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OpinionTales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Breakdown of buddies’ relationship or staged draw?

All smiles for the camera but have relations thawed?

TRICKY NICKY appeared to have over-estimated his powers as a negotiator in Mont Pelerin Mark II where he thought he could push Mustafa to give a little bit more but his old buddy was not having it. According to our guys, last Sunday Nik had encountered a cold and tough Mustafa, who had changed approach.

Much had been written about what went wrong and the inevitable blame game ensued but it was very disappointing, almost half-hearted. It lacked the passion, intensity and nastiness of past blame games, giving rise to strong suspicions that it was fixed, both sides having agreed to play out a limp draw. The president of the Cyprus Football Association might know something about it but he likes to hush up such matters.

The two former buddies wanted to keep the process alive so neither went for a killer blow or punches below the belt when blaming the other for the collapse of the talks, which according to one press report was celebrated the following night by the opening of champagne bottles in a fashionable Nicosia wine bar by a party leader – no name was given.

The process ended with a whimper, not a bang, midnight Monday. Having realised Mustafa would not be budging on the numbers of refugees, including dead ones, that would have the right of return Nik asked to make another proposal to which Mustafa reportedly replied: “Niko we are done. I am tired and am going to bed.”

If there was a clean and honest blame-game Nik would have mentioned that Mustafa chose to go to bed rather than try to save the process.

PERSISTENT reports from the north suggested that Mustafa felt betrayed by Nik who he thought had gone back on what had been agreed at the first Switzerland meeting and used his meeting in Athens with the Greek PM to change the agreed procedure.

This could explain the observation of a member of Nik’s negotiating team, reported in Politis, that “This was another Akinci. No relation to the man we were negotiating with for so many months. He was talking with frozen blood.”

The same report claimed there had been a breakdown in the relationship, cultivated in the last 18 months, between the two buddies. This view was strengthened on Thursday after Akinci fell ill while addressing the pseudo-parliament and was ordered by his doctors to stay at home and rest. His circle leaked that Nik had telephoned him to wish him a speedy recovery but Mustafa refused to come to the phone.

He was either still sulking about the alleged betrayal or he felt that talking to Nik would be a health risk because his blood pressure would rise to hazardous levels as had happened earlier in the day. Whatever his reasons, he must stop acting like a big baby because the Cyprob needs the former amigos to be on good terms. Kissing and making up is only way forward.

THE PROPHETS of doom lost no time to assert that the real Akinci had been exposed and that he was just another Denktator. Their sadness caused by this discovery was compensated by the joy of having found a new super-hero – Greece’s chubby foreign minister Nicos Kotzias, the Stalinist turned Russia-worshipping, ultra-nationalist.

Phil put a big picture of him on its front page on Thursday and informed its readers that Kotzias gave a “strict response to the attacks on him” and quoted Nik’s spokesman as saying, “approach of the Greek government absolutely correct.” Inside, its two leading columnists were ecstatic, both praising to high heaven the new hero of Hellenism, on whom they have now pinned their hopes of preventing the unfair and unjust settlement on the cards.

ETHNARCH Junior, meanwhile has developed a man-crush on the foreign minister with the teddy-bear look. He said: “We must all welcome the robust stand on principle shown at this time by Greece, the Greek prime minister and especially the foreign minister Mr Kotzias, who considers Greece has a moral duty to protect the interests of Cypriot Hellenism and we are grateful to both for this stance.”

Greece was our most important ally and we must in no way help Turkish propaganda by assisting its blame-game against Greece, said Junior who, just a few weeks ago was demonstrating outside the Greek embassy building in Nicosia about the participation of the Greek state theatre in the staging of Antigone in Salamis.

The hero-worship has become official party policy with the Dikhead spokesman Athos Antoniades on Saturday declaring that the attack on Kotzias by a small number of hacks and politicians was “unacceptable, reprehensible and catastrophic.”

He also took a swipe at a Disy official who attacked his hero, saying such attacks were not just targeting Kotzias but also the Greek government and Hellenism.

The new superhero Nicos Kotzias with his co-conspirator Lavrov
The new superhero Nicos Kotzias with his co-conspirator Lavrov

KOTZIAS responded to his critics on Wednesday night in the way expected from an unreconstructed Stalinist. “Often, those who accuse the patriotic Left of nationalism are agents of the nationalism of the other side,” he said, adding that “the Cyprus problem must be solved, not so as to serve the geo-political and geo-strategic interests of third parties, but to serve only the Cypriot people, peace and stability in the region.”

And if the Cyprob is not solved because the conditions set by the spokesman of the patriotic Left were not met, this would at least serve the geo-political and geo-strategic interests of Mother Russia, which is doing everything it can to prevent a deal in Kyproulla. By the way, do Akelites who support a solution belong to the unpatriotic Left? Just asking comrade teddy-bear.

