Cyprus Mail
OpinionTales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: The Yankees are coming

Prez Nik will be thrilled to have the US Vice President on his own turf rather than being just another visitor to the White House (above)

By Patroclos

JUST WHEN we thought things could not get any better for Prez Nik they have. Two weeks after his triumphant, official visit to Germany during which Chancellor Merkel treated him like a new best friend, he will be playing host to one of the most important people in the world, the Vice President of the US of A Joe Biden.

Somebody up there must like Nik a lot, because after the mega-disasters he suffered in the first couple of months of his presidency everything has been going exceptionally well for him. And now the leader of tiny and inconsequential Kyproulla will have no lesser person than Biden as his official guest, to show his foes that he has hit the big time.

It is not often that an American VP visits the island of love and sunshine. The last time was more than 50 years ago, Lyndon B. Johnson visiting in 1962, and allowing the deluded Makarios to think that he was some big-shot statesman who could play big league diplomacy, with catastrophic consequences for the country.

Hopefully these high-profile encounters will not go to Prez Nik’s head and he will keep both feet on the ground. He will also be aware of the tragic irony of Biden’s visit. He is arriving because the Yanks are hell-bent on Cyprob settlement that would bring his presidency to a premature end, if agreed, and unceremoniously terminate his socialising with the world’s top dogs.

The fact that Biden hopes to announce some plan for the eventual re-opening of the fenced area of Famagusta – a condition Nik had set for moving on to a settlement – would suggest the Yanks do not only mean business, but they are also in a bit of hurry.


THERE is a small hope that things will not go according to plan because Dervis Eroglu appears unwilling to play ball with the Yanks over the visit. The dour Dervis has reportedly been in a stroppy mood and has been threatening to throw a spanner in the works.

US ambassador John Koenig met Turkish Cypriot negotiator Kudret Ozersay more than half a dozen times last week in an effort to finalise the arrangements of the Biden visit to the north and, more importantly, the text of the statement about Famagusta that the VP hopes to make while he is here. Eroglu, apparently, wants stuff in the text that Nik’s government would never agree to.

The hastily arranged illegal visit (as the CyBC describes it) by Turkey’s foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu to the north yesterday, was supposedly aimed at bringing the jumped-up Eroglu into line. The errant Eroglu, I suspect, will have his ear pulled, his bottom spanked and do as Davutoglu tells him to do.

The Yanks must have received certain assurances from the Turks about Biden’s visit and it is unlikely Davutoglu would allow the Harpo Marx lookalike to make a fool of him. Davutoglu was scheduled to give an illegal news conference later yesterday that could prove my theory completely wrong.


OUR OWN bash-patriotic salesmen of negativity have been moaning about Biden’s visit because his meeting with Eroglu in the north would lead to an ‘upgrading’ of the pseudo-state. We have been hearing this nonsense about ‘upgrading’, for the last 15 years, every time some important foreigner visits the north.

We also hear it every time a Turkish Cypriot visits a foreign country and meets representatives of the government. If this ‘upgrading’ that Junior, Lillikas and Omirou are losing their sleep over, was actually taking place all these years, the pseudo-state would have been a fully-recognised member of the UN by now.

It does not cross their minds that if the Yanks wanted to recognise the north, they would have done it. Why would they do it sneakily, by sending their VP to visit Eroglu? Is it because they are afraid of Junior and Lillikas’ reaction or have we perhaps threatened to impose sanctions on the US, if it chose to recognise the north?

We should stop worrying about the upgrading of the north and start considering the upgrading of our political thinking which is a dire necessity.


JUNIOR has been leading the moaning against Biden’s visit, with childish arguments, that show he has not yet grown out of political puberty. “Who stands to gain from Biden’s visit, us or the pseudo-state that would be upgraded?” asked the smart Junior, adding that the “major and negative issue” was the VP’s visit to the occupied area and his so-called official meetings there.

Surely we can call these meetings ‘unofficial’ or, if we are feeling daring, ‘illegal’, thus preventing the upgrading of the pseudo-state. I think, Junior’s abject negativity cannot be attributed solely to his DNA. He must subconsciously feel jealous of Nik who, two weeks after being given the royal treatment by the German Chancellor, he would be entertaining the VP of the USA.

When Junior’s dad was president he was only a little more popular than Saddam Hussein on the international scene. There were no official visits or invitations and he was regularly given the cold shoulder treatment by fellow leaders at European Council meetings.

Now he sees the hated Nik next to world leaders, he feels no national pride for the drastic upgrading of Cyprus’ presidency, since his late father’s time.


CULT politician Yiorkos Lillikas, toned down his negativity about the visit by Friday, having realised that his original comments, earlier in the week, about an American conspiracy to impose an unfair solution were not shared by public opinion which he always to panders to.

Eventually he compromised and welcomed the visit, as long as US pressure would be directed at the Turkish side. He also expressed the wish that US involvement in the Cyprob would not lead to the marginalisation of Russia (on Monday he had mentioned France as well in this context) “because Russia is also a member of the Security Council and could also help in the solution of the Cyprus problem.”

