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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Radical change in mindset as Mr Perfect could be on his way out

Mr Perfect: Andreas Mavroyiannos

PREZ NIK seems in a bit of a fix over how to replace our negotiator Andreas ‘Mr Perfect’ Mavroyiannis if the latter gets elected President of the UN’s 71st General Assembly next month, something that is not beyond the realms of possibility.

The negotiator would have to head off to New York by the end of the month to step up his campaigning, which is rather unfortunate as an intensifying of the talks is scheduled for that period. Prez Nik has tried to find a replacement but has encountered great difficulties.

One of his early choices, was super-smart lawyer Polys Polyviou who had been involved in the talks, offering support to Mavroyiannis. This choice was vetoed by the commies of AKEL when it was run by them by Nik, because they loathe Pol Pol from his time as the one-man investigative committee that found comrade Tof responsible for the Mari explosion.

The wily Nik, subsequently suggested to the comrades the appointment of loyal AKEL member Toumazos Tselepis, who has been the party’s resident Cyprob expert for at least 20 years. He knows the boring details of the problem inside out and had been a member of several negotiating teams in the past, which made him an ideal choice.

Highlighting their paranoid fear of responsibility, the comrades vetoed the idea of having one of their own as the negotiator, because they did not want AKEL to take even a small share of the blame for an unfair and unjust settlement. They were happy to carry on supporting the peace talks from a safe distance.

THE OBVIOUS choice would have been former attorney-general Alecos Markides, who also knows every boring detail of the Cyprob as he was our side’s representative in the preparations of the A-plan, but it was decided that, apart from his advanced years, he was way too unpredictable – to put it politely – to be trusted.

He had another minus point. He represented a host of clients in cases they had brought against the Republic in connection with the banking crisis. It would have been rather surreal having a guy trying to screw money out of the state for his clients as our negotiator so that idea was dismissed as well.

Another big-shot lawyer with many years of involvement in the problem – Kypros Chrysostomides a.k.a. Cyprus Goldenmouth – was approached. He had the approval of the commies as he had good relations with AKEL and had briefly served as a minister in the village idiot’s government, but politely informed Nik he was not interested.

George Iacovou, the jack-of-all-political-trades and a darling of AKEL, who would have seized the opportunity to return to the limelight with four hands, was ruled out because he is not considered a political heavyweight since shedding 22 kilos.

THE UNSUCCESSFUL search for someone to replace Mavroyiannis, may have been the reason Nik brought the superannuated constitutional and human rights expert Claire Palley OBE into the Cyprob team which met at the palace on Thursday. The Cyprob has been a good little earner for the 85-year-old Palley who has served as a talks’ advisor under most presidents.

On hearing she would be involved in the talks one metrios-drinking customer remarked that this was conclusive proof that Nik did not want a settlement. Palley had been a close associate of Ethnarch Tassos and after the referendum acted as his unofficial apologist, writing a 700-page book – An International Relations Debacle: The UN Secretary-General’s Mission of Good Services in Cyprus 1999-2004 – providing an academic fig leaf for his well-executed plan to kill the prospect of a settlement.

According to government sources, she was recruited because Nik could not find anyone in Kyproulla with her level of expertise on constitutional matters. I suspect another reason for hiring her was her talent for writing books that would blame the UN if the talks collapsed. Her fans are already looking forward to Volume 2 of the International Relations Debacle.

MAVROYIANNIS, the unsullied virgin of Cyprus politics, whose friends have always called up to complain whenever our establishment has written anything slightly critical of their hero, appears to have become very upbeat about the talks now that he is on his way out.

Last weekend he declared: “Today we have the best chance ever for re-unification of Cyprus which is why we should take advantage of it and do everything we can in this direction. This is a unique opportunity and this window of opportunity will not stay open forever.”

In two years as negotiator he had never once spoken so positively about the talks. Most of the time he sent out negative signals, rarely if ever saying anything remotely positive about the talks. Many are wondering what brought about this radical change of mindset.

Is it his way of buttering up the Yanks, who are reportedly not very supportive of his candidacy for the UN General Assembly and could get many countries to vote for his rival?

AKELITES were in celebratory mood last Monday, as their mouthpiece Haravghi reminded its readers that “peace-lovers and democrats all over the world were counting 71 years today since the crushing of fascism – 71 years since Nazi Germany was unconditionally surrendering and the Soviet flag was flying on the Reichstag, bringing with it hope for the world of tomorrow.”

Comrade Tof was so happy that he sent a congratulatory letter to President Putin, offering him “warm congratulations for the great victory of the Red Army” noting that “the Soviet Union contributed decisively in the salvation of humanity from the virus of fascism.”

He also offered solace to his friend Putin. “No matter how much the ideologues of modern imperialism try to distort historical truth and blacken the role of the Soviet Union they will not succeed.”

These comments have the authority of a man who after just four years of study in a Soviet University secured a PhD in undistorted history.

