Greek Cypriots, mourning the man who put this small island on the world geopolitical map, express a common worry that Archbishop Makarios' demise will help ease Cyprus back onto the global backburner and reduce the urgency about the hardening Turkish occupation of one third of the island.
Under Makarios, Greek Cypriots have been highly conscious of public relations ever since it was a factor in their successful guerrilla was against Britain.
With no military force of their own to speak of, and few means of pressure except the Greek political and commercial lobbies and world public opinion, Greek Cypriots - who number fewere than half a million - are acutely aware of the value of the international stature of Makarios, a surviving leader from the postwar generation of men who led their countries to independence.
These fears are manifested in the intense concern among Greek Cypriots about the level of foreign delegations that are being sent to attend the state funeral of Makarios, who was the first president of Cyprus.
The turnout is providing to be much lower-level than Greek Cypriots had expected. Greece is the only country sending its head of state, but the Greek president will not be accompanied by Premier Constantine Karamanlis.
The biggest delegation, with the possible exception of Greece, is expected to be the American group, which certainly is the one being scrutinized most closely by the Greek Cypriot leadership. The expectation here remains that American action remains the best and probably only hope for any imporvement in the present stalement.
Although the U.S. delegation's final composition has not been announced, Greek Cypriot Foreign Ministry sorces say it will included former Defense Secretary Clark Clifford, who as President Carter's special representative visited Cyprus last spring, and a dozen other Americans - at least half of them congressmen. Greek Cypriots had hoped for a member of President Carter's family or for Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who is currently in The Middle East and who dealt with Makarios in 1967 and had kept in touch with him in recent months.
British is sending a Cabinet minister and the Duke of Kent, who served here in Britain's armed forces.
Makarios' old comrades in the Third World are also failing to answer the call: Yugoslavia's President Tito apparently is not coming and Egypt is sending its premier. Communist representation will be only medium-level.
Meantime, Turkish Cypriots continue their campaign of disparaging the deceased Makarios, and only former Premier Bulent Ecevit, now the opposition leader, sent condolences from Turkey.
While only symbolic, the diplomatic trend has underscored for Greek Cypriots the need to close ranks fast, and political leaders are understood to be nearing agreement on a formula to maintain Acting President Spiros Kyprianou in office for six months.
During the long campaign for scheduled presidential elections next February, key decisions would continued to be taken by the main party leaders and former confidants of Makarios, who have in effect administered the Cyprus government since Makarios' initial heart attack in April.
Kyprianou, whom Makarios allegedly described to his last interviewer, an Iranian journalist, as his chosen successor, shares the view that American support is essential for Cyprus' future. However, Kyprianou's poor health and the recent absence of vigorous leadership offer slender prospects for a smooth transitition of power, particularly strung out over several months of uncertainty.
As the Greek Cypriot leaders strive to forge a cohesive front, the realization that a new era has started is being expressed by a cross-section of Greek Cypriots.