HOPEFULLY the public bickering among lawyers, judges, prosecutors will continue because it has not only been an entertaining eye-opener, it has also allowed our shabby politicians to take the moral high ground and nod disapprovingly at the shabby goings-on in the legal world.
Akelites were particularly happy as lawyer Polys Polyviou, who as the one-man investigative committee into the Mari explosion crucified Comrade Tof, was at the centre of the allegations, his law office being accused of having huge influence over supreme court judges because he employed their offspring.
The implication was that Chrysafinis and Polyviou (and supreme court judges’ kids) law office won all the cases in which it represented the Bank of Cyprus and its executives on appeals, because of the links mentioned in the letter by lawyer Nicos Clerides, the brother of the attorney-general.
Akel deputy Irini Charalambidou asked the Council of Europe’s Greco (Group of States against Corruption) to come and investigate what has happened to our judiciary and its representatives are expected to arrive in the first week of February. Hopefully Greco will not send an official whose kid works for Polys’ law office.
The commies are not great fans of the judiciary either after the Dromolaxia land scam case, which saw the party’s comrade finance director Venizelos Zanettos given a prison sentence. The party insisted that his sentence was a miscarriage of justice and referred to him as ‘political prisoner’.
With the reputations of Polys and the judiciary tarnished by the revelations, Akel will not only feel vindicated but will also be able to pose as an anti-corruption force by inviting Greco to investigate the judiciary.
RELATIVES, meanwhile, came to the defence of the protagonists in the show, unaware that they were not the most objective witnesses. Polys’ nephew wrote an impassioned defence of his uncle that was published last Sunday describing Nicos Clerides’ letter as a “populist fiasco” as it did not go into the details that decided the cases he cited.
He also mentioned that the son of AG Costas Clerides had been employed at the Bank of Cyprus and was currently working a law office with nobody seeing this as a problem for his dad. As for the judges’ offspring employed by Polys, “they are all cases, without exception, of excellent academic qualifications, hard work, effectiveness and good legal work.”
An objective and learned article, but how did the nephew know that his uncle’s employees are hard-working, effective and capable of good legal work? Was it because they had the genes of supreme court judges?
AG COSTAS Clerides also fully aligned himself with his brother, to whom he had never spoken about the letter, even though this pitted him against his former colleagues at the supreme court. Some claim he had shown great ingratitude as the supreme court judges backed him to the hilt in his battle with deputy AG Rikkos Erotokritou.
But Costas Clerides issued a statement endorsing his bro’s accusations, a day after the supreme court had dismissed them as “low-brow vile populism”. He was happy with the vile populism, also implying the Polys-judge axis had ensured the acquittals of the Bank of Cyprus and its executives.
He also put the boot into his former friend Myron Nikolatos, the president of the supreme court, whose daughter and sister had reached out of court settlements with the Bank of Cyprus for convertible bonds they had bought. Nikolatos’ casting vote had overturned the sentence of the BoC and its former CEO to the chagrin of Clerides.
What nobody has mentioned was that Nicos Clerides, the man responsible for all the shit-stirring, also secured an exceptionally good deal from the BoC regarding the restructuring of a NPL. Could this have been because he was the bro of the AG? The write-off offered by the bank was significantly higher than the compensation paid to Nikolatos’ daughter and sister combined.
THE HOPES of the moaning bondholders recovering some of the losses on their worthless convertible bank bonds were given a boost by the news that the BoC had compensated Nikolatos’ daughter and sister. Of course, it should be said that the compensation was significantly lower than the amounts they had invested in the bonds, but that was still better than the nothing the rest of the bondholders received.
All cases brought by bondholders against the BoC have gone to court and lost, although there was a small number, according to reports, that were settled out of court and did not involve relatives of judges. The bondholders held their 100th demonstration on Friday to publicise their plight and to protest about the allegedly preferential treated afforded to Nikolatos.
The demo started outside the BoC HQ and then moved to the supreme court building on the other side of town. Some bondholders appeared as the gilets jaunes which was a cute touch and also managed to give halloumi a mention in its statement slamming the government’s do-nothing policy.
“We are focusing on the thieves of halloumi and leaving the thieves of billions at large,” said the statement, without mentioning who had stolen the halloumi.
