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Tales from the coffeeshop: Dreamer is all things to all people

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HAVING sweet-talked his way into the hearts of as many voters as he could, on Thursday he finally decided the time was right to come out of the closet and tell us what we have known for more than a year – that he will stand in the presidential elections as an independent candidate.

Nikos Christodoulides’ announcement was posted on You Tube, filmed in a studio setting, which included a carefully selected, representative audience, all dressed in sober colours so they could not detract attention from the star of the show. Most looked like public sector workers, who showed up to support a former colleague.

It was a slick presentation, with several moving cameras showing him from an array of angles The link to the stream was available on the Phil website, which featured a timed countdown to the big moment, underlining the paper’s commitment to his candidacy.

The message was a hot air recital in A minor, of the type that the self-proclaimed, unifier, visionary has built his popularity on. It sounded like an over-long essay by a naïve 15-year-old student answering the question ‘What is your wish-list for the future of Kyproulla?’

For 25 minutes he gave us his vision for the country, starting every sentence with ‘I dream,’ a verb he used about 50 times, for rhetorical effect. He would need at least three terms to realise half his dreams for the country, and that would require him never sleeping so that he does not come up with any more dreams for the establishment of his fantasy state.

 

IN FAIRNESS, he did not say that he would make all his dreams come true. He hadn’t turned the school wish list into a policy programme yet, as he would have consultations with society before preparing it. Hopefully, society will ask him to introduce a three-day working week and free electricity for all homes.

Apart from society, the independent dreamer is probably also waiting for Diko to tell him what to put in his programme, so it will back his candidacy, which seems almost a certainty. Poor old Junior is under pressure to back him by his patriotic lieutenants who feel Diko has been deprived its share of the spoils of power for too long.

So, we will have the surreal scenario of an independent candidate, who insisted when asked on radio shows on Friday that he remains a member of Disy and an admirer of Prez Nik, being backed by Diko, which for the last three years has been going on about the need to get rid of the corrupt government of Prez Nik.

And the Dikheads seem to have decided that the best way to do this would be by voting for Nik’s most trusted associate for nine years of the corrupt government – his right-hand man and fixer, who is both a Disy man and an independent candidate. Go figure

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The dreamer launching his campaign on Thursday

THIS IS perfectly in keeping with the independent Paphite dreamer’s political career so far. He has always worked hard at being all things to all people, always adapting what he says to the liking of his audience. And if the audience is too broad, he avoids expressing any view, by resorting to his favourite technique of serving hot air.

On Thursday his Kyproulla fantasy was designed to appeal to everyone – he dreamed of creating new quality jobs, protecting households from rising prices, showing greater social sensitivity to pensioners, small businesses and the disabled, offering security to the vulnerable, ensuring more social justice and solidarity, respecting and supporting diversity and fighting climate change.

And of course, he dreams of a country that “fights profiteering and speculation, moral deficiencies, corruption and sleaze, that introduces clear procedures of control, transparency and meritocracy.” He also dreamed of a Kyproulla “with a proud foreign policy with assertive realism and strong defence that acted as a deterrent to any designs.”

Alexis Tsipras was elected PM of Greece by telling people what they wanted hear even though he knew most of it was bona fide BS. Nikos Christodoulides is following the same successful formula. I am sure he has given assurances to Diko and his wife that his commitment to meritocracy, like most of his dreams, were not to be taken seriously.

 

THE COMRADES have also reached a decision on the elections. They will be backing former chief negotiator Andreas Mavroyiannis.

Akel wants to get rid of the government not just because of the corruption, but also because Prez Nik was disastrous for the Cyprob, bringing the long-suffering country to the brink of partition. And how will they reverse this disastrous Cyprob policy? By choosing as their candidate Nik’s right-hand man in the Cyprob negotiations.

In the hagiography of Mavroyiannis published in Politis last Sunday, it was said that the man had tendered his resignation at Crans Montana, but it was not accepted by Nik. Not only did he stay on, but on the return to Kyproulla, he was happy to give interviews supporting Nik’s narrative of what happened.

He went as far as publicly supporting the myth about a second Guterres framework, which turned out to be a figment of Nik’s fertile imagination.

