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Cyprus Tales from the Coffeeshop

Coffeeshop: Our principled-Paphite Lillikas will never give up his opportunism

The principled presidential candidate has has a busy week hanging on to his bullet-proof moral values

The allegation of attempted bribery of no-hoper candidate Yiorkos Lillikas, revealed in an interview to Kathimerini last Sunday by Paphos’ leading principled opportunist himself, degenerated into farce and a spectacular own goal by Thursday.

All the public lamenting about the new lows our political life had sunk to by the Malas and Nik camps, as well as Yiorkos’ ridiculous moral posturing, went to waste when it finally emerged that the reported attempt to buy-out the incorruptible Paphite by a rival candidate was not beyond unreasonable doubt.

No names were mentioned in the interview, but the Malas and Nik camps were quick to deny they were involved, and indulge in binge-moralising that was more nauseating than the supposed bribery attempt. Speaking on a radio show on Monday, Lillikas indirectly confirmed that Junior’s camp was behind the offer, which included money – millions according to Lillikas staffers – and ministerial posts, thus sparking the moral hysteria.

Akel said this was an ‘unprecedented act’ that ‘further downgraded the political culture of the country’, but did not specify if it had reached junk status yet. The distraught Disy, spokesman, Prodromos Prodromou said this was a very ‘very serious allegation’ and spoke about ‘the mentality of the personal prevailing, at any price and without moral scruple about the means used’, in reference to Junior.

He ended his tirade on a positive note. He was certain the Cypriot people, at the ballot box, ‘will not be lured by the power of bribery’. If only he had informed Prez Nik about the Cypriot people’s refusal to be lured by the power of bribery six months ago, he would have saved the taxpayer tens, if not hundreds, of millions of euro.

This was the line taken by the Robespierre of Paphos, who seized to the opportunity to praise his incorruptibility.

“Some must understand that not everyone can be bribed. There are ordinary citizens and political persons that maintain their moral belief and that have dignity.”

Lillikas must have bullet-proof moral values, apart from occasionally lying, if he really turned down a seven figure sum in order to stand in an election he has zero chance of even coming third in. What rational person would not take the millions and run, if offered?

Strong morals and ethical values, like those held by Lillikas, often lead to irrational financial decisions. The decision might not be so irrational, given that the Paphite with dignity, may have realised that the only way to revive his stalled political career, is to join a government as minister. There is a much better chance of this happening if he backs the hot favourite Nik rather than Junior, who might not even make the second round.

Diko has been circulating  rumours on social media suggesting that Yiorkos has done a deal to back Prez Nik in the run-off election in exchange for the foreign ministry, a claim the principled Paphite has described as mud-slinging. It might be mud-slinging but it does not mean it is untrue, bearing in mind the Lillikas camp has drastically toned down its criticism of Nik in recent weeks and last month co-authored the solidarity fund bill with Disy.

One thing is clear: the principled Paphite would never give up his opportunism, not for all the money in the world.


After the AG Costas Clerides urged Lillikas to go to the cops with his bribery allegation and take all the documentation he had because it could be a criminal offence, the story changed. The principled Paphite said he did want to pursue the matter and issued his own legal opinion, saying the matter was in the sphere of ‘an ethical transgression’ and not of a criminal offence.

He explained that the buy-out offer was not made by a Nikolas staffer, but by a close personal friend of his, acting as a go-between. He had great respect for this friend, implying that he did not want to get him in trouble with the cops. You would have thought a close personal friend would have known that the principled Paphite could not be bought and would not have bothered conveying the offer to him.


Buckets of tears were shed in the Republic, over the results of the pseudo-parliamentary elections in the pseudo-state. Greek Cypriot pseudo-supporters of a settlement were inconsolable upon hearing that the anti-settlement pseudo-parties had secured most of the pseudo-votes and their position was strengthened.

“Turkey was the winner of the ‘elections’” reported Phil, saying the “results allow her to impose its own plans through the efforts to form a ‘government’.” Nik’s campaign team expressed the hope the results ‘would not create conditions within the Turkish Cypriot community that would lead to a further hardening of its positions and the insistence on intransigent positions’.

Nikolas 2018, reminded us that the ‘so-called elections in the occupied part are illegal’.


