TRICKY NICKY, as our prez should be known after the way he took the inbetweeners for a ride, on his return from Switzerland, thought it would be plain sailing until his return to Mont Pelerin and the resumption of talks today.
He never called the national council meeting which the inbetweeners had been crying for and kept them in the dark about the talks until yesterday – only two of them were briefed on Friday – giving them no time to mount a new project fear. He briefed each one separately, allocating 45 minutes for every meeting, and then headed to the airport.
By the time they started their public breast-beating and pro-partition campaign there could be a deal in Mont Pelerin – maps with territorial adjustments may have been produced and a date set for the multi-party conference. The UN seems so confident about an agreement it only allocated two days to the Switzerland talks.
Not everything went according to plan for Tricky Nicky who encountered difficulties from where he least expected them – the Greek government. He had arranged to visit Greece in order to confer with Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and brief the political leadership about developments. He arrived in Athens after President Obama left, on Wednesday, and did not return to Kyproulla until Thursday.
It was a crafty way of putting back the meetings with the prophets of doom at home, but it backfired, because he did not encounter the traditional Cyprob indifference from the Tsipras government. It did not follow the normally indifferent, ‘do whatever you like and we’ll support you,’ policy of all its predecessors.
INSTEAD, Nik found Tsipras in a belligerent mood, setting his own conditions for attending the multi-party meeting. It was the last thing he expected from the affable Tsipras who had never expressed any coherent views, let alone strong views, about the Cyprob, treating it like a minor nuisance, with zero populist value, that he had no interest in.
Yet on Wednesday, out of the blue, he told Nik that Greece would attend the multi-party meeting if the agenda was exclusively the abolition of guarantees and withdrawal of Turkish troops. His government also wanted all other chapters closed, before the meeting was held, because it did not want negotiations on issues other than guarantees and security.
These were not helpful positions. Whereas Nik is prepared to negotiate some arrangement on guarantees (restricted and for a finite period) Tsipras is not even prepared to negotiate. He wants the Turks to agree to their abolition, something that will not happen, in order to attend the meeting that would finalise the Cyprus settlement. And to make things even more difficult he wants all other chapters closed before the meeting which is an obvious attempt to delay it.
Playing hard-ball could have been a negotiating tactic, but if it were Tricky Nicky would not have been so worried about it. How ironic, if a settlement is blocked by Greece’s rather than Turkey’s intransigence.
TSIPRAS is too wishy-washy to have such strong views on the Cyprob, in which he had never shown the slightest bit of interest. Being the PM of a bankrupt country and having international lenders breathing down your neck does not leave him much time to deal with the Cyprob which is an irrelevance to him.
From what I hear, the man calling the shots is his chubby foreign minister Nicos Kotzias who, admittedly, has been banging on about guarantees whenever he has spoken publicly about the talks. Kotzias made his tough line known at the meeting between Nik and Tsipras on Wednesday, which he attended, and the PM backed him.
A professor of political theory at Piraeus University, Kotzias’ background may offer some clues about his stance. He had been a fanatical Stalinist and one of the chief propagandists of Greece’s Communist Party. In this role he had written a book fanatically praising Poland’s General Jaruzelski. The Greek website Athens Review of Books wrote the following about his book, ‘Poland and us’: “Every phrase in this book is a lie, every page contains verbal bullying, and in its entirety it is a delirium of Stalinist mendacity and shameless propaganda.”
But like the Stalinists of Kyproulla – comrade Tof, Katsourides etc – after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the demise of socialism, Kotzias became an ultra-nationalist and eventually swore allegiance to Putin’s Russia. One of the first things he did on being appointed foreign minister in January 2015, was to attack the EU for wanting to impose more sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine.
THE STALINIST, who is now a Russia-worshipping, ultra-nationalist, has links with the fascist Russian academic and warmonger Aleksandr Dugin who is an advisor of President Putin and has close ties with the Russian military.
Dugin, another Stalinist turned ultra-nationalist, according to Wikipedia, “is seen as the driving conceptual force behind Vladimir Putin’s initiative for the annexation of Crimea by Russia. In 2014 he appealed for Putin to start military intervention in eastern Ukraine.”
Kotzias even posed for a photograph with Dugin when the latter had been invited as a guest of the University of Piraeus. We do not know if the two ultra-nationalists still have links, but what is well-known is that Dugin has close ties with the Golden Dawn neo-Nazis of Greece.
We cannot say whether Kotzias is acting as Putin’s puppet in making such a big issue of the guarantees, threatening not to attend the conference that would seal a Cyprus settlement. What we can say is that the turning of the issue of guarantees into a possible deal-breaker was initiated by Russia in a rather unsubtle attempt to block a settlement. It was a very successful move as it has been zealously embraced by all Greek Cypriots, including the pro-settlement politicians that do not want to be accused by rejectionists of wanting Turkish guarantees.
MOTHER Russia appears to be doing everything in its power to prevent a settlement. Tricky Nicky had only been back in Kyproulla for 48 hours, after the Mont Pelerin talks that ended on a high note, and Russia’s ambassador Stanislav Osadchiy appeared on our state television do a subtle spoiler.