ANOTHER, fast-track graduate of a Soviet university is Dr Dafnis Aristodemou, the head of the Larnaca General Hospital ENT department who was remanded in custody on Tuesday in connection with the allegations of collecting backhanders from a hearing centre for referring patients to it.

This may explain why the commies avoided expressing moral outrage about the case, preferring to focus on the delays in introducing the national health scheme during the election campaign. The previous day, AKEL spokesman Giorgos Loucaides, betraying excess touchiness on the backhanders-for referrals case, called a morning TV show to deny an accusation that Giorgos Perdikis had not made.

He called the Stavros and Stavriani show to say that although he had not heard Perdikis, he had been informed that the turtle-lover “implied” that no party apart from the Greens had done something about the latest health scandal. Deputies had received a letter with the allegations about the doctors and the hearing centre last November.

Both presenters defended Perdikis repeatedly saying he had not mentioned the other parties and that Loucaides had been wrongly informed. The funny thing was that even if Perdikis had accused the other parties, which he had not, he would have been correct as Loucaides admitted that the AKEL recipient of the letter with the allegations had done nothing about it.

I HOPE I have earned the right to be accused of practising “sterile anti-Akelism”, a charge the comrades make against anyone who says anything bad or mildly critical about their party. Any criticism against the commies is dismissed as “sterile anti-Akelism.” I have written to the party asking for its advice, on how I can make the switch to “fertile anti-Akelism”, but I am still waiting for a reply. It doesn’t hurt being in the good books of the comrades, because Prez Nik might ask me to be our side’s negotiator and I would require AKEL approval.

Superwoman Eleni Theocharous meeting Prez Nik this week
Superwoman Eleni Theocharous meeting Prez Nik this week

AS ELECTIONS approach we are hearing more inanities from our illustrious party leaders trying to attract a bit of attention as they move from one TV studio to the next, morning, lunch-time and evening.

The frenetic pace of the campaign has obviously got to Dr Eleni Theocharous, the holier than thou leader of Solidarnosc. On Thursday morning, appearing on the Stavros and Stavriani show, she said her concern was getting her party into parliament and the presidential elections were of no concern.

By night-time they had become a concern. Appearing on Sigma she said she would be a candidate in the 2018 presidential elections, “if this puts an end to all the talk.” While cynics may disagree, I am convinced that her heroic uncompromising opposition to a settlement has nothing to do with her ambition to become the first female president of the Cyprus Republic.

DR ELENI also displayed her inflated, to the point of bursting, sense of importance, when she took credit for the decision of the President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz not to allow the discussion of the scrapping of the visas for Turkish nationals at the parliament.

“We believe we made a significant contribution in this direction because we mobilised parties at all levels,” said Dr Eleni using the royal plural to refer to herself. You have to admire her superwoman qualities. Despite being fully involved in an election campaign in Kyproulla she still found the time to mobilise the European Parliament’s parties at all levels to inflict an embarrassing defeat on the Turks.

APART from securing national triumphs for the country, on social issues Dr Eleni is even more sensitive than Akelites. Her party she pledged would take measures to help single-parents, large families and the undeserving poor. It did not occur to her that if the scandalous practice of people collecting multiple pensions from the taxpayer was stopped, the state would have the money to help single mothers and families with six children.

Dr Eleni, for instance collects three monthly pensions from our impoverished state, amounting to €4,640 per month. She receives €1,950 as a retired government doctor (with only ten years service), €1,390 widow’s pension and €1,300 as a retired deputy. And then there is her MEP salary of €12,633 per month plus expenses. It’s very moving when someone collecting 200 grand per year from the taxpayer complains that the state is not offering enough support to the poor. It’s because you and the rest of the multiple pensioners have left no money for the poor, dear doctor.

'Dictatorship' Marinos Sizopoulos
‘Dictatorship’ Marinos Sizopoulos

OUR DEMOCRACY is not just under threat, but according to EDEK chief Marinos Sizopoulos, “we are going through an era of covert dictatorship.” There were two emphatic reasons to support his claim. He had asked permission to visit the Nicosia Central Prisons in order to meet people serving time for debt and was denied. He then made a request to hold a news conference at an archaeological site and the Antiquities Department turned it down.

Compounding these shameful totalitarian practices – preventing Sizo exploiting the plight of prisoners for electoral reasons – the Fuhrer had failed to invite the Botox expert to the presidential palace to brief him about the Cyprob. Now if that is not a sign of dictatorship I do not know what it.

OUR GOOD friend the rector of the Cyprus University Costas Christofides was in court on Wednesday after an official at the university’s Oceanographic Centre, Dr Zodiatis filed a private prosecution against him for common assault. Dr Zodiatis appears to have adopted the AKEL mantra that “attack is the best form of defence.” Zodiatis, who had been suspended by the university Council a year ago but had the decision overturned by the Supreme Court over a technicality, is currently under investigation with a colleague for a disciplinary offence. The rector denied the charge.


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