| POLITICS |Cyprus Mail



THE SHOCK caused to the political and media establishment by Fidias Panayiotou in last Sunday’s elections for the European parliament was a joy to behold. The self-satisfied, self-regarding, self-aggrandising class were given an ass-kicking they will never forget by the TikTok kid from Meniko who made political ignorance his banner.

They were so numb from the shock of the result they spared us the usual post-election cliches, about the celebration/festival/triumph of democracy. And they certainly couldn’t say “the only winner was democracy”, because the only winner was Fidias, whose one-man show turned out to be the third strongest party of Kyproulla.

Without spending a cent on billboards and media advertising, he got more votes than the total of the three parties of the centre – Diko, Edek, Dipa – and was just 2.4 percentage points behind the mighty Akel. And he did this by advertising his silliness and ordinariness through daily streaming sessions.

He already had a big following on TikTok and YouTube and was known as Kyproulla’s leading ‘influencer’ which is probably the most worrying aspect of the so-called Fidias phenomenon. You have to be a pretty sad person to be influenced by a guy who trades in the banal. It is obviously more entertaining to one fifth of the population than what our politicians say.
OUR ESTABLISHMENT has been totally vindicated by the election result, because at the end of April it had prophetically stated that “the world belongs to the politicians with nothing to say.”

This was said in reference to Disy MEP, Loucas Fourlas, who was triumphantly re-elected on Sunday, beating his fellow candidates by a big margin. After five years during which nobody even noticed he was serving in the European Parliament, because he made sure he said and did nothing worth reporting, he was given another term to continue his fine work.

Fidias is on higher level than Fourlas as he follows the formula that proved a winner for our prez – talking a lot but not saying anything. There was a touch of irony in Fidias, who admitted he knew nothing about the European Parliament, spending four hours being briefed by his kindred spirit Fourlas about what goes on in Europe.

LOCAL elections, held on the same day, produced results indicating that we should not give up on democracy quite yet. The re-election of Fed Express in Paphos with 60 per cent of the vote, despite facing an opponent backed by Diko, Akel and Edek suggests the democratic system is not completely broken.

And for this to happen in the Diko-Edek stronghold of Paphos is even more remarkable. I am seriously considering modifying my views on Paphites.

The defeat of Nicos Tornaritis in the contest for the Nicosia mayorship was a punishment he deserved for the betrayal of his party in the presidential elections.

A superstitious skettos drinker believes there was curse on all the Disy candidates who had backed Prezniktwo in the presidential elections. Apart from Tornaritis another two of his cheerleaders were defeated in Sunday’s elections.

Neanderthal Paphite Costas Constantinou was defeated in the election of district governor, while Strovolos mayor Andreas Papacharalambous failed in his bid for re-election, despite the active support of the presidential palace.

Not even the endorsement of the gender equality commissioner Josie Christodoulou, for his sterling work in implementing her gender equality plan, could tilt the election in his favour.

ALTHOUGH it was not given much airplay, the second coming of the self-righteous turtle lover Giorgos Perdikis proved a spectacular disaster. He had come out of retirement to allegedly save the party after the resignation of its leader who was being undermined by Perdikis’ nationalist sidekicks and instead made it hit rock bottom.

The Green party took a pitiful 1.3 per cent of the vote last Sunday, but the infallible Perdikis accepted no responsibility. He was not worried about the election results he said. What he was worried about, he said, was “the attack of the deep state on the auditor-general.”

I suppose the deep state was also to blame for the piss-poor showing of the Greens.

SPEAKING of the auditor-general, I hear his team of big-shot lawyers were very surprised and disappointed with the unanimous rejection by the judges of their argument that the attorney-general did not have the authority to initiate proceedings for his dismissal for inappropriate conduct.

This was probably the reason Odysseas proposed, according to one of his lawyers, Geo Triantafyllides, before the start of proceedings on Wednesday, to have a meeting with AG George Savvides to resolve their differences.

The lawyers must have told the uncompromising, self-righteous, Odysseas that prospects were not looking good, for him to seek an out of court settlement as if this were a dispute over a piece of land or an old debt. The offer was ignored.

IN THE WITNESS stand, Savvides was questioned by Christos Clerides, whom fellow lawyers could not quite believe was offering his services pro bono.

Initially Odysseas had declared that he would pay his three lawyers out of his own pocket. He would have had to mortgage his house to pay them, because even a top civil servant’s salary, could not cover the legal costs of three lawyers known to charge top rates for their services.

It was subsequently reported that these public-spirited legal eagles were offering pro bono services to the victim of the deep state. This, however, raised issues of conflict of interest as two of them were also lawyers of public organisations under the authority of the auditor-general.

Of course, it goes without saying that this was an oversight, an honest mistake by Odysseas. If he had been aware of any conflict of interest he would have carried out a full investigation, himself.

IS THERE any other country apart from Kyproulla in which employees on annual salaries of €150,000 threaten strikes for more money? I am pretty sure this only happens in the regional pillar of stability, which boasts the greediest doctors in the world.

Doctors so committed to the Hippocratic Oath they would be happy to leave patients without care for 24 hours in pursuit of more moollah. Now if they were poor labourers, on the minimum wage, you could understand them striking, but doctors on 150 grand a year – more than 10 times the average wage – striking for more money is just disgusting.

The 24-hour strike has been called for June 20 and if Okypy does not pay up there would be more strikes by the world’s greediest doctors in early July.

PREZNIKTWO would have surprised even himself by his defiant, tough talk directed at the UN about the migrants stranded in the buffer zone.

Unficyp, the UNHCR and the UNSG’s spokesperson all criticised our government for denying the migrants access to asylum procedures and leaving them to bake in the buffer zone in the scorching heat. Some have been there for four weeks.

Prezniktwo, said Kyproulla did not accept lectures from anyone about how to handle the migrant issue and those who thought they could put pressure on the government with public statements, would get nowhere. Such defiance is untypical of our sweet-talking prez, who makes a point of being nice to everyone, but there is an explanation for his outburst.

Being a compulsive people-pleaser, he calculated that taking a tough line on the migrants would endear him to the public of Kyproulla, especially at a time of declining popularity.

THOSE who accused Fidias of being apolitical were made to eat their words this week when the TikTok kid explained his proposal for solving the Cyprob.

“We must focus on our internal problems, to become a country like Israel, like Dubai, very powerful, very rich, to prosper and slowly slowly we will have leverage power at the negotiating table and they will be begging us solve it (Cyprob) and we will take many benefits as they will be begging us to solve it.

“We should keep on going to the negotiating tables(sic) but we should play it with leverage power, so we can become a superpower as Cyprus and they will want to solve it.”

Sadly, Fidias cannot stand for the presidency for 10 years, as the constitution stipulates a minimum age of 35 for the prez. We will have to wait until then to become a superpower.


Patroclos is the pen-name of Kyriacos Iacovides, who has maintained his sanity despite writing this column for more than 30 years. Tales from the Coffeeshop first appeared in April 1991 with the objective of offering some light reading in the Sunday Mail. Its target audience was the people who do not take life and Cyprus politics, too seriously.

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