SYMPTOMS of the Makarios Syndrome, the disease that makes a president of a midget country grossly overestimate his (it does not afflict females) importance and influence on the world political stage and believe he has a leading role to play, are being exhibited by Prez Nik lately.
The trilateral meetings he has been arranging have gone to his head, making him pose as the bringer of peace and stability in the eastern Mediterranean. Apart from enjoying this role, he believes it would help his bid for re-election aware we Cypriots love a supposed statesman as our leader, because it fuels our delusion that little Kyproulla is an important country.
Last week’s trilateral meeting in Nicosia with Egypt’s President el-Sisi and Greek PM Tsipras was hailed as a big triumph, even though its main achievement apart from producing the ‘Declaration of Nicosia’, was an agreement – referred to as a ‘Protocol’ to give it added significance – on tourism, especially cruise tourism.
Apart from “establishing and deepening further the trilateral mechanism among Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, which is a model of constructive regional co-operation,” the Prez said that views were also exchanged regarding the situation in the Lebanon. The leaders, he said, discussed “the need through synergies to contribute to the maintenance of security and stability in the country.”
Details of how this will be achieved will be included in the declaration of platitudes that will be issued after next year’s threesome in Crete, which could become a foursome if Italy’s PM, who was also invited on Nik’s initiative, finds time to join the jamboree.
THE THANKLESS task of extolling Nik’s Makarios Syndrome was left to his assorted spokesmen to perform. Disy press spokesman Prodromos Prodromou came up with the most outlandish evaluations, which came as a bit of a surprise considering he is one of the very few – if not the only one – party spokesmen with a functioning brain.
According to Prodromou, “in our time, the traditional relations with Egypt have acquired strategic content and the dimension of a geopolitical axis.” The “Anastasiades presidency directs foreign policy with method and planning,” he said before informing us that the system of trilaterals have as a result “the establishment of Cyprus’ energy role” and “consolidates its position as a European pillar of stability, thus increasing the geopolitical added value of our country for the EU.”
All the pending issues of the trilateral would be settled by the end of the year and then there would be the quadrilateral meeting (with Italy) which will “undertake the planning for the ambitious East Med pipeline,” he rejoiced. This is when the geopolitical axis will enter another dimension and we will need a super-computer to calculate the geometrical increase of the European stability pillar’s geopolitical added value for the EU. And this is without adding the strategic content to the equation.
Disy’s assertion that the president “succeeded in Cyprus having an importance bigger than its geographical size” – made after last month’s historic meeting with Putin – is turning out to be the understatement of the year.
AN EXAMPLE, of how the geopolitical axis would operate was given by Prez Nik, after the trilateral meeting. He explained: “A new sector of cooperation decided is the utilisation of the expatriates of the diaspora, whereby, through specific initiatives and actions, a common strategic approach was decided so that the just demands of the countries would jointly be projected by the expatriates, who are active in the diaspora, to the governments of the countries in which they live.”
The same decision was taken at the trilateral summit of Greece, Cyprus and Israel, which is why the Jewish Lobby in the US has been applying pressure on the Trump administration to ensure a complete withdrawal of Turkish troops from Kyproulla. Now the Egyptian lobby in the US, although nowhere near as powerful, will also be demanding a fair and just settlement of the Cyprob, without guarantees and foreign troops. Before long the Jewish and Egyptian diasporas could join forces to campaign for the Cyprob in the US.
AN EVEN bigger opportunity was offered to Nik to do another gig as world statesman, a few hours after the trilateral, and he milked it dry. The resigned Prime Minister of the Lebanon (who has since suspended his resignation) Saad Hariri, arrived for a meeting with Nik, on Tuesday evening, on his way home from Egypt where he had seen President el-Sisi, on the latter’s return from Kyproulla.
So pleased was Nik with the visit, he posted photos of his 45-minute meeting on his Facebook account, saying: “With the prime minister of the Lebanon last night Saad Hariri. Our common conviction the stability in Lebanon. We are ready to undertake all necessary initiatives in this direction.”
The presidential palace said that Hariri’s office had asked for the meeting, seeking Nicosia’s help for matters connected with among other things the EU. This seemed a bit strange, considering before flying to Egypt Hariri was in Paris and could have sought help, regarding EU matters, from French president Emmanuel Macron, who has a little more clout than our Nik in Brussels.
Another theory was that President el-Sisi asked Hariri to visit Kyproulla on his way home from Cairo, to help the electoral cultivation of Nik’s image as the regional peacemaker, now that he has taken an interest in safeguarding peace and stability in the Lebanon.
