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OpinionTales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: The metamorphosis into the new Tassos

The only improvement Prez Nik has brought to the presidency is a better quality collection of neck-ties

By Patroclos

ALL IS NOT well at the presidential pad, in the Wargaming neighbourhood of the capital. Prez Nik, who has turned out to be as thin-skinned and as desperate to be loved as his predecessor, has been in a foul mood of late, because he has been receiving an unrelentingly bad press and his popularity ratings continue sliding on a slippery downward path.

He constantly shouts and snaps at his associates, refusing to listen to any advice and has been losing his rag with alarming regularity. Wounded by the criticism that has been coming from every direction he has brought in his favourite communications advisor, in the vain hope that he would come up with ideas that would make the people love Nik again.

Having an unshakeable belief in his superior intellect, the prez is convinced that his low popularity is because of weaknesses in the presidency’s communications team and has been having a go at the poor old government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides for not defending the government adequately when it comes under attack.

It is ironic that he blames Christodoulides, who is one of his best appointments and is the main reason why Nik’s popularity isn’t any lower than it is. The softly-spoken Christodoulides might be bit gormless and averse to confrontation when speaking in public – he is a polite and civilised diplomat, despite being a Paphite, and not a thuggish politician – but this style fools a lot of people into thinking his boss knows what he is doing.


THE POLITE Paphite, according to our info from the presidential madhouse, is increasingly stressed by the constant demands of his boss and namesake to make statements answering every critical announcement issued by the opposition parties.

Apart from being a pointless, self-defeating exercise that would play into the hands of the opposition parties, the spokesman would have no time to go to the toilet, let alone visit his folks in Paphos, if he responded to every critical announcement made by every party and every newspaper columnist.

Christodoulides has found a way round the problem. When there is an attack that he does not want to dignify with a response but Nik insists on one being made, he gets his deputy Victoras Papadopoulos, who loves a scrap and feels under-utilised by the government, to do the dirty work.

Victoras is more than happy to attack AKEL and the rest of the choir members, but when not speaking from a prepared text he is liable, occasionally, to say the wrong thing. When the prez get very cross about something, he does not even bother contacting his namesake. On an impulse he writes the statement himself and then gets Victoras to read it.

Most of the time he does not need a spokesman because he attends so many public events at which there are microphone-wielding TV reporters, to whom he is more than happy to give his impulsive thoughts about the non-issue of the day.


WE HAVE not heard what strategy the communications advisor has come up with in order for Nik to regain the public’s affection, but I suspect our prez is in a lose-lose situation. His problem is not the inadequacy of his communications policy or his spokesman’s unwillingness to get involved in political scraps with Andros, Junior and Lillikas.

It is that Nik has turned out to be a pretty lousy prez, almost as bad as comrade Tof, and no communications policy can hide this, especially as the prez insists on publicly displaying his poor judgment, shameless populism, whimsical decision-making and inability to control his emotions at every opportunity.

Should we also mention his tendency to make public vows that he does not keep, his televised outbursts against the UN, his wheeler dealing with the Archbishop, his claims to have no links to his Limassol law office, his pandering to Putin or his metamorphosis into the new Tassos because he wants to hold on to his presidential chair?

Come to think of it, the only improvement he has brought to the presidency since replacing the comrade is a better quality collection of neck-ties.


OUR ESTABLISHMENT would like to take this opportunity to apologise to all its customers, for backing the candidacy of Nik in the last elections in the mistaken belief that he would provide the strong leadership and direction that Kyproulla so desperately needed after five disastrous years of Tof rule. We were fooled, proved completely wrong in our evaluation of the guy, but in mitigation it must be said that the other candidates at the time – Malas and Lillikas – would have been even worse than Nik. This is no consolation nor does it excuse our indefensible lapse of judgement for which we humbly ask for our customers’ forgiveness.


SOME could argue that the economy has been put back on a sound footing, during Nik’s rule, but we have the Troika and Harris to thank for that. This however did not stop the prez from calling a news conference last Friday to announce the lifting of capital controls and take credit for the stabilisation of the banking sector.

It was probably the bright idea of the communications advisor for the prez to claim all the credit and avoid mentioning the contribution of Harris, who is just the finance minister. We should also bear in mind that Harris is currently a media hate figure because of his politically incorrect comments about Greece and Nik wants to keep his distance from him even if this means making the sacrifice of taking personal credit for his minister’s good work.