PREZ NIK’s transformation into Ethnarch Tassos the Second was complete on Friday at a memorial event for Makarios. He is now even using the exact same rhetoric as Tassos to achieve the two-state solution that he is working for. There cannot be “two kinds of human rights, those for the rest of the Europeans and the deficient ones for the Cypriot citizens”, he said, embracing the one-man, one-vote formula that guarantees partition.
He even referenced his new spiritual father’s best remembered remark from his 2004 address on the Annan plan. Tassos said he was handed a state and would not deliver a community in urging people to vote against the settlement. On Friday Tassos II said that everyone must take their responsibilities so that “the piece that is free, that hosts the Greek Cypriots, the state of the Cyprus Republic does not suffer the danger of being or becoming a community.”
Bring on partition, signing over the piece of Kyproulla that is not free to Turkey is a small price to pay for seeing off the danger of becoming a community.
I SUSPECT the strict checks, introduced at the Ledra Street checkpoint by our police, for Greek Cypriots going across are part of the Tassos II policy to ensure against Kyproulla becoming a community.
In the past Greek Cypriots just flashed their ID at the cops in the cubicle and were waved through. This week the policy has changed – now you have to queue, give an ID card to the cop, who scans it and checks it before it is handed back and you are allowed through. I asked the cop who had taken my ID why the procedure had changed and she unhelpfully said, “these are our orders now.”
There are three possible explanations. The government decided to make it more difficult for GCs to stroll across because too much contact between the communities might rekindle demands for reunification. Another is that Ledra Street bar, café and restaurant owners protested that they were losing customers to the north where everything is cheaper.
The most likely explanation, however, is that our prez has decided to help the GCs come to terms with having a border with Turkey, in which case our border cops will have to check everyone going across to the foreign country. Perhaps the day when the danger of becoming a community is finally laid to rest will be sooner than we think.
APART from suffering from a shortage of doctors when universal primary health care is introduced in June, Gesy will also suffer from an acute shortage of hospital beds when inpatient care is scheduled to start a year later.
On Friday the association of private hospitals (Pasin) announced that it would not join Gesy, which according to it spokesman Dr Marinos Soteriou was planned in “a slapdash and amateur way”. Soteriou gave a list of lies told by the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) that will be running Gesy.
The incompetence of the HIO is a given. After all it is state agency, manned by public employees that could not organise an orgy in a brothel, let alone set up a complex project like a national health scheme with an annual budget of one billion euros. It has been in existence for some 15 years and five months before the expected introduction of the scheme it does not have a clue if there will be enough doctors to cover patient needs.
It certainly will not have enough hospital beds if the private hospitals do not join. State hospitals are overcrowded now that a big percentage of the population is not eligible for care and uses private hospitals and clinics. What happens when everyone is eligible and the number of state hospitals remains the same? The HIO will probably deal with the problem a month before inpatient care is due to be introduced in 2020.
Will it bring hospitals from Greece as it plans to do with doctors?
DOCTORS of the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre wrote to the HIO two months ago with a long list of questions about their status concerning how the centre would cooperate within Gesy, the costing of medical procedures and a range of other issues.
At the meeting arranged a month later, at which the HIO was to give answers to the doctors nothing was ready. The HIO representatives had not prepared a single answer. Not one, so the meeting was rescheduled, although none of the doctors are hopeful they will get any answers.
In the end, the only thing the HIO has been doing competently is private doctor-bashing. It has managed to demonise doctors, presenting them to the public as greedy, tax-evading, self-serving, lying monsters, because they have exposed its incompetence. The doctor-bashing has been successful because the HIO hired a PR firm to do its dirty work for it.
What a pity it cannot hire an outside firm to organise a national health scheme as well, because public employees are clearly incapable of doing it.
I DO NOT know if the gay couple wanted in connection with the illegal adoption of a Filipino baby were arrested, but the details of the story were incredible. This was the perfect story to make churchgoing, conservative, nationalist homophobes froth at the mouth.
The two men were not only in a same-sex relationship, but one was Turkish (probably an illegal settler) and the other a Greek Cypriot, and the baby was brought to Kyproulla by a Filipina from the Philippines where the mother lives. Of course, it was illegally adopted. What authority in Kyproulla would have ever sanctioned the adoption of a Filipino kid by a Greco-Turkish gay couple?