Cyprus Mail
Opinion Tales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Flash cars, bodyguards don’t belie lack of status

FRIDAY afternoon’s Council of Ministers’ meeting – the second of the week – to supposedly finalise the foreclosures bill and the bill protecting borrowers was not necessarily the last one dealing with these bills.

Although the government tried to include in the bills some of the less ridiculous proposals made by the party leaders at the meeting with Prez Nik, earlier the same day, there could be more meetings this week.

First, it is unclear whether the Troika had been consulted about Friday’s changes made to bills. Second, and more importantly, Ethnarch Junior, the spoilt prince of Strakka, who has been holding the economy to ransom over the bill, has not spoken yet. The government is anxiously waiting to hear what he decrees.

Junior did not attend Friday’s meeting because he was losing sleep over the possibility that people would lose their homes somewhere in Spain where he is reportedly on holiday. If he can afford a holiday he is obviously not in danger of losing his home, which makes his concern for home owners truly admirable.

The last time Junior spoke, was the day after Tuesday’s cabinet meeting that approved a raft of measures aimed at protecting vulnerable people from having their homes repossessed and imposing some restrictions on banks. He decreed that the measures were inadequate and did not satisfy him, forcing the government to go back to work.

After Friday’s changes to the bills, Junior did not speak, his Dikhead lieutenants were left to make vague statements that were designed to keep the government agonising over the future of the foreclosures bill. The spoilt prince must be relishing his new-found power, knowing that just one word from him would be enough to push the economy much deeper into the abyss.

But before then there could be a couple more Council of Ministers meetings to amend the amended bills to his satisfaction.

THE REASON so much depends on Junior is because the bills can be passed with DIKO and DISY votes. AKEL and EDEK, which are organising mass protests this week, would not back it so the government has to rely on the Dikheads’ support.

One skettos drinker suggested that one reason for Junior’s anguished concern for the poor home-owners is Prez Nik’s behaviour towards him. He is very annoyed with the way Nik has been pandering to the faction in DIKO that panders to former party leader Marios Garoyian.

He also believes that the prez has been encouraging the faction to withdraw from DIKO and set up a rival party. This is entirely possible and there have been press reports about the Garoyian and his disaffected Dikheads setting up another party. The fact that the prez still invites Garoyian – now an unimportant deputy, with a limo and police guards – for meetings at the palazzo, would have reinforced Junior’s suspicions.

The question is could he not find some other way to punish Nik for his dirty tricks, than screwing all of us by pushing back the economic recovery 20 years.

IF JUNIOR finally decides not to push the economy deeper into the abyss, the former shareholders of the Bank of Cyprus could do it. They have filed an application to the court seeking the issuing of an injunction to prevent the bank’s extraordinary general meeting that would approve the €1 billion capital issue from taking place.

The court’s decision is expected on Tuesday. If the EGM is cancelled the BoC will be in very big trouble as it would have no chance of getting through the October stress tests and what little confidence it had regained would be shattered. This could also be achieved if the court does not issue an injunction, but Junior decides to vote against the foreclosures bill.

But even if the court rejects the application of the old shareholders and the foreclosures bill is approved there is still the possibility that the EGM would vote against the increase in capital, which requires 75 per cent support to go through. The Happy Bunny chairman and several of his fellow directors have been doing everything in their power to prevent the capital issue, each for his own reasons, and it would be no surprise if they get together enough votes to defeat it on Thursday.

THE HAPPY bunny chairman of the BoC confused everyone with what he had to say in an interview with Simerni last weekend. He would have surprised everyone, speaking about “the importance of securing one billion euro in new capital and the prospects created for the Group and economy in general.”

If he is so excited by the prospects created by the issue of new capital why had he spent the last three months doing everything he could to prevent it from happening? The bank’s directors had even been threatened with the chop by the Governor of the Central Bank because they had been dragging their feet on the matter.

This was not the only fairytale Hassapis told the interviewer. Asked about his differences with CEO John Hourican, he said: “With John, we share the same views as to how the bank must move in the future and we are co-operating closely on this matter. When there are different views we discuss things and find the right solution.”

Apart from the fact he disagreed and opposed everything that Hourican tried to do, regularly undermined him with leaks to the press and tried to reduce his power by appointing deputy CEOs, they shared the same views and were co-operating closely.

IN A COLUMN that appeared in Politis 12 days ago, teacher Giorgos Koumoullis, an occasional contributor of the paper who likes to have a go at our dumb and hypocritical politicians, offered an explanation for their obsession with state limos and police guards.

He wrote: “The depressing conclusion is that all the privileged that use shiny limousines with police guards are consumed by the peasant complex of social ostentation. I will not venture into the area of expertise of the psycho-analyst. What I do know is that this complex creates a huge social cost, as has been documented by studies by many economists dealing with economic development.”

