THE OTHER day I found myself almost feeling a certain degree of sympathy for our Prez – the sort of sympathy you feel instinctively for someone who is being bullied and intimidated and is unable to fight back.
His rather embarrassing capitulation to the unrelenting bullying of our supreme ruler Odysseas over the proposed new building for the state’s legal service was another example of his fear of confrontation. On Friday the official gazette of the EU announced that the competition, titled ‘Legal Service of the Republic’ (tenders for the design), had been cancelled.
In an attempt to cover up the capitulation, the transport ministry announced that “the implementation of the construction of new buildings for the ministries of interior, transport and communications in the area of the Secretariat” was also cancelled for the same reason.
It did not give Odysseas’ bullying as the reason, which the ministry said was “in the framework of the more effective covering of the housing needs of the public sector and the rational management of public finances.” Within this framework, the government decided the postponement of the construction of the new building of the legal service.
IT DID not take our self-regarding ruler long to publicly gloat about his latest triumph, another exhibition of who is really running the nuthouse.
Using the obligatory royal plural, the audit office (our version of The Crown), ‘X’ed: “We welcome the fact that the government adopted our suggestions for the immediate cancellation of the competition for this building with the wasteful and excessive design, and the declaration of which also violated environmental legislation.”
Odysseas had been going on about the luxury of the 11-storey building, which would cost €53.5m, three suites (for the AG, deputy AG and general manager), six lifts (one exclusively for AG and deputy AG) and two basements. He was particularly annoyed that the AG’s office would have an area of 75 square metres.
Constitutionally speaking, the size of the offices and cost of the building is none of the audit office’s business, but Odysseas has an ongoing vendetta with the AG and his deputy so he took the opportunity to embarrass them both for their delusions of grandeur at the taxpayer’s expense.
The funny thing is that AG Giorgos Savvides would never have enjoyed the palatial office, as he would have retired before the completion of the building.
THE PRESIDENTIAL surrender to the whims of odious Ody may have been a damage limitation exercise, an attempt to appease the raging bull after the humiliating Doxa fiasco.
Odious Ody was not pleased when it transpired that the Prez had disobeyed him regarding the overtime pay, despite him having made it clear Doxa was not entitled to any payment over and above her pay grade.
Displaying his displeasure, he said he would look into what the Prez was being paid when he was acting government spokesman, because he had received a complaint about the matter. In theory, as he had not resigned his public service post he should have received nothing over and above his public parasite’s pay grade.
Yet there was a report (you can guess who the source may have been) that when abroad he was entitled to a public parasite’s per diem but was taking a minister’s that was more than double.
Had Nik II decided that the embarrassment of giving Ody the building victory would make him give up the payments investigation, or at least produce a whitewash as he had always done when investigating Nik I? We shall see.
POOR OLD Doxa Komodromou submitted her resignation on Monday after the uproar about the overtime pay claims. It was “an orchestrated attempt to hurt the President of the Republic”, she told CyBC, adding that she had reached her decision in order to assist the Prez.
She was right to say she did nothing wrong. It was not as if she was claiming overtime without anyone’s approval. Unfortunately, the odious Ody has not offered to investigate who had sanctioned these payments despite his very clear and strict orders, conveyed to the Prez himself.
BULLYING always seems to pay off. Loizos Hadjicostis, the honorary chairman of the bank employees’ union, who has bullied bank bosses for the last four decades, got his daughter Ioanna a top post, on a top pay grade (A15) in the public service.
Although an outsider, she landed the post of Director of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Culture. Ioanna was first employed at Marfin Laiki by Andreas Vgenopoulos, who plundered the bank and bankrupted it, but was always praised by Hadjicostis. The Etyk boss even arranged a special event to honour the man who bankrupted Laiki.
When Laiki went bust, Ioanna moved to the Bank of Cyprus and worked at its cultural centre (she may have been put in charge subsequently), but the post did not pay as much as the public sector so her daddy arranged a much better paid post for her. Public parasites eligible for the job were sidelined because nobody wants to cross a bully like Hadjicostis, who also has very close ties with our Prez, although I am certain he did not interfere in the appointment process.
WAS IT a coincidence that the blood relative of another notorious bully followed a similar career path? Anastasia Kamenou, sister of Odysseas, was hired at the finance ministry on an A14 pay grade as an outsider. She was a Cyta employee, but applied for a top job in the public service and ended up at the interior ministry.
After she missed out on promotion to the post of chief district officer, she turned into a rabid critic of the Anastasiades government, tweeting her venom on a regular basis. The change of government did not lead to her landing her dream post, which may be one of the reasons her angry bro has been giving our Prez so much grief.
SPEAKING of blood relatives, you had to admire the cringeworthy ‘happy birthday’ message sent to Nik I by his daughter Ino for his 77th on September 27. The capital letters are hers, as is the embarrassment.
“Many happy returns our Adored Papa…. You were, ARE and will BE always our pride! I ADORE you is too little, blessed by God that I have you as my papa, my support, my rock, my strength. I am PROUD of you, for your kindness, for your HONESTY, for your principles, your values, the limitless love you gave us, and most importantly to love, to respect and to forgive.”
There is, after all, one person in Kyproulla that recognises Nik’s HONESTY, even though she is a bit lacking in objectivity.
THE CURSE of Paphos has struck again. Less than a month after he was made an honorary citizen of Paphos and given the key of the town, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, was charged with taking hundreds of thousands of bucks in bribes, including gold bars. He has stepped down as chair of the committee.
I am very disappointed that none from the patriotic camp have even indicated that the allegations against Menendez were fabricated by Turkey’s secret service MIT to punish him for supporting Greek Cypriots and blocking the sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey. It seems even the patriots understand the potency of the curse of Paphos.
ECONOMIC stupidity has always been invincible in Kyproulla (so have other forms, but we will not go into them) so nobody would have been surprised to see the proposals drafted by the unions as ‘anti-inflationary policy’ which they want the government to adopt.
Almost all the measures were inflationary, but the icing on the cake was the demand for full CoLA to be restored (currently two thirds is given). Kyproulla will go down in economic history as the first country in the world that will fight inflation by raising wages.
THE MOST coveted ambassadorial post is Greece, for obvious reasons. For years, this post has gone to political hangers-on, men whose main skill was buttering up presidents. Kyriakos Kenevezos, a modest Diko politician with plenty to be modest about, was in the post for the last eight years, but finally left the post on Saturday.
The new ambassador, Stavros Avgoustides, for a change, is a member of the diplomatic service who has held ambassadorial posts in Bulgaria and Saudi Arabia. Congrats to the Prez for picking a proven and respected diplomat for the Athens post. This was a promise he managed to keep.
SURPRISED to hear that Kyproulla will be represented at next year’s Eurovision Song Contest by Aussie Cypriot Silia(sic) Kapsis. I would have thought that Mr and Mrs Prez, who have no problem with giving jobs to family members, having a daughter with a beautiful singing voice would have arranged for her to represent us at Eurovision.
She could have sang her composition about never forgetting Famagusta and thus helped the enlightenment campaign for the Cyprus problem. Maybe next year, if Turkish intransigence continues and there is no settlement.