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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Our mothers have let us down

Hands on nothing the great Nicosia accord

By Patroclos

ONE THING we can safely say about the winner of the pseudo-elections, Mustafa Akinci, apart from the fact that he is the first pseudo-president to have a moustache, is that he is no mummy’s boy. Within an hour of his election he was out on the street openly telling mother Turkey to release the north from her suffocating embrace and let it grow up.

Speaking to supporters on Sunday night the mischievous Mustafa told them he did not want the north to remain the child of the mother country. After his election there would no longer be a ‘small country’ and the traditional ‘mother-daughter relationship’ between Turkey and the north would be replaced by a ‘new sisterly relationship’ of two countries, he said.

If the British tabloids were covering the story they would have come up with headline of the type, ‘Mustafa must ’av a screw loose’ as this sentiment was bound to incense the super-bully Tayyip Erdogan. It did. Asked for his views the next day, Erdogan put the Turkish Cypriot upstart in his place asking whether ‘his ears hear what he says?’

He reminded Mustafa that mummy Turkey was giving its pseudo-child a billion bucks a year pocket money and could not let go. For Turkey, north Cyprus ‘is our child and we will continue to see it as a mother sees its child,’ Erdogan said menacingly, rather than affectionately.

Mustafa refused to be intimidated, asking: ‘Does Turkey not want to see its child grow up? Must we stay a kid forever?’ A billion bucks pocket money a year would suggest the answer is ‘yes’.

WE GREEK Cypriots have the opposite problem to our step-brothers in the north. We have always yearned for the suffocating embrace of mummy Greece but she refuses to give it. She may occasionally tell us some loving words but practically speaking it is meaningless.

And to add insult to injury not only has she never given us any pocket money, but she has developed a habit of taking what we have earned from us. In the last few years she has cost us some six billion bucks, causing the collapse of our banking sector, seizing our banks’ assets in Greece for peanuts and forcing us into an assistance programme.

Despite having experienced the trauma of a mother’s rejection on countless occasions (on the rebound we repeatedly tried to get adopted by mother Russia, but were rejected by her as well) we still go running to her as soon as she calls. When our finance minister, a couple of months ago, showed less than 100 per cent loyalty in some comment he made, the lynch mob was out to get him for not being a dutiful mummy’s boy.

So who is luckier, the community with the domineering mum that won’t let go or the community with the absent mum who doesn’t care?

MOST of our politicians congratulated Akinci over his election, Prez Nik being among the first to call him. Even Dr Faustus’ protégé and new EDEK chief Sizopoulos who is a bit of a bash-patriotic, hardliner offered his congratulations.

Junior and Lillikas maintained their ultra patriotic stance, using Twitter to give their take on the election result. Censured for not congratulating Akinci, Junior displayed the legendary mean-spiritedness of his dad by tweeting, ‘why exactly should I congratulate the occupation leader? Has he returned our properties?’

The worldly wise Lillikas took offence at someone claiming the election result brought hope. ‘I know what hope is and I know what delusion is… I hope I am wrong,’ he tweeted. The populist Paphite certainly knows what delusion is. Claiming that we could raise billions by pre-selling natural gas deposits we had not found or that Cyprus could be liberated with his pathetic strategy suggest he is a specialist in delusion.

COMRADE Tof also sent a written congratulatory message, which offended DIKO and forced it to issue a statement. One of the reasons Dikheads took offence was because ‘a former president of the Republic referred to the elections of the Turkish Cypriots’ without placing the word elections in inverted commas.

As we all know, placing words to do with the north inside inverted commas has been our most effective weapon in preventing the recognition of the pseudo-state. For broadcasters like the CyBC which cannot use inverted commas, the word ‘illegal’ is deployed; it constantly referred to the illegal elections, although nobody was arrested for this blatant illegality by the illegal police.

PREZ NIK wasted no time in announcing confidence building measures aimed at creating a positive climate. These were announced on Tuesday, but if Nik had his way they would have been announced a week earlier.

He was determined to make them public before the second round of the illegal elections, because he wanted to divert public attention away from his unflattering role in the Rikkos pantomime. He refused to listen to his advisors who felt this would have been construed as an attempt to interfere in the illegal elections, in favour of Akinci.

Nik decided to put back the announcement of the measures only after Akinci had personally phoned him and implored him not to go public as this could harm his prospects of winning.

ALL WEEK the hardliners were telling us that nothing would change with regard to the Cyprob with Akinci’s election.

Like Lillikas they had no delusions. Akinci might have the tag of a moderate, but the reality was that he was a Turk and would obey the orders of Ankara which was not as committed to a settlement as Junior and Lillikas.

