By Alexander Apostolides on October 15, 2010

Boys who cry wolf…

Boys who cry wolf…

I have been impressed with the complete silliness of discussion on the TV lately over the Cyprus issue. There has been a huge (and from what I gather popular) fuss over the issue of rotating presidency and the fact that the federal republic will have a qualified majority voting.

A little explanation of the two issues will show that this is a non issue since we have already surrendered our rights in both principles in the European Union, without a fuss. The decision making rules in the European council and the council of ministers the policy making bodies of the EU, are based on majority voting, more specifically qualified majority voting (QMV). This means that more populous members have more votes, but less votes that their total population. The republic of Cyprus has readily accepted this as the new Lisbon treaty changes on the QMV actually increase our voting power way beyond our population share. The democratic principles of “one man one vote” does not apply in the EU - a Dutch voter “matters” more than a Spanish voter since his nation’s representative in the EU has greater voting power than the population suggests through the QMV system. Below shows the change in power that the Treaty of Lisbon will enforce in 2014; notice the increase of voting power for microstates like Cyprus, which is over and above what their population entails.

This also is in place in the USA. Despite being a strong federal state with large central powers (something that Greek-Cypriot negotiators aspire to), the votes of each individual has different power depending on which state he resides. Florida voters have more power since they almost always elect so many electorates that it is irrelevant who wins in Rhode Island.

At the same time we have very enthusiastically agreed to rotation presidency of the EU. If we agreed to follow democratic principles of population we would have the presidency approximately once every 150 years. Yet the presidency of EU and of the European Council rotates among members every 6 months, meaning that Cyprus will be the president in 2012, just 8 years after our entry in the EU.

Thus in many ways the rotating presidency and the fact that the Turkish Cypriots will have voting power above their population are issues that we have already surrendered without a fight during our entry in the EU to other EU states. They are frankly non-issues as all federal states work on some sort of principle that has either of both of these policies in order to function properly.

The politicians who cry “WOLF” over these issues are trying to whip up the people against federation in general without suggesting anything else but a continuation of this situation, which eventually leads to a totally undesirable two state solution (without a single refugee of either community going back!). I hope that people will understand that these people cry “wolf” to get attention and that it is our duty to ignore them.

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