I would like to venture into the area of expertise of the psycho-analyst, even though I have no qualifications to do so, to add his theory. Although there is an element of the social ostentation in their peasant complex I think their real problem is small-dick complex.

I am not for a minute suggesting that our leading politicians are inadequately endowed (the last thing I need is a libel suit), but I am using the term symbolically. Operating in an inconsequential, midget country with no power to influence anything other than mukhtar issues such as rusfeti, they are small-dick politicians.

They might talk like big-dick politicians, issuing threats, setting conditions and giving moral sermons to the rest of the world, but they fool nobody with half a brain, because they never achieve anything. The Cyprob is the perfect illustration of this phenomenon – after 40 years of big-dick declarations we cannot even boast small-dick achievements.

THEY need the shiny limos and police guards to give the impression to the more naive members of the population that they are powerful and important politicians. And the more police guards they have serving them the bigger dick politicians they believe they are.

That is why they put up such a fight to hold on to as many cops as possible. That is why Yiorkos Lillikas, who loves to play the big-dick politician, was not satisfied with the two cops he was given and demanded another two that he insisted should have been musclemen from the special police unit. Had his wish been granted he would have become an even bigger dick.

It is the reason the decrepit Dr Faustus, who always laboured under the illusion of his political big-dickness that achieved a big zero for the country, fought tenaciously for years to keep his 20-strong police guard (it has been drastically reduced recently). The fear of being exposed as a small dick politician also explains why his political clone, the windbag Yiannakis Omirou, will not give up his nine guards.

I apologise if my pseudo-psycho-analysis caused offence. If any readers found it too crude for a family newspaper, they could report the Coffeeshop to the Journalistic Ethics Committee, which, I am sure, would be happy to issue a statement of censure.

THE BIG DICK politics were illustrated by one of its chief exponents, Lillikas, in an interview with Phil last Sunday. Asked about his repeated calls for a new strategy on the Cyprob (this is the in vogue slogan of the big dick camp) Yiorkos analysed his theory very eloquently.

“The policy we have been following for 40 years did not bring the desired results,” he said adding: “If we all agree that the non-settlement is due to Turkish intransigence, then we have to think of a policy that would bend it.”

You kept reading in the hope that Yiorkos would explain the new strategy, which would bend Turkish intransigence, but all he said was: “What we propose is to set the targets we want to achieve through a solution. We should also define how we would secure these targets in a settlement. This would be part of our proposal for a new strategy that we would submit to the National Council.”

But he did not reveal the new strategy, the latest example of big dick politics, in case the Turks read the interview and took precautions preventing us from bending their intransigence.

THE APPOINTMENT of tough-nut US diplomat Lynne Pasco-e as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advisor in Kyproulla may have been averted, but the man chosen for the post – former minister of defence and foreign affairs of Norway Espen Barth Eide – is unlikely to be a pushover, despite his nerdy looks.

Eide has one major character weakness – he is a socialist – but the Yanks, who were zealously pushing his appointment after the Pasco-e move fell through, obviously did not consider this a handicap. How the Yanks could have faith in a nerdy, Norwegian socialist, who had in the past publicly criticised NATO chief Rasmussen I do not know, but they had been urging the government to give its consent to his appointment.

The government could not really have objected or expressed any reservations about Eide, after discreetly ensuring that Pasco-e was not appointed, because our strategic partners would start to think we were taking them for a ride.

Eide arrives in Kyproulla next month but he may have to stick around for a couple of months before our big dick politicians and hacks discover his pro-Turkish sympathies and start calling for his replacement.

Cyprus media will be duller with the passing of Yiangos Mikkelides
Cyprus media will be duller with the passing of Yiangos Mikkelides

THE CYPRIOT media will be a poorer and less amusing place without psychiatrist, columnist and TV celebrity Yiangos Mikellides, who passed away on Wednesday. There is not enough space for the send-off he deserves, so I will just include one of his hundreds of pearls of wisdom about Kyproulla. “Cyprus is inhabited by Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots who are among the most unbalanced residents of the Mediterranean, with serious problems in communicating.” We hope to have the write-up he deserves in the next Coffeeshop.

Related Posts

Our View: Traffic cameras join list of smart tech not operated smartly


Time to say goodbye

CM Guest Columnist

Higher bank charges linked to high labour costs

Staff Reporter

Our View: Test to Stay proving something of a failure

CM: Our View

Our View: Voter apathy in north only to be expected

CM: Our View

Djoko’s deportation ‘pure politics’ says tennis champ’s ex-doctor

Theo Panayides


Comments are closed.