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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Rusfetology and the fear of mutual humiliation

Junior says he grew up next to people who truly believed and believe in social giving and in love for their fellow human beings

AN OPPORTUNITY to indulge in rampant moralising never passes unexploited by our politicians, who always have one foot in the stirrup, ready to get on their high horse. The slightest excuse is enough as Junior and his brave Dikheads showed last Sunday when Prez Nik made a throwaway remark about the former’s loony spending proposals.

Nik said in an interview published by Kathimerini, “I will not start promising a haircut on loans, like I hear some people saying, as if this comes from their mother’s money or the inheritance they received from someone.” It was obvious he was referring to the trust fund prince with the fabulously wealthy mum, but it was nothing more than gentle put-down.

The Dikheads were apoplectic by this show of disrespect to the royal family and immediately went on the moral offensive, announcing that Nik “surpassed himself in vulgarity and immorality,” and accusing him of “speaking insultingly, ironically and contemptuously.” His remark was “insulting and contemptuous towards Fotini Papadopoulou (the mother) and the national benefactor Anastasios Leventis (the grandfather),” the dismal Dikheads declared.

I am still trying to understand in what way this was insulting to Fotini and the national benefactor, neither of whom Nik named. Perhaps I need the pea-brain and moral sensitivity of a Dikhead to get it, but, regrettably, the waiting time for a brain transplant at Nicosia General is 10 years.


MRS FOTINI is a good woman, who has done a lot of charity work and gives generously to good causes, but she also works tenaciously and spends lavishly to help the menfolk of her family get elected to public posts. Her hubby was prez, her first-born is Nicosia mayor and now she is working on getting Junior into the presidential palace.

This is no reason to feel grateful to her and treat her like Kyproulla’s Mother Teresa. And if she succeeds in making Junior prez – it is looking very unlikely – would this qualify as another good deed performed by Mother Fotini?

The Dikhead-generated moral indignation spread on social media, with all the prim and proper Cypriots expressing moral disgust at Nik’s alleged rudeness towards the saintly Mother Fotini. Even Akel’s loser candidate, Stavros Malas, took a stand, declaring that Nik’s attack was “immoral.”

Worse, within 24 hours of his put-down Prez Nik was offering clarifications, to ensure he did not lose any votes as a result of the outcry by the humourless prudes on social media. He not only respected, but also particularly appreciated Mrs Fotini Papadopoulou and more so the national benefactor Leventis, “for his contribution without precedent to our country,” he said.

Alas, the public expression of forgiveness he had hoped for from the Papadop clan never came.


ON THE CONTRARY, Junior used the alleged insult to inform us about the wonderful upbringing his family had given him. During his rally at the Tassos Papadopoulos arena on Tuesday night he had this to say:

“I had the good fortune to grow up in a family that taught me a lot. That giving to your country is not a right but a duty. That the moral values of honesty and integrity are a way of life. I grew up next to people who truly believed and believe in social giving and in love for our fellow human beings.”

If Nicolas still loves Prez Nik, after the vulgar and immoral insults against his family, he should be seeking not the presidency but sainthood.

Meanwhile, Yiorkos Lillikas was outraged that such a fuss was made about Nik’s comment. His wife had been on the receiving end of some vicious insults on social media, which he alleged were written by Dikheads, and nobody took a stand against this morally repugnant behaviour. He has a point, but he should understand that he is just a Paphos village boy and cannot expect to receive the same treatment as Nicosia royalty.


ALTHOUGH the campaign has been running very smoothly, apart from the occasional verbal slip by a tired and emotional Nik, there has been one big scare recently, which was eventually neutralised.

Someone whispered to the prez’s camp that Akel had prepared a very long list with the rusfetis carried out during Nik’s term. There was panic among the campaign staff as the list included names, the type of rusfeti carried out and the date and would have been a major embarrassment for a prez boasting about clean government and fighting corruption.

The publication of the list was averted after word was sent to the comrades that Nik’s camp had a similar list, from the time the village idiot was prez and would also release it. The fear of mutual humiliation ensured that the rival camps returned their respective rusfeti lists to the ‘not for publication’ file.

This is probably the reason that pledges to fight rusfeti, which dominated past elections, have not featured in the current campaign, leading many voters to think Nik had completely eradicated it.


THIS episode highlights the pathetic incompetence of the comrades, who thought they had got rid of the rusfeti evidence when comrade Tof left the presidential palace. They deleted all the information from the server, but when the wily Nik arrived, technicians recovered all the data and kept it for when it would be needed.

