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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Prez refuses to give up on sea corridor

Disy MEP Eleni Stavrou
Disy MEP Eleni Stavrou donned an army helmet, fatigues and flak jacket to inform viewers that she was in Israel

THE PRESIDENTIAL enthusiasm for the presidential initiative for creating a sea corridor through which to take humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip appears to have been dampened in the last few days, probably by brief contact with the world of reality.

He has not given up on it, even though his international marketing campaign has suffered the odd setback and he may have sensed that he was regarded as a bit of a nuisance by some of the leaders he was pestering about the corridor of added value to Kyproulla.

President Emmanuel Macron seemed to have been in no mood to play along. Nik II announced on Tuesday he would discuss his initiative with Macron on Tuesday evening, but the next day Mini Me said this had not been possible, adding it would take place at a later time.

By Saturday morning, Macron had still not picked up the phone. He probably told his aides, if that guy from Cyprus, playing the world statesman, calls wanting to talk about his corridor just tell him I have no available time to talk about his brilliant initiative in the next four weeks.


ISRAEL’S prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, forever the gentleman, made some time, in contrast to Macron, even though his country is at war and has much more important things to do than humour our Nik.

Mini Me said that on Tuesday night the Prez had a “long telephone conversation” with Israel’s PM, “who sees this initiative positively.” But not positively enough to give Israel’s approval to it, without which the corridor would remain a presidential fantasy. The Prez’s sales pitch, during the allegedly “long telephone conversation,” failed to persuade his buddy Bibi, of the need of the humanitarian sea corridor that would raise Kyproulla’s and the Prez’s international profile.

Still the marketing campaign continued on Friday, when the Prez made his corridor sales pitch to US Under Secretary of State Victoria Nuland, after also speaking to the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen. The telephone conversations were reported in a tweet by Mini Me, who did not say if they were long or short, but wanted to send the message that the dream of world significance is still alive.


SADLY, this commendable initiative to give the centre of the universe the significant role it merits and place Nicosia at the epicentre of developments, seems destined to have the fate of that other publicity stunt – the appointment of an international personality as an EU envoy for the Cyprob.

It bears the presidential seal of superficiality. If the initiative had been thought through it would have been dismissed as a non-starter, because the Israel government made it clear it has no intention of stopping the war for humanitarian aid to arrive in the Gaza Strip. What little aid is supplied goes through the Rafah crossing from Egypt.

Finally realising the corridor would not open any time soon, deputy government spokesman, Yiannis Antoniou, tried to fix things by saying “this will be a big operation that needs to be coordinated in advance with international aid agencies.” But, he added, “we need to be prepared as soon as the green light is given by Israel.”

It will be a long wait, but there is hope that by then President Macron will pick up the phone.


TIMING is not the only hole in the initiative. Our original plan was for the aid to be loaded on ships in Piraeus, which would make a stop at Crete and bring the food and medicine to Limassol, from where it would be loaded to other ships and taken via the sea corridor, to Egypt or Israel and then into Gaza.

The million-dollar question is why would ships loaded with humanitarian aid in Piraeus not go directly to Egypt or Israel. Stopping in Limassol to unload their cargo, which would then have to be loaded on to other ships, would be a colossal waste of time when the aid is urgently needed.

As this plan seemed rather stupid, the government came up with the idea of the humanitarian sea corridor linking Kyproulla directly to Gaza, which has a small port for fishing boats and could not cope with big cargo. Would Kyproulla carry the aid on fishing boats?

So, the government amended its plan again. After the Prez spoke to von der Leyen, Mini Me clarified that we are talking about “the creation of a sea corridor, via Cyprus, for the provision of humanitarian aid, with Gaza as the final destination.”

It has to be via Cyprus, because it was our Prez who came up with the idea of the corridor first. Even if the aid is from the Gulf states it must go through the corridor via Kyproulla.


