By Hermes Solomon
The demise of the Makarios/EOKA ‘dynasty’ (1955/2012) came when the troika ‘invaded’ Cyprus. This dynasty, which controlled less than 60 per cent of the island and its people after 1974, is now defunct. Its old boy network, which survived intact throughout two generations, is no more. Our president is but a figurehead, genuflecting to the tunes of the pied pipers of Brussels and the US, making pseudo reunification sound indistinguishable from pseudo partition.
At long last the south is being squeezed into accepting all manner of changes that were an anathema to ex-president, Christofias. Accusations of corruption, tax evasion and illegal political and financial manoeuvrings by AKEL and their various political partners have made former governments/administrations the laughing stock of Europe.
Steal by all means but don’t get caught.
There is no money left to bribe ‘mandarins’ and some are snitching on thieving ‘emperors’ in the hope of being exonerated from charges of complicity.
I should be charged with complicity. I pay my doctor and dentist in cash to avoid them over-charging me for the sake of a receipt. Small fry but who wouldn’t? Cash has always been worth more than its credit/debit card equivalent. I simply open my wallet and say ‘take what you want’. And believe it or not both doctor and dentist take less than expected. I can see the guilt in their eyes as they frugally finger notes in admission of their intention to rob the tax man – 20s and 10s of course – not a 50 in sight.
As long as we deal in cash, the Inland Revenue haven’t got a cat in hell’s chance of collecting the majority of taxes due – not that they run an anywhere near efficient operation. Simple investigations of personal wealth would highlight innumerable anomalies in most income tax assessment returns.
This government department, combined with banks, developers and land registries, is responsible for the mess we now find ourselves in. Had the Inland Revenue ever done its job properly, billions in unpaid taxes would have been collected over this past twenty years.
And just what do we tax avoidance merchants do with this cash; build monuments to the glory that was Independence, an effective island wide public transport system, schools the envy of Europe, caring hospitals/hospices/public services catering for the needs of the ill, aged, unemployed and social outcasts, proper roads, police enforcement, pavements and ‘loving’ restoration of our city centres? No, we build poorly insulated concrete palaces interspersed with scrubland and refugee housing, our elite women driving gas guzzling 4WDs to drop kids off at ‘classy’ kindergartens then visit the hairdresser or ‘shrink’ ahead of burning time at pointless coffee mornings while housemaids clean, cook lunch then walk the dogs.
Due to banking restrictions, the axe has fallen on cash deals, which are now few and far between. The axe is also falling on those who stole too much and didn’t cover their tracks properly.
Too many ‘old boys’, now scraping any which way to make a buck, have resorted to blackmailing/betraying ‘emperors’ and ‘mandarins’, and what with ‘witch-hunt’ police investigations into island-wide corruption, betrayal is no longer the last resort of a desperate man. It was Him, not Me!!
Give Me an IR snitch telephone number to ring and Me will grass on anyone Me suspects of tax evasion, covetous man that Me is! “Please leave your ‘snitch’ after the tone!”
We wasted the past 53 years of this island’s wealth on self-gratification. Now impoverished, we see clearly what should have been done to grow our children and the country. Feelings of regret and recriminations abound; it’s like being miserable on a cloudy day having not walked in the sunshine when it was shining.
We have always been self-centred, fast buck merchants. Instead of facing a difficult economic future with the help of a well organised administration, infrastructure and an island wide high standard of public services, we are scratting about in a dust hole like unhappy lost lemmings. We gambled on easy money always rolling in, bribery and corruption continuing unabated, and neither does anymore.
Unless we dispossess and jail the ‘patently’ guilty, police investigations into innumerable scandals will in themselves become scandalous.
Our prisons and migrant camps are full to bursting. A new prison should already be under construction as confirmation of this government’s avowed aim to seek transparency and mete out justice to those responsible for this island’s present woes.
Bloated former defence minister, Costas Papacostas, sentenced to two years last June for his part in the Mari disaster, is still tied to a single bed ward at taxpayers’ expense due to a ‘persistent’ heart condition. He’ll be there until he either dies or receives ‘compassionate’ remission.
Even more bloated, Stathis Kittis of CYTA/Dromolaxia notoriety has already resorted to ‘medical assistance’ as did former interior minister, Dinos Michaelides ahead of being deported to Greece to face serious charges of corruption. We must not turn our public hospitals into open prisons!
We are, after the Irish, the gift of the gab merchants of Europe! Add to that our fast buck mentality and you have an administration that rarely performs its duties properly.
We need to develop a culture of meaningful action, not worthless words. And to succeed we need a tax paying hardworking society, not a souvla, Mercedes, concrete palace nonentity – the latter short-lived and decadent and the former enabling well researched and far sighted investment in the island’s future.
The happiest people in Europe are reported to be the Danes, who are among the hardest working and highly taxed. Taxation is neither extortion nor criminal if the proceeds are invested on behalf of, and in the interests of, ‘all’ the people. But in the hands of our politicians/administration…well, need I say more?
Disappointment of the week was Noble Energy gas quantity findings. Noble will never find viable volumes of gas until we sign a reunification/partition agreement.
Hope of the week is our president’s troika/US imposed malleability along with the first autumnal rain. Non! Nicos n’est pas une pute! His hands are tied. And by whom if not that expert in self-preservation, bloated Demetris ably assisted by bondage merchant, whining Andros! But their Gordian Knot is about to be cut.