 

MY FRIEND Achilleas Demetriades lost his rag on Monday at a news conference he had called to mark Europe Day, when hacks, inevitably, asked him about the Akel central committee’s decision to back Mavroyiannis. He had a dig at Mavroyiannis’ pay arrangements as chief negotiator forcing the latter to issue a statement, making clear that everything was above board.

Predictably our didactic media gave him stick for losing his temper and accused him of sour grapes. Is that a such bad thing in politics? Not every candidate can be as sweet and lovable as the Paphite, independent visionary, who pledged his campaign will not be confrontational. He dreams of becoming president without having an argument with anyone.

Achilleas’ chances were dealt a big blow by the central committee’s decision and that was a very good reason to feel pissed off and lash out. I hope he we will not calm down for the rest of the campaign. Not all candidates are perfect human specimens as hacks seem to believe.

 

PREZ NIK, meanwhile, is secretly rooting for the Diko candidate. Twice last week he declared he had no intention of commenting on the decisions of parties and candidates about the elections, while grudgingly offering his support to Disy candidate Averof.

“I want to repeat that, safeguarding my institutional role, I will avoid involvement in public confrontations of an electoral character,” he said on Thursday. After nine years of making a complete mockery of his institutional role, he has decided the time has come to act presidential, because he doesn’t want to say anything bad about the candidate that wants to split his party.

 

THE BASES’ charity concert at the Curium, to celebrate the platinum jubilee of the queen is turning into a bit of an embarrassment. On Monday the local act of the show, Diastasis dance group, announced on its website it will not take part.

It was followed by the second of the charity groups, One Wish One Dream, announcing it did not want to be associated with the concert, although four days earlier, its director said there was no intention to withdraw because the foundation was not political. The other charity, Little Heroes, run by an MEP, terrified of losing, withdrew as soon as a fuss was made about the ‘provocative’ concert by independent presidential candidate Giorgos Colocassides.

The charities may have decided to withdraw because they would not get much money from the event. With all the negative publicity the turn-out might be small and the funds raised inadequate to make it worth being labelled pro-queen charities.

hellenic bank oliver gatzke ceo banking forum
Hellenic Bank CEO Oliver Gatzke

HATS OFF to the German CEO of Hellenic Bank Oliver Gatzke for being the only boss of a local bank with the balls to take on the bullies of the bank workers’ union Etyk. Even the mighty John Hourican at the B of C had bowed to Etyk’s heavies, who specialise in blackmail.

Gatzke has told the union that he will lay off 350 workers without the golden handshakes, often as much as 200 grand, that Etyk routinely exhorted from cowardly bank bosses and called ‘voluntary early retirement’. The union has turned a bit racist, referring to him as ‘the German’ who had brought ‘foreign practices’ to banking.

It has also spun conspiracy theories about political circles being behind the uncaring German’s sinister plans. This week, bank employees will vote on Etyk’s proposal for strikes at all banks to force the German to back down. Fun days ahead.

 

PRO-RUSSIAN media made a point of marking Victory Day last Monday, completely ignoring Europe Day which is celebrated on the same day. The CyBC proudly carried extensive coverage of Mother Russia’s Victory parade in Moscow’s Red Square, while Haravghi had the photo of the Soviet soldier raising the hammer and sickle flag in Berlin.

‘Seventy-seven years since the anti-fascist victory of the people’ read its headline. It was indeed a great victory, but for the people in eastern European countries, the anti-fascist victory led to 40 years of dehumanising Soviet totalitarianism. This small detail was not mentioned in Haravghi’s glowing report or in the CyBC coverage.

 

A HALLOUMI story on our Tass news agency service was presented with what could be the headline of the year. ‘Halloumi not affected by the war, says Kadis,’ it read. Did anyone think it was?

“The production and supply of halloumi is not affected by the war in Ukraine, said minister of agriculture Costas Kadis.” The unsold supplies of the national cheese were a consequence of the pandemic, not the war, he said.

The tashinopitta, however has been affected. Since the start of the war, the tashinopitta I buy every weekend has been steadily shrinking and going up in price. And no government support plan for tashinopitta eaters has yet been announced.

As the independent candidate would say, I dream of a country with affordable, non-shrinking tashinopittas.

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