| Politics |Cyprus Mail



WE HAVE lost count of the number of triumphs we have recorded on paper, thanks to the courageous battles fought by our warrior diplomats all over the world, often in very hostile environments, against sinister forces hell bent on using headings, words or punctuation that would cause untold harm to our national cause.

The setting for our latest triumph was Brussels, where some backstabbing partners, encouraged by the duplicitous eurocrats of the Commission tried to pull a fast one in the drafting of the conclusions of the European Council. According to Phil, the “initial draft had a general reference which was considered anything but satisfactory by the government.”

Phil, which is force-fed insider info by the government added that Nicosia “mobilised at all levels seeking the initial improvement of the wording of the text and having succeeded in this, tried to bring the Kypriako and EU-Turkey relations under the same umbrella.”

This was not because Nicosia expected rain, but because, according to the authoritative Phil, “the Kypriako was under the heading ‘Other Matters’ while EU-Turkey relations was under the heading ‘Eastern Mediterranean’. Nicosia’s mobilisation succeeded in the Kypriako and EU-Turkey ending up under the same heading, creating a link between the two issues, as the government sought.”

It was another text triumph of our mobilisation.


THE EFFORT for the link yielded results said the Phil headline, while Prez Nik II said, “we sought for there to be a link.”

And on paper there is undoubtedly a link, the two paragraphs are together (43 and 44) and under the same heading in the Council’s conclusions.

But nowhere in the conclusions is there the slightest hint, let alone a mention, that the Kypriako would be linked to the EU-Turkey dialogue on their relations, which was what the Prez was actually seeking, but being under the same umbrella in the text is still a link on paper, which is the only thing that really matters.

Ever since 1974 our warrior diplomats, successfully fought thousands, of battles to ensure the right words and punctuation were used in texts/resolutions relating to Kyproulla, at the UN, the EU, the Council of Europe, Uefa etc.

And we are subsequently informed of how, after mega-efforts, our resourceful diplomats got the words just right, seeing off threats such as the implicit downgrading of the republic, the implicit upgrading of the pseudo-state, the halloumification of the Cyprob etc.

Getting the text-only link far outweighed the prez’s failure to secure a leading role for the EU in the Cyprob and to have an EU envoy appointed.


HAVING sorted out the Council’s conclusions, the unyielding ‘war of the words’ now moves to New York. On Saturday Phil’s presidential correspondent reported that there is “a fever of intensive consultations in New York in view of the submission of the reports of the UN Secretary-General about the Kypriako and the actions of Unficyp.”

The UN Special Representative Colin Stewart was heading for New York on Monday to brief the UNSG and Security Council and would you believe it? “Nicosia is mobilising in view of the submission of the reports so that the real picture of the developments is recorded, and so that the initiatives of the government, aimed at the resumption of the talks, are taken into account.”

So the mobilisation will focus on ensuring there is an honourable mention in the UNSG’s report for our government’s failed initiatives (some brownie points might be awarded in writing), under the same heading as the paragraph on Turkey’s intransigence.


THE ONLY man to be appointed the CEO of a bank, without any experience in banking (something that could only happen in Kyproulla), and currently finance minister, Makis Keravnos, has become the government’s official enforcer for the banks.

He was at it again, a few days ago, talking to Tass news agency about his “constructive intervention” in the banking sector, in which he has no business intervening, considering we have not yet become a command economy. It is also quite bizarre how a fine, upstanding patriot like Keravnos is emulating the Turkish president in attempting dictating banks’ interest rate policy.

He saw some “positive developments by the banks,” which he applauded, “but they are not satisfactory and I expect all banks to absorb even more of the costs of the interest rate increase,” he said, also expecting higher interest to be paid on deposits.

He said absorbing the part of the cost of higher interest rates was part of the “corporate social responsibility banks have as large institutions.” We saw the results of this corporate social responsibility when the co-ops were conducting banking “with a human face.”


ELSEWHERE in the interview, speaking about the latest foreclosures law, he said “we must avoid the populisms that offer absolutely nothing.” Telling banks not to increase their loan rates and to increase their deposit rates strikes me as a populism evens Keravnos could not avoid.  “We are a very serious government that wants to seriously study things and not throw about slogans,” he stressed. Well, they fooled me.


SPEAKING of slogans, one of the prez’s favourite slogans, which his spokesman Mini Me has also adopted, is that of ‘added value’. All government proposals to the UN and the EU are described as having ‘added value.’

They avoided, however, mentioning the ‘added value’ to our electricity bills that the government’s decision to end the subsidy of bills will have. Nor was there mention of the ‘added value’ of ending the reduction of the consumer tax on petrol.

The decisions were greeted by a universal outcry, with across-the-board price rises being predicted, and it would be no surprise if our thin-skinned, populist prez, who aims to please and wants to be loved, finds some lame excuse to reverse them.


AFTER House president and Disy chief, Annita Demetriou, another party leader has adopted our prez’s gimmick of engaging in a dialogue with society.

Akel chief Stef Stef repeatedly made this point on Wednesday in his speech announcing the party’s plan to build a social alliance with a progressive agenda. Everyone was welcome to the alliance, irrespective of their ideological background, as the electoral programme of Andreas Mavroyiannis will be used as starting point.

The aim said comrade Stef Stef, was to create a structure that would ensure participation in the formulation of policies and effectiveness of political actions. The concept is along the lines of the participatory democracy that our prez peddled in his campaign.

In order not to alienate the Stalinist and Soviet-loving supporters of the party, the comrade underlined that Akel would preserve its Marxist delusions. My question is whether a pro-West, neo-liberal, Nato-supporting, anti-communist would be welcome to the social alliance.


THE IRREPRESSIBLY outspoken Dr Madsakis was back last week slamming our sacred (cash) cow Gesy. What was created was “a fake Gesy,” he said on Alpha TV, claiming it “will collapse.”

He said: “What they created is a system to make doctors, chemists, labs and private hospitals rich; they set up an operation for the health providers to make money, while the state hospitals are falling apart.”

There were no doctors left in hospitals because of the reward system. “Doctors would be paid €4,000 a month, for example, then they would enter Gesy and make €15,000 a month; they would be fools to stay at the hospitals.”

He blamed the Health Insurance Organisation for the mess, saying it should never have been left to run Gesy as it was made up of “loads of people that were clueless about health issues, on big salaries, who do whatever they want.”

He forgot to mention that these same people also like to pose as public benefactors, seeking our gratitude for offering us free healthcare with our money.


A CORRECTION. Some weeks ago, our establishment referred to the under-secretary to the president Irini Piki as a ‘koumera’ of the presidential couple. We now know this not to have been correct. Piki issued an announcement saying she was not a koumera of the presidential couple.

We would like to apologise for this mistake and thank the Lord it could not be interpreted as libellous. According to a report in Politis, Piki is a very close friend of the first lady PKC, whom she met many years ago. The paper also said that “Mrs Piki, as a member of bourgeois Nicosia, helped the presidential couple acclimatise to the capital and to make its first important acquaintances.”

This was a diplomatic way of saying Mrs Piki assisted the social climbing of the provincial couple when they first arrived in the big city not knowing any of the bourgeois movers and shakers. Now they have them eating out of their hands, which is a life-affirming turnaround.


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.

You may also like

Comments are closed.