YOU WOULD have thought we had sunk the Barbaros and forced the Turkish warships to beat a retreat from our EEZ on hearing the triumphal news reports and self-congratulatory accounts by our MEPs from Brussels. And the advanced weaponry with which we had achieved this was a surface-to-sea ballistic resolution.
Thursday’s resolution, approved by the European Parliament, condemned Turkey’s violations of our EEZ, demanded it immediately withdrew its seismic vessel Barbaros and described its actions as “both illegal and provocative”. It was greeted with unrestrained joy in Nicosia, sparking morale-boosting sermons by politicians and hacks about the great things we can achieve when we are united.
“Big victory for Cyprus,” was how the CyBC started its evening news show. Cypriot MEPs who appeared on the show spoke about their triumph in glowing terms and praised each other for the tough battle they gave in Brussels, “resisting, and eventually thwarting the intensive diplomatic pressure and diplomatic mobilisation by Turkey” that wanted to water down the resolution.
But as DISY’s motor-mouth MEP and cliché-monger Lefteris Christoforou said, there was “a change of climate in favour of the Cyprus Republic”, while the “very powerful” resolution “sends powerful messages to Turkey at all levels”. He also maintained that “Turkey took slaps at all levels for the first time.”
AKEL BOSS Andros Kyprianou, however, was not happy at all levels and sought to make this known on the CyBC’s evening news show. He called the station and demanded that he was allowed to talk live on the show, because state TV had not credited our triumph to where it was due – the commie party and its comrades in the European Parliament.
After expressing his sadness over the biased reporting of events in Brussels by the state broadcaster, comrade Andros said he would give the facts. The resolution effort had been started by the Group of the United Left on AKEL’s initiative; it also prepared the ballistic resolution.
In short, most of the work had been done by AKEL which, with the Group of the Left, played a leading role in our big triumph in Brussels. State TV would have mentioned this if it were objective, the sulking Andros told Emilia.
She answered that the corporation had given coverage to the contacts Andros had in Brussels, where he had been when the resolution was being debated by the parliament. But this only elicited another complaint. “CyBC devoted only a few seconds to my contacts,” the self-pitying comrade said.
Next time the CyBC news carries a report I consider biased, I will call and demand to interrupt the show to have my say, just to establish whether the corporation treats everyone who pays for its upkeep equally.
THE RESOLUTION that gave slaps to Turkey at all levels for the first time, “must be utilised” because “it is of exceptional significance” was the consensus among Kyproulla’s great political thinkers. Their idea was that we should send delegations abroad (anything for free travel) using our ballistic resolution to secure support for our cause and put Turkey on the defensive. One commentator, who wrote that the resolution should not be kept in our drawer suggested: “It is politically powerful and offers the prospects for intensifying the reaction and the measures that must be taken in the European field so that Ankara’s piracy could be confronted.” And if this fails we could always send the ballistic resolution to the Barbaros by courier pigeon and pray the captain can read English.
TWO DAYS had not passed since the victorious Cairo summit when Greece managed to puncture the optimism created at that historic meeting, by announcing that Turkey’s PM Ahmet Davutoglu would be paying Athens an official visit in the first week of December.
Just when we thought we were taking steps at isolating the Turks, the Greek government, inexplicably offered them a lifeline. Of course the visit will be used for Greek PM Antonis Samaras to win a few brownie points, as he had done at the European Council meeting, which discussed Turkey’s violations of our EEZ and where he had to represent Prez Nik who was ill.
After the summit Phil reported that Samaras had a tough exchange of words with British PM David Cameron over the wording of the summit’s paragraph regarding Turkey’s violations of the Cypru EEZ. Many wondered what the paper was talking about, considering the text of the announcements issued by the European Council is agreed before the summit and the leaders just approve it, without making any changes to it. There was no excuse to have a row during the summit.
We may read of a similar, tough exchange of words over Kyproulla, after Samaras meets Davutoglu in Athens to temper our disappointment over the meeting.
THERE was more ludicrous news on the EEZ front with Simerini’s banner headline on Tuesday declaring the “Security of EEZ in the hands of Israel.” According to the paper, as Greece was unable to protect Cyprus’ EEZ, because it did not have the means and could not afford the financial cost it asked Israel to do this on its behalf.
The deal would be sealed during Prez Nik’s scheduled visit to Tel Aviv on December 2, the paper authoritatively predicted. The source of this scoop was, believe it or not, an unnamed Greek website, quoting unnamed sources at Greek General Staff. It was probably the same website that had discovered the presence of Turkish submarines in our EEZ.
The website and Simerini did not bother asking whether Israel had agreed to act as the defender of our EEZ, assuming that it would be its pleasure to do so.
PRESIDENTAL advisor for Middle East issues, Dr Eleni Stavrou is convinced Israel will protect our EEZ. She explained her reasoning on a radio show, but shortage of space does not allow us to repeat it here. However, her analysis of what Turkey’s real objectives were, merit a mention, because it shows how poor Nik’s judgement is in picking his presidential advisors.