The comrades were so stupid they recorded all their acts of corruption on a government server, instead of putting it on a Party laptop or stand-alone PC, which they could take with them when the Tof left office. It was not as if the rusfeti decisions were official business that had to be archived on a government server.

The intellectually challenged comrades even bought special ‘customer relations’ software to manage the rusfeti. A palace insider, who saw the recovered data, said it included the name of the applicant, the date of the rusfeti request – e.g. request for Turkish Cypriot property, job as cleaner, parking fine etc – action ordered, comments and date it was finally executed. There were more than 5,000 entries, although he was unable to tell us the conversion rate.

He may have bankrupted the state and blown up a power station, but when it came to managing corruption Tof was well-organised, efficient, decisive and highly competent.


COMRADELY incompetence was on show also in the way Nik’s rusfeti list was handled. Why had one of the comrades not given the list to Junior’s camp, which would have been more than happy to make it public? Junior who was taught by his family to love his fellow human beings, would have had no qualms about publishing it, as this would have proved his love for the voters, who deserved to know about the presidential rusfetology.


IN ONE respect, the roundheads of Akel have proved much smarter than the Dikhead cavaliers. They arranged for half a dozen top performers from Greece to perform at Malas’ big Nicosia rally on Monday night to ensure a good turn out – the Akel sheep no longer obey the comrade shepherd – and it worked.

The comrades were willing to subject themselves to the torture of listening to that stiff and pompous Malas for free admission to a pop concert by popular artists.

The smart-ass, self-regarding, self-righteous, nerdy head of the Nicolas 2018 campaign, Chrysis Pantelides sent a tweet in verse mocking the comrades. He said: (apologies that the meter was lost in translation): “Tonight we will fill the Eleftheria (arena), without recruiting any concert; everyone who loves the country and puts it above everything else, will tonight come en masse to listen only to Nicolas.”

The arena was half-empty. If Pantelides offered tickets for future rusfeti, all the Dikheads that love the country and put it above everything else would have gone en masse even if they had to listen Nicolas.


THE BATTLE for the post of foreign minister is hotting up with the prissy, goody-two-shoes, government spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides, using his close links with the papers to claim his stake. A slimy civil servant, who knows how to butter up everyone, by telling them what they want to hear and avoiding confrontation at all costs, Nicos even pretended he was pro-settlement when his boss was negotiating constructively.

A year ago, when it became apparent that the prez had given up on a deal, the church-going Paphite came out of the closet and showed his hawkish nature. He even persuaded his boss that it was a good idea to stop tourists entering the country if they were booked to stay in the north. If he ever became foreign minister there will be more of these confidence-building measures aimed at boosting mistrust and bad feeling between the two sides.

A couple of weeks ago, it was reported that Harris Georgiades was also interested in the foreign ministry, presumably not wanting to be burdened with the economic mess Nik’s election big-spending will cause. The bash patriotic hawks of Phil, last Sunday, came to Nicos’ defence, declaring Harris unsuitable for the job.


NICOS’ fan club at Phil, after reporting the frightening rumours about Harris, claiming he would only get the job because of party expediencies, had this to say: “Anyway, it is commonly accepted that there is a favourite and a natural successor to Kasoulides, who Anastasiades knows very well. As long as, of course, what is of interest and of importance is the substance and would be the most suitable and effective… and not the serving of intra-party plans or personal transactions.” If Phil has decreed that that the saintly Christodoulides is the heir to the foreign ministry throne, then he must be the best man for the job, even if he dictated this plug piece himself.


ONCE the flagship of the Kyproulla press, Phil, like all the papers, has fallen on hard times and is currently in talks with the Zeus Group, which has also fallen on hard times, about a possible merger. My friend Thoukis, reported in Politis last Sunday that an auditing firm has already started work in preparing the accounts of the once-mighty media groups, before merger negotiations could commence.

Neither party is particularly keen on the merger and big clashes could be expected over who will be the supreme ruler of the new organisation. Neither Phil’s Nikos Pattichis nor Zeus’ Costis Hadjicostis is accustomed to being number two to anyone. Hadjicostis, might settle for the chairmanship, considering he is in his seventies. What is fascinating is that the two groups will be forced into a marriage of convenience against their will, because this is what outsiders want. This is how the two groups always presented attempts to solve the Cyprob.

The only difference is that the bank, which has imposed the merger agenda, unlike the UN, will not accept the failure of unification talks, because it stands to lose too much moolah.

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