Meanwhile, the government announced the prez accepted an invitation to visit Saudi Arabia before the end of the year. What a laugh it would be if the Saudis forced him to resign like they did Hariri.
GOODY-TWO-SHOES government spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides really talked up the Hariri meeting during which there was a “substantive discussion.” He also exaggerated his boss’ importance, cultivating his Makarios Syndrome.
“First, we consider particularly important the fact Mr Hariri chose, before returning to Lebanon, to visit France, Egypt and the Cyprus Republic,” said the smooth-talking Paphite, before pointing out the important role Kyproulla had to play.
While Cyprus was an EU member-state, it also maintained excellent relations with all neighbour countries (Turkey as well?), “something that is recognised, something that gives us the capability to work so as that we achieve this stability in Lebanon which affects the particularly important region of the eastern Mediterranean.”
Nik would also have telephone conversations with foreign leaders, particularly about the issue of the Lebanon, Christodoulides announced. The idea that Nik will waste his precious time, two months before elections, deal with the Lebanon, which he could do nothing about, even if he had a clue what to do, is insane.
Posing as a world statesman who has consolidated our position as a European pillar of stability is good enough for the elections, the only thing our Prez is really interested in.
SOCIAL injustice is suddenly all the rage at our leading daily Phil. Having fewer provocations by the Turks and Akinci to get angry about and realising that readers have become bored of Cyprob indignation its columnists are now getting very angry about cases of alleged social injustice, which are presented in a melodramatic way for added effect.
The paper’s chief warrior against social injustice is Giorgos Kallinikou, the angriest columnist in Kyproulla, had a go at everyone on hearing that a 70-year-old pensioner was sentenced to prison for stealing a packet of chicken, priced at €6.40, from a Larnaca supermarket to feed his diabetic grandson.
“A modern-day Jean Valjean from the era of Les Miserables appears in the modern era of the success story,” he wrote, attacking the police, the supermarket, the judge, the state services, the government and the prez, before pulling for his readers’ heart strings. “We will throw the modern-day Jean Valjean back into the basements from which he dared to escape,” he wrote.
The columnist’s indignation must have subsided the next day when the modern-day Valjean revealed that he was paid a high monthly pension, had money to pay for the chicken nuggets but chose steal the pack so as not to queue up at the till again and his grandson was not a diabetic.
All credit to the grandad – not for stealing the nuggets – but for refusing to play the victim of social injustice and gloat in the pity lavished on him by our ultra-sensitive columnists.
A WEEK later, Kallinikou got even angrier. You could see the smoke coming out of his nose and ears on his mugshot at the top of the column. He was writing about the 14-year-old girl, in social care, who had passed out in Ledra Street after smoking a bit too much weed, and became the lead story in Phil.
His column, he wrote, was the “the product of bottomless rage, that overflows now with the striking spinelessness of the ‘officials’ in this country.” The girl was at a home with a liberal regime, which angered the columnist, because if she were to give up her drug habit she should have been locked up in a detox centre. It was the tough love approach.
A sad story indeed, that made Kallinikou so furious, by the end of the column he stopped making any sense, writing, “the case reminds us of Mari and hopefully it will not have the same tragic end.
THE ABSURD foreign ministry directive banning non-EU nationals staying at hotels in the north that were owned by Greek Cypriots or built on land owned by Greek Cypriots was back in force this week as 39 Israelis found out last Monday. Most were put on a flight back home on Tuesday, the story making it into the Israeli media.
This is the kind of idiotic measure you expect from the super-hawks of our foreign ministry, who specialise in proving theoretical points through futile actions, from which there is zero benefit to the country. What have we achieved by barring Israelis and Lebanese from going to the north, when we allow Brits, Germans, Dutch and all other nationals of EU countries to visit? Are Russians barred or do we make an exception for the citizens of mother Russia?
I bet the great brains, who came up with this idea, Mr and Mrs Christodoulides (the spokesman and his other half who is also a foreign ministry employee), cannot give one rational reason to support the decision. But I bet they had no trouble persuading Prez Nik to sanction it. All they had to do was tell him that it would win him hard-liner votes.
THE IDEA, I hear, came from the spokesman’s wife Philippa, who is a super-hawk like most foreign ministry employees, and was implemented by Nicos, who had access to the prez. Nicos handled all the consultations with the police command on how this dumb, futile measure would be implemented, barring officials from other ministries taking part, in case they spoiled his wife’s plan. What a man will do to please his wife. Apart from a hawk, Nicos is also a great romantic. I just hope Philippa does not tell Nicos that it would be good for their marriage to close all checkpoints.