INDEPENDENCE Day on Monday was celebrated with the traditional military parade and featuring two Greek fighter jets for the second year running. This sparked a friendly row between Akel and the government, the commies apparently upset by the ‘messages’ sent by the overflights of the F16s.
The pained comrade, Stefanos Stefanos, wondered “what messages did we want to transmit with the overflights of the Greek jets to the Turkish Cypriot community but also to the international community at this very critical point we are at in relation to the prospects of the talks and a solution of the Cyprus problem?”
Has comrade Stef not realised his views have been heard so many thousands of times in the last 40 years that nowadays they can only be regarded as parody, or to put it more rudely as a piss-take of the Cyprob discourse? Since 1974, the Cyprob has been through hundreds of thousands of very critical points/junctures/stages/bends/weeks/months without ever going anywhere.
So when you hear of a “critical point” in the Cyprob today you can only laugh. As for the “messages transmitted” – another favourite term of our political (un)intelligentsia – I would like to assure comrade Stef that nobody is receiving them. The international community did not need to hear about two F16 fighters flying over the parade to realise that we are not interested in talks or a settlement at this, or any future, critical point of the Cyprob.
The “messages transmitted” by Prez Nik in the last year and a half have made this very clear.
THE CLICHE-FEST that is an integral part of the independence celebrations was led by Greece’s defence minister Panos Kamenos who represented his government at the parade. After the parade, Kamenos sent his own message about the Greek fighter jets to the natives. It meant that “Greece is here.”
This is not just cliche it is also a brazen lie, because Greece is not here. It certainly is not here in the way that Turkey is here, with a heavy military presence. Hopefully, when Unficyp withdraws, 30,000 Greek troops will arrive in the Republic to protect us by guarding the dividing line and offering us some proper military protection, because our National Guard only works civil service hours.
Diko tried to introduce an element of originality and constructiveness in its Independence Day clichés, saying that “good preparation of a new round of negotiations for the Cyprob must have specific content.” It has given up on the “right” content and is now happy for it to be “specific” even if it is wrong.
Edek was in parody territory, repeating the slogan it has used a million times. It was time for the Cyprob “to be repositioned on its correct basis as an issue of invasion and occupation and at the same time for a new tactic to be introduced”. It is the Feng Shui approach to the Cyprob, championed by the socialists since the days of the visionary leadership of Dr Faustus.
IF THERE were a prize for the best message, it would have been won by the Perdikis party, the clichés of which always contain the mark of their leader’s moral superiority. “The president’s trip to New York may have rekindled interest in the Cyprus problem, however we did not see a clear message being sent about its solution on the correct basis.” Perdikis should stop worrying about not seeing the clear message – the Prez this year decided to send his message in a bottle, which made it less visible back in Kyproulla.
THE GEOSTRATEGIC importance of Kyproulla is gathering momentum. Greece’s foreign minister, Nikos Kotzias, in an interview he gave to Ert TV, said the “intense movement in the US for the lifting of the embargo on the sale of arms to Cyprus” was a “big success”.
He concluded: “In Washington, they no longer face Cyprus one-dimensionally, seeing only the Cyprus problem, but as a self-contained state of great strategic significance.” Not only this, but there has also been an upgrade of the Republic according to the Kotzias rating agency.
The imminent meeting of the foreign minister, Nicos Christodoulides, with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, “constitutes proof of the international upgrading of the Cyprus Republic”, said Kotzias. Or as Kamenos said, “Greece is here.”
MYSTERY still surrounds the means of transport used by Prez Nik to travel to the Big Apple. The fact that he took so many members of his family – daughters, sons-in-law – and members of the presidential palace staff gave rise to suspicions that he had once again used the private jumbo jet of his Saudi buddy, who also happens to have Cypriot citizenship.
Why on earth would he otherwise have taken with him the under-secretary to the president, Vasilis Palmas, and the director of his office, Petros Demetriou, two guys who had nothing to do in New York other than sight-see? Negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis also went for the free ride, his only professional commitment being to accompany the prez at his 20-minute meeting with the UNSG.
All these jobsworths might have travelled to the city that never sleeps free of charge on the private jet, but we still paid for their hotel accommodation and gave them a per diem for six days for hanging around with nothing to do. At least the prez’s family were with him for his birthday.
BY taking his family with him on official business, Nik is behaving a bit like President Trump. At least he has not appointed his son-in-law Yiannis Misirlis as a special envoy to the Middle East, leaving him to take care of the ever-expanding family business interests, in which the prez, I hasten to add, has no involvement whatsoever.
The family law office did get a mention in a report in the Euobserver about Kyproulla’s many links with Russian business. It said Misirlis was a general manager of a Russian company, something he subsequently denied, saying he had no executive duties. The website also reported that Russian oligarchs were represented by law offices with links to Cypriot politicians but gave no names.
SPEAKING of Nik, there have been persistent reports from the Turkish side that he is speaking to the Turks. Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, when in New York said he was talking to the Greek Cypriots, without elaborating. Foreign minister Christodoulides was quick to point out that Cavusoglu was not talking to him.
Cavusoglu repeated this and Mustafa Akinci confirmed on Friday that he had been informed of the foreign minister’s plan to talk to the Greek Cypriots. The question is which Greek Cypriot had Cavusoglu been talking to? Was it Nik? And what were they talking about? Or perhaps, Nik has done a Trump and has a son-in-law talking to the Turks.
YOU HAD to wonder what attorney-general Costas Clerides was playing at, ordering a police investigation of a Larnaca district court judge, three years after he had been reported to the Supreme Court, which investigated allegations of a “rigged, toxic and dishonest procedure” and found he had done nothing wrong.
The Larnaca judge was presiding over the dispute between two companies and recused himself when it became possible that his brother, an employee of a company linked to one of the litigants, could be called as a witness. The Supreme Court in an announcement issued on Friday said “there were no grounds for taking measures against him, especially because issues of bias raised by appeal by the litigant’s lawyers, were decided and rejected by the Supreme Court.”
So why has the AG ordered a new investigation? I am sure he is not doing the lawyer that unsuccessfully accused the judge of bias – Christos Clerides – a favour because he happens to be his first cousin. Christos also represented cousin Costas in the legal battle with Rikkos. Should the AG not have recused himself from the case, as the judge had done, given that his first cousin’s clients had made the new allegations? Just asking.
ON FRIDAY we received some interesting feedback from two female customers. One asked that our establishment should give the foreign minister a break and stop writing unflattering things about him because he was a nice guy really. The other customer was more general in her feedback saying we should write more positive news because it made readers feel better.
At a subsequent board meeting of our establishment, we unanimously decided to adopt these suggestions on an experimental basis.
Foreign minister Christodoulides is working indefatigably to prevent the issue of the withdrawal of Unficyp being raised at the UN Security Council. Showing his resourcefulness he has found an ingenious way to influence the US permanent representative at the UN, Nikki Haley, who is expected to play a key role in whatever decision is taken.
The good news for Nicosia, according to a report in last Monday’s Phil, is that the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, was asked to “pass the right messages to the Americans both in Washington and New York”. In his last meeting with Nicos, Bibi “promised to pass Nicosia’s views to the Americans and personally to Haley,” reported Phil.
Using the Israeli PM, who has the clout in the US, was a very smart move by our foreign minister, and if the withdrawal of Unficyp is averted this would all be down to his consummate diplomatic skills.