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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Cyprus leaders embrace pen-pal diplomacy

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As soon as Nik appears on the sidelines of the summit heads of government disappear in different directions for fear that Nik would try to brief them about the latest developments of the Cyprus problem

EFFORTS to prevent a settlement of our Cyprob have entered a new sphere, which involves an old methodology – letter-writing. The two leaders have now decided the best way not to move things forward is through the exchange of correspondence.

Prez Nik, a few weeks ago sent a letter to Ersin Tatar, who recently replied. Both letters seemed designed to preserve the deadlock, which would suggest Nik and Tatar are developing some kind of understanding and have managed to find a common goal they could work together to achieve.

Prez Nik has been sending Cyprob letters everywhere. Every time the Turks engage in a provocative and unacceptable action, we are informed that the prez has written letters to EU heads of government, the European Commission, the UNSG and others to report the provocation.

The letter-writing is developing into the main weapon of our unyielding struggle for vindication. Nik briefed the national council on Monday that he decided write to the UNSG, the EU, the guarantor powers and the US about the protocol of cooperation between the north and Turkey as well as Tatar’s rejection of his CBM. If this does not break the deadlock nothing will.

 

TURKEY’S aggression and threats got a mention in the conclusions of the European Council on Thursday, but it was probably because these were now being directed at Greece. Anyway, it probably means one less letter for Nik to write, as the EU seems to be aware of the situation.

Before heading off to the Council, the presidency put out an announcement saying that at the summit, Nik would meet European heads of government on the sidelines and would brief them about the latest developments in the Cyprob and the new provocations by Turkey. Is that so, or do the scribes of the presidency copy-paste this bit every time the prez heads to a summit?

I have this image that as soon as Nik appears on the sidelines of the summit heads of government disappear in different directions for fear that Nik would try to brief them about the latest developments of the Cyprob and Turkey’s provocations, which have been the same for the last five years.

Nik is probably smart enough not to subject his fellow leaders to the Cyprob ball-busting ritual every time there is a summit, (he can send them a letter) but the presidency’s scribes do not know this.

 

THE NEW Makarios did not need long to pull out the victim card. The thinking I presume is that if he can’t win votes by flattering people, he will win them over by playing the victim and making them feel sorry for him. The guy might have no substance, but he sure knows how to fool people into supporting him.

Earlier in the week, when he went to the hillbilly town to address his fellow Paphites, he unveiled his victimhood ruse. “From the first moment, we have been faced with an unprecedented for Cyprus conditions, polemic, a debunking attempt, intimidation and other approaches that go beyond every democratic boundary,” he said.

Everyone is out to get the poor guy, who has decided that playing the helpless victim of intimidation and polemic is much easier than responding to accusations that are true and make a mockery of the Mr Nice Guy image he has been cultivating for years.

He finished his speech to the Paphites with word of advice. “To the dirt, the fake news and the maliciousness I want of all of you to smile with optimism.”

Why has he not followed his own advice and is wallowing in self-pity and victimhood instead?

 

IT WOULD be helpful, if he gave examples of the fake news, the polemic and the intimidation he is being subjected to. It is much easier to generalise because this way all accusations he has faced, most of which are correct, do not have to be answered as they have been classed as fake news and maliciousness.

The new Makarios did not deny the accusations of making contact with disgraced banker Andreas Vgenopoulos, after the 2013 bailout and collapse of Laiki, made by his fellow-Paphite, Phed Express, at the Disy congress last weekend. In fairness though, he met Vgenopoulos as Prez Nik’s errand boy, in which case it should be Nik that ought to provide some explanation.

I have to admit that the self-pitying Paphite was correct about one thing – the debunking attempts, in which our establishment has been engaging, rather unsuccessfully, for many years, but long, long before he announced his candidacy. Our establishment has earned the right to carry on doing so, even with limited success, because it is fun.

 

DISY chief and party candidate Averof has not been doing himself any favours with the campaign he is conducting. He should scale down his appearances on TV and avoid metaphorical comments that would be used to mock him.

