Cyprus Mail
FeaturedOpinionTales from the Coffeeshop

Tales from the Coffeeshop: Phed Express roars back into action over sewage

parliament 03
Paphos mayor Phedonos Phedonas is on the warpath again

TIME is running out for the governor of the central bank Constantinos Herodotou, whose despotic reign since his appointment in April 2019 ensured he was universally disliked by his staff, who will be very happy to see the back of him.

He has been at pains to secure another term, but this seems highly unlikely now that Preznikone and Disy, whose patronage he enjoyed, are no longer in the picture. Since returning to Kyproulla in 2014 from his high-powered jobs in London, the previous government had ensured Herodotou remained on the public payroll in three very highly rewarded posts.

In 2014 he was appointed Commissioner of Privatisations, which was closed down three years later after it became clear that the communists of the political parties and their union comrades would not allow any privatisations to take place. When the post was scrapped, he was appointed executive director of the central bank board, a highly paid post reserved for the politically well-connected. When the previous governor Crystal’s term was over, Herodotou was then given the post.

With less than two months of his term remaining, it does not look like the governor’s contract will be renewed as Prezniktwo will have promised the post to at least half a dozen of the coterie of idiots that support him. Worse still, he might not offer Herodotou another highly paid public post.

 

IN WHAT appears a desperate attempt to hold on to his post by pandering to the parties fighting against foreclosures, Herodotou on Wednesday sent a letter to all the credit purchasing companies urging them to “display full cooperation with borrowers for finding viable restructuring solutions, where this is permitted”.

Discussions with borrowers on restructurings should be done “with speed, transparency and take into account the economic developments as well as the spirit of relevant legislation”, he said in his letter, which was probably also sent to cover his backside after Cyprus Times, two days earlier, had published a damning excerpt from a European Banking Authority (EBA) peer review report published in December.

The report looked at ‘supervision of treatment of mortgage borrowers in arrears’ and its benchmark assessment found that Kyproulla central bank had not applied the EBA’s assessment criteria on the following: “supervision of creditors’ obligation to assess the creditworthiness of borrowers and treatment of borrowers in payment difficulties is appropriate.” Other criteria were only partially applied.

The report referred to 2022, so another year passed before Herodotou decided to ask credit-purchasing companies to apply the EBA assessment criteria.

 

BANKERS who were invited to a meeting with the governor not so long ago, to discuss the need for the introduction of electronic signatures and digital onboarding, were surprised by the way he promoted the software of a specific company.

Digital onboarding is an automated process that allows bank customers to open an account and take out a loan, without any human interference. There are several programs that do this, but Herodotou seemed convinced that the best solution was provided by a specific Nicosia-based company, although he stopped just short of telling the bankers to buy it.

A bright future in sales beckons if he fails to land another public post when his term as governor is up.

 

PHED EXPRESS roared back into action last week, refusing to allow the companies which bribed officials in the Paphos sewerage board (Sapa) to get away with it.

The irrepressible, loud-mouthed mayor of Paphos said he would personally take legal action against the Contractors’ Council and the technical chamber Etek for dereliction of duty, both having failed to take any measures against the companies that bribed his predecessor as mayor and several officials to the tune of just over €1 million, the bill for which was picked up by the taxpayer.

Although owners of the companies admitted they had paid bribes in exchange for immunity from prosecution, disciplinary measures could have been taken, but they appeared to have had the protection of Preznikone. He changed the composition of the Contractors’ Council four times in eight years, which meant the disciplinary investigation had to start from scratch each time, until it was dropped this year.

Without any action being taken against the bribers, they were free to bid for public contracts. Medcon landed the Pentakomo waste treatment plant with disastrous results, while Cyfield, which owned Nemesis (another of the bribers), has secured the contracts for most of the big road building projects thanks to Preznikone’s protection.

 

THE MIGHTY boss of Cyfield, Kyriakos Chrysochos, has been targeted by the Phed Express, as he was the CEO of Nemesis at the time of the bribes and testified in court that his company gave kickbacks to officials in order to land contracts.

Mayor Phed Express is now attempting to turn the screw on Etek, for failing to take any disciplinary measures against Chrysochos who is a civil engineer and one of its members. He has a point, considering Etek seemed to have no interest in ensuring high professional standards of its members.

The problem is that Chrysochos is now so powerful, even without presidential protection, that nobody would dare take him on, except the mad Paphite Don Quixote, who deserves our respect.

 

AS IF DISY chief Annita Demetriou does not have enough to cope with controlling members that want the party to join the government, dealing with the low intelligence members of her leadership team and resisting Preznikone’s incessant meddling, she also has to deal with the tantrums of one of her first vice presidents.

Marios Pelekanos, a party member that nobody had heard of until he became Preznikone’s government spokesman, was not satisfied with being elected vice president of the party a few months ago and demanded he stand in the European Parliament elections. It was not because of the money but because he felt he would offer the party more as an MEP.

When the party failed to select him as a candidate he resigned as vice president because “my political ethics, dignity and conscience” would not allow him to continue. Everything in Kyproulla politics is about ethics and dignity. The tragedy is that Disy has been trying to persuade this self-serving upstart to withdraw his resignation.

Annita should have just told him to piss off, so he could safeguard his ethics and dignity.

 

DIPA deputy and former union hack Alekos Tryfonides decided to take on the role of corruption buster last week, alleging that officials the University of Cyprus were being paid off for not building housing for students, by developers who wanted to take over the housing market.

It was crude pandering to our entitled youth, who seem to believe that apart from free university education the taxpayer should also provide them with cheap housing next door to the university, so they do not put themselves out. It was no surprise that Tryfonides, a former Cyta union hack that had campaigned against privatisation, would embrace a communist cause.

Needless to say he did not have a shred of evidence to back his allegations of kickbacks, but none is needed when the lies are for a good cause, like making the easy life of entitled youth even easier.

 

THE CHURCH seems to be regaining its illiberal hold over public schools under the devout, God-fearing prez. The minister of education, Athena Michaelidou, defended the showing of a homophobic video which had a Greek bishop arguing that same sex relationships were against nature and that sex between men was abnormal.

Targeting a minority group and presenting its members as perverts and freaks of nature to impressionable schoolchildren was an issue of freedom of expression and pluralism was the official line of the reactionary mob, led by Diko deputy Pavlos Mylonas and seconded by the minister herself. Both claimed the church had every right to present its position as it would increase the students’ critical thinking. Not bigotry?

Mylonas, posing as the champion of free speech, accused independent deputy, Alexandra Attalides who raised the issue, of “imposing a fascist mentality” and “gagging the scientific community”. I did not know that the church and priests were part of the scientific community.

Michaelidou said teachers cannot be silenced “nor can the use of material to discuss a topic be condemned, as long as it is within the objectives of the lesson and there is a pedagogical approach.” Condemning gays as freaks of nature is acceptable so long as the bigotry has a pedagogical approach.

 

Follow the Cyprus Mail on Google News

Related Posts

Nicosia praises Euro-Turkish relations linked to Cyprob

Jonathan Shkurko

Immigration and economy: biggest concerns for Cypriots

Jean Christou

Our View: Auditor-general overstepping his position in opposing pension bills

CM: Our View

President and von der Leyen to go on joint visit to Lebanon to discuss migration issue

Source: Cyprus News Agency

Worrying figures over student drug abuse

Jean Christou

Pain delivers pain

Colette NiReamonn Ioannidou