Cyprus Mail
Tales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Big win for clichés in Euro elections

Prez Nik and his spokesman on his left went out to see what the borrowed Turkish Cypriot voters looked like

THE DARLING of the pro-solution peaceniks, Niyazi Kizilyurek, whom they declared a sacred symbol of peace and unity, secured the MEPs big fat salary last Sunday when he was elected on the Akel ticket, helped by the ‘borrowed votes’ of the Turkish Cypriots.

What was more worrying for many was that more than 20,000 Greek Cypriots voted for the symbol of peace as he secured more than 25,000 votes and only 4,000 Turkish Cypriots voted for Akel. In the recognised Republic of Kyproulla, Kizilyurek tuned out to be a very divisive figure rather than a symbol of peace and unity, his election generating a lot of unflattering and angry comments.

And they were all for the wrong reasons. None had anything to do with his insufferable pomposity, arrogance and self-regard and everything to do with his ethnic origin which is his only appealing quality. But for many GCs electing a TC to represent us in the European Parliament was an act of treacherous lunacy.

One Facebook post asked: “Explain to me how the Turkish Cypriot MEP will help our country and us Greek Cypriots and they voted for him? Will he go and lay wreaths to the heroes Afxentiou and Pallikarides and the many others or will he celebrate with us April 1, October 1 etc?”

The parking attendant next door to our establishment was more eloquent. “What big asses (poso megali gari) we are electing the Turk? Very big gari.” To be fair, 21,000 gari among 282,000 voters is not even 10 per cent.

 

YOU HAD to admire Prez Nik’s nerve in visiting the election centre at which Turkish Cypriots voted to fraternize with them. Until two days earlier his spokesman Prodromos Prodromou was referring to them as “borrowed” votes while Disy had been warning that an Akel’s candidate was making promises to TC voters that would undermine the Republic.

Last Sunday he was all sweetness and smiles with Akel’s borrowed voters, telling hacks afterwards that “I have no doubt that a big section of our compatriots is suffering, or the most significant section of our compatriots is suffering as much.” Were they suffering because they did not have Nik as their president? And as much as who were they suffering? Those that did have Nik as their prez?

He was accompanied to the election centre by Prodromou who wanted to see what a borrowed voter actually looks like. From his smiling face we can only guess that he likes them.

 

THE HOSTILE reaction to the election of Kizilyurek must have irked comrade Andros who held a news conference with his new mascot of unity to assure us that they would “work in a way that would turn their co-operation into one of historic significance for Cyprus and the Cypriot people.”

The commies were taking a big political risk said comrade Andros. If their effort succeeded it would be a big step forward in the effort to demolish the dividing walls between TCs and GCs. If it failed many would rush to criticise the party, he said. Of course it will fail, because Kizilyurek is no Nelson Mandela, but just another Kypreo-Kypreos looking after number one.

The question nobody asked at the news conference was what percentage of his €160,000 annual income from the European Parliament the mascot of peace will donate to the party. As one of his university colleagues said, Niyazi doesn’t exhibit any joy when parting with his dosh.

 

We should offer a little sympathy to Dr Eleni Theocharous who will now have to survive only three state pensions

SPEAKING of money, we should offer a little sympathy to Dr Eleni Theocharous who will now have to survive on the three state pensions she collects, as she failed to secure the 160 grand per year for another MEP term. She lost the clash of the patriotic titans of Diko to Costas Mavrides, because the latter was seen by Dikhead voters to be more courageous in fighting Turkey.

All is not lost for the defeated titan. The seat she won in Cyprus parliament back in 2016 is still vacant because of legal complications. The next in line on the Solidarity ticket was unable to take the seat she won and refused to take, because she wanted to carry on fighting the Republic’s battles in Europe, so it remains vacant. She could be sworn in now and take her seat. The pay will not be as good as at the European Parliament, but it would be of some help and spare her the ordeal of trying making ends meet on just three state pensions, while waging her war against Turkey, which will be transferred from Brussels to Lefkosia.

 

THE REPRODUCTION of election day clichés by politicians and media was much higher than the turnout. Prez Nik was happy to note that we showed our “political civilisation” as we are told we do in every election, but alas the “abstentions were victorious” as 57.20 per cent of the electorate did not bother to vote.

This led to the obligatory headlines about “the strong messages of the elections” and “the resounding messages to all,” followed by laments that politics and politicians were so discredited that people did not want to take part in the elections.

My friend Alecos Constantinides, in his Alithia column, highlighted the other cliché of the elections – everyone was a winner. “Diko scored a big electoral victory,” according to Junior, while Averof felt “there was no precedent in Europe for a party in power to remain the leading force.” Akel was “on an upward path,” said comrade Andros.

Dr Sizo was also pleased with Edek’s showing, acknowledging the votes from other political quarters that helped the nationalist socialists take an impressive 10.6 per cent of the vote. He omitted thanking Elam for the vital role it played in Edek’s impressive electoral showing – many voters backed the socialists only because polls showed the fascists had a good chance of winning the sixth seat.

 

OUR FOREIGN ministry had another diplomatic triumph to boast about this week – the “most critical” annual progress report on Turkey since 2005. It felt so pleased with the European Commission’s report that it issued an announcement to spell things out for us, in case we did not realise that it was the “most critical since the opening of accession negotiations in 2005.”

What our ministry failed to inform us was how Kyproulla would benefit from the most critical report ever. It just wanted us to feel proud and be under the impression that the ministry had something to do with the drafting of the report, which censured Turkey’s violations of our EEZ as well as the Erdogan government’s authoritarian rule.

No serious foreign ministry would issue an announcement about an EU report on another, a retired ambassador told our establishment, speculating that this was all part of the ongoing campaign for the glorification of the minister Nicos Christodoulides. Since he took over as foreign minister, we are regularly reading about his great diplomatic triumphs which has led to Kyproulla becoming a key player in the region, with added value as strategic ally.

 

SPOKESMAN PP was also pleased with the report, telling Trito radio show that the “document can bring results as it will go to the European Council” and “it will greatly help in our effort to express more practically their solidarity with Cyprus.”

The European Council would meet on June 20, but asked whether sanctions would be taken against Turkey PP fudged his answer. The government hoped that “some measures that are effective” would be taken. So was there a possibility of measures being taken by the European Council, asked the presenter.

PP said: “The Cyprus Republic is facing Turkey with (EU) partners with the potential of some measures being taken that I cannot not predict, but that could influence Turkey’s decisions.” He did concede that “it is not so simple.”

I suspect the reason we have still to persuade our EU partners to impose sanctions on Turkey is because Prez Nik is dealing with the matter instead of assigning it to his infinitely more capable foreign minister who turns everything he touches into a diplomatic triumph.

 

AFTER the latest embarrassment suffered in the courts by AG Costas Clerides, I am sure our finance minister Harris Georgiades will be having sleepless nights. The AG is handling the state’s appeal against the administrative court’s decision ruling the pay cuts in the public service unconstitutional.

If the appeal is lost, a possibility that cannot be ruled out given the AG’s tendency for losing cases, the cost to the taxpayer will be close to a billion euro. If I were Harris, I would insist that the case is given to some outside lawyer, with a decent success rate because this is a case we cannot afford the AG to lose.

 

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