TRICKY NICKY caught everyone off guard with the agreement he reached with his old buddy Mustafa on Thursday. He agreed to the things, the mere mention of which sparks hysterical delirium in the bash-patriotic, prophets of doom – road-map, time-frame, multi-party conference.
And he did this at the worst possible time, just when the inbetweeners had started to believe the deadlock could not be broken; and they had the Greek government on their side as well, setting conditions that the Turks would never agree to. They thought they had the situation locked and life was looking good, until midnight Thursday when Nik finally decided to asphyxiate them.
Nobody was expecting this, even though it was Nik who had asked for the dinner and from what I hear did not demand that the criteria for the food had to be decided before the menu was prepared. He had not informed his closest aides about his plan, not even his government spokesman who was as surprised as Junior to hear the news.
He certainly did not inform the Greek government, which unofficially told the media that it had no idea of Tricky Nicky’s plans. Stalinist-nationalist foreign minister Nikos Kotzias, was reportedly spitting mad when he heard about it but there was absolutely nothing he could do.
As the dejected Phil reported yesterday, “it is obvious Athens was upset about the fact that it had been briefed about the (international) conference, once the agreement had been reached.” Nik fudged the issue in Friday night’s address, saying “in these critical hours I am in continuous and close co-operation with the Greek government, which steadfastly remains by the side of Cyprus.”
The truth is he fooled Athens just as he had fooled the inbetweeners and the rest of us, but cometh the hour cometh the man.
NOBODY could have been more disappointed with developments than Ethnarch Junior who was in Athens when the bad news broke. He had gone to Athens to express his thanks personally to Kotzias for his hard line on guarantees and his contribution to the deadlock.
He wanted to strengthen his relationship with the man after his commendable efforts to scupper the peace process, which would allow Junior to keep hold of his favourite plaything – the Cyprob. Without it, Junior would be nothing, unable to carry on pretending he is a politician and his mother’s dreams of making him president would be shattered. This is why he hates Nik so much.
The night after the collapse of the Mont Pelerin talks Junior was seen at Nicosia’s most fashionable restaurant Skinny Fox celebrating with a group of male friends. One newspaper reported that a party leader (it did not name him) was opening bottles of champagne, but our informant said she could not see what they were drinking. What she saw was his mates smoking big celebratory cigars and Junior in euphoric mood, smiling and laughing non-stop.
Thanks to Nik he will now go back to being the miserable, spoiled brat he always was. He showed his true colours at the restaurant. His limo was parked right outside with his chauffeur standing outside the car waiting for his master to finish celebrating the collapse of the talks.
THERE has been a lot of talk about modernising the courts what with Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou speaking about computerisation and brand new buildings. But before these grand plans are implemented maybe they could just buy a few plastic water-proof boxes for the court clerks to take case files from one building to the other when it is raining.
During the Thursday morning downpour, I saw a very inventive method of transferring case files in the Nicosia courts. The files were placed in a supermarket trolley (had someone nicked it?) and an umbrella was fixed into the middle to stop the files getting wet. I was so impressed I tried to take a picture, but was stopped by a heavily built court clerk on a power-trip, who gave me some nonsense about photographs not being permitted in the court grounds.
I said I thought it was only suspects that could not be photographed and the supermarket trolley with the umbrella was no suspect. He gave me a bit of a nasty look and as he was bigger, stronger and younger than me I put my phone back in my pocket and so lost the opportunity to secure photographic proof that the courts’ modernisation drive had already begun.
SPEAKING of the courts, I was very impressed to read a letter by the president of the Supreme Court, Myron Nikolatos in last Sunday’s issue of the Mail, in which he criticised an editorial censuring the Greek government’s uncompromising stance on Turkish guarantees.
It was good to see our top judge taking an interest in the Cyprob and expressing his opinion last Sunday, because until then I mistakenly thought the only thing that interested our judges was their pay. Just before last Sunday the Supreme Court announced that judges would end the ‘voluntary contribution’ of 20 per cent of their salary imposed on themselves because of the recession.
