WE HAVE a long tradition here in Kyproulla of copying what happens in Greece. It is after all the centre of Hellenism and as loyal provincials, we do not have the population, the culture and the confidence to do things our own way.
But it is one thing to copy Greece’s measures for the pandemic, its TV shows or its nightclubs and quite another to want to be part of bad things that go on there. Within 24 hours of the report appearing about the 24-year-old woman who was drugged and raped in a Thessaloniki hotel, there were those in Kyproulla claiming the same thing happens here.
Did they feel that Kyproulla would lose her status, be downgraded as a state or cease being a part of Hellenism if it could not claim that its own citizens were as capable of this vile behaviour? After all, one of the alleged perpetrators was said to be of Cypriot origin so we had not been completely excluded from this sordid story.
Hacks started asking whether there was any other Kyproulla connection to the story, whether Cypriot women had also been at the hotel and so forth. Our media redefined the ‘me too’ movement to cover not just individuals but a whole country. It will be called #KyproullaToo.
AKEL deputy Christos Christofides (not to be confused with comrade Christos Christofias) led the #KyproullaToo movement by making public a letter about the matter he had sent to the attorney-general, demanding an investigation of the unsubstantiated allegations he had heard.
In his letter, comrade Christofides cited allegations made by ‘activist’ Elias Gkionis, that “a similar ring, which drugs and rapes young women, operates in Cyprus.” He cited the fact that Gionis played a leading role in the publication of the story about the 24-year-old as proof of his trustworthiness.
That the activist did not provide a shred of evidence to back his “very serious accusations” about Kyproulla did not undermine his trustworthiness in the eyes of the comrade, who demanded an “immediate and in-depth study about the existence or not of a rape ring in Cyprus, consisting, indeed, of prominent individuals”.
But if the comrade conceded the possibility that there was no rape ring, how could he suggest that it consisted of prominent individuals? Was it because obscure proletarian men are by definition virtuous and would never commit such a crime?
Nevertheless, the letter boosted the ‘Kyproulla Too’ campaign and increased calls for an investigation.
THE HAPLESS AG, Giorgos Savvides, feeling obliged to pander to public opinion so as not to be accused of covering up the ring of prominent rapists, responded in a tweet, saying that if specific information about the involvement of Cyprus in offences of a sexual nature were given, they would be investigated.
The following day, Wednesday, justice minister Stefi Dracou was also obliged to play to the gallery at a House committee meeting when asked about the matter. She had seen comrade Christofides’ letter and spoke about it to the police chief who was cooperating with the AG in investigating this allegation. No serious crime should be hushed up she said.
Deputies also took a hard line. Diko’s Christiana Erotokritou said “whoever is involved in this case, regardless of name and who he is, must be treated in the same way by Cyprus justice.”
Like Erotokritou, all deputies declared, as if they believed it, that “nobody is above the law” while Dipa’s Alecos Tryfonides, came up with the revelation that “rape is rape.” That nobody knew whether the crime, for which they were demanding punishment, had taken place was beside the point.
THE TV channels went mad with story, broadcasting every bit of gossip a reporter heard as fact, weaving plots about international pimping rings that drugged women, put them on planes and flew them from Kyproulla to Dubai and Greece to take part in sex parties for prominent and wealthy men. No evidence necessary.
Social media went wild and the police, feeling the pressure, contacted the Greek authorities for information relating to Kyproulla, but are still waiting for a response. Our cops repeatedly tried to contact the activist, but he had his mobile switched off, eventually being reached by email.
He told Greek state TV he would send the information about the ring and Kyproulla’s involvement via his lawyer, although he said members of the Cyprus police “were involved everywhere and I cannot trust them.” The ring which exists in Greece and Cyprus, Gkionis said, was involved “in cases of gambling, human trafficking, drugs, arms running and even child pornography.”
His evidence will presumably be passed on to our police by his lawyer.
BEFORE closing this sordid story #KyproullaToo movement would like to commend the contribution of lawyer Nikos Dialinas who stressed that “there were Cypriots at the specific party and also there were women who came from Cyprus,” thus confirming the island’s link.