Phil’s chief columnist wrote on Tuesday the “biggest victory of the ‘elections’ was that they have an effect on the minds of the Greek Cypriots.” The reason: “they forced the analysts (and foreigners), but also the candidates for the Presidency of the Republic to deal with the elections of an illegal regime, as if the settlement of the Cyprus problem depended on it, and as if this were about an election process in a democratic state…”

The rest of the page in which this column was published was devoted exclusively to the elections of the illegal regime, which also featured on Phil’s front page with a picture of an illegal polling station. The columnist did not inform us why there was so much coverage and why Phil’s three analysts and its editorial writer wrote about the pseudo-elections of an illegal regime in the same day’s edition. Did the pseudo-elections have an effect on super-patriotic minds as well?


If our politicians were capable of displaying a hint of honesty about the Cyprob, they would be dancing in the streets after hearing the pseudo results, but the shedding of the crocodile tears was in line with the theatre they have been staging for years.

The reality is that the result of the real elections, to be held in a few weeks, will also be a victory of the anti-settlement parties, whichever candidate wins. Nik showed in Switzerland that he is as happy with the maintenance of the status quo as Junior, while Stavros Malas has adopted Nik’s conditions for a return to negotiations that the Turks will never accept.

Now Junior has adopted Nik’s Cyprob tactic of supporting peace talks and a settlement in theory, but employing practical safeguards against it ever happening. His communications advisors probably told him to be less, hard-line regarding the talks.

Nikolas 2018 said last week: “The first thing we will do is to seek a meeting with UN Secretary-General to ask for a resumption of negotiations. But I must stress, in our case, we will suggest that the talks cannot continue from the unacceptable and dangerous concessions of the last 10 years.” They will start from the beginning again, a perfectly reasonable demand the UNSG will be more than happy to satisfy.


Eleni Loizidou

Nobody was surprised to hear that the court granted the request for an injunction against Politis, preventing the paper from publishing any of the emails from the Gmail account of the suspended state attorney Eleni Loizidou. This was a case of lawyer solidarity because the decision made no rational sense.

The emails are still available on the website from which Politis obtained them and any other newspaper could publish them. Meanwhile, the paper did not publish any emails of a private nature, but only those relating to Loizidou’s official business. Judge P. Ioannides acknowledged in his decision that “the behaviour of the applicant, during the performance of her professional duties, as that of any other public officer, employee or state official is something that interests the public, which is entitled to be informed by the media.”

But the public had already been informed about this by the paper, he concluded, and ‘the media must respect the established rights of every person’. There ‘were greater dangers of injustice’ if the publication of the emails continued, said the judge.

It is not the right to privacy that was safeguarded by the court’s decision, but the right of a Cypriot state official to act like an obedient servant of the Russian Federation, without anyone knowing about it.


Going through the emails of Loizidou that had been published, it was evident that when an extradition request by the Russian prosecutor-general was rejected by the district court, an appeal was filed to the supreme court by our state legal services.

In other words, our state legal service was challenging the decision of our own judiciary on behalf of another state and the taxpayer was picking up the bill. Loizidou, whose primary concern was to serve the Russian prosecutor-general, would handle the appeal.

In the UK, when an extradition request for a Russian national is rejected by the court, the Russian government hires a lawyer privately to lodge an appeal. It does not expect the British state to fight its appeal and the British taxpayer to pay for it. This may be because it does not have the motherly instinct for the UK it feels for little Kyproulla.


Auditor-General Odysseas was a bit upset last week, after being reported by the lottery company Opap to the police, the Data Protection Commissioner and the Central Bank for allegedly violating laws regarding data protection and banking secrecy among other things.

Odysseas was reported for illegally obtaining information about a monthly bank transfer of €25,000 from Opap to an account in the United Arab Emirates. What is interesting here was that a few weeks ago he publicly attacked a newspaper and reported it to the police, for violating Loizidou’s and the AG’s right to privacy by publishing emails they had exchanged with him.

Odysseas started investigating Opap after obtaining information “from an informant,” whom he said, “I would describe as a conscientious citizen, who came across suspicious transactions.” He also congratulated the “conscientious citizen” for breaking the law, in the interview on Sigma TV, because this was in the public interest, according to the almighty Odysseas.


This was the same man, who a last month lambasted the Committee of Journalistic Ethics for daring to suggest that Loizidou’s emails could be published if the publication was in the public interest. He also took great exception to the suggestion journalists could report private communications, “because they (journalists!!!! sic) will decide that the public interest is exclusively served.” Odysseas did not recognize this right for hacks and our establishment suggested, “from now on hacks will have to ask for approval from Odysseas, the only man with the moral authority to decide what is in the public interest to report.”

The theft of personal banking data was most definitely in the public interest, because our supreme ruler and moral guide Odysseas said so. At this rate, it will be just a few years before he declares himself a deity.

And do not forget to follow Patroclos @Coffeeshop1991on Twitter.

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