Had he been invited to appear or had he asked the Russia-worshipping hacks of the CyBC to put him on the morning news show? His country had no involvement in the Switzerland talks, he did not know what had gone on there and he is not a political pundit, so why was his appearance necessary?
Stan told us there should be “no time-frames” – presumably in the hope that the opportunity for a deal, which is now, would be missed – “no interference from outside” and that Moscow wanted a “multi-party and not a five-party conference,” so that Russia could also participate. For once, he did not mention the guarantees, probably because Kotzias was dealing with them. Speaking of guarantees, the fact that Russia was not a guarantor of Ukraine’s independence, did not stop it from annexing Crimea, did it?
It is a trifle hypocritical for the ambassador, who, is constantly interfering in the talks, publicly telling us what we must not accept, should be calling for “no interference from outside.” Is it because his interference is from inside?
But best of all is Moscow’s touching desire to take part in a multi-party conference on the Cyprob so it could help, according to Stan. What he really meant was that Mother Russia wanted to have the option of blocking a settlement if all its other plans failed.
STATE broadcaster CyBC’s hack do not show their pro-partition agenda only by inviting Stan to give his hard-line views. Their Cyprob discussion shows are blatantly biased as viewers of Thursday night’s ‘Hashtag’ would have seen.
The show is presented by two hard-line rejectionists, the insufferable Yiannakis Nicolaou and presidential groupie Stella Michael, with the eighties, heavy metal band guitarist hair-style. The guests were two rejectionists – Nicos Katsourides and lawyer Andreas Angelides – and the pro-solution lawyer Michalis Papapetrou in a one against four format.
I will just mention an example of heavy-metal Stella’s remarks when Papapetrou mentioned that we could not describe the children of Turks, born and raised in the north as settlers. But they were war criminals she insisted.
NIK KATS, an Akelite tricky Nicky, remains a possibility for presidential candidate of the Dikheads in 2018 as we reported several weeks ago. He may still be a member of Akel – in purgatory – but it seems he has not given up hope of being the presidential candidate of the rejectionist camp in 18 months. One of our customers received a telephone call from a polling company which asked him who he would have voted for in presidential elections if the choice was between Kats and Anastasiades. The Dikheads are so serious about his candidacy they have hired a firm to carry out surveys to establish if he is electable. Kats would not be the first Stalinist the Dikheads backed. We also have them to thank for the election of the village idiot. Only a settlement would save us from the toxic influence of this party.
LAST WEEK we wrote about how the US-based Cyprob salesman and president of Pseka, Philip Christopher had warned us not to rush into a settlement because the election of Donald Trump “signifies hope that, at last, there could be a change in US foreign policy, favourably affecting our affairs.”
Well he got it wrong, proving one more time that telecommunications experts should not pretend to be political analysts. According to Tass news agency’s US correspondent, Trump offered the post of National Security Advisor to the former intelligence chief of the Pentagon, Lieutenant-General Michael Flynn, who had recently written the following in an article: “We must adapt our foreign policy, recognising Turkey as a priority. We must see the world through Turkey’s eyes.”
Nik does not need to delay a settlement on account of Trump’s election.
CYPRUS Football Association president Costakis Koutsokoumnis, under pressure from UEFA to take measures against endemic match-fixing washed his hands of the corruption. After all he is only the president. He insisted responsibility for match-fixing should not be pinned on the Association. “Who does it, is it not the clubs?” he asked.
But why do the corrupt clubs keep electing Koutsokoumnis president of the CFA, a post he has held for more than 10 years? Could it be because of his laissez-faire attitude to match-fixing, which is the only way for small clubs with match attendances of 30 to survive? I suspect the revenue from betting on fixed matches pays players’ wages.
I also liked the reaction of Marios Lefkaritis, the UEFA vice-president. He was “shocked” to learn that UEFA had sent so many red alerts about suspicious betting activity to the CFA, he said. Not as shocked as us, hearing Lefkaritis was shocked.
ULTRA-NATIONALIST doctor Paris Aristidou submitted his candidacy for Limassol mayor on Thursday and also filed objections against two rival candidates. The current mayor Andreas Christou, he claimed was ineligible because in 2004 he supported the Annan plan. The other candidate, Nicos Nicolaides was ineligible because he had served as a minister in the Christofias government.
HATS OFF to the worker who sued his employer for unfair dismissal, after the latter found the former sleeping in his car while working as a foreman on a construction site. It was the third time the foreman had been caught sleeping on the job and had received written warnings after each of the first two offences. The worker took the company to an industrial tribunal and of course lost; he also had to pay his employer’s legal costs. Blame his money-grubbing lawyer who told this moron he had a chance of winning a case of unfair dismissal after being caught sleeping on the job three times and he believed him.
COMRADE Tof closed his statement in court on Thursday, in the case brought against him by his former bosom buddy, contractor Miltiades Neophytou as follows: “Power to me is a cancer, not an aphrodisiac, cancer.” This must have bitterly disappointed his other half comrade Ersie who must have been looking forward to some excitement in the bedroom when her man was elected president.
UNDER intense pressure from family and colleagues to enter the social media age, I was persuaded to set up a twitter account so I can tweet nonsense like everyone else. Although I am not familiar with hashtags and cannot load a picture yet, you can follow me on: