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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Mixed results from having employees as Covid enforcers

lucky nick

THE POLICE state has been showing its muscle. In the 24 hours up until Saturday morning, the cops had carried out 5,935 checks reporting 30 individuals and five businesses for violating the Covid decrees. The majority of individuals were reported for not wearing facemasks, indoors, outdoors and in vehicles(?), said a police announcement.

A club in Protaras was closed down for three days – until the owners appear before court on Monday – because there were about 1,000 people many of whom were committing the Covid crime of dancing or shaking their hips; most were not keeping the mandatory safe distance from each other. It was the fifth time the club had been reported.

In the announcement the police reminded that it wants people in bars and clubs to work as state enforcers of the decrees. “Every person in charge of every premise, plays his own role and there must be horizontal apportioning of responsibility,” said the police, referring to lack of checks for the SafePass, tolerating people without facemasks and not having Big Brother announcements on walls.

We are living in a police state when dancing in a club is outlawed and those that permit it face charges for not accepting their horizontal responsibilities.

 

HAPLESS company employees acting as Covid enforcers is the new thing. I go to a big greengrocer in my neighbourhood two or three times a week because I am not a very organised shopper. On Friday, the third time in the week that I had gone, the Eastern European employee acting as the bouncer, asked to see my SafePass again.

“Haven’t you seen it enough times?” I asked trying to be difficult. “You know I am fully vaccinated, so what could have changed in the last two days, since I was last here, for you to stop me going inside?” My impeccable reasoning had zero effect.

“You have to show me your SafePass,” he said. “But you saw it and know that I am vaccinated,” I said. “You have to show it to me,” he insisted. “Why,” I asked.

“Because if they come to inspect us, I will be in trouble for letting you in without a SafePass,” he said. I did not want the poor guy to get in trouble because of me, so I flashed my vaccine card, which he did not even bother looking at and could have been fake – issued by some crooked doctor – and went inside.

 

HOTELIERS have become the biggest cry-babies of the Covid era, always finding something to moan about and to pose as victims. Either the government is not giving them enough assistance or they can’t find cheap staff to employ, or the daily Covid cases are too high and so on.

Last week’s moan was by Famagusta hoteliers, who seem to be the worst of the lot, complaining that the requirement of a Covid test for unvaccinated tourists, seven days after their arrival, would drive away Russian tourists. They claimed this led to many cancellations by Russian travel agents. Hoteliers have a nerve to complain when the government allows unvaccinated tourists to stay in hotels, whereas unvaccinated locals cannot go anywhere without a SafePass.

Not everyone in the tourism sector is moaning. I was pleasantly surprised, when I visited a big car rental company and asked the man in charge how business was doing. “We are doing very well this year and are very happy,” he said, explaining that things were much better than last year. There were a lot more UK Cypriots and Russians hiring cars this year, he said.

The proof was in the car hire rates charged – 40 per cent higher than last year.

 

I HAVE to admit that I always had a soft spot for the diva of social media and former justice minister Emily Yioliti who left her post, showering Prez Nik with an array of insults in her resignation letter. The penholder for the letter, which pulled no punches, I am informed, was none other than Dias supreme boss Zeus Hadjicostis, an accomplished word-slinger.

Since leaving her post, Emily, probably the most stylish minister in the history of the Republic, has been living the high life visiting Greek islands on her yacht before arriving at Italy’s Lake Como, a summer meeting point for the glam-set. How do I know all this, given that, as a matter of principle, I do not follow social media? I was informed by a green tea drinker who occasionally visits our establishment and follows her on Instagram.

I was also informed that in one of her posts she was dressed in a stunning green evening gown, ready to go to some glitzy party. Why am I writing this? Two reasons. First, there is not much else happening and second as an excuse to ask a question I have been meaning to ask for some time now.