The Supreme Court had ruled that the government had acted unconstitutionally in cutting judges’ wages as part of its policy to reduce the public sector wage bill, after a group of judges had appealed against the decision.
Meanwhile a few months ago, Nikolatos invited himself to a House finance committee meeting to tell deputies that judges should be exempted from the public service reform bill which envisaged placing a ceiling on annual pay increases throughout the public service, because this would be, believe it or not, unconstitutional.
Nobody could argue with this when it is the Supreme Court judges who interpret the constitution.
A NOT so regular customer dropped into our establishment the other day and recounted his son’s experience when he tried to get out of doing national service. The young man did not want to serve so he came up with the usual excuse that he had psychological problems. He was asked some routine questions by the panel and then sent for a second interview.
At the second interview he was asked: “Do you know that if you do not do your military service you will not be able to get a job in the public service?” The young man replied that he did not care and that he did not want a job in the public service. His response brought the interview to premature end. No more questions were asked and he was told he could leave.
It appears that when a young man says he does not want to work in the public service the National Guard panel requires no further proof of his psychological problems. Its members – all public parasites – probably think the young man really is mad, but they resist the urge to send him to Athalassa mental hospital.
MUNICIPAL elections, scheduled to be held in two weeks, have been completely overshadowed by the Cyprob, but the CyBC still features interviews with candidates on its morning radio show. One day this week the show featured interviews with the two mayoral candidates for the occupied village of Lysi which is in the Mesaoria plain, also known as a desert.
One of the candidates was journalist Andreas Kaouris and his opponent whom I will call X because I cannot remember his name. X had never lived in Lysi, as he was born in 1978, but informed us that he had visited the village twice with his dad in the last 10 years. This is how surreal the elections for the occupied municipalities are. Lysi can have as its mayor a man who has never lived there and just visited it twice in his life. But then again, it is not as if he will really be the mayor of the village, even if he is elected.
CYPRUS, it was reported, has a record number of monks as a percentage of its population – our number is one per 1000 whereas Greece has one per 2000. The information was given by the Pancyprian Association of Relatives and Friends of Monks, a group set up by parents who believe their sons did not become monks voluntarily but were proselytised.
The Association says that since 1992 the number of monks has doubled going from 141 to 301 and so have monasteries (from 16 to 29). This is a pretty worrying trend. Young men who want to become monks definitely have something wrong with their head, as they do not want a job in the public service.
BRITISH Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s visit last week was a big disappointment. He did not crack a single joke in public, did not unintentionally offend anyone or say anything worth reporting. It seems that even a charming, fun-guy like Boris can be boring when dealing with something as serious as the Cyprob. So we had to contend with Boris boring for Britain, which was certainly newsworthy.
On Wednesday morning the Cyprus cops mounted a major security operation in Ayios Andreas so that Boris could go for his morning jog. He was spotted in trainers and a hoodie jogging in the rain at about 7.30am, close to the High Commissioner’s residence, by a glykis-drinking regular who was on his way to work.
There were two guys, presumably bodyguards, running with him, and there was a convoy of at least five police cars, three with their blue flashing lights on, following him. There was also a cop standing guard at every crossing in the area surrounding the residence.
The security operation was very successful, but if the foreign secretary visits Kyproulla again, the government should consider buying a state of the art treadmill for the High Commissioner’s residence so Boris could train indoors and save the Cypriot taxpayer a few bob.
WE WERE inundated with entries for our Boris Johnson limerick competition. We had wanted to ask the foreign secretary himself to decide the winning entry and although he was in Cyprus this week we could not get hold of him because he had much more important things to. Our panel of judges was unable to choose between two entries, both submitted by a Nicosia-based gentleman using the nom de plume Patrickios, who has earned the title Coffeeshop Poet Laureate and a bottle of wine. These are the winning entries:
An Etonian w****r called Bo-Jo,
Often bicycled down into Soho,
As Mayor he was crap,
But a jolly good chap,
Whilst to foreigners he is a No-No
An Etonian Cabinet Minister,
Once had objectives rather more sinister,
He caused Britain to leave,
Without a reprieve,
So he could become the Prime Minister.
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