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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Cue the ribbon of silent defiance

Prez Nik maintained the vow of silence on Stan’s comments but wore the blue and yellow on his lapel

NONE of our courageous politicians has yet broken the vow of silence they took with regard to the unveiled threats issued by Mother Russia’s ambassador Stan Osadchiy 10 days ago. They should check what happened in the former Soviet satellite of Bulgaria this week.

Its government recalled its ambassador to Russia for consultations, after the “undiplomatic, sharp and rude” comments by the Russian ambassador to Sofia. Ambassador Eleonora Mitrofanova said nothing as offensive as her colleague Stan, and her comments were not made in Bulgarian media, but on Russian TV.

She had said “the people of Bulgaria still do not support the rhetoric and actions of their government regarding the special operation in Ukraine.” It was a comment made to please her bosses in Moscow, ignoring an opinion poll that found 61 per cent of Bulgarians believed Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was unjustified.

“It is unfortunate that professional diplomats are behaving like propagandists,” said international policy expert, professor, Dimitar Bechev, quoted by Euractiv website.

It would not have been so bad if Ambassador Stan just behaved as a propagandist, but in Kyproulla he has assumed the role of super-governor, telling us what our interests were, reprimanding us for siding with our EU partners and threatening the end of economic and cultural relations with Mother Russia as punishment for our government’s “non-friendly” behaviour.

Prez Nik also maintained the vow of silence, but showed a bit of defiance by wearing a ribbon with the colours of Ukraine on his jacket lapel in public last Sunday.


IF STAN protests about this shameless, public show of solidarity with Ukraine, I am sure Nik will have his excuse ready. He could claim that Averof Neophytou pinned the yellow and blue colours on his lapel when he was not looking, or, better still he will tell him he was wearing the colours of his favourite football team Apoel.

In his interview with Phil, meanwhile, Stan showed that he is a more capable propagandist than his colleague in Bulgaria. He had said:

“In this fight against the ‘black plague’ we are doing everything so that the victims are as few as possible. We do not indiscriminately bomb towns, areas where people live and social infrastructure targets. We do not do what others have done, flattening entire towns and villages.”

Pictures of the indiscriminately bombed Mariupol, much of which was flattened, including areas where people lived, perfectly illustrated Ambassador Stan’s point.


WHEN the health ministry decreed, some weeks ago, that student parades would be permitted as part of the relaxations of Covid-19 measures, many people wondered whether these parades were really necessary. Why had our ultra-cautious scientific team sanctioned them? Could we not survive another year without pointless student parades?

The best explanation for the parade decree was provided by a cynical skettos drinker, who said that Prez Nik must have been behind the decision, because he loves big occasion in which he is the star of the show. He is in ecstasy, standing at the podium having students marching in front of him and showing their respect to numero uno.

And this would be his last chance to feel the ecstasy of taking the salute of the March 25 student parade, as next year, someone else would have his job (unless he decides at the last minute to stand again for election).

But life plays dirty trick on everyone, including Prez Nik. As luck would have it, he had to fly to Brussels for an urgent European Council meeting, and was deprived of the fun and joy of attending the parade.


HOUSE President Annita Demetriou, as acting president, should have replaced the Prez and she would have been the first woman in the history of Kyproulla to take the salute at a national parade. But she run out of luck as well as she tested positive to Covid and was cruelly denied her big chance to make history.

Instead, the salute was taken by Diko’s diminutive deputy, Zacharias Koulias. As the oldest member of the House, he stands in for the House president and, consequently as acting president of the Republic. Koulias could not go down in history as the shortest man to take the salute at a national parade, because the late president Spy Kyp was an inch shorter than him.


DEMETRIOU was not the only high-profile case of Covid-19 last week. Member of the scientific team, Professor Petros Karayiannis, who is triple-jabbed and observes all safety measures, had also contracted the virus and told state television on Friday that he had a fever and cough.

He said he contracted the virus from his granddaughter, who got it at her school. I would hate to think that he got it because he was not wearing a face mask or had failed to keep at a safe distance from his granddaughter when they met.

We would like to wish the professor a speedy recovery, because we need him on the airwaves to keep reminding us what we must do to avoid getting the virus, even if it doesn’t seem to work.


PERHAPS the wearing of the Ukraine’s colours by Prez Nik, at the Disy supreme council meeting that last Sunday endorsed the presidential candidacy of party chief Averof Neophytou, who was also wearing the colours, had a purpose.

It may have been a subtle reminder that renegade candidate, Nicos Christodoulides is a loyal supporter of Mother Russia and always at the beck and call of her foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. Christodoulides, who half-heartedly condemned the invasion of Ukraine, after he was pressured on social media and without mentioning the name of the invader, would not even dream of wearing pajamas in the Ukraine’ colours.

Nik grudgingly backed Averof’s candidacy last Sunday, saying the minimum he had to. He urged the party faithful to safeguard the party’s unity and back his “close associate” as “my work will be continued by him.” It is questionable, whether continuing Nik’s work would enhance Averof’s election prospects.


PREZ NIK also banished the idea of an election Plan B, which he had brought up in a television interview some weeks ago. Many took this to mean that if Averof’s candidacy was, in some way not working, the party could back another candidacy, presumably, the scheming Christodoulides, for whom Nik has a soft spot.

Our establishment had a different take. Plan B would involve Nik changing his mind about going home and standing again to save Disy and the country. This is a hunch, not based on any concrete evidence. I know Nik has repeatedly said he would not seek a third term, but his words are rarely in synch with his actions, and if he decides the country needs him, he might make the personal sacrifice of standing again.


TALKS by Diko and Akel to agree on a presidential candidate are increasingly resembling the Cyprob, going from one deadlock to another. There have been talks between the party leaders and between party officials all leading nowhere.

A collapse is on the cards, as Diko’s latest proposal for candidate – its deputy leader Christiana Erotokritou – has not impressed the comrades, who feel she cannot unite the party. They have their own possible female candidate, Irini Charalambidou, who is, reportedly, very popular with the rank and file, because of her confrontational style, but the commie leadership consider her a loose cannon. She does not display the requisite subservience to the male leaders that all other female comrades show.

A collapse of the parties’ efforts appears inevitable, and the reason for it will be Turkey’s intransigence.


SPEAKING of the Cyprob, you have to admire the singlemindedness of Edek, which is still using the hot air rhetoric its late leader Dr Lyssarides, had been using, for five decades, to zero effect.

Discussion of confidence-building measures, which the Turks have rejected, Edek said, would lead to “a downgrading of the Cyprus problem,” that “would cease to be an issue of invasion and occupation.” The party demands the calling of an international conference on the Cyprob and for sanctions to be imposed on Turkey.

The world will just set aside the war in Ukraine and call an international conference for the Cyprob, to end the suffering of the Greek Cypriot people who are subjected to Edek’s stupidity every day.


MAYOR of Paralimni Theodoros Pyrillis, who is a bit of a peasant, threw a wobbly when it was suggested the week before last, that unaccompanied minors from the overcrowded Pournara camp could be taken to his village which is now tourist resort. Pyrillis feared the presence of the dark-skinned would upset the tourists of Protaras.

In the last week, Pyrillis showed he was no racist, by also objecting to the transfer of white-skinned Ukrainian refugees to hotels in Protaras. “These people, who will live in the tourist area, would they not circulate and talk to people. We will have two contradictory scenes… Some tourists could say that ‘we went to Cyprus, it was very nice, but it was full of refugees’.”

He should not worry, as tourists keep flocking to Protaras even though it is full of people that share Pyrillis’ humanity.

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