 

WHY would a super-rich, fun-loving, party-girl, with bags of style, a great dress sense, a successful law firm and the moollah to do whatever takes her fancy, want to become a minister of justice, arranging for some loser cop to be transferred to Aradippou police station, while being dismissed as a liability by the Prez?

Was it in order to raise her public profile and increase her followers in Instagram because she was not getting the public attention she deserved? This is not really a question, but an attempt to seek an explanation for something which to me there seems no rational explanation. Emily, if you are reading this, I would appreciate your answer.

 

WE HAVE made great strides as an animal-loving country when the killing of a cat makes the news on the Cyprus state news agency. I exaggerate, because Tass did not actually report the cat murder, but merely reproduced announcements issued by the Animal Party and the Greens, both of which were horrified by what happened in Ergates village.

The Greens said they had contacted the police, who assured them the killing was being investigated and enough evidence was collected to ask a judge to issue a search warrant. The party hoped people would step forward to give information so that the police case was strengthened and the culprits would be prosecuted.

Such incidents highlight the need for animal police for the whole country so it can deal with incidents everywhere, and not just urban areas, said the Greens.

If Prez Nik hears about this, he will probably set up not just animal police and licensed pet detectives, but also a deputy ministry for animals, because it has been several months since the last deputy ministry was set up.

 

MAKARIOS stopped being treated as a God-like figure many years ago, but the parties that worshipped him when he was alive, feel duty-bound to pay tribute to his greatness on the anniversary of his death on August 3.

It was no different this year with the Makarios disciples of Diko, Edek and Akel all issuing announcements praising his virtues, choices, charisma and wisdom. This year, the fledgling Dipa, the Diko offshoot, added its voice to the obligatory hero-worshipping platitudes of the Makarios brigade.

The parties, all spoke about the “emblematic figure of Cyprus history,” whose prominence “spread beyond the geographical boundaries of Cyprus,” as he “impressed everyone he met with his acumen.” With the exception of Akel, which highlighted other virtues, the rest of the parties used him as the inspiration of their patriotic line on the Cyprob, which has not had much success over the years.

“We draw strength from the glorious life of Ethnarch Makarios, to continue our fight against escalating aggressive and expansive behaviour and actions of Turkey,” said Diko, for whom Makarios “is our guiding light that never goes out.”

Edek focused on Makarios’ recipe for liberation – “the long, unyielding struggle” which it embraced, noting that “time does not pose a danger.” On the contrary, “time must be turned into an ally that we utilise to claim the true liberation of our country.”

 

THE COMMIES of Akel do not subscribe to the stupidity about the long struggle that has turned a third of Kyproulla into Turkey’s province in all but name, so they had to find another reason for their undying devotion.

“He rejected tying Cyprus to Nato and connected our country to the fighting peoples and the liberation movements inside the Non-Aligned Movement,” said Akel. Much good that did us at the height of the Cold War, during which the wildly deluded Makarios actually thought that by cozying up to the Soviets he could score points over the Yanks.

The Non-Aligned Movement was a Kremlin creation, a talking-shop that made Third World dictators, who were on good terms with the Soviet Union, feel important and influential. It is in this joke forum that Makarios impressed everyone he met with his acumen.

Shame his acumen never helped him realise that Kyproulla would have had a much better chance of surviving in one piece if it had joined Nato, instead of siding with the Soviet Union. That was a part of his greatness never acknowledged by his acolytes.

 

MY COPY was submitted before Prez Nik’s address of the anti-occupation gathering in Dherynia on Saturday night and I was wondering what he would be telling the crowd apart from to keep a safe distance from each other.

Some Famagustans had said that Nik had a nerve to address them, considering it was his do-nothing approach on the Cyprob that led to the Turks opening the fenced area of Varosha. Perhaps he was booed and heckled. Did he repeat his ironic advice for Famagustans to ‘be patient’ or did he announce another brave initiative to secure a useless UN resolution?

He could have always relaunched Makarios’ “long and unyielding struggle until vindication,” which never fails to fool a crowd.

 

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