The remark that “I started off bare-footed (xypolytos in Greek) from Argaka” has been made fun of ever since it was uttered. Nobody went around bare-footed in Kyproulla in the eighties when Averof started his long march to the top.

All he was trying to say was that he started off from a God-forsaken village in the Paphos district, with no backing, no contacts and no help, but he should have found a less poetic way to say this, if only to avoid having the piss taken out of him, so mercilessly. Already he is being referred to as the ‘xypolytos’.

Maybe he should also try to use the victimhood card like his fellow-Paphite, because Cypriot voters hate someone else’s success story, especially if he started out with nothing, not even a pair of flip-flops. Our sympathy is always with the self-proclaimed victims.

 

ONLY in Kyproulla could we have witnessed a demonstration of prisoners in support of the director of their prison. I suspect this stranger than fiction manifestation has never been witnessed anywhere else in the world.

Convicts joined forces with prison wardens, to show solidarity with the person in charge of keeping them in prison. It is not normal, but it happened last Monday, with prison director Anna Aristotelous being greeted and cheered in the prison yard by prisoners, as if she had come to free them.

The demo, in which, reports claimed former convicts and families of prisoners took part, may have been the work of Aristotelous, who is very skilled in the publicity game. How could all the prisoners have left their cells to stage a support demo, without the OK of the director?

Their jailers, probably let them out so they could all collectively show their love and admiration for their prison director, because Kyproulla’s prisons are one big happy family.

 

I ALMOST felt sorry when hearing that very few Cypriots turned up to the June 14 reception at the Russian embassy to mark the National Day of Russia and to bid farewell to Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Stanislav Osadchiy, who had served a whopping nine years in Kyproulla.

Not even loyal servants and cheerleaders of Mother Russia showed up to thank Stan for his constant interfering in our domestic affairs, his dispensing of unhelpful advice and his indefatigable efforts to keep the Cyprob alive, as far away from a settlement as possible.

A person from one of our pro-Russia parties, who attended the bash, told friends she felt ashamed that so few people were there to pay tribute to the departing Stan and mark the national day of the mother country. After nine years of behaving like the colonial governor of Kyproulla, it was the send-off he deserved.

 

SPEAKING of Mother Russia, why is Rik, employing a crude Putin propagandist to work as the state broadcaster’s Russia correspondent? I refer to Thanasis Avgerinos, who has been very professionally disseminating Moscow fake news about the war in Ukraine to audiences in Cyprus and Greece (he is the correspondent of the Greek TV station as well).

In the latest display of his propagandist zeal he posted a picture of a guy with big swastika tattoos being treated by a medic. Praising Russia’s find, he tweeted the photo and the following: “There is a member of the Battalion #Azov#Nazi with the stamp (I wonder what some are denying when there are hundreds of proofs) being given medical treatment at an army camp of #DPR (Donetsk People’s Republic).”

Greek, fact-checking website Ellinika Hoaxes, found that the photo had been taken in Belarus in June 2005, nine years before the establishment of the Azov Battalion, in a prison in the town of Mogilyev by a photographer working for AFP which distributed the photo to subscribers.

 

EARLIER in the week I went to my neighbourhood garage to get some petrol into my car. Feeling rather miserly, asked the garage-owner for 25 euro worth of 95. It was then that he gave me a very wise piece of friendly advice. “I tell all my customers that the most economical thing to do is to fill it up,” he told me.

Seeing my rather bemused expression, he explained. “If you fill up now, you will have saved some money because when you come back next week, you will pay a higher price per litre.” So fill up whenever you can because the next time the cost per litre is certain to be higher.

 

I HAVE to reveal that I have stopped buying my weekend tashinopitta from the bakery I had been buying it for years because it has made all the wrong choices in dealing with inflation. Apart from the 15 per cent increase in price and 20 per cent reduction in size, the bakery is also using less tahini, which makes the tashinopitta quite dry and stodgy.

Unfortunately, I could not have followed the advice of my garage owner and bought several tashinopittas in advance to avoid the inevitable deterioration of quality and quantity caused by inflation.

 

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