She said: “With its new invasion, Turkey is not only targeting energy and the interests of the Turkish Cypriots. These are just pretexts. The primary objectives, which are not immediately apparent, are to gain and establish in this vital sea area a powerful bridgehead which in combination with its occupation troops Turkey will use first to blackmail a solution that would lead to seizure of the Cyprus Republic and uprooting of Hellenism and second to interrupt the energy progress of Cyprus…”
The taxpayer is paying Dr Stavrou, who is also a member of the Geo-Strategic Council, some 30 grand a year to provide this simplistic level of analysis to the president. She was initially demanding a fee three times as big but in the end Nik secured her services at a big discount. As a taxpayer that has heard her analyses in full, even at the discounted rate, I think we are not getting much value for money.
POLICE investigators trying to build a case against someone involved in the banking collapse are working round the clock, but have still not achieved the breakthrough that would allow them to prosecute anyone. However they feel the pressure to get a result, especially as Prez Nik desperately wants someone to be charged and, hopefully, put behind bars.
All their efforts are currently focused on getting the former CEO of the Bank of Cyprus Andreas Eliades, but they are having great difficulty finding incriminating evidence. They know that the buying of the Greek government bonds was a piss-poor investment decision, but not a criminal offence. They have travelled to Moscow on more than a few occasions in the hope of finding something they could pin on Eliades with regard to the purchase of the Russian bank Uniastrum, but have drawn blanks every time.
Now, they are pinning their hopes on what happened at the last AGM attended by Eliades in June 2012. At this meeting he had told shareholders that the bank’s re-capitalisation needs would be €200 million, which was quite clearly a lie, because a few days later he raised the sum to €500 million.
Police checked the recordings of the AGM and found that the part in which Eliades was answering shareholders’ questions and gave the €200 million figure had been deleted. If this was deleted on the instructions of the CEO they would have a case against him, but despite calling several employees for questioning, none of them has said they had been ordered to delete the Q&A session.
Without this testimony the police will be unable to bring a case against Eliades because they would be unable to pin any criminal offence against him.
WHILE Eliades deserves to be behind bars for destroying our top bank, it is mind-boggling why the police investigators are not devoting as much time to nabbing the biggest culprit of the banking collapse – the silver-tongued shyster, Andreas Vgenopoulos.
Vgenopoulos caused the total collapse of Laiki as he siphoned money to his Greek banks and gave unsecured loans of hundreds of millions to his friends to prop up the share prices of companies in Greece. The guy plundered Laiki and left it to sink which was much worse than Eliades had done, so why are the cops focusing all their attention on the latter?
Could it be because all the politicians in Kyproulla are terrified of what Vgen might reveal about the donations he made to political parties? DISY and AKEL received some €500,000 each from Maritime Focus (the company that paid Ttooulis €1 million for consultancy services) that was run by Vgen’s friend. There is a suspicion that nobody wants Vgen to open his mouth, which is why he will probably escape prosecution; it helps that Greece’s parties, which also benefited from his largesse, do not want to see him charged.
VGEN does know how to stir things up. He was absolutely right in slamming the boss of the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) Demetra Kalogirou for the tiny fine it imposed on Hellenic Bank for the land scam pulled off by the Archbishop with the support of the board in 2012.
Back in 2012, the bank issued capital, but the Archbishop had no money to buy the shares that would allow the Church to maintain its 20 per cent shareholding. So the bank arranged to buy a plot of Church land it did not need, at a grossly inflated price that would cover the cost of the new shares. It spent €15.5 million on that plot (CySEC found there was no need to buy the land) at a time it had a capital shortfall of €66 million.
And for this scam, Hellenic was fined a paltry €100,000, outraging Vgen. Although nobody likes to agree with the shyster, you have to admit that on this he is right. Perhaps Demetra was charitable, aware that the Church has no money, but why were none of the directors or CEO fined for failing to protect the interests of the shareholders?
CYPRUS’ football clubs have been given until Monday to pay the millions they owe to VAT, Inland Revenue and the Social Insurance Fund or face a deduction of points as they will be in breach of UEFA regulations. The deadline was last Friday but they were given until Monday, as if they would be able to come up with the money over the weekend.
Club bosses have asked for a meeting with our magnanimous prez, in the hope that he will give them another extension, as the finance minister has refused to see them. Their debts to the state date back to 2007. If some hapless businessman owed a couple of thousand euros for so long he would be sitting at the same dinner table as Ttooulis Ttoouli.
ONE OF the most indebted clubs is the AKEL-controlled Omonia. The commies managed their club as competently as they managed the economy, burdening it with debts of millions that it could not repay. And they cannot blame Omonia’s financial woes on the banking collapse or the crisis of capitalism.
It is entirely of their own doing, because they never learnt at Marxist school that when you spend loads more than you earn, bankruptcy is a dead certainty. Omonia fans have been demanding the resignation of the club’s board and the sale of the club’s premises so as to generate cash to sign new players. AKEL has rejected the idea even though there is a danger the bank could take over the premises for nothing in order to cover a part of the club’s NPLs.
The comrades could always find a strategic investor to take over its debts and overpaid staff, just like they are demanding for Cyprus Airways. And failing that, they could proceed to the privatisation of Omonia.