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OpinionTales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Betrayed by both our mothers

Cruel Putin wooed Turkey with gas and pipelines

By Patroclos

WE COULD not possibly start today without first expressing our establishment’s heartfelt wishes for a full and speedy recovery to Prez Nik. We hope that he will soon be back in the madhouse to oversee the continuing recovery of the economy and guide his people to better days.

IT WAS just as well he left for the Big Apple last weekend and did not have to be exposed to the depressing events that were unfolding close to home. While Nik was in his sick-bed the crafty Turks were flirting with both our mother countries trying to persuade them to betray their spoilt, immature and vulnerable child Kyproulla.

Last Monday the president of our surrogate mother Vladimir Putin accompanied by a posse of ministers, officials and business chiefs arrived in Turkey with proposals to turn the invader into a regional energy centre through which mother Russia would send its natural gas to southern Europe.

Moscow had abandoned its plans for the South Stream pipeline as a result of the falling out with the EU over the Ukraine and now wanted to build a pipeline with the same capacity that used Turkey as the transit point; to make matters worse, the energy hub it proposed would be on the Greek-Turkish border, thus tempting Greece to snub Kyproulla’s energy plans.

Putin also offered a 6 per cent discount from next year on the gas he was selling Turkey, its second biggest market after Germany. He also agreed with President Erdogan that trade between the two countries should increase by the 2020s from the current $35 billion to $100 billion.

Do we need to mention that Putin said nothing about the invasion of the Cypriot EEZ and the need for Turkey to respect international law? Maternal betrayal and abandonment on such a scale is guaranteed to cause horrific damage and trauma to a child, scarring it for life with the danger that it will never mature.

BUT IT was not only the Commissioner for the Protection of the Child Leda Koursoumba who failed to censure Putin’s cruelty. Our Russia-worshipping politicians and journalists avoided imparting their wisdom on the Russia-Turkey love-in, pretending that it never took place.

They were all in denial, many of the newspapers avoiding even carrying a straight news report about the visit, in the hope of not triggering any doubts about the myths they had been selling their readers about our guardian angel Putin protecting us from the evil Turks and guarding our EEZ.

I searched everywhere to find a report about the visit in Tuesday’s copy of Phil, the most blindly devoted child of Mother Russia, but there was nothing, the paper deciding its readers did not need to know about it, especially given its editorial writers’ passionate pleas to the government in the last month to strengthen relations with Moscow.

And we did not hear our Russia-worshipping politicians, who take public stands on every triviality imaginable, say a word about the visit. It was understandable, because what could they say? Principled Russia, which always offered unwavering support to Kyproulla, was begging the Turks to enter into an energy alliance worth tens of billions of bucks and undermining our ambitions to become a regional energy centre?

THERE was a report in Thursday’s Phil aimed at reassuring its readers that Putin’s Turkey visit does “not cause any turbulence to Moscow-Nicosia relations”.

“The messages received by the Cypriot side from the Russian side about the visit could be described as anything but negative,” the paper reassured its anxious readers, stressing that “the messages showed that Russia had not differentiated its positions towards Cyprus, either on the Cyprus problem or bilateral issues.”

Prez Nik’s visit to Moscow had not been cancelled, the paper reported, and “the two sides discussed the setting of a new date for it.” The visit had been provisionally placed for some time in February, the relieved paper reported. Most importantly, comments about Kyproulla attributed to Putin by the Turkish press, had not been made, the paper said.

The matter was closed. Mother Russia would carry on supporting Kyproulla through thick and thin, because for Putin safeguarding principles and international law was more important than business with the Turks worth tens of billions a year.

ETHNARCH Junior had a different take on what was happening. It was the fault of Nik’s government which had “abandoned our traditional allies such as Russia that had supported us in the past, politically and economically”.

Displaying his great analytical powers and deep understanding of international relations, Junior said it was “strange that Turkey was forging deals worth billions with Russia which will build a €20 billion nuclear power station in Turkey.” Was he suggesting that we asked the Russians to build us a nuclear power station?

No. “We were kicking the Russians out of the Bank of Cyprus board and our government and Central Bank were being accused by Russian deputies of having a hostile stance towards Russian depositors, while Turkey was inviting them and we were placing our hopes with the Americans who never supported us in the past.”

THIS SIMPLISTIC rant was made on Emilia Kenevezou’s Tuesday evening chat show Eponimos, which is now being presented by the notoriously self-regarding CyBC hack Yiannakis Nicolaou.

Tough cookie Emilia has left the corporation, turning down the board’s proposed pay-cut combined with an increase of her working hours; the mediation in the dispute by prez Nik she was hoping for did not materialise.

On the show Junior came up with some memorable sound-bites. We should not return to the talks he said, because “this would send the message to Turkey that we are weak and that she could send the Barbaros into our EEZ every time she wanted us to give in to her diktats.”

If we do not go back to the talks, we would send the message that we are strong. He sent conflicting messages a little later when he was advocating a new Cyprob strategy involving “stepping up our political (not military) reaction to Turkey’s provocations” and declared “our weakness is our strength.” I think our weakness is our stupidity but I have no desire in sending such a message to anyone.

