*Irene Photiou, Lambrini Papadopoulou & Theodora A. Maniou
The clash between European and national identities has generated an ongoing debate in the European Union, which usually peaks in times of crises. Such a crisis occurred in June-July 2015 when Greece experienced a fresh culmination of its ongoing financial and socio-political stalemate. The negotiations between the Greek government and the EU administration led to a strain on the banking system, a dividing referendum and social movements in the country, resulting in the national elections of September 2015. Greeks around the world perceived this crisis in multiple ways, but for Greek- Cypriots, it brought forth memories of the 2013 banking crisis (at least). It is of interest to examine the role of national media, and specifically television, in the process of European and national identity making in times of crisis. The aim of the case study is to scrutinize and understand the portrayal of the 2015 Greek crisis as presented to the Cypriot society through the national television channels. Engaging in a qualitative framing analysis, this article investigates the political and social aspects in which the crisis in Greece was portrayed, as well as political problematizations concerning conflicts between the European, Hellenic and Cypriot aspects of the national identity, all or some of which many Greek-Cypriots consciously claim to adopt. As this research indicates, the framing of television news during the crisis was ideologically, rather than ethnically, motivated, while the events precipitated deviations from traditional positions on national identity in all ideological groups of the country. Importantly, this study uncovers a subtle trend to promote a new, European awareness in the national identity, attempting to generate sympathy for this multicultural and multinational community of rival politics and opportunity.
Keywords: European identity-making, television, economic crisis, Greece, Cyprus