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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Akel championing freedom of expression. Oh, the irony

Glafkos Hadjiklamouris Always Known For His Cheerful Demeanour
Glafkos Hadjiklamouris - always known for his cheerful demeanour

I LOVE it when the party that championed the Soviet police state gives lessons in freedom of expression and artistic freedom. Akel was outraged that the education ministry had ordered a disciplinary investigation into the paintings posted on Facebook by a secondary school head teacher, mocking Christ, Grivas and other heroes of the island.

The investigation was “unacceptable” in a democratic country, said the party’s arts afficionado Neoklis Sylikiotis, and “an indication of a deep and reactionary conservatism, of practices and views that belong to other eras”. Was he referring to the Soviet eras?

Our establishment has no objection to the paintings of Georgios Gavriel, except for aesthetic reasons – they were pretty crappy – but then our society has traditionally embraced bad art, particularly Akel which has organised whole award ceremonies for it. Of course, had the paintings mocked Marx and Lenin or comrade Tof, Akel would not be supporting artistic freedom so zealously.

This, of course, does not justify the pathetic, knee-jerk reaction of the education ministry, which issued a statement that publicly slammed the paintings for “offending public sentiment” and “cultivating a climate of intolerance in the student community”. The only one cultivating intolerance was the ministry with its concern for public sentiment and plans to discipline the teacher.


THE CHURCH showed admirable restraint in its reaction to the blasphemous paintings. The Archbisopric issued a statement that was almost reasonable, saying the head teacher had failed as an educator, whose role is to shape youth’s personalities and make them respect the history and customs of their people.

Archbishop Chrys then stepped into the fray and demanded the teacher was fired. Forgiveness is not an option in such a serious case of blasphemy, but to his credit Chrys did not order a fatwah. The idiots of social media were less forgiving, one saying he should be hung upside down and beaten to death while others demanded his arrest.

The head teacher/artist fully exploited the publicity he got, giving several interviews about his artwork, which he described as ‘subversive’ and ‘anti-systemic’. While you could accept this bunk from a 16-year-old, having some middle-aged head teacher using his substandard art to pose as a rebel and a subversive is deserving of pity.

Anyway, I hear Georgios Gavriel is planning to stand for Akel in next year’s parliamentary elections, in which case his subversive, publicity attracting artworks could prove a brilliant election campaign ploy, as long as he has not offended too many churchgoing Akelite voters, of which there are quite a lot.


IN an interview with Anadolu news agency, Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu repeated his lies about the conversations he had with our Prez Nik. He alleged, once again that our Nik had proposed a two-state solution to him because Greek Cypriots did not want to share anything with the Turkish Cypriots; subsequently, Nik proposed confederation.

In a written statement, issued on Saturday, government spokesman KK, said “the claims he (Cavusoglu) made were false in their entirety” and were part of the unchanging Turkish policy on the Cyprob “which is the reason for the non-settlement in the last 46 years”. This assertion is not true in its entirety, but perhaps KK has not been told that the Greek Cypriots rejected the Annan plan.

Denying Cavusoglu’s claims about what the Prez told him might not be such a smart idea, considering he said the conversations with Nik were recorded. If the dastardly Turks had secretly taped the conversations, it would be inadmissible evidence and he could also report them to the commissioner for the protection of personal data.

A Cyprob related question: If we want the negotiations to start where they left off in Crans-Montana, why did Prez Nik walk out, considering they were at a point that he approved of?


WHILE the self-righteous green-clad ultra-nationalist Giorgos Perdikis was leader of the Greens, the provocative and unacceptable statements by the Turks were never left unanswered. A statement would be issued by the Greens defending our national interests as soon as a Turk opened his mouth to say something about Kyproulla.

Since the insufferably self-regarding Perdikis stepped down and the much more likeable Charalambos Theopemptou took over the party leadership, the daily, bash-patriotic diatribes have stopped. The Greens are no longer tree-hugging Edekites. I might even consider voting for them in next year’s parliamentary elections, as long as the rebelliously subversive headmaster is not standing for Akel.


SO FAREWELL Glafkos Hadjiklamouris, your quarter-century reign as autocratic leader of the parasite class has finally come to an inglorious end, voted out by your ungrateful members despite the drastic expansion of their blood-sucking sources and privileges over the years.

You must have been resigned to defeat because after the results of the vote were announced and you came last, you looked no more miserable than usual. But you must have hurt inside for being voted out after taking so much from the taxpayer in the 24 years of your rule and giving it to the public parasites.

Not even your grand plan to try to squeeze another billion euros from the taxpayer by urging your blood-sucking comrades to take their employer to the ECHR on the grounds that the pay-cuts imposed in 2012 were a gross violation of a parasite’s inhuman rights, was appreciated.

Why did the charmless Hadjimourmouris change his mind and seek a seventh term? He is 75, he had already chosen a successor (the guy who was elected) and announced he would step down, only to change his mind and stand yest again, claiming he still had much to offer.

Ordinary public parasites, I am informed were fed up with the way Hadjiklamouris treated the civil service as his family business. Many members of his family were employed by the public sector and he was accused of setting up the Pasydy day-care centre – on prime real estate taken from the state – so his grandchildren could be taken there and be close to their parents’ workplace.

The only thing we can say with certainty is that Hadjiklamouris will not be missed.


WHAT a great year it has been for the Bank of Cyprus’ CFO (Chief Financial Officer) Eliza Livadiotou. In March, the case brought against her and four other B of C executives (two others had already won an appeal), facing an assortment of charges including forgery, market manipulation and false accounting, was thrown out by the criminal court for abuse of process.

And last week she won the CFO of the Year award, given by the 16th CFO Management Forum, organised by IMH and ‘presented’ by EY auditing firm. The awards, are a smart way of relieving the boredom of a conference packed with accountants, offering something other than the balance sheets for the participants to get really excited about.

B of C was so overjoyed that one of its own won this prestigious award it issued a long statement to inform the public about the wonderful news. CFO of the Year is a big distinction in the profession and makes winners eligible for the even more prestigious CFO of the Decade award.


THINGS are not going very well for Gesy. Every time you hear the head of the Health Insurance Organisation (HIO) assuring us that there are reserve funds to see the scheme through this difficult time, when contributions from the private sector have plummeted you know things are heading in the wrong direction.

On Wednesday, the head of the patients’ association, Marios Kouloumas, speaking on Trito about the abuses of the system by patients and doctors made a very interesting point. He said seven out 10 patients that visited their personal doctor were referred to a specialist incurring huge costs to the system. These are the personal doctors that can earn in excess of 200 grand a year for doing very little.

So instead of providing the primary healthcare they are so generously paid for, they refer 70 per cent of their patients to a specialist, cutting their work to a bare minimum. If they can provide care only to 30 per cent of their patients why are they paid so much money?

This is what happens when a system depends on doctors, who have no GP training to perform the role of GP. All they can do is refer patients to someone that might know what they are doing, because the stats would suggest personal doctors do not and are happy to pass the buck.


PLEASED to note that my friend the Nicosia mayor, Constantinos Yiorkadjis, acknowledged the traffic chaos in the capital, but was not so pleased by the way he tried to play down the problem and claim the road works taking place at the same time were not entirely to blame.

“The works being carried out in central arteries of the capital may be creating additional inconvenience for the public,” he conceded. ‘May be creating additional inconvenience’? No Mr Mayor, they are creating much more than inconvenience. On Friday, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown when what would normally have been a 15-minute drive took me 50 minutes to complete.

That is not an inconvenience, it is bloody torture, guaranteed to crush the human spirit and turn us all into zombies.



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