Fanoulla Argyrou, the bash-patriotic London-based conspiracy theorist, wrote the most incisive exposition of the two-faced, Akinci’s designs in a blog on Sigmalive website. According to the fantastic Fanoulla, he was different from the rest of the Turkish Cypriot leaders – Denktash and Eroglu – who followed a familiar line, because he came to the field from a different route which ‘is much more dangerous than that of the rest.’ She wrote: ‘The Akinci line is devious, it contains English hypocrisy, while it is completely aligned with Turkey’s designs… nor is there any disagreement between Erdogan and Akinci; these are Turkish propaganda games for the eyes of the Greek Cypriots.’

Fortunately, they failed to fool Fanoulla.

REGULARS were wondering what exactly was the point of the Second Trilateral Summit held in Nicosia on Wednesday, other than to cause traffic jams and overtime work for some 500 cops recruited for the security of Egypt’s president Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi?

The Mail reported the summit produced the Nicosia Declaration – a framework agreement to further economic co-operation and solidify the three-way, emerging political alliance among Cyprus, Greece and Egypt – which featured the same content as the Cairo declaration the three countries signed five months earlier. Was this some kind of practical joke?

It may have been just a publicity stunt, but it still excited our usually dull government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides who spent all Wednesday marketing its alleged importance. When you hear the guys talking about ‘regional security, co-operation on counter-terrorism, long-term stability,’ just as they had done after the Cairo summit, it’s clear the summit was just a bit of theatre.

It was an opportunity for our leading thespian Nik to put on a strong performance that was certain to receive extensive TV coverage (the state broadcaster covered it with an all-day live show) and give him some much needed positive publicity, after the Rikkos pantomime in which he came to be viewed as the villain.

The summit was very well-received and we expect plenty of encores whenever our leading actor feels he needs some positive publicity.

PERHAPS it might be an idea for Nik to get his scriptwriters to give him some new lines for the next summit, because he cannot tell us for a third time that ‘the dialogue and co-operation among the three states is not directed at any third country.’ Turkey has got the message and he does not have to repeat it after every summit.

Supporting actor Sheikh Lakkotrypis also gave a competent performance informing us that during the summit there were talks with Egyptian officials and the marine pipeline that would take gas from the Aphrodite well to Egypt was a done deal. He did not say whether the pipeline would be ready before or after the Limassol LNG terminal he promised to build.

SUPPORT for last week’s claim that inside the overwhelming majority of Cypriots hides an Akelite was provided by the CyBC’s radio show presenter Pola Sponta. Sponta might believe she is not an Akelite but she certainly thinks and talks like one.

On Tuesday morning she was interviewing the president of the confederation of secondary school parents’ associations, who said his organisation wanted teachers that had proved inadequate not to have their contracts renewed. A reasonable demand, made at the right time given that teaching unions had forced the education minister to promise to grant permanent jobs to all teachers of short contracts.

Sponta, the Akelite, was shocked to hear such a heretical view. “But some people will be left without a job,” she protested, arguing that nobody should lose his job. This is Akelite thinking in all its glory. The taxpayer must carry on paying lazy, crappy teachers not to educate kids because nobody should lose his overpaid state job.

SPEAKING of the CyBC, its chairman Giorgos Tsalakos submitted his resignation last week for ‘personal reasons’ although he did not express a wish to spend more time with his family. Nik may have been behind the personal reasons.

Tsalakos had asked PWC to prepare a study on how to restructure the corporation in order to make it viable. The report proposed several changes including 10 to 15 redundancies that would save some €200,000 a year. The chairman mentioned this at the House finance committee which was discussing the corporation’s budget, raising a storm and earning the hostility of the unions.

As if this were not bad enough, he later found out that Prez Nik vetoed the decision. Nobody would be made redundant he decided, but a voluntary retirement scheme would be put in place. It was up to the workers to decide if they wanted to leave and the corporation would be paying them money it did not have as an incentive to go.

This is the bona fide AKEL way of handling redundancies – the workers decide, which in effect protects the bad employees who would have been made redundant. They keep their jobs and the good ones leave because they can find work elsewhere. Nik might not know it but deep down he is just another Akelite masquerading as a right-winger.

IS THE chairmanship of the Bank of Cyprus jinxed? Current chairman Josef Ackermann is the third chairman of the bank to face charges in court, although in a different case from his two predecessors. He is a defendant in a case in a German court for allegedly giving misleading information, when he was a CEO of the Deutsche Bank, in connection with the collapse of a media group.

The charge carries a prison sentence, so the possibility that three chairmen of the BoC would be in jail at the same time cannot be ruled out. The other two jinxed former chairmen facing charges are Andreas Artemis and Aristo developer.

This was not all for Ackermann. On Wednesday the new EDEK chief Sizopoulos revealed that Ackermann was also a member of the board of the Turkish bank AKBANK. The bash-patriotic Sizopoulos made a big fuss out of his discovery, serving notice that under his leadership EDEK will stay true to the mindless conspiracy-peddling legacy bequeathed to it by its founder and honorary president for life and beyond Dr Faustus.

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