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Opinion Tales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Partition is the solution that dare not speak its name

Scheming? Prez Nik

AS OUR establishment revealed last week, the scheming Prez Nik refused to sign the Disy law that allowed the resumption of the talks and on Monday announced he would refer it to the Supreme Court because one of its provisions violated the separation of powers stipulated by the constitution.

The government also disseminated the myth that he had acted in this way after receiving a note from attorney-general Costas Clerides informing him about unconstitutional provisions in the law, the implication being that the AG had studied the law voluntarily. The truth is that the AG does not study the laws passed by the House, but does so only if the president asks.

Nik had set everything in motion by asking the AG for an opinion on the constitutionality of the law. The funny thing was that Nik actively participated in the drafting of the law by Disy and had given his personal OK to its final version, without first running it by the AG to make sure its provisions were constitutional.

From what we learned, he was the person that insisted on the inclusion of the provision stipulating prior consultations with the legislature regarding the issuing of school circulars by the education ministry. This was the provision Clerides found unconstitutional as it violated the separation of powers.

HAD THE scheming Nik included this provision so he could refer the law to the Supreme Court? I would not put it past him, even though when the bill was approved he still wanted the talks to resume, believing he would make them drag on aimlessly until the elections. This would have allowed him to pose as a pro-settlement candidate.

When he realised at the April 2 dinner with his former buddy Mustafa that the Turks refused to play his game and wanted a June deadline for the completion of the talks – the UN also agreed – he reverted to plan B, the collapse of the talks through no fault of his.

By referring the Disy law to the Supreme Court he hoped he would have angered Mustafa, who would have quit the talks, as he had done after the Elam amendment in February. The amendment was not revoked and the condition set by Mustafa for the resumption of the talks was not satisfied.

To his bitter disappointment, Akinci did not take the bait. Talks not only continued but the Turks satisfied his demands in the chapter of governance, making it even more difficult for him to quit the process in self-righteous indignation because of Turkish intransigence.

He will now be praying that Turkey’s survey ship Barbaros Hayreddin Pasa would soon venture into our EEZ so he can have a patriotic excuse to quit the talks.

TEN DAYS ago a delegation of the Famagusta chamber of commerce visited Prez Nik to discuss a matter relating to rebuilding the town after a settlement. What they heard from Nik about deadlocked talks, Turkish intransigence and negotiated partition becoming an option shocked them.

Our establishment had tweeted this info, but members of the delegation subsequently contacted by the Cyprus Mail insisted that he had never said such a thing. To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, partition is the solution that dare not speak its name.

We have learned, however, that this was not the first group of people to whom Nik had mentioned the ‘P’ word. He had raised it as an option at a meeting of his associates at the palace previously, something I am sure they will all deny.

The reality is that if Nik’s communications advisors told him that ‘P’ would boost his chances of re-election he would not only embrace it, he would also offer Paphos to the Turks as an added incentive.

Hard to find: the art installation in Paphos' caves
Hard to find: the art installation in Paphos’ caves

SPEAKING of the European Capital of Culture, a female skettos drinker and art lover – our establishment is not an exclusively male joint – who visited it a couple of days ago, was very annoyed by the failure of the organisers to promote the events taking place.

There was a website listing events, but there was zero information about what was on in the hotels which were packed with tourists. “Why is nobody promoting this to foreign visitors?” she kept asking, pointing out some exhibitions would have been flooded with tourists if only they knew about them.

She mentioned the exhibition of Christian art ‘Painting the Invisible’ and the art installation in a cave by a Japanese artist as deserving much greater publicity. It might be too much to expect given that many of the roads in the centre of town are still dug up though the work was supposed to have finished by January.

Even without any promotion, tourists will certainly have noticed that Paphos is also the European capital of road-works.

THERE has been no let-up in our government’s war on Espen Barth Eide. Last Sunday Phil published the letter sent to the UN Secretary-General by Greece’s foreign minister Nicos Kotzias’ in which the rotund, red-cheeked communist with very close ties to Moscow accused Eide of being “a lobbyist for Turkey.”

The following day our saintly government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides said Nicosia had been consulted about the content of the letter by Athens, implying that the Prez endorsed it. He had obviously not objected to the letter being sent as undermining Eide could help him achieve his objective of wrecking the peace process.

