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OpinionTales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Anxiety take its toll on the rejectionists

Yiorkos Lillikas dealt with his stress by visiting the Russian ambassador

By Patroclos

OUR REGULARS are becoming increasingly worried about the psychological state of the members of the rejectionist brotherhood.

Every time another example of progress in the talks is announced or Prez Nik publicly repeats his commitment to a settlement, they must suffer a new panic attack which is dealt with by turning up the intensity of their patriotic outbursts and upping their indignation.

For how much longer can they maintain this heroic negativity without collapsing from exhaustion or suffering a nervous breakdown? At this rate they will not be able to last all the way to the signing of the agreement which is still several months away. They must preserve some energy for the period leading up to the referendum.

In the last week alone, they had to deal with Monday’s announcement that the two amigos had reached agreement on how to tackle the property issue. Before they had time to recover from this shock, Nik’s interview with Turkish paper Sabah was published, heightening their pain and suffering. The prez told the interviewer what name he hoped the new state would have, thus acknowledging that Cyprus Republic would be history.

“The name I am hoping for in my heart is the United States of Cyprus,” he was quoted as saying, but it later transpired that he had been joking. United States of Kyproulla was the name he really wanted, but had to settle for Kibrisoulla, when his mate Mustafa pointed out that Kyproulla was a Greek name.


NEW EDEK chief Marinos Sizopoulos was fuming when he heard about the property agreement, which he labelled a “legalisation of settlers” and accused Nik, “with his continuous slips, of bringing Turkey just one step away from the materialisation of its long-term, expansionist designs.”

Ethnarch Junior must be on holiday or in bed recovering from the pain Nik has caused him, because he has not been heard from all week. Meanwhile Yiorkos Lillikas found an alternative way of dealing with his Cyprob-related stress – he once again visited the ambassador of Mother Russia in the hope of hearing some comforting words from Stanislav Osadchiy.

Lillikas was reported to have “expressed the fears of the Alliance of Lillikas in relation to the intransigent positions that were being exhibited publicly by the Turkish side, with regard to guarantees, property and the EU acquis.”

Lillikas has been seeing Russia’s ambassador very frequently, which is very peculiar. What business does the leader of some small, inconsequential party have meeting the ambassador of a foreign state and making public statements together, every couple of months?

The AKEL big-wigs would regularly meet the Soviet ambassador during the Cold War era to be given the Kremlin’s instructions, but the Alliance of Lillikas is not a satellite of Moscow so why is the party leader continuously meeting Osadchiy? He must believe he will win votes by posing as Mother Russia’s favourite and most trusted Cypriot politician.


THE AMBASSADOR, after the meeting with the chosen one, repeated some diplomatic platitudes about the Cyprob to hacks and made a rather weird statement. “At this critical moment for the solution of the Cyprus issue, the positions of the parties and organisations are of great interest to the embassy, which informs Moscow about these.”

He sounded like Kyproulla’s overlord warning the natives that he was keeping an eye on them and to stay in line because everything they did was reported to Moscow, which might disapprove of their positions at this critical moment for the Cyprob. I can only guess that his comment was directed at AKEL, which remained slavishly loyal to Moscow in the post-Soviet era for as long as comrade Tof was in charge.

Now it seems the commies are supporting the efforts for a settlement a bit too enthusiastically for Moscow’s liking and comrade Andros has been warned about his behaviour. He might not be Mr Brains but he may have noticed that Mother Russia’s ambassador gets on much better with party leaders that are opposed to a settlement like Lillikas and Junior.


IT DID not take long for our prediction about the halloumification of the Cyprob to be proved correct. On the same day, Phil had a front-page item titled “Dangerous proposal by Commission about halloumi,” that was plugging a long report on an inside page.

The report, written by the paper’s Brussels correspondent Pavlos Xanthoulis, who is an expert on finding a negative angle for his dispatches, wrote the Commission’s compromise proposal “constituted a triple danger” for the Republic.

“The proposal of the Commission on halloumi attempts the downgrade of the exercise of sovereign rights of the Cyprus Republic by making it a bi-communal issue and gives birth to pertinent questions about the role that will be played by Brussels more generally in the settlement of the Cyprob,” wrote Xanthoullis in his 2000-word halloumifaction analysis.

Such is his mastery of negativity, he was able to portray EU involvement in the peace efforts – considered positive by most Greek Cypriots – in a purely negative light. Xanthoulis was correct on one point: halloumi is not a bi-communal issue, as the Commission claims, but an issue of invasion and occupation.

The point should be made in bold writing on all the packaging of export halloumi to show Brussels that we will not accept the downgrading of the Republic’s sovereign rights.


FORMER head of DIKO and permanent Dikhead, Marios Garoyian, may have finally spent a couple of hundred of the €4,000 he receives every month from the taxpayer for what it is actually paid for – secretarial services.