PREVIEWING Alexis Tsipras’ scheduled visit to Moscow this week, The Guardian’s foreign affairs commentator Natalie Nougayrede, wrote that the risk of such a trip is that you could be taken for a “useful idiot”.

She explained that “the expression, often attributed to Lenin, applies to those who become instrumentalised when they take a position that serves Moscow’s propaganda aims, much more than their own interest or intentions.”

Our own prez’s recent visit to Moscow falls into this category, but his lack of importance on the international political stage makes him ineligible for the title of “useful idiot”.


IN THE END all those column inches of bile and invective directed at the back-stabbing, two-faced, Turk-loving Brits went to waste. Britain’s foreign secretary Philip Hammond never visited Kyproulla on the anniversary of the start of the EOKA struggle and therefore did not commit the unacceptable provocation of crossing north to meet Dervis Eroglu on April 1.

This did not stop the Dr of International Relation and political analyst Yiannos Charalambides from writing about the visit in his Simerini column on March 30. He started it thus:

“The British cannot get over the defeat inflicted by EOKA. They wanted it avenged until the Annan plan, when they were defeated again, without a shot being fired this time. And now they continue to be guided by their complexes. Proof of this is the decision of the Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond to visit Dervis Eroglu in the occupied area on April 1.”

This was no coincidence according to Dr Charalambides who added: “The objective of Britain is to subvert the results of the EOKA struggle on national, social and political level. They want to change history. And transform the defeat in the EOKA struggle and in the 2004 referendum into a victory.”

Hammond cancelled his visit, but the Foreign Office will not give up on its devious efforts to transform Britain’s defeats to victories. We, however will be more vigilante now that conspiracy has been uncovered by renowned Doctor of International Relations.


WE COULD soon have a chance of inflicting a third successive defeat on the dastardly Brits. UN envoy Espen Barth Eide arrives in Kyproulla tomorrow to arrange the resumption of the talks, as the Yanks are determined to push for a settlement of the Cyprob because this would serve their overall plans for the region.

Prez Nik has already got cold feet and is looking for excuses to wriggle out of the talks which will feature suffocating time-frames and the universally opposed multi-party conference. The anti-solution parties have urged Nik not to return to the talks, and he would be more than happy to satisfy them (especially if it would boost his popularity ratings) if he could.

However the pressure is too strong for him to resist and despite publicly claiming that nothing had been agreed and he would have to consult the parties before any decision was taken, he has already told the UN that he would return to the talks.

A very weird development has been the failure of DIKO to take a stand against the resumption of the talks. Ethnarch Junior only warned that the issue of hydrocarbons should not be part of the negotiations. But he did not object to the talks resuming.

Had the Yanks promised him that all the new posts in the federal government that would be established by the settlement would go to Dickeads who will not be able to get jobs at Cyta and EAC after privatisation?

In the unlikely event that DIKO backs a settlement because of the rusfeti potential, it might be difficult for us to defeat the Brits a third time.


ON MARCH 19, the puritanical Phil ran a story on its front-page about the scantily-clad women who operate the mobile units selling coffees on the side of busy streets on the periphery of the towns. According to the report, which also featured a photo of a woman in a tiny pair of shorts and bikini top, the attire of these women “provoked a reaction of many citizens who contacted the police in protest.”

Most of the protesting citizens, the report said, were women who also filed complaints to the municipal authorities. I am pleased to report that that protesting prudes failed to put an end to this wonderful marketing technique, which as a man I find very pleasing to the eye and a welcome distraction from the stress of driving.

The cops investigated the matter and found that the skimpily-clad frappe sellers were doing nothing illegal. They were not working illegally and they had the required licences to sell coffees by the side of the road. And as Phil helpfully pointed out, women were free to dress as sexily as they liked and nobody could force them to wear long skirts or trousers. Freedom and democracy have positive points.


IF THE protesting women were smart enough, they would have gone to the traffic police and argued that these women were a risk to road safety because they attracted the gaze of lecherous male drivers. They have not… yet.

Meawhile, AKEL deputy Skevi Koukouma, who was probably one of the women that reported the delightful frappe ladies to the cops, has thought of another way to stop the practice. The cops, she said, should investigate theses cases as possible violations of the law on the Prevention of trafficking and exploitation of persons and the protection of victims.

Koukouma said: “The question is not what these women wear but whether they are forced to dress in this way or if they are victims of exploitation.”

Perhaps the cops should also go into Zorbas bakeries and ask the sales assistants if they are forced to wear that horrifically unsexy beige outfit against their will? Would Koukouma demand that they should wear whatever they liked?


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