Christodoulides certainly did not say the government disagreed with Kotzias. How could he? He had been leaking info to Phil since March, which claimed that Eide would be going to Brussels to promote Turkey’s demands about the four freedoms.

How could he have lobbied for this given that the Commission president had informed Nik the EU did not object to an arrangement on the four freedoms before the Norwegian had visited Brussels?

THE GOVERNMENT’S myth-making is taking place on many levels. After the national council meeting, the Kathimerini website reported that Eide’s days “were numbered.” It also reported that Nik told the meeting he had left Kotzias to send the letter about Eide to the UNSG because that was “how it should have been done,” and that this strengthened his own efforts. Nik had no intention of taking a public stand on Eide, but “had a plan” on how to handle the issue, the website reported.

Nik’s “plan” suffered its first setback on Tuesday when the UNSG’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric was asked about the letter and said his boss had “full confidence” in Eide, who was “doing a very good job.” The issue of the letter was raised again on Thursday and Dujarric repeated that the UNSG had full confidence in Eide. Nik’s “plan” is not working.

Asking the questions at UN headquarters in New York was none other than Michalis Ignatiou, the self-promoting political preacher, presumably trying to help our government as a show of gratitude to Nik for giving job to his niece at the presidential palace. Ig asked Dujarric the conspiratorial question of “who is paying Mr Eide, the UN or somebody else?” in the hope of getting an answer he could use to help efforts to undermine the Norwegian.

The answer was disappointing. It was not the CIA, NATO, the Grey Wolves, the Ku Klux Klan or the Illuminati, but the UN that paid Eide’s wages.

Ethnarch Jr with his supporters on Monday
Ethnarch Jr with his supporters on Monday

JUNIOR will be the presidential candidate of the inbetweeners. The leaders of the five parties met on Monday with those of Solidarity and Edek pledging their support to Tassos II. A depressed Yiorkos Lillikas disagreed with the decision, while Perdikis said he had to put the proposal to his party for approval.

On Friday he was on Trito complaining about the “impasses” that Nik had led the Cyprob into. If we elect him would he work at overcoming the impasses or look to cement them? In the last nine years “very negative concessions” were made in the Cyprob he said.

The failure of Nik, said Junior, was that “he had given everything to Turkey and still not solved the Cyprus problem.” How was this possible asked the presenter adding that perhaps they had not given everything. Junior was adamant.
“No, they have given everything and Turkey wants more,” he said, not being brainy enough to realise this was an absurdity. He even tried to explain his absurdity. “They (Nik et al) had given the message that they would give in on everything, the Turks have taken everything and want more.” You cannot argue with the boy’s square logic.

ALITHIA columnist Alecos Constantinides has inaugurated an excellent feature titled ‘Intelligence,’ which features some of the brainy utterances by our political elite.

On Friday he reported what Prez Nik’s advisor on geo-strategic affairs and Disy deputy Dr Eleni Stavrou said for voting against a Disy bill. She said: “Like all Greeks, I have inside me founding principles of 50,000 years. They do not move, they do not adapt, they are not blackmailed and do not give in. And they are the columns of the Parthenon and the Cross of the Lord.”

She may be a Dr of something but it is not of history, or she may have know that Greeks were not around 50,000 years ago. In fact they were not around 10,000 years ago either but according to most historians they made an appearance around 1200BC. I hope Dr Stavrou will not be disappointed to learn that the founding principles inside her are only 3,000 years old.

ON THURSDAY Constantinides featured an article by Chrysis Pantelides, right hand man of Ethnarch Tassos and now paid by the Papadop family to keep the memory of the great man alive. Pantelides in an article in Phil a few weeks ago responded to Prez Nik’s argument that 40 years of occupation was too long and that people had grown tired.

Pantelides wrote: “And if our 40 years are too many, how many are the 400 years of slavery of Greeks and under a hard, ruthless and murderous? And if 40 years are too many, how many are the years from 70BC to 1948AD that Israelis needed to set up their state; almost two millennia the Jews waited to return to Jerusalem…”

This character, who thinks we should be prepared to wait anything between 400 and 2,000 years to solve the Cyprob, because 40 years are nothing is Junior’s advisor. He may even be the brains behind the sound-bite “we gave the Turks everything and they want more.”

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