I WAS tempted to wish our customers a happy new year, but in the end I decided against it as I do not think 2023 has the potential to be happy for any of the citizens of the island of perpetual sunshine. From March, the golden age of Prez Nik’s rule will come to an end and we will enter the unknown, drifting in stormy seas without the emperor who set up the new Rome.
He has chosen his errand boy as his heir, although he has avoided naming him publicly, and it is looking very likely that he will get him elected. He has even managed to persuade his party’s candidate Averof that he is fully behind him, when at least half of Disy knows that he is not and has defected to the heir’s camp.
If there was an international award for Machiavellian masterstrokes Nik would have won it, for the way he secretly groomed his loyal errand boy as his successor and undermined Averof in the process while pretending he was loyal to the Disy candidate. And to cap it all his chosen one will be the candidate of three opposition parties – Edek, Diko and Dipa.
The parties which for the last 10 years have been accusing Nik of rampant corruption, of looking after the interests of the banks and of abuses of power, are backing the candidate that Nik has decided is the most suitable to carry on his work. They will make sure that Nik’s corrupt rule continues by proxy. Perhaps it will be a happy new year after all.
PREZ NIK continued his legacy building in an interview published in Phil on New Year’s Day. Apart from the familiar heaping of lavish praise on himself for his great achievements, he also took on the role of father of the nation, in issuing some Cyprob advice to his successor,
The advice suggests he wants to be remembered as another Tassos. He set five red lines that his successor should never cross on the Cyprob. It was another smart way of implying that the reason he walked out of Crans-Montana was because he could not cross these five red lines, which were not an issue as the Turks had signalled they would make the necessary concessions.
The audacity is also deserving of an international award. After such a record of dismal failure on the Cyprob, he should be the least eligible person to offer any advice to his successor. Thanks to Nik, the last real opportunity for a settlement was wasted and since then the north has been turned into a province of Turkey, while the fenced-off part of Varosha has been opened by the Turks.
The guy should hang his head in shame for finalising partition rather than be offering advice to his successors about red lines that he has ensured there would never be any danger of crossing.
ON A HAPPIER note, our Nik took a break from his legacy-building by going to Athens en famille to celebrate the arrival of the new year. There were pictures of him with a couple of Greek A-listers, taken on New Year’s Eve at venue frequented by the rich and beautiful of Athens. These were posted on social media.
According to reports, he flew to Athens on the Republic’s private jet. It is a good thing that he no longer has to use the private jet of his rich Saudi mate who might ask for favours in exchange. The taxpayer, at least, will not be asking Nik for any favours for using the Republic’s jet for his holiday travel.
I may be wrong, but I was under the impression that the state’s private jet is only used for travel related to state business. Perhaps Nik paid the bill for the Athens trip out of his own pocket, in which case there would be nothing for Odysseas to investigate.
SPEAKING of Odysseas, he felt obliged to express his displeasure over a mildly critical comment in Phil, about his getting mixed up in the prison squabble. After the prison director and her assistant announced they would resign he publicly offered them a job at the audit service via Twitter, without procedures being followed.
His behaviour was criticised by a Phil hack and the great man, who does not take kindly to any form of criticism, even if it’s published in his semi-official mouthpiece, responded with a tweet. “The journalist censures me for getting mixed up in the prisons. The heads of the prisons reported a corruption offence, the grounds for which were confirmed. Based on Law 6(I)2022 they are entitled to protection. The journalist could remain apathetic. We no….”
The use of the royal plural has become standard practice for Odysseas who also took the opportunity to advertise his moral superiority to the journo. Is it part of the authorities of the Odysseas audit service to offer protection to whistle-blowers? Are we to assume that any public employee who reports a case of corruption at their department will be offered a job at the audit service, because the saintly Odysseas could not remain apathetic?
THE COMMISSIONER for transparency, Haris Poyiadjis said that anti-corruption authority, which he heads, would invite an expert from abroad to carry out an investigation into the allegations of corruption made in three books published by Makarios Drousiotis.
In an interview, published last weekend in Phil, Poyiadjis said that this was necessary as he was aware that people would not trust the findings of an investigation carried out by local people. This is not exactly a vote of confidence in the anti-corruption authority by the man in charge of it.
If the authority’s head does not trust his employees to carry out an honest investigation – this is the implication of his decision to call in someone from abroad to do the job – they may as well close the shop down. Then again, if our anti-money laundering service Mokas, occasionally brought in a foreign expert to do its work, it would not be considered such pitifully inept service by everyone.
AVEROF got a lot of stick on social media for his bus-driver metaphor, which was aimed at reminding people that he was capable of getting things done safely. It was rather unfortunate, because even people who would be happy with Averof running the country, would not necessarily enter a bus that he was driving back from the snowy mountains.
But this was nothing compared to Christodoulides’ response, when asked what he considered corruption on a TV show. He said that arranging for your child to go to a public school even though you were living outside the catchment area was an act of corruption. Of course parents that send their kids to private school, paid for by the taxpayer, like Christodoulides, do not have to engage in such a form of corruption.
As this was the best example of corruption in Kyproulla he could think of, here are some other suggestions for him, in case he is asked the same question in the future. Appointing your wife to a top post at the foreign ministry, as foreign minister, when there are dozens of higher-ranked officials eligible for the post could be regarded as corruption. Public parasites, carrying on collecting overseas allowance for four months after they have stopped working overseas might also be a bit corrupt.
THERE is little doubt that the most destructive corruption plaguing our society involves parents sending their kids to a public school outside the area their home address entitles them to. Granting citizenships to someone’s entire family after he flies you and your family to the Seychelles on his private jet for a holiday is nothing compared to the rampant corruption linked to school enrolment. Poyadjis should invite a foreign expert to carry out an investigation of these corrupt parents. Those who report the corrupt parents would also be eligible for a job at the Odysseas service, which, I am sure would not remain indifferent.
SOMETIMES the platitudes which Nik’s chosen heir exclusively peddles can be a tad hypocritical. We have been hearing for example that he will usher an era of national unity and cooperation. Is he eligible to talk of unity when, he split the party he belonged to in two in order to pursue his political ambitions? He was expelled on Friday, after he submitted his candidacy.
But how can a man who has caused a deep division in the party he was a member of, sermonise about national unity with a straight face. I suspect he is committed to unity as long as he is the leader.