THE POLITICAL renewal that Prez Nik II promised in the election campaign was put into practice, not for the first time, with the return to action of retired ambassador and grand master of rejectionism, Tasos Tzionis.
Tzionis, aged 67, was appointed head of the spooks agency Kyp, a post he held for five years in the early noughties, when he was the right hand man and political enforcer of Ethnarch Tassos. He is the second member of the Ethnarch’s administration, which ended 15 years ago, after Makis Keravnos, to be recycled and returned to office as a renewable resource and part of the government’s commitment to sustainability and the green transition.
The first lady, PKC, who considered the Tzionis as something of a mentor when she was serving at the foreign ministry, may have played a key role in the decision to recycle him. A fellow Cyprob traveller, he also stood by her when her appointment was challenged in the courts at the start of her career, earning him her loyalty for life.
Rumours suggest that Mrs PKC wants wily Tzionis to keep an eye on her husband, who could get carried away if placed under a little foreign pressure and agree to something on the Cyprob that he would be unable to get out of.
The new Kyp head, who will be able to monitor the prez through the National Security Council he has also been placed in charge of, will ensure this does not happen.
THE NATIONAL Security Council (NSC) was another election promise, not only to the electorate but also to Tzionis, who wanted a bigger role than being just Kyp chief and looking at transcripts of telephone conversations of the enemies of the state. He wanted to be a player.
The setting up of the NSC was his idea and a condition for returning to the role of Kyproulla’s Jay Edgar Hoover. This was the second time he had demanded a special body be created for him in exchange for taking the boringly unglamorous Kyp job.
Back in 2003, when the Ethnarch had asked him to take the post, he set another condition for accepting. He demanded that a diplomatic office of the president be set up and he be put in charge of it. Tassos obliged, even though he had the whole foreign ministry as his diplomatic office and did not need one at the presidential palace as well.
It was a power-grab by Tzionis, who as director of the president’s diplomatic office, could also control the foreign ministry, acting as foreign minister without the title. As head of the NSC, he will be shaping foreign policy from behind the scenes, preparing papers advising Nik on how to ensure partition is not threatened, not even if Angel Merkel is appointed the EU’s special representative to the Cyprob.
THINGS could not have gone much better for Tzionis. Apart from a big fat salary for the Kyp job, he will also draw a big fat state pension and wield power through an advisory body that he created especially for himself.
As Phil reported, Tzionis had delivered a study for the operation of the National Security Council to the president in March. Not only would he participate in the NSC, but he also will have the responsibility of putting it together, reported Phil, confirming that this will be his personal gig for playing politics.
What is difficult to understand is how the prez expects to maintain the myth about his commitment to the resumption of the talks when he has appointed as his advisor a guy who devoted his career in ensuring nothing ever threatened the Cyprob status quo?
When serving his namesake, he was also our representative in low-level negotiations and ensured that, after about 50 meetings with his Turkish Cypriot counterpart, the two sides agreed on nothing.
SPEAKING of the Cyprob, I loved the ultimatum served by our government to the European Commission about the appointment of political personality, like Angel Merkel, as EU representative to the talks.
Spokesman Constantinos Letymbiotis said without a hint of irony: “The proposal for the appointment of a special envoy to the Kypriako by the EU is a contemporary European proposal, but it will not be on the table forever.”
Are we going to withdraw it if the EU does not seize this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity we have offered it? These conservative Franks are still stuck in the Middle Ages and cannot understand the colossal value of this contemporary European proposal.
They should grab it now because once Tzionis takes control of the NSC the proposal will be off the table for good and they will be lamenting the loss of the opportunity to have a more active role in the Cyprob. No matter how much Brussels begs, it will not return to the table.
MYSTERY surrounds this contemporary European proposal for the EU as nobody seems to know what it involves. Is it just a slogan of the type our prez and his spokesman specialise in?
There were bewildered looks among members of the diplomatic corps at the Italian embassy’s reception for their national day on Thursday when Foreign Minister Constantinos Kombos referred to the “new initiative of the president of the republic,” which he said “is the only initiative in motion” and “is centred on the active and catalytic involvement of the EU.”
Does an academic like Kombos really believe that asking the EU to have a more active role is an initiative in motion, or is he just repeating what his boss has asked him to say? Words have lost their meaning under Nik II or as the great comedian W.C. Fields once said, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”
The ranks of the baffled are increasing by the day.
AFTER the debacle of appointing a friend of his with fake university degrees to the public service commission, and having to rescind the decision, the prez came up with a smart way of protecting the beneficiaries of presidential rusfeti, from social media warriors.
In a letter informing deputies about the appointment of Giorgos Kentas as CyBC chairman, the government said that “for the sake of protecting personal data the CV of Mr Kentas will remain confidential and any deputy that would like to be informed about it can check the House archives.”
Although Kentas has a glowing CV this idiotic excuse is designed to protect future appointees, but the usually pedantic commissioner for the protection of personal data did a spoiler. Irini Loizidou Nicolaidou said the publication of CVs of people holding public posts served the principle of transparency, which, incidentally, was one of the election promises of Nik II. What does Odysseas think about this?
I READ that the government is preparing a law that would allow the police to carry out alcotests and narcotests on people going to watch football matches, in the belief that keeping the inebriated and the stoned out of the ground would reduce crowd trouble.
After the latest incident of hooliganism – in which a group of 30 youths were on the street asking people which club they supported and beating up two fans of a team they disapproved of – the law should have a provision for alcotests and narco-tests of people on the street as well. Hooligans, after all, cause more trouble outside sports grounds.
THE DECISIONS of our judges continue to confound. The former bishop of Kition, Chrysostomos, was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for three years, after being found guilty of sexually assaulting a 16-year-old girl.
Compare this with the Ukrainian woman who was sentenced to five months in prison, for threatening a group of Russians with a kitchen knife in Larnaca. Nobody was hurt in the incident, but the presence of a Russian mob inside and outside the court during the trial, demanding a tough sentence, ensured a custodial sentence was passed.
There was a Cypriot mob inside and outside the court during the former bishop’s trial, but it obviously did not have the impact of the Russian mob on the sentence. Judges must be more afraid of the latter.
THE AD HOC parliamentary committee on demography, under the enlightened chairmanship of an Elam deputy, met last week to discuss the threat of Kyproulla being taken over by migrants. The birthrate in 2022 was 1.4, well below the replacement birthrate of 2.1 which only migrant families appear to record, it was said.
I cannot go into the reasons why Greek Cypriot couples do not want to have more than 1.4 kids as I am running out of space, but I have a suggestion for tackling the problem. Public parasites, as part of their employment terms, would have to have at least three kids after ten years of service and if they do not meet the target their employment should be terminated.
They take the most out of the country while giving nothing back, except lousy service. They could give something back to society by having three children each (they can afford this) and arresting the decline in the birth-rate. This will inevitably lead to more people wanting public service jobs, at which point the state can raise the minimum to four kids.
AUTHOR Martin Amis died a few weeks ago, so as a tribute here is something he wrote from Einstein’s Monster.
“What is the only provocation that could bring about the use of nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the priority target for nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. What is the only established defence against nuclear weapons? Nuclear weapons. How do we prevent the use of nuclear weapons? By threatening the use of nuclear weapons. And we can’t get rid of nuclear weapons, because of nuclear weapons. The intransigence, it seems, is a function of the weapons themselves.”