THE SECOND maternal betrayal was committed by our real mother, Greece which yesterday and Friday played host to a visit by Turkey’s PM and nine members of his cabinet. While the Barbaros was still violating our EEZ, the leadership of mother Greece were exchanging pleasantries and compliments with the invader, talking about improving relations.

Neither Greece’s PM nor foreign minister mentioned the violations by the Barbaros in their addresses to the business forum on Friday night, nor were they expected to do so at the meeting of the Greece-Turkey Supreme Council yesterday. PM Samaras spoke about his ‘friend’ Davutoglu and the need for stability and trust between the two countries.

The devious Davutoglu invited Greece to join Turkey in exploiting our natural gas. “Come and let us solve the Cyprus problem, so together we can exploit the energy wealth of the region, linking the source with Greece and the rest of Europe via Turkey, for the benefit of everyone,” he said. The Turks are already treating our gas as their own and offering it to Greece as well.

PAPHITES always like to boast that they are the true, traditional Cypriots. The remoteness of Paphos from the rest of the country has meant that Paphites maintained their Cypriot identity, untainted and unaffected by foreign influences, modernity and civilisation in general.

The corruption scandal unfolding in Paphos must be an example of what the unreconstructed Cypriots of the region are capable of. It also explains why parties of high principle like DIKO and EDEK have such a strong following in the district, receiving many more votes than their national percentage.

The proverbial shit has hit the fan with some force in Paphos and by the time you read this there may have been more revelations and arrests. The thieving that was taking place was on another level. Former mayor Savvas Vergas has already named the two deputies allegedly involved in the Paphos Sewage Board scams, and its director has also threatened to name them if the authorities agree to a plea bargain. Betraying your fellow thieves in order to save your skin is must be another Paphite trait.

WITH the President of Mother Russia offering incentives to his mega-wealthy nationals to repatriate their billions (another betrayal), our time as an international business and financial services centre may be numbered. However, our government may have stumbled on an alternative source of revenue for our impoverished cultural backwater.

Communications Minister Marios Demetriades appears to have identified a big business opportunity in outer space. Attending a council of ministers meeting of the European Space Agency in Luxembourg last week, Demetriades told Tass news agency that “the field of space constitutes a particularly important emerging industry, from which Cyprus could reap benefits.”

Would we be marketing Kyproulla as a tourist destination for aliens or would Paphos developers be selling holiday villas to Martians? The minister tried to explain what he had in mind as follows.

“The adoption of a policy for matters relating to space, does not involve the launch of spaceships but involves the exploitation, for example, of the orbital positions of satellites, as well as the attraction of companies that operate in this field,” Demetriades was quoted as saying.

He did not explain how the “orbital positions of satellites” could be exploited but it is only a question of time before we become a regional centre for space, opening service garages for satellites and spaceships in every neighbourhood.

THE SAVINGS the CyBC has made on Emilia’s salary have been invested in music and a glitzy, new-look studio for the main evening TV news show. All white with a little chrome for contrast and minimalist design, it looks more like a cocktail bar than a news studio. But it is a good setting for the blonde Barbie doll presenter, who emphasises her pouting lips with a bright red lip-stick. Her skirts, I regret to note, are conservatively long and do not go with the cocktail bar setting or the cocktail waitress lip-stick, but she is a big improvement on the always miserable Emilia.

THE COPS said that of the 3,000 parking tickets issued this year 650 were for cars parked in spaces reserved for the disabled. Apart from the pavements, drivers are using the spaces designated for the cars of the disabled which is hardly surprising given the total lack of consideration for others exhibited by the world champions of human rights.

You had to laugh reading that the head of the Paraplegics Association, Demetris Lambrianides had called on the authorities to do something about the fake, blue disability cards stuck on windscreens by car owners so they could use parking spaces for the disabled.

The ruthlessness of the lazy, self-centred Cypriot is the stuff of legend. In order to park as near as possible to his destination and avoid walking a few extra metres, he sticks a disability card on his windscreen, takes up the parking space for the disabled and forces someone who has difficulty moving or uses a wheelchair to park their car further away. That is public spirit for you.

AS WE are on the issue of parking I would like to have a moan about the loathsome, lethargic, lousy drivers who insist on parking their cars over two spaces in busy parking lots. They park on the line rather than inside it because they are too lazy to reverse and navigate their car within the lines.

In an ideal society, these people and their fellow travellers that take up the spaces reserved for the disabled would have been executed, but as this is not an ideal society, we should have parking lot vigilantes who slash the tyres of these morons’ cars, or paint abusive slogans on them.

It would be a much cheaper, more entertaining way of forcing these Neanderthals to show some consideration than introducing tow-away trucks as Lambrianides had suggested.

OUR Kyproulla may be feeling like a motherless child after this deeply traumatic week, but there is some hope. Our new strategic partner has already filed adoption papers and hopes to be able to be named our wicked step-mother by the time our Prez returns home.

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