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Opinion Tales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Conflicts of interest abound in pay cuts saga

Chief bloodsucker and Prez Nik this week

THE HIDEOUS general-secretary of the parasites’ union Glafkos Hadjimourmouris looked like a man who had just won the Lotto jackpot on Wednesday at the 56th annual conference of his union Pasydy, unable to hide his boundless joy over the decision of the administrative court that had ‘vindicated’ his blood-suckers in the case they brought against the government’s pay cuts.

The permanently miserable, blood-sucker-in-chief was all lightness and joy on Wednesday as he played host to Prez Nik, whose government’s plans had been shafted big-time by Pasydy’s principled stand on greed and selfishness that was endorsed by the judges of the administrative court not once but three times in the last few months.

The relentless gloating in the speech he gave the conference was disgusting but what you would expect from a man that achieved very little in his career as a lawyer, but made a name for himself as a union boss who blackmailed politicians and imposed his diktats on governments.

It is depressing to think the country’s economy is at the mercy of such a man, who tramples all over our weak, vote-hungry politicians. The fact that Prez Nik addressed the conference was an indication of the politicians’ subservience to the parasites’ union. Even though it is a tradition for the president to address Pasydy’s annual conference Nik should have boycotted it this year to underline his disapproval of the toxic self-interest championed by the union of overpaid, underworked, entitled mediocrities.

He must be already thinking about a third term if he cannot bring himself to displease the union that is determined to bankrupt the state again.

DISGUST was the only emotion stirred in normal people (non-parasites) by Hadjimizeros’ speech which aimed at making us feel sorry for the ordeal suffered by his members as a result of the unjust pay cuts imposed on them by heartless politicians.

“Instead of those that were deprived, unjustifiably, illegally and unconstitutionally, of their wages with the consequence of not being able to meet their obligations, feeling aggrieved, the aggrieved were the government and the others,” he said.

What obligations could the parasites that had 10 per cent docked from their wages not meet? The loan repayment on their kid’s BMW or instalments on the holiday home in Protaras? The government should have cut the unemployment benefit it was paying the tens of thousands that lost their jobs during the crisis and could barely meet the obligation of feeding their family rather than cause such hardship to the public parasites?

Hadimizeros also engaged in some propaganda, blaming the state’s bankruptcy in 2012 on the banks. Even if the banks were in good health at the time, the state would still have been bankrupt and not have had money for the public payroll. He forgets that the Tof government had to borrow money from Cyta to pay the 13th salaries of the parasites in 2012.

IN HIS SPEECH he also commended the judges, who “had the courage, performing their duty to issue the decisions” annulling the cuts to pensions and wages. These judges also happen to be public employees who had the courage to rule that it would be unconstitutional for their own pay to be cut when the government was trying to save the state from bankruptcy on the ludicrous grounds that this would be an attempt to influence the judiciary.

Nobody questioned the glaring conflict of interest that determined this decision but that is another matter. As one of our learned friends pointed out this week, “with their decisions about the pay and pension cuts the judges exonerated themselves” for exempting their pay from cuts. He also mentioned that in this state (almost from its establishment) many important legal arrangements are based on the law of necessity. When it came to saving the state from bankruptcy, the judges completely ignored the law of necessity, sticking instead to the strict letter of the law.

The law of necessity is accepted as a legal argument only when it is not related to the pay and pensions of judges and public parasites.

SPEAKING of conflict of interest, it was a shame that Attorney-general Costas Clerides, who has developed great sensitivity on the matter, failed to spot it in the pay cuts case. His office was defending the state and he gave the case to one of his minions, a public employee that had also seen her pay cut in 2012.

If she lost the case she and her office colleagues personally stood to gain tens of thousands of euro. I am not suggesting that the state lawyer did not do her best to win the case, but the conflict of interest that Clerides seems to be so concerned about of late could not be denied.

Why had Clerides not given the case to a private law office with the incentive of a hefty success fee (it would still be peanuts compared to the money that would be saved) and no conflict of interest? Did he not realise the public parasites would be using the services of the top lawyers and there was a need for the state to do the same given the hundreds of millions of the taxpayer’s money at stake. Instead he sent one of his underlings to take on the big boys of the law profession as if this was some minor dispute over an unpaid parking fine.

Clerides may have issued excellent judgments as a supreme court judge but his professional judgment as AG is proving anything but sound as the steadily lengthening list of lost cases testifies.

PREZ NIK has called a mini national council on Monday to discuss the consequences of the court decisions and explore ways of minimising the cost to the state. Several measures have been mentioned in the press, including the freezing of appointments and promotions, but it is doubtful any drastic decision will be taken considering there are European elections next month and all the parties will be relying on votes from public parasites.

Ethnarch Junior meanwhile has decided to use the occasion to push his demand for the sacking of the finance minister for his responsibility in the collapse of the co-op bank. Junior apparently implied that Diko would not back any government measures unless Harris was removed from his post. Opposition parties were also preparing a House resolution demanding his sacking.

Without Diko support the government would be unable to amend Article 23 of the constitution, which requires two thirds of the legislature to vote in favour. Apparently the government wants to amend Article 23 so that in the future it would be able to cut pay and pensions in the public sector.

Thanks to the decisions of the administrative court that are estimated to cost the state a billion euro the amendment of the constitution has become a matter of great urgency. It should be completed before the return of the troika and the new memorandum. And while they are at it, they should also amend the article protecting the pay of the judges.

If Harris has to go for Junior to play then so be it. He can return to his post when the troika arrives.

WHEN Andreas Mavroyiannis was appointed Greek Cypriot negotiator a law was passed stipulating that he could not hold any other post. Do not ask why. It was just one of those whims of our politicians. Everyone forgot about this silly law until a few days ago when the government announced that Mavroyiannis would be appointed permanent representative at the UN.

Akel chief Andros reminded us all of the existence of this law, which the government was either unaware of or had hoped nobody would think of bringing up. It wanted to keep Mavroyiannis as negotiator so that it would not be accused by Akelites of giving up on a settlement. But the comrades still accused it of giving up on a settlement as the negotiator would be based in New York.

And then they stumbled on the 2013 law, which gave them another stick with which the beat the government.

The stupidity of the comrades never ceases to amaze. Did they really want Mavroyiannis to hang around in Kyproulla being paid a fortune for doing absolutely nothing in a post that should have been closed down 21 months ago because the justification for the post – negotiations – had ceased to exist?

Instead of protesting that Mavroyiannis had been on a fully-paid holiday for 21 months, since the Crans Montana fiasco, the idiots of Akel are complaining because the government has not extended his holiday until his retirement.

A normal state needs no negotiator especially when there are no negotiations and no prospect of any in the foreseeable future. Across the Green Line, Ozdil Nami’s job as negotiator was terminated immediately after Crans Montana which explains why the north is a pseudo state.

MUCH HAS been written about Prez Nik’s decision to terminate the contract of Nestoras Nestoros, the Greek Cypriot representative on the Committee for Missing Persons (CMP). He will be replaced by Nicos Theodosiou, who served on the CMP many years ago when the committee was a forum for point scoring and nobody cared about finding out anything about the missing.

It is said that Junior was behind the removal of Nestoros and the recycling of Theodosiou. Nestoros was appointed by the old Diko leader Marios Garoyian, who has now set up a new party, Dipa, with many Diko dissidents. Junior had demanded his removal and Prez Nik, reportedly, was happy to oblige. Hopefully he will not be as eager to satisfy the spoilt brat’s whim regarding Harris.

Nestoras Nestoros (left) with fellow CMP members Gulden Plumer Kucuk and Paul Henri Arni

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