In 2008, leftists across Europe hailed the election of communist leader Dimitris Christofias to executive office in the Republic of Cyprus as a breakthrough, with grand prospects for progressive, leftward change. The Cypriot left in the form of AKEL seemed to be the exception in the neoliberal European political universe, offering a new hope and the potential for an alternative political course. AKEL’s rise to executive power was seen as evidence that the left could head the government in a European state, and as an example for other left parties. Five years on, during a period in which Cyprus has signed a bailout agreement with the Troika comparable to those of Greece, the right has triumphantly returned to office, some of the harshest austerity measures have been imposed by EU elites and passed by parliament, and with public opinion on the left government’s record unprecedentedly negative, the issue of communist participation in the executive is once again, rightfully back on the agenda.
Charalambous, Giorgos & Gregoris Ioannou (2015) No Bridge over Troubled Waters: The Cypriot Left Heading the Government, 2008–2013, Capital & Class 39: 265–286.