Hellenes everywhere appreciate politicians who have strong opinions which they defend without calculating any political cost. Men of valor who defend their views with passion without exceeding the limits of ethical behaviour and political
culture. In this category of politicians, former Cypriot President Tassos Papadopoulos has a distinguished place, the other two for me personally are former leader of Greece Costas Karamanlis and former Archbishop of Greece Christodoulos. Today is the memorial of Tassos (Efstathios) Nikolaou Papadopoulos, who passed away on December 12, 2008 from lung cancer.
He will always be remembered for generations to come by Greeks and Cypriots everywhere for being a true patriot to his country and to Hellenism. Papadopoulos, who served as the fifth President of the Republic of Cyprus from February 28, 2003 to February 28, 2008, saved Cyprus, and its dignity, by having the courage to say “NO” to the Kofin Annan Plan proposed by British -American foreign policy makers on what they claimed was the resolution of the Cyprus issue.
There was a lump in his throat as Tassos Papadopoulos gave a televised address to his fellow Greek Cypriots on the evening of April 7, 2004 urging them to go against the Annan Plan. Everyone could see the tears in his eyes as he spoke to his countrymen and women… and everyone knew that there was real compassion in his voice and truth.
Televised Speech of President of the Cypriot Republic Tassos Papadopoulos 07/04/2004
received an an internationally recognized sovereign state, I will not
deliver a community” stripped of its international rights of speech and
in search of a patron.
and all this in exchange for empty and
deceiving assurances, based on the unfounded expectations and delusions
that Turkey will honor her commitments.
My fellow country women
and men, on the 24th of April, you will be asked to say “yes” or “no” to
the Annan plan. You will decide for the present and future of Cyprus,
not only for our generation but for the generations that will come after
I have faith in your judgement, I am certain you are not touched
by fake dilemmas. That threats of a supposed international isolation do
not frighten you.
That you are not convinced by “this is your last chance” ultimatums.
am certain that the moral principals and values of our people, culture
and ethnic history, that you all wish to continue with safety, justice,
freedom and peace, still hold some meaning for you.
people, On the scales of “yes” or “no” (to the Annan plan), the
consequences of a “yes” are much heavier and much more abominable.
I ask that you defend justice, your dignity and your history.
a sense of responsibility to history, for the present and future of
Cyprus and our people, I ask that you do not surrender the future of
Cyprus to the political whims of Turkey.
Defend the Republic of Cyprus by saying “no” to her destruction.
Invest in a much more hopeful path towards a reunification of our country through the European Union.
The rejection of the Annan Plan by Mr. Papadopoulos is today considered a historic triumph for Hellenism, for today even experts claim it would of led to the destruction of the island. But back then it was a sobering slap in the face of the New World Order or to British and American foreign interests in the East Mediterranean.
All those who have today been termed as “Anti-Hellenes” urged and pressured Papadopoulos back then to adopt the plan… one of which was none other than former Greek prime minister George Papandreou (who back then was Foreign Minister of Greece under the Simitis government).
Much like Costas Karamanlis’ said “NO” to FYROM’s accession to NATO (and we all know what price he paid for going against Western interests), and Archbishop Christodoulos’ “NO” to the attack on the Orthodox Church in Greece (and we all now know that he was suddenly and without reason diagnosed with severe cancer), Tassos Papadopoulos also left his mark in history with that one single phrase “NO”.
This is the recipe that creates GREAT LEADERS, who are long remembered because they had the will, and the dignity to go against great odds with great personal and economic risk because they truly loved their countries and their people. That is why the history books will honor them one day, for they are true PATRIOTS!
Tassos Papadopoulos loved his country but he loved his people more and stood up against what he saw was an injustice against his people. Three years after his death and only seven years after this plan was rejected by the Cyprus people, he was proven right.
We thank him for this and we honor him.
He will never be forgotten by Hellenes everywhere.
Rest in peace Sir….