As for the former EU Commissioner, Androulla Vassiliou, who suffered a savage social media onslaught as well as nasty comments from male Cypriot politicians, for her insensitive tweet about the 24-year-old rape victim, what can you say? She was blaming the victim, by asking “how did the 24-year-old find herself in the hotel suite,” was the unanimous verdict.
She ended up tweeting an apology, but still failed to acknowledge that she had no business giving her view about a rape case in another country.
FORMER health minister and self-proclaimed father of Gesy, Giorgos Pamborides declared his interest in standing in the presidential elections as an independent candidate in an interview in last Sunday’s Kathimerini.
This would bring the number of possible independent candidates, so far, to four (along with Christodoulides, Colocassides and Demetriades). Pamborides’ candidacy would be “sincerely and genuinely independent” and would “rule out any transaction” with a party. It will be “based on the support of physical persons” but “if it could attract the interest of organised groups and parties, then of course it would develop into a formal candidacy,” he told the paper.
He also made sure to endear himself to Akelite physical persons in the interview, when asked why he had attended General Grivas’ memorial service as health minister, something that traditionally pisses off the commies. “I attended as the representative of the president. I had no way of refusing attending. In fact, when I was given instructions to do so by the presidential palace, I reacted….”
Couldn’t he have said he was ill on the day if he felt so strongly about attending, or had he not realised back in 2017 that his presidential ambitions would be dead in the water without Akel backing?
FOREIGN minister Ioannis Kasoulides had barely been in his job for a couple of weeks, before causing well-deserved embarrassment to Prez Nik over the EastMed pipeline, the construction of which, he said, was “up in the air from the start”. All that remained was the confirmation that the project was unviable, which he had always known, he said.
Kasoulides, who seems to have decided not to pull his punches in his third stint at the ministry, also had took a swipe at his predecessor’s presidential ambitions in a show on Rik TV. Given that Christodoulides has no political positions about anything, and therefore no political differences with Averof, all he had to offer was that he was more likeable, said Kasoulides.
“It will be a vote based on catwalk criteria,” he said. And let the man with the prettier face and better figure win.
FIRST LADY hopeful, Ms Philippa Karsera, meanwhile, is continuing her electoral campaigning by targeting the female vote through interviews in lifestyle magazines and shows.
Her latest appearance was on Hello! Magazine’s ‘Makeup Meeting’ an interview show for women in which she spoke “about her beauty secrets and her life next to Nikos Christodoulides” to a makeup artist Sonia. She revealed that she suffered from acne after she had passed puberty and this made her take good care of her face.
Ms Karsera has a nerve getting her lawyer to write to newspapers telling them there “is no justification for criticism of her” because she is not a public figure. How many photographs of her and how many interviews in lifestyle rags must appear – not to mention attendance at public events – before she becomes as a public figure? Perhaps her lawyer can give us the number needed before someone qualifies as a public figure.
YOU CAN always trust that other public figure, Odysseas, to incur the wrath of the media. In his latest crusade, he is urging the legislature not to approve the regulations forwarded by the government that would allow a host of top public employees, such as ministry permanent secretaries, heads of the education and public service commission and a few others to use their state-provided cars 24/7 and for all purposes.
This benefit had been suspended since 2016 by law. Only 28 officials enjoyed this benefit subsequently, including the auditor-general. Apparently the political parties are reluctant to approve the regulations for fear of a public backlash, a year before presidential elections. Odysseas, who has not offered to give up the use of his own state limo 24/7, tried to apply pressure on the legislature with the following tweet. “We must fight with passion against the mentality that wants the public employee to be a weight on the shoulders of citizens instead of their civil servant, if we want a healthy public service and healthy state.”
IN THE END, Kyproulla’s Covid-19 fame, through the discovery of the super-variant combining Delta and Omicron and christened Deltacron, proved short-lived. Although the discovery by Professor Kostrikis became international news it was eventually shot down by other researchers.
“There is no such thing as #Deltacron,” tweeted a member of the WHO’s Covid-19 technical team. There was a sequencing error that may have resulted from contamination, it was reported, but do not expect an explanation here, as our resident virologist is on holiday.