FINANCE minister, Makis Keravnos, exhibited all his anti-Western, anti-capitalism prejudices in the speech he made at Akel’s Economy Forum, with which the communists hoped to dispel the view that the party was hostile to business.

It was unclear whether Keravnos had orders from his boss to tell the commies what they wanted to hear, was expressing his personal views or was buttering up the comrades in the hope he would be their presidential candidate in the next elections.

What was clear was that he was as hostile to globalisation, the new world order, multi-national companies, and the inequities of capitalism as his Marxist audience. He saw the war in Ukraine as a failure of the EU to prevent another war on the continent, without any mention to Russia.

“Is it certain that globalisation operated and operates in favour of people and the ordinary man,” he asked. As he does not know the answer, let me inform him that it is an empahtic ‘yes’.

According to the World Bank, the share of world’s population in extreme poverty has fallen from 42 per cent in 1981 to 8.6 per cent in 2018. And the evil of globalisation may have had something to do with it, although nobody told Makis.


LOW-PAID public parasites had their demand for higher wages satisfied by the government on Tuesday and their union Pasydy applauded the decision. In comments made to Tass news agency the perm sec at the ministry Giorgos Panteli, also revealed that there was an agreement for the rationalisation of the state payroll to ensure its viability.

The government did not want to return to pre-crisis practices which led to significant rates of growth of the payroll every year. Foreign consultants were helping with the rationalisation. Do we really need foreign consultants to tell us how to stop the annual growth of the payroll?

Why doesn’t the government cut the number of parasites by 20 per cent, scrap CoLA, scale down the incremental pay scales, link pay rises to productivity and presto – the rationalisation of the payroll. I do not even want payment for my consultancy services.


THE MURDER of two leading figures of organised crime in the space of 37 hours may have been good for the news business, but the cops could not have been happy because it meant they would be in the spotlight and be obliged to stop issuing fines and do some real police work.

On Saturday they even arrested a man in connection with the Limassol murder. Could this be a break with the police’s impeccable record of failure? Since 2011, 16 men linked with organised crime have been shot dead and not one of the killers has ever been caught.

With such a record of failure, I am surprised Odysseas has not yet taken over the latest murder investigations himself, because police investigation that lead nowhere are a complete waste of the taxpayer’s money.


I AM PROUD to say that our establishment had predicted the Second Coming of the self-righteous, tree-hugger, Giorgos Perdikis. Three years out of the spotlight was more than he could bear, and he seized the opportunity to return to the Green Party leadership.

He said he will be standing in the leadership elections, to be held in three weeks’ time, because of the resignation of Charalambos Theopemptou, who was systematically undermined by Perdikis loyalists. Perdikis is returning as the green Saviour, saying that his intention was to bring back the unity of the party, which his loyalists shattered.

There are similarities with what happened at Disy, the only difference being that Nik I was denied the right to a Second Coming.


THE TURKS are still refusing to play ball with regard to the appointment of special envoy to the Cyprob, with Ersin Tatar setting conditions, he knows will not be accepted, for giving his approval.

Prez Nik, meanwhile, did his best to persuade the visiting UN Undersecretary-General for Peace Operations, Jean-Pierre Lacroix of the need for the appointment of an envoy at their meeting. Mini Me said the prez conveyed “his conviction that the appointment of an envoy by the UNSG would be of high added value.”

Not just added value, but high added value.


YOU HAD to laugh seeing Disy MEP, Eleni Stavrou, on Sigma TV, in army helmet, fatigues and flak jacket informing viewers that she was in Israel visiting the areas in which the Hamas entered Israel and carried out its atrocities.

She rambled on about hearing “explosions and war” and also collected the bullet shells from the road. She said she was part of a group from different countries that went to Israel to see what had happened. Stavrou proudly informed viewers she was the only MEP in the group, none of her colleagues having the guts to visit the war zone.

Such bravery was most definitely worth a mention on the TV news.

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