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Sunday, February 27, 2005

Two years on but 20 years in the past

"Two years on but 20 years in the past

PRESIDENT PAPADOPOULOS swept to power two years ago as the candidate of a three-party coalition and promising to bring �big and substantive change�. The �government of change�, as it called itself, completes two years in power this week, but will have little cause to celebrate. Papadopoulos may have seen off the Annan plan last April, thanks to a partisan and deeply divisive campaign, but he has not had an easy ride since, despite the Republic becoming a full member of the EU.

In fact membership has not been the panacea everyone had been expecting, with the Commission forcing the government to make a series of concessions to the Turkish Cypriots that would have been inconceivable a couple of years ago. There have been ongoing rows with the Commission, the government threatening to take it to European Court over plans for direct trade with the north, but on other issues � individuals entering Cyprus through illegal ports and crossing south � it has been forced to abandon its old positions. "

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