(Or, the only way for Jimmy to win the elections).
Jimmy needs to make one important move if he is to convince the middle class to vote for him. Being unable to vote for Tassos myself just because of the kind of supporters he attracts and his inability to act as a unifying force in a divided country, I have to give it to Tassos that he managed to appoint the first finance minister (perhaps since independence) that actually knows a thing or two about economics. The appointment of the central bank governor was equally impressive. Despite what AKEL tries to tell you, these appointments were arguably the best appointments in the history of the Republic, they were done meritocratically, and they were actually done so that the job could get done. And indeed it is being done (in the case of the finance minister this was with the help of the tax reform enacted by the previous government that enabled the low tax regime to attract foreign capital and, actually, some specialised/high-end labor).
Now AKEL has been making the wrong type of noises about these appointments and these people, talking about abstract ideas like “neo-liberalism” that cannot be well-defined and therefore cannot be well defended. The comrades in the party have to wake up and smell the coffee. Most people in the land, including AKEL’s supporters, are fine with the capitalist system and mentality and indeed would just like the government to be out of the way as much as possible (a neo-liberal ideal that somehow gets lost in the cheap talk). People in the land like (and have gotten used to) the low tax rates inherited from the previous government, and see (rightly) not many things actually wrong with Sarris’ economic policies.
It will not be sufficient for AKEL to not say anything about this issue because either way this issue is going to be brought to them if Jimmy makes it to the second round. Whether rightly or wrongly this is irrelevant, remember this is politics and at stake is the most powerful political position in the country for 5 years. On Monday morning after the first round and with Jimmy still in the running, there will be special ads in the papers and in the radios frightening the electorate about the coming red revolution, about the closet communists waiting to jack up both personal and corporate tax rates to fund projects of waste like they were doing in the former Soviet Union. Make no mistake about it. This will happen. The question is, how can AKEL (and Jimmy) deal with this onslaught, especially when this onslaught has an element of truth given the types of messages many AKEL supporters send out.
What is Jimmy’s check mate move? Well, find a “neo-liberal” and agree with them that they will take over the ministry of finance with the directive of doing as they see fit. Get someone (I was going to mention names but this might generate conspiracy theories) who is known to be part of the Cypriot capitalist mentality and there are no questions about his (or even better her) capitalist credentials. AND publicly announce this the week before the first round to get rid of the weapon of mass destruction accumulating in the opponents’ arsenal. This move will make sure the middle class is not swayed by arguments like "You are being sold for nothing to the communists" or "Your high standard of living will be sacrificed in a Quixotic battle to prove to the rest of the world that a communist system might work". Believe me, there is a sufficient amount of noise coming from AKEL supporters that these fears are very real. And it will cost Jimmy tremendously among the large share of the population, who for the first time in Cypriot politics, is unattached to political parties and will be the deciding factor as to who wins and who loses the coming election.