It could not have cost more than €200 for a secretary to type, correct and email the article he had published in last Sunday’s Phil, attacking Junior’s extremist positions. Even if the “the current leadership of DIKo leads the party vessel to uncharted waters and rough political seas, DIKO will not be cast ashore,” he wrote.

And this was “because DIKO is a history of struggles, contribution and service to the country and the people.” And if like Garoyian you become rich by honouring DIKO’s history of struggles and service to the country, it is an added bonus. Apart from the untaxed, four grand a month and his deputy’s salary, the taxpayer also provides him with a state limo and chauffeur.


A COUPLE of months ago, DIKO and DISY passed a law that would allow public parasites to stand for election to positions in political parties. It was a bizarre law as it would increase the domination of the public service by the parties.

While it was obvious DIKO supported such a law (three attorney-generals had advised against it in the past for being unconstitutional) in order to boost its contribution and service to the country and the people, it was unknown why the less public-spirited DISY backed it.

A regular who visited our establishment this week explained that the law was drafted for a single individual – Marinos Mousiouttas, who is Nicosia Municipal Secretary, but had also been elected general secretary of DIKO, a post from which he stepped down in April 2014, when it became clear that he was violating the law governing the public service.

Thanks to the new law passed in June, Mousiouttas, a close ally of Junior, has returned to the position of general secretary. As Garoyian said, DIKO is a history of struggles.


SOME readers will remember generalissimo Pantelis Kouros, the trusted, right-hand man of Glafcos Clerides and the real power behind the old sea-wolf’s presidency. Kouros was a behind-the-scenes operator who essentially ran the country during Clerides’ 10 years in office.

A smart operator, he committed one monumental blunder during this time – he gave Ttooulis Ttoouli his political break, first appointing him finance minister and then interior minister. And towards the end of the second term he made the convicted tax-dodger, Ttooulis governor of the Central Bank, because otherwise he would have been jobless.

I mention this by way of introduction, because this week it was reported that Kouros’ son Kyriacos, a well-regarded diplomat, who entered the foreign ministry during his father’s heyday, will be appointed head of the secret service KYP. His appointment will not be announced until the end of September because he has to sit some promotion exams at the ministry, in order to reach the rank of ambassador.

Kyriacos is the carbon copy of his vegetarian, teetotaller dad – he even sports the same beard – but why he has agreed to give up the comfortable life of an ambassador so that he can be in charge of listening in on the telephone conversations of prez Nik’s critics, nobody knows. But we cannot say anything negative about him because men called Kyriacos are invariably wonderful human beings.


STAYING on the subject of sons of great men following in the footsteps of their fathers, we should congratulate Christos Christofias who was elected general secretary of the AKEL youth wing, EDON, unopposed. His dad had also been general secretary of EDON for 10 years before becoming AKEL chief. Commies might be anti-business but they have no problem treating their party as a personal business that is handed over to their kids. Christos came to prominence during his dad’s disastrous presidency when he was demonstrating outside the legislature with his sister, protesting against some mild cost-cutting measures affecting public parasites that their dad had grudgingly sanctioned.


THERE have not been too many protests against the jailing of Russian journalist Andrey Nekrasov, who unwisely fled to Kyproulla to escape persecution by the Putin regime. On his arrival at Laranca airport on July 15 he was arrested and put behind bars until his extradition hearing on August 13. He went on hunger strike on July 22.

His crime in Russia was that he exposed corrupt local officials and wrote critical articles about Putin’s United Russia party. He is now facing charges of extortion and blackmail in Russia, brought by a factory CEO after Nekrasov tried to help the factory workers organise themselves. None of our principled politicians and unionists have said a word in support of the man, for fear of offending Mother Russia and the Putin government.

The hacks’ union issued a lukewarm statement on Friday evening, after the Cyprus Mail had asked why it had not taken a stand in support of the journalist. Apparently, the union had ignored messages from Reporters Without Frontiers group to support Nekrasov.

Not surprisingly, the uncompromising human rights campaigner, Lillikas did not bring the issue up during his meeting with the Russian ambassador. None of our holier than thou politicians, journalists and unionists who give lectures to the world about respect for human rights and censure foreigners for their lack of principles, uttered a word about the scandalous treatment by our authorities of the persecuted journalist.

We do not care when the repressive Putin regime persecutes journalists and workers because Mother Russia has always taken a principled stand on the Cyprob.


IT IS DEPRESSING to compare Nekrasov’s treatment with that of the suspected Russian spy, Christopher Metsos who was wanted by the US government and arrived here in 2010. Metsos was taken to court, but the judge set him free on bail and within two days he was in Moscow celebrating his escape; he probably was given a send-off by comrade Tof who was president at the time.

Now, a journalist wanted by Russia on trumped-up charges, for exercising his right to free speech, was put in prison for a month, because our authorities did not want to let down the repressive Putin regime. If Nekrasov is extradited he faces up to 15 years in a Russian jail. How foolish he was to think he would be safe in Kyproulla, the only EU member state that acts like a Russian dominion.


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