Russia has never helped efforts for a solution and has always been very happy with its marginalisation, not to mention the danger that if it became involved it could propose a Crimea-type settlement for poor old Kyproulla.


THE INVOLVEMENT of all the permanent members of the UN Security Council in peace efforts has become the new cause of the bash-patriotic front, which does not want to leave the Yanks on their own because of the danger they would come up with a deal.

Since the announcement of the Biden visit, Omirou, Lillikas, Junior, Perdikis have been repeating this stupid demand, first thought of by the Ethnarch. But had they ever asked the governments of China, Russia, France or Britain if they want to have an active role in the Cyprob? If they had they would have been bitterly disappointed, because only the Turk-loving Brits would have agreed to help.


THE BIDEN visit has caused an unexpected problem for the government. Apparently, the US embassy arranged that Biden would give two interviews while here, one to a Turkish Cypriot and one to a Greek Cypriot newspaper. The papers chosen were Kibris and Politis.

When Phil’s head honchos heard that there would be no interview for their paper they were furious over the snub. They called the government spokesman demanding that he intervened to arrange an interview because Phil had the biggest circulation and could not be ignored by the VP.

We do not know if the spokesman persuaded the embassy. What we do know is that Phil’s content is more anti-American than Haravghi’s and should not have been begging for an interview with the VP of the evil, anti-Greek Cypriot, US.


THE CHAIRMAN of the Bank of Cyprus, Christis Hassapis does not seem to be the happy bunny he was when he first took on his prestigious role. The pressures of the job and his failure to realise his plan for taking total control of the bank have turned him into a sad bunny.

Perhaps we should start using the inspired nickname with which Prez Nik refers to him – ‘o komotis’, in English ‘the hairdresser’. The hairdresser has suffered a big setback in his attempt to get rid of the bank’s CEO John Hourican. He had ordered an auditing firm to recruit a person for the position of deputy CEO which the board created to restrict Hourican’s powers and eventually force him out.

The name of the banker chosen, was being talked about before the auditing firm had even started putting together a shortlist. He was interviewed by Hourican, as the board had requested but the CEO was not impressed with the chosen one.

In fact, there were fears that if the chosen one was hired Hourican would have walked out, which was why the Governor of the Central Bank, Chrystalla Georghadji stepped in. She called the hairdresser to a meeting and ordered him to immediately drop the plan to hire a deputy CEO. This was not only her wish, but also the government’s and the Troika’s, she told him.

The unhappy bunny hopped back to the bank and informed the board that the decision for hiring a deputy CEO had to be suspended and it was.


AS IF THIS humiliation were not bad enough, the hairdresser is now in fear of losing his chairmanship. Talk that the 18 per cent voting rights of Laiki Bank might be given to the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development could lead to the replacement of the entire board of directors.

This is not the only threat to his chairmanship. HSBC which has been hired as a consultant by the BoC has reportedly found investors for a proposed €500 million share issue, which would help the bank get through the stress tests it is scheduled to undergo in a few months. However, the hairdresser has been arguing against the share issue, and has been claiming the Russian shareholders are opposed to it because it would lead to a dilution of their shareholding. The possibility that his position might be under threat from the new shareholders was not mentioned as an argument against the share issue.


THE HOLY Synod can always be trusted to come up with some classically nasty gay-bashing. Its statement to condemn the planned gay pride parade, scheduled for a week on Saturday, scaled new heights of bigotry and backwardness, labeling homosexuality, and affliction, a moral downfall and an unnatural way of life.

The Synod’s statement was released on the same day the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community held a news conference to announce a series of events to battle homophobia. The conference was attended by a host of ambassadors who had also said they would be taking part in the parade.

The Yanks, to underline their political correctness, yesterday flew the rainbow flag, under the stars and stripes outside their embassy building in Nicosia, which was so gay. But we are all waiting for the Archbishop to ask publicly how we could trust these shameless supporters of homosexuality to solve the Cyprob.


THE ISSUE of homosexuality gave an opportunity to Dr Madsakis to make a rare TV appearance. He appeared on a television show that was discussing the matter and insisted that it was scientifically proven that homosexuality was an illness, but he was put in his place by a representative of the LGBTs. “What do you know about illness, you deal with corpses,” he was told.


DURING the Tof presidency, Archbishop Chrys had come to an agreement with then finance minister Kikis Kazamias about the payment of priests’ wages. The state would carry on paying priests’ wages and in exchange the state would transfer land it owned to the state. Most of the land was in the occupied area but Kazamias still agreed.

Several years on the state is still waiting for the title deeds of the land in the occupied area to be transferred, but Chrys is refusing to keep his side of the bargain. Talk of a settlement has made him re-consider. He feels that if there was a solution, the compensation the Church would receive for its properties in the north would be very big and help it tackle the acute financial problems it is facing.

If only the LGBT community had a few millions to donate to the Church in its hour of need, the Holy Synod would be issuing statements celebrating the homosexual way of life.

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