Cyprus Mail
Tales from the Coffeeshop

Coffeeshop: Buttering up the parasites is a slippery slope

Hearing Prez Nik praising the blood-sucking public parasites for the sacrifices they made during the financial crisis makes a person want to throw up

HE MIGHT be a hot-headed populist, he might not be feared like emperor Odysseas, but his public shit-stirring is highly entertaining, even if it is not always entirely reliable.

I refer to Phed Express of Paphos, who last week embarrassed the insufferably, self-righteous leader of Edek and Botox expert Dr Sizopoulos, by mentioning how the latter’s father-in-law was making thousands of euro each month, sub-letting a Turkish Cypriot property in the Kato Paphos harbour that he was ineligible to have.

Mayor Phed alleged that the holier than thou Dr Sizo, had intervened so that his father-in-law would be favoured, a claim flatly rejected by the Cyprob freedom warrior that said there was no need for his intervention as everything was done according to the letter of the law.

For once, we have to agree with the socialist dermatologist, as his father-in-law, artist Andreas Charalambides, being a born and bred Paphite does not need the help of a second-rate leader of a midget party to get favourable treatment in his home town. Paphites help and offer cover to their own, at all times, and they group together when they need outside support – like from central government – in the pursuit of one’s personal interests.

This is what makes Phed so special. He does not go for the Paphite solidarity gig, which always supersedes national law in the 2017 European capital of culture and provincialism.

 

AFTER vehemently denying he had used his debatable influence to help his father in law, secure a money-printing contract, Dr Sizo resorted to the tactic, beloved by mobsters and our politicians, of threatening to dish dirt on the mayor if he did not stop his accusations.

Speaking on Rik TV, Kyproulla’s Botox pioneer threatened that soon he and Phed would talk about other issues such as mock-loans taken by a company at which the mayor was employed. We are eagerly awaiting for Dr Sizo to commence this debate.

The threat did not deter the mayor and a day later he told Tass news agency that a property in Paphos harbour was in the possession of an ineligible person. Charalambides was not a refugee, not an institutional tenant and was not running any business there but was sub-letting the property to someone else for a cool €4,800 monthly profit. He was renting the property from the state service administering Turkish Cypriot properties for €1,200 per month and renting it out for €6,000.

Meanwhile, the interior ministry, also entered the fray to say that it had tried to evict Charalambides’ via the courts in a case dating back to 1992. It was settled with Charalambides carrying on leasing the sought-after property. When the lease was renewed, the ministry said, there was no provision in the contract preventing the tenant from sub-letting the property.

Our state always protects the right of Paphites that became wealthy, thanks to the invasion to become even wealthier, by commercially exploiting Turkish Cypriot properties.

 

WHAT makes this case even more scandalous is that the Paphite artist-businessman has a second Turkish Cypriot property in Paphos harbour which his family is using as a restaurant or something. He had rented this in 1967, long before the invasion, and turned it into music venue for the Leftie, arty types of Paphos – all three of them.

Given that he already had one TC property in the harbour, by what logic was he allowed to have a second one for the sole purpose of sub-letting it and collecting five grand a month? Is this part of the policy of successive governments to help refugees? Having one TC property in the harbour while being ineligible indicates connections with at least one party, but two suggests links to the entire establishment.

This seems doubly true, considering that soon after the invasion, Charalambides was renting one of the TC properties to a young refugee from Famagusta. The latter, quite rightly, felt he should be given the property and not have to rent it from a non-refugee and filed a legal action. He lost the case, the Paphos court ruling the property should stay with the ineligible individual.

Charalambides always had links to Akel, but he subsequently became a big fan of Ethnarch Tassos. We do not know if this was because Mrs Ethnarch had paid 70 grand for one of the artist’s paintings or because he felt his money-making, TC properties in the harbour were safe with Tassos’ patriotic Cyprob policy.

 

TURKISH Cypriot residents of the occupied village of Larnakas tis Lapithou were up in arms on hearing that a Greek Cypriot refugee, Nikolas Skourides, would start building a house on a plot of land on which his family home had stood before its demolition.

Skourides, 78, filed an application to the Immovable Property Commission in the north which decided in September 2017 to return his land to him. Skourides was issued a pseudo-title deed and then hired a pseudo architect to prepare building plans and secure a pseudo-building permit. Once the pseudo-contractor went to the plot to start preparatory work, his future neighbours started shouting and protesting.

Speaking on a radio show on Friday morning Skourides said he was not deterred by the uproar he had caused in the village and was determined to have the house built. I do not know if it is bravery or stupidity to go and live in a village in the north surrounded by angry Turks that do not want you there.

In 2004, he voted ‘no’ to the Annan plan that envisaged the return of his village to the Greek Cypriots, he told the radio show, because he supported Tassos. That was bravery not stupidity.

