OUR ESTABLISHMENT will not claim any kudos for predicting the return of the police state as anyone with half a brain would have seen it coming after all the new restrictions introduced in Europe and in particular Greece, which we like to copy.
We even have a new super-mutant – the Botswana variant – to fuel the new project fear campaign, although it has not appeared in Kyproulla yet, according to the latest reports. The British press reported this new variant “has twice as many mutations as Delta and could make jabs at least 40 per cent less effective against infection”.
Our new police state enforcer, Health Minister Michalis Hadjipantelas said the measures he announced on Wednesday would boost vaccinations. The wonderful thing is that this will be achieved without any form of coercion or infringing on people’s rights.
It will be done simply by restricting drastically the social activity options of the unvaccinated, who will be barred from restaurants, bars, clubs, cafes music and dance venues, discotheques (has nobody informed the health ministry that discotheques ceased to exist 30 years ago?), theatres, amphitheatres, sports venues, cinemas.
The unvaccinated can still have a social life but it will have to be in a park or street, the supermarket, the chemist, the baker the periptero or a mall. They can also visit friends at their homes as the state still permits us to invite the unvaxed into our houses. For how much longer, nobody knows.
THE MEASURES were intended to save Christmas, said the enforcer, implying they were designed to avoid a lockdown. To be fair, the inalienable human right to go shopping has been guaranteed, for all, including the unvaxed.
There will be parts of Christmas that have not been saved. All Christmas shows at schools have been banned, which could be a small mercy for thousands of parents who will be spared the tedium of having to sit through a nativity play this year.
This was not the only police state touch to the Christmas-saving measures. “For the holding of any other Christmas events, organised by different agencies an approval permit must be secured from the ministry of health.”
This is so vague I am planning to write to the health ministry for permission to organise a Christmas party, even though I am not an agency, because I do not want to stress about cops showing up on the day, asking for my permit and fining me for violating the decree. I would ask for a permit for Christmas Day lunch as well to be on the safe side.
THE REACTION of parents to the mandatory masks for primary school kids was way over the top, even though it is a pretty silly measure. Not as silly as allowing hospital workers to go to work unvaccinated and treating people with a weakened immune system, but schoolkids do not belong to a powerful union that the government is terrified of.
Parents demonstrating in the streets, describing mask-wearing as abuse, objecting to weekly rapid tests and accusing the government of using kids as guinea pigs was a tad excessive. How will they react when they are pressured by our bullying society to have their six- and seven-year-old sprogs vaccinated, which is the next item on the health ministry agenda?
SELF-IMPORTANT Phil hack, Michalis Ignatiou, has been in self-congratulating, top form since publishing the minutes of the Crans-Montana meetings that were given to him by the foreign ministry. Milking his scoop, he appeared on Phil-owned Active radio earlier in the week to announce the following:
“I do not take a position and do not serve any one of the protagonists of Crans-Montana with the publication of the documents. What comes out of the documents is all there is. Phileleftheros published all the text in Greek and the full document in English, we played a clean journalistic game.” Nobody told Ig that the honest have no need to boast about their honesty.
Speaking about the documents, he suspended his assertion that he does not take a position, to take a position on the serious lessons these provided. “They illustrate tragic errors by the UNSG, who says ‘probably I did not understand’. With this UNSG Cyprus has no luck, he has close relations with Turkey. At the most critical time of the negotiations for the Kypriako he should have given up everything and stayed instead of coming and going. Eide was on Turkey’s side and had Homeric rows with Kotzias.”
Why has Ig singled out poor old Antonio Guterres, considering Kyproulla has had no luck with any UNSG in recent memory. De Cuellar, Boutros-Ghali, Annan, Ki-Moon have all been declared pro-Turkish so why did he expect Guterres to be any different? I suspect that being pro-Turkish is a requirement for the job of UNSG.
ALTHOUGH the UN is a den of Turk-lovers, hell-bent on screwing defenceless, little Kyproulla, we still want it to send its officials here so we can abuse them for siding with the Turks.
Phil cannot hide its anxiety over Guterres’ failure to appoint a special or personal envoy to Kyproulla and has been carrying a non-progress report about this every few days. Logically, Phil, which is opposed to a federal settlement, should be overjoyed that no pro-Turkish envoy has been appointed because this ensures there is no threat of an unjust and unfair solution being imposed on the Greek Cypriots, which is its biggest fear.
Yet it still feels it has a national obligation to complain because the UN is delaying the appointment. In Friday’s edition it accused the UN of ‘timidity’. While they are talking about the issue “they do not dare take the next step,” it reported. Why would they bother when a resumption of talks is impossible, with one side wanting two-state solution and the other demanding a federal settlement it will eventually reject?
PREZ NIK was seething when a well-wisher informed him that his foreign minister and covert presidential candidate had been telling one of his secret informal, election campaign gatherings that one of his aims was to clean up the corruption and sleaze of the government.
You had to admire the guy’s nerve, even though Nik did not see it this way. But he was not furious enough to confront his back-stabbing minister, who has provocatively ignored presidential orders to come clean about his intentions regarding the elections. He obdurately refuses to make a public statement, while wholeheartedly carrying on with his campaign at the taxpayer’s expense.
He will clean up the corruption but sees nothing wrong taking a monthly pay cheque as foreign minister while working for his election campaign. He has left the wife in charge of the foreign ministry, underlining his commitment to ending corruption.
AN ALTERNATIVE method will be used to bring Christodoulides out of the closet. On Wednesday the Disy political bureau will meet to discuss the state budget and the 2023 elections, and it will probably set a date for an electoral congress to choose the party’s presidential candidate in late February or early March. It was originally scheduled for late spring.
Once the date has been set, candidacies will have to be submitted and the churchgoing Paphite will have to make clear his intentions one way or the other. If he decides not to stand for the party’s slot because he will most probably lose to Averof, then he will have to resign from the government because it would mean he would be an independent or a candidate for another party.
Of course, he could decide not to take part in the Disy vote and remain in the government daring Nik to sack him. I would not put it past him.
THE NUMBER of potential presidential candidates keeps rising. Last weekend the irrepressible Dr Eleni Theocharous returned from obscurity and told Politis that she would consider standing, but only on one condition. “That there is no other person who would have the same principles and values as the Solidarity Movement and the strength to fight for them.” I can tell her from now that no such person exists.
THE ENTITLED, self-regarding employees of the foreign ministry held a two-hour work stoppage on Thursday to protest because an outsider had been appointed to an ambassadorial post and to demand the decision was rescinded. It is sickening seeing the alleged crème de la crème of the civil service, on big salaries, behave like union militants.
Of the five ambassadorial posts, four went to foreign ministry employees, but the unionised diplomats demanded the fifth as well, despite the law allowing the government to appoint outsiders, something that has been done on many occasions.
And then we wonder why most of the foreign ministry employees are rabid opponents of a settlement. It would reduce the number of ambassadorial posts because Turkish Cypriots would be given some.
THE XYLOPHAGOU municipality has offered a reward of €500 to anyone that will provide information about the identity of the villains who vandalised the village landmark, the Big Dick Potato (BDP), spray-painting a football slogan on it.
Community leader Georgios Tasou said that a special solvent was found to remove the spray paint and restore the BDP to its former splendour. This week the BDP will be decorated for Christmas, with a big metal star being placed at the top and lights also being installed. Most people have mocked Xylophagou for the BDP, but nobody can deny the originality and uniqueness of this artless wonder.
And now Xylophagou will record another first. It will be the only village in the Christian world with a Christmas potato instead of Christmas tree at its entrance.