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2011

  • 11 July 2011 : Explosion at a munitions depot

The year was dominated by the explosion at a munitions depot in the village of Mari in July 11. Not only did the explosion cause several dead and injured but also extensive damage to the nearby generating station, whereby leading to extensive problems with the island’s electrical grid. Power outages having occured repeatedly for several weeks, the issue became a central point of reference to the island’s cultural, social and political debates for many months. Harsh accusations were made against the President of the Republic, who was accused of gross incompetence in mishandling the entire issue.

In the aftermath of the explosion and because the Republic’s electricity needs could not be met, arrangements were made for purchasing electricity from the North (the non-recognized Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus). This action provoked sharp criticism by the Archbishop of the Church of Cyprus. The Archbishop did not hesitate to accuse the AKEL-led government President of the Republic D. Christofias of major moral failings in their dealing with the entire issue.

This criticism was in accordance with the political platform the Archbishop announced in the course of the year – namely, to look for a suitable candidate for the next presidential elections that would “unite” the people. This is in the ligne of the Archbishop’s persistent negative criticism against the President with regard to his handling of the “Cyprus issue” in inter-communal talks, but it drew sharp criticism by the island’s two main political parties– the right wing DISY and the left-wing AKEL.
However, to a degree, the Archbishop’s proposal coincided with efforts undertaken by the rest of the political parties, which have since attempted to flesh out an agreement among them in order to rally behind a single candidate in the next presidential elections.

8 août 2011