 

YOU HAD to feel some sympathy for the poor old Law Commissioner Leda Koursoumba, subjected to another savaging at the legislature by the merciless Odysseas on Thursday. The woman had dared to answer him back and question his wisdom, a week earlier, and now she had to be publicly humiliated.

The message to all his would-be critics rang loud and clear – if you cross him, you will regret it. At the House on Thursday he produced a fax sent from her office, on her office’s headed paper, to the financial ombudsman. The fax related to a request by her husband to a bank for a reduction of a loan. The bank had rejected the request and her husband sought the advice of the ombudsman.

Odysseas felt she was using her position to secure preferential treatment for her husband, which is entirely possible, but hardly a unique offence in Kyproulla or a major scandal. The sending of the fax and the headed paper may have cost the taxpayer 50 cents. Koursoumba was also driven to the airport in her state limo, when going on a private trip, Odysseas revealed at the House. Maybe that cost us 30 euro.

The question is how many hours were spent by the auditor-general’s office, and at what cost, to unearth this trivial information, the purpose of which was not to protect the taxpayer, but to publicly humiliate the commissioner that dared to stand up to emperor Odysseas.

 

IF EVERYONE is nobody stands up to the unforgiving Odysseas, for fear of being crushed by him, we can look forward to plenty more absurd and costly decisions like the one he imposed with regard to the Paphos desalination plant. The plant was in place but never used.

The contract had been signed by the Tof government and expired at the end of last year. Facing a year of water shortages, the government decided to renew the contract, but Odysseas stepped in and stopped it, because this would be a violation of the rules – once the contract expired the government was obliged to invite tenders.

Of course, he had his way – the existing desalination plant is being dismantled and the government will ask for offers for a new one. According to agriculture minister Costas Kadis, the new plant will be assembled and operating in 2020. This is the type of absurdity promoted by Odysseas, but I will not say anything else in case he reveals how when I was serving in the National Guard I used an army truck to go and visit my girlfriend and failed to enter the trip in the log book.

 

SOMETIMES it is difficult to distinguish between absurdity and stupidity, but the demand of the President of the Pancyprian Confederation of Primary School Parents for the appointment of a nurse at every public primary school would definitely fall in the latter category.

In an attempt to show that he is capable of a modicum of common sense, the president of the confederation, suggested that two schools close to each other could be served by one nurse. The confederation came up with this resoundingly stupid idea after the death of a 10-year-old boy who fell over in a school playground and hit his head.

Parents decided that schools were unsafe – one fatal accident in 40 years that could have been avoided if the doctors that examined the boy did their job properly was overwhelming proof – and nurses had to be appointed. If the demand was satisfied, there would be no nurses left in hospitals and clinics, as all of them would be ready to kill for a job as a school nurse who would have nothing to do all day, finish work at 1pm and have six months off a year.

Not surprisingly, the nursing union fully supported the parents.

 

I HAVE to admit I feel like throwing up every time I hear Prez Nik praising the blood-sucking public parasites for the sacrifices they made during the financial crisis. He was at it again on Wednesday when he addressed the Pasydy annual congress. If we are to be factually correct, there was no sacrifice, because ‘sacrifice’ implies a voluntary action.

None of the parasites volunteered to have their pay and pensions reduced. The cuts were imposed, by law because the state was bankrupt and Pasydy protested, claiming the law was unconstitutional. It appealed against the decision, which cut the public payroll by €250 million a year from 2012, to the Supreme Court which has yet to issue its ruling. If the Court decided the cuts were unconstitutional the state will be served with bill for €1.5 billion in back-pay owed to public parasites. Maybe then Nik will finally stop praising these loathsome leeches for their alleged sacrifices.

 

BUTTERING up the parasites is one tell-tale sign that Prez Nik will be seeking a third term, but on Thursday there was an even more obvious one. He agreed with Sek and Peo unions to repeal the law of 2011 that imposed cuts to pay and pensions and forced the parasite class to make the sacrifices the prez likes to speak about. The cuts will be reduced gradually until they are completely eliminated in January 2023, a month before the next presidential elections. The decision will add another €370 million to the public payroll, annually, but it is a price worth paying to secure Nik a third term in office. It would be good for him to be around when the troika returns.

 

IN AN interview in last Sunday’s Alithia, the Dalai Lama boasted that the Nik government, at last, discovered the substance of the Cyprob. “We must exploit all the significant (he loves that word) things achieved for the first time, among many other things, the fact that the substance of the Cyprus problem was highlighted and for the first time, security and guarantees were discussed.”

Despite all the significant things achieved for the first time, the result was exactly the same as in the previous 40 years when we failed to highlight the substance of the Cyprob – deadlock. Perhaps with the substance highlighted, we have achieved a better quality of deadlock or, as the Dalai would say, a significant deadlock.

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