LAST MONTH that Committee on Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament issued a report on EU strategic communication to counteract propaganda against it by third parties. One section of the report, dated 14/10/2016, is titled “Recognising and exposing Russian disinformation and propaganda warfare.”

Among other things, the report “stresses that Russia invests relevant financial resources in its disinformation and propaganda instruments engaged either directly by the state or through Kremlin-controlled companies and organisations; underlines that, on the one hand, the Kremlin is funding political parties and other organisations within the EU with the intent of undermining political cohesion, and that, on the other hand, Kremlin propaganda directly targets specific journalists, politicians and individuals in the EU.”

The report “recalls that security and intelligence services conclude that Russia has the capacity and intention to conduct operations aimed at destabilising other countries; and points out that this often takes the form of support to political extremists and large-scale disinformation and mass media campaigns; notes, furthermore, that such media companies are present and active in the EU.”

Could the Kremlin be funding any political parties and media companies in the EU member-state Kyproulla? I doubt it very much because our love of Mother Russia stems exclusively from Moscow’s eternally principled position on the Cyprob. Cypriots are too honest and idealistic to take money from a foreign government.

ONLY the traitors that supported the Annan plan took millions from the US, as Michalis Ignatiou authoritatively reported 13 years ago and we are still waiting for him to publish the book he promised that would contain all the evidence – names of recipients and amounts. Perhaps now, Ig will authoritatively report that Moscow will pour hundreds of millions of roubles into Kyproulla to persuade Cypriots to oppose a settlement.

THE OFFICIAL English-language mouthpiece of the Kremlin, the website Russia Insider, has been engaging in the disinformation techniques cited in the above-mentioned report of the European Parliament. Last week it carried another long report by the former KGB spy in the US, John Helmer, who has been relentlessly dishing dirt on Prez Nik.

Having served as a Soviet spook, Helmer seems well-trained in the dark arts of propaganda and character assassination. He regularly makes allegations against Nik, claiming he was working for a settlement because he was corrupt and was in the pocket of the Yanks. Moscow is using all the disinformation techniques at its disposal to scupper a settlement.

In his last offering Putin’s propagandist wrote the following: “The Americans, the Turks, the European Union, and the British were sure there’s no deal Anastasiades could not be persuaded to accept,” said a senior Cyprus official, now retired, “so long as there’s a large enough percentage in it for himself. Anastasiades’s weakness is his personal corruption. This time, though, the Turks raised their bid too high. The Americans lost their cards in their election on November 8. The British aren’t players in Europe now. And for the first time there was a display of Greek and Russian power which has changed the game entirely. Greece first, then Russia have cut the legs off the negotiating table – Anastasiades’s legs too.”

The guy is actually gloating that Kotzias (pictured with Sergei Lavrov all smiles) and Russia managed to scupper the peace talks and had prevented Nik from reaching a deal.

The 'Nuland Plan' would see the return of Turkish troops
The ‘Nuland Plan’ would see the return of Turkish troops

THE FORMER spook, who claims in every article about Kyproulla that Nik was being blackmailed by the US over a court case in the US involving a Russian client of his law firm also regularly refers to some plan by the State Department’s Victoria Nuland, which is a figment of his Soviet imagination.

The Nuland plan, as he calls it, would arrange the withdrawal of Turkish troops, so Greek Cypriots would agree to a settlement but bring them back “under a Nato flag under a new American-funded Nato base in the north.” He adds: “The Nuland plan was accompanied by further promises of US pay-offs for Anastasiades and his supporters.”

This is Cold War type disinformation to be expected from a former Soviet spook and relic of that era now working for Putin.

BRITAIN’S foreign secretary Boris Johnson, whose great grandfather was a Turk, will be arriving in Kyproulla this week to help the resumption of the peace process but don’t be disappointed if he fails because he is certain to give us a few laughs.

Our establishment had last mentioned Boris as the writer of the award-winning offensive limerick about President Erdogan which went: “There was a young fellow from Ankara, who was a terrific wankerer. Till he sowed his wild oats, With the help of a goat, But he didn’t even stop to thankera.” I hear that Turkish journalists called up a UK paper to ask what a ‘wankerer’ was.

To welcome Boris to Kyproulla a metrios-drinking regular wrote his own limerick. “There was a buffoon from Britannia, Who said any deal’s pukka that leaves us Dhekelia, But when he forgot to include RAF Akrotiria, The natives pissed themselves and got smashed on zivania, And the High Commissioner told him he was a right royal wankerer.”

To mark Boris’ first visit to Kyproulla we are having a limerick competition. Send in your entry by Friday to ‘Wankerer competition’ to the Cyprus Mail office by mail, fax or email. Results will be announced on Sunday and bottle of fine wine will go to the top wankerer.

Boris Johnson's visit may not solve the Cyprus problem but it should be good for a laugh
Boris Johnson’s visit may not solve the Cyprus problem but it should be good for a laugh

Please follow us on Twitter: @Coffeeshop1991. We have set a target of 100 million followers by 2020 as part of our world domination plan.

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