dealing with non-English-speaking service personnel ("Delayed fast-food order fodder for comptroller," May 6).

Most of us just let it go as we have these negative contacts on a daily basis. But this hurts both parties.

Learning our language should be required before anyone is thrust into dealing with the public.

More leaders should be as candid as our comptroller.

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