Communist Cyprus Prez to 'Work Within Free Market'

'Pragmatic' winner not hard-line red: analysts
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 26, 2008 4:00 AM CST
Communist Cyprus Prez to 'Work Within Free Market'
Supporters of Communist President-elect Dimitris Christofias wave Cyprus flags and a flag depicting the image of Che Guevara during victory celebrations outside his campaign headquarters in divided capital Nicosia, Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008. Christofias won with 53.36 of the vote, against 46.64 for conservative...   (Associated Press)

New President Dimitris Christofias' win in Cyprus makes him the first Communist ever to lead an EU state—but he has pledged to work within the free market, reports the Guardian. His party has a Marxist manifesto, but analysts say that Christofias is a pragmatist whose policies are more social democratic than old-school Communist.

Many Cypriots hope that Christofias will be able to finally unite the long-divided island that Greeks share with Turks, but not all are convinced he will be able to keep the economy running—and some are concerned about having a Communist in power. "Not in my wildest dreams did I ever think this island would turn red," a teacher grumbled. "My father would turn in his grave at the thought that godless communists were in power." (Read more Cyprus stories.)

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