| Politics |Cyprus Mail



WHAT HAD been shaping up as an acrimonious divorce, with a custody battle and a legal row over the ownership of the house and furniture, rather disappointingly degenerated into a public show of love and affection. Love conquers all, as they say.

All it took was for Prez Nik to invite Averof to the presidential palace for a heart-to-heart during which I suspect he heaped scorn on his protégé Christodoulides, professed his undying loyalty to the Disy chief and pledged unwavering support for his candidacy.

As a natural born thespian, our Nik can sweet-talk his way out of any jam and it did not take him very long to persuade Averof that he had never cheated on him, never as much as looked at another candidate and that he would remain faithful, at least until the children grew up and left home.

All this must have been said during their tete-a-tete, while the two were subsequently joined by foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides and Disy deputy leader Harris Georgiades. Averof bought it all. He left the meeting glowing, wearing the smile of a man who had just had a double-dose of a confidence-boosting injection.

In retirement Nik should write the book, ‘How you can fool everybody all of the time’, in answer to Abraham Lincoln, and he will become a bestselling author.


JUST a day before the kiss and make up meeting, the Prez had decided to break his silence over the accusations made against him by Averof on a television debate in which he was referred to as “the elephant in the room.”

Asked by the presenter if he was suggesting that Nik was undermining his candidacy, Averof avoided giving a straight answer, replying that “the person with the responsibility for clearing this up is none other than the president.” In other words, it was Nik, but he would rather the answer came from the horse’s mouth.

Despite being asked by hacks on several occasions to comment, Nik refused to say anything until last Tuesday, when he issued a bland statement, which completely ignored the request to clear things up.

He said: “In response to what is being said and written, I wish to make it clear that my only concern is the preservation of the unity of the historic Democratic Rally (Disy) party. At the same time, I repeat that I am available to Mr Averof Neophytou to listen to any opinions or concerns he had or still has, as I have always done.”

By way of a threat, he also said he would be sending a “strictly confidential” letter to the Disy chief. If it was to be “strictly confidential” why did he announce it? The subsequent reconciliation ensured it was never sent.


FOR THE PREZ, words are divorced from actions, always existing in different universes. He illustrated this with his dogmatic, public assertion that “my only concern is the preservation of the unity of the party.”

Those were the words. The actions? He was happy to allow Christodoulides, as his foreign minister, to work on his election campaign while serving in the government, knowing that he would stand against the party candidate, and only got rid of him because of Averof’s pressure.

Nik’s protégé was plundering Disy votes, something he did successfully, considering polls showed one third of the party would be voting for him. He was actively shattering the unity of the party, but not once did the Prez censure his behaviour publicly, not even with words he did not mean.

All he could bring himself to do, was grudgingly express support for Averof’s candidacy when appearing at Disy gatherings with him, and again, it was entirely possible his words were divorced from his action.

Then there was the throwaway remark in Limassol, where he said he would have influence over any of the three main candidates elected, as they were all his associates, a clear endorsement of Christodoulides. He was obviously not too bothered that his protege had wrecked the Disy unity he desperately wanted to preserve.


EVEN with Nik’s half-hearted public support, things are not looking good for Averof. In the latest opinion poll, presented on Antenna TV on Friday night, he had less than half of the support of Christodoulides (16% compared to 34%), while Andreas Mavroyiannis trailed behind both with just 14%.

Meanwhile, a shit-stirring poll that appeared in Politis last Sunday, found that if House President Annita Demetriou replaced Averof as Disy candidate she would receive more votes than Christodoulides in both the first round and a run-off.

The poll was based on a hypothetical question, but some interpreted it as an expression of the desire of many voters to have new people standing. Annita, a newcomer to politics, who has never put a foot wrong and has a squeaky-clean image, was described by a radio presenter as the “blue-eyed Virgin Mary.”

She may not have aa fraction of the experience and political nous of Averof, but she is a lot prettier than him and, sadly, looks matter a lot to voters in these superficial times.


THE COMMIES must be kicking themselves for going against their leader’s choice of candidate and forcing the mousy civil servant, Mavroyianns on the party.

Comrade Stef Stef had decided the party should make Achilleas Demetriades its candidate but a group of deputies, seeking to undermine his leadership, imposed Mavroyiannis, who is proving a much less credible candidate than two-time loser Stavros Malas, who stood for Akel in the previous two elections. Admittedly, neither is very pretty.

My friend Achilleas, would not be elected on his looks either, but according to the Antenna poll he has the backing of 5% of the population, without any party backing, with minimal exposure on television, all stations featuring the three party candidates.

If the idiot comrades had backed him, they may even have had a chance of winning the election, but I suspect scheming deputies wanted a sure-fire loser as candidate, so they could help Christodoulides, who is the preferred candidate of Mother Russia and has close ties with Sergei Lavrov.


MAVROYIANNIS and the party of the workers were pilloried on social media for arranging a fund-raising, gala dinner which charged €300 per head, making attendance unaffordable for the members of the proletariat. Whichever way you looked at it, it was a very un-Marxist way to raise cash, even if the candidate planned to set up a socialist republic.

Akel had to give its go-ahead to the dinner for the wealthy, because the Mavroyiannis campaign was desperate for moolah. The mega-rich businessman, who had promised to provide big funds for the campaign, because the candidate came from the same village, changed his mind and did a runner when he saw Mavroyiannis’ consistently poor showing in opinion polls.

He did not want to waste his money on a candidate that had no chance of winning and probably decided to make a donation to the Christodoulides campaign, even though he is from Paphos.


THERE are no money problems at the Christodoulides campaign, which has been spending lavishly on election events.

The crowdfunding he said he would rely on to finance his campaign appears to have gone better than anyone could have imagined, during a period when many people do not have money to fund their monthly groceries and pay their electricity bill at the same time.

There is so much moolah available that Christodoulides has even hired the services of a private security firm to protect him and his family. I do not know if the contract also includes sending a security detail to Limassol to bring cooked food to Nicosia from his mother-in-law, as his police bodyguards used to do.


DEPRIVED of the continuous publicity that he enjoyed for the two-plus years of the pandemic, covid celebrity and panic-peddler, Dr Petros Karyiannis found a way to get back in the news last week.

He told Tass news agency, that he expected coronavirus sub-variant BQ1 to make an appearance in Kyproulla soon, as it had been traced in Greece last Tuesday. He said it did not cause worse symptoms than other sub-variants of Omega.

I would not be surprised if he arranged to head the welcoming committee for BQ1’s arrival at Larnaca airport.


AFTER the big-dick potato of Xylophagou, the neighbouring village of Derynia has decided to set up a ‘festive strawberry’ after it was selected as a Christmas village for this year.

The big strawberry, featuring a Santa Claus hat, was placed in the central area of the village. Derynia apparently is known for its cultivation of strawberries (I did not know this) and the municipality came up with the idea of the model strawberry as a way of promoting its local produce.

I am very disappointed that no village has yet thought of promoting the Cyprus angouri, which is the best cucumber in the world, something you cannot say about our potatoes and strawberries. Peristerona or Akaki, which produce the best angourka should consider putting up a 20-metre angouri that people could see from miles away, because this is the vegetable all Kyproulla should be proud of.


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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