Cyprus Mail
Opinion Tales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Two amigos get closer as Cyprob veers into Botox and halloumi

Prez Nik looking chipper after his mystery dinner with Mustafa

I WAS informed by a regular that after last Monday’s meeting, the two amigos had pseudo-dinner at a pseudo-restaurant and nobody protested about this blatant upgrading of the pseudo state by the president of the internationally recognised Republic.

What was even more suspicious was that nobody reported this. I had tried to check the veracity of the regular’s information but I did not find any reference to the pseudo-restaurant in the media. A Tass news agency on Monday night said that the talks were “being continued at a working dinner” without mentioning the venue.

The papers also mentioned the dinner without giving any other information. After Thursday’s meeting press reports said that the two amigos had dinner at a fish tavern and I assumed it was at Nicosia’s internationally recognised Paragadi, which I know prez Nik is very fond of.

Monday’s venue remains a mystery, raising suspicions that it may have been a pseudo-restaurant housed in a Greek Cypriot property or run by a Turkish settler or both. Our prez has been keeping us in the dark about the talks so he could at least inform us the name of the pseudo-restaurant he ate at with his buddy and the nerdy Norwegian.

THERE is a compelling national reason for wanting to know. The morning after the suspected pseudo-dinner Nik spoke at The Economist conference and expressed the hope there would be a deal before the May 2016 parliamentary elections.

Until that day the prez dismissed any suggestion the talks could be concluded by May. When his buddy Mustafa mentioned May as the target, he immediately put him right, arguing that the issues being discussed were complex and would take a long time to be resolved. His spokesman took the same line, repeating the official mantra about suffocating time-frames.

What made Nik suddenly express such optimism, the day after a meeting at which the authoritatively negative Phil reported “it transpired that the chasm in the property issue remained the same, without the slightest hint of progress”? So how could there be a deal by May given Phil’s assurances of “continuing deadlock” on the property issue?

The only explanation is that at Monday night’s dinner the Turks slipped some newly-developed drug into Nik’s food or drink that numbs the part of the mind that regulates national resistance levels. This is why it is of critical importance for us to know where he ate.

ESPEN Barth Eide was also at the dinner and although he displayed even greater optimism than Nik when he spoke at The Economist conference it is doubtful he was drugged by the Turks. The nerdy Norwegian, privately, makes no secret of his plan for a deal by December and a referendum by March.

He told the conference that we need to prepare for a solution because “it could happen sooner than you think.” He added that the two leaders should have the backing to “get through the last kilometre.” If there is just one kilometre left, the two amigos must have agreed most things while fobbing off hacks with talk about “continuing deadlock”.

But we should be pragmatic. The kilometre might never be covered if Nik suddenly decides to start walking backwards, cheered on by Junior, Lillikas and the Botox pioneer.

NEWLY-ARRIVED Ambassador of the US Kathleen Doherty also spoke at the conference and revealed that before she joined the diplomatic service she had been a journalist “writing about business and economics”.

She said: “And in my dreams, I hoped to write for the Economist. I even went to the London School of Economics, thinking somehow I would be discovered by The Economist’s editors… and if the Economist didn’t work out, I would set my sights on the New York Times, my ‘home town’ paper. Well that didn’t happen either.”

She eventually sat the exams for the US foreign service, passed and “found a career that I love.” She should be warned that many senior diplomats posted to Kyproulla come to hate their job after dealing with the Cyprob for a couple of years. I sincerely hope this does not happen to her, but if it does, I think there is an opening for a business journalist at the Cyprus Mail. It is not in the league of the Economist or the NY Times but it will help her deal with the soul-destroying effects of the Cyprob that had caused many a diplomat to fall out of love with their career.

THE HALLOUMIFICATION of the Cyprob appears to be gathering momentum if the report from Brussels by Phil’s halloumi correspondent Pavlos Xanthoullis is anything to go by.

Last Sunday, under the inspired banner headline ‘Akinci warns Commission of ‘impending crisis’ over halloumi,’ he reported that Akinci had written to the Commission complaining about its halloumi proposal that followed the July high level agreement in Nicosia with Jean Claude Juncker.

The halloumi correspondent objectively wrote: “Adopting the tone of a member state of the EU, the document of the pseudo state demands, among other things, that the occupation authorities approve the certification organisation of halloumi in the occupied area, categorically rejecting the authority that the Cyprus Republic (recognised member-state of united Europe) has on the issue.”

The letter, excerpts of which were published by the paper, also included a ridiculous threat. “Unless the Commission refrains from furthering both of these processes, it will destroy its chances of playing a constructive role in the island and make it unable to contribute positively to the current settlement negotiations.”

The Turks must be totally nuts to think the Commission will be bothered in the slightest if it were excluded from the settlement negotiations. They will be doing it a favour. But Phil failed to see the ridiculousness of the threat, warning in its sub-heading ‘EU in danger of losing its role in Cyprus problem.’ The alarm bells must be ringing in Brussels.

CONCLUDING his report, Xanthoullis wrote: “It is obvious the proposition of the T/C side to Brussels takes on the character of a naked threat aimed at satisfying the conditions it has set.” He did not mention Akinci, which made you wonder if he had actually written the halloumi letter.
In his report, the halloumi correspondent, who had a copy of the letter, said the following: “The letter of the pseudo-state, which was prepared by the advisors of Akinci, after consultation with the Turkish Cypriot leader at the end of July…” How could Xanthoullis know this? Why has he ruled out the possibility that Akinci might have had nothing to do with the letter?

Officials at the foreign ministry of the Cyprus Republic (recognised member-state of a united Europe) also opposed the halloumi deal struck by Nik and Mustafa and wrote to the Commission demanding amendments were made. All this proves is that there are morons on both sides promoting the halloumification of the problem, which can only be good news for the halloumi correspondent.

Sizopoulos bringing Botox into the Cyprob arena
Sizopoulos bringing Botox into the Cyprob arena

BOTOX pioneer and freedom fighter Marinos Sizopoulos does not subscribe to the halloumification theory. Speaking in Limassol yesterday, he warned that the Cyprus talks “are not related to the finding of a democratic solution, but the imposition of a Nato solution of Bosniafication (sic) and dissolution of the Cyprus Republic.” The good doctor should know that this is nothing the administration of a little Botox could not put right. We would then have the botoxification of the Cyprob.

JUNIOR and his DIKO followers must have been livid on hearing that the government had decided to name Larnaca airport after Glafcos Clerides. DIKO had in the past proposed to give the airport the name of one of its own presidents, but there was too much opposition to the idea and it was abandoned. One stadium is named after Spyros and another after Tassos.

The attempt to push the idea of naming the airport after Tassos was particularly forceful but there was no way the Tof government, which was in power when he passed away, would have sanctioned such a move. For the DISY government, giving the name of its founder and former president to the airport was very easy to do. It did not even put the idea up for public discussion.

The Papadopoulos family should not feel aggrieved because I hear if there is a settlement as a show of goodwill the Turkish Cypriots might agree to name Ercan after Tassos.

WE MIGHT just be a kilometre away from a solution but according to a report in last Sunday’s Simerini an announcement about the “purchase of a boat with increased military capability” was imminent. The paper said the decisions had already been taken and “procedures are at an advanced stage.”

The hot favourite to land the deal was Israel as “the move is linked to the deepening of the strategic co-operation of Cyprus with the neighbouring country,” said the paper.

It added that another three military boats would be ordered from European countries. There was no mention of the cost, nor any indication of what we would do with boats “with increased military capability.”

Perhaps we could use them to blockade the north if it attempts to export its halloumi from illegal ports and without the necessary certification.

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