COMING up to his first anniversary in office and opinion polls indicating that his popularity has nosedived, Prezniktwo has launched yet another charm offensive, this time targeting the new voters – youngsters that would be eligible to vote when he seeks re-election in 2028.

On Friday he was the special guest at a gathering of school-leavers of public and private schools, from all over Kyproulla, held in an auditorium at the Nicosia HQ of the Bank of Cyprus, which has been organising debates, titled ‘The youths ask.’

The Prez not only answered questions by the teenagers, but he also marketed his ‘participatory democracy’ fantasy by announcing the establishment of two electronic platforms, that will give the illusion to youths that their opinions are being listened to.

The platform named ‘Expression’ will allow youths to address questions to the government and make suggestions, 99.9 per cent of which it will ignore. Even more absurd will be the platform for non-binding referenda, by which “we will put questions to Cypriot society, in general about issues that concern society.”

He gave an example of one question that we would be asked to vote for. It is the sort of issue that concerns nobody in society – bringing down the voting age. He did not mention the voting age he had in mind, but the lower it is, the better his chance of winning a second term, as grown-ups seem to have given up on him.

RESPONDING to a question about the clamping down on corruption the system’s failure to punish politicians he said that his most “important advantage is that I am a political party orphan.” He was the first ever president elected without the support of either of the two big parties.

“At the same time, it is my big weakness because when you are a party orphan you are considered to be more vulnerable, even though I do not feel this. Therefore, I have no weights preventing me from proceeding with these issues.”

This melodramatic orphan talk must have pissed off Diko, Edek and Dipa, who adopted him, loved him like their own child and also helped him get elected to the presidential orphanage. He is an ungrateful orphan.

A REVOLUTION has taken place at a big government department that comes under the interior ministry. The director of the department decided that the evaluation mark for each employee would reflect his/her performance at work, something unheard of in the public sector.

For the last 60 years every public employee – regardless of how lazy, brainless, unproductive, corrupt, parasitic they were – was given full marks when their work performance was evaluated. This practice of protecting the worst employees and making them eligible for promotion, has been fiercely defended by the champions of mediocrity – the unions and parties – demotivating the few good workers.

The average evaluation mark at the above-mentioned department was just below 7 out of 10, which is unprecedented. The average mark is usually 9.9 out of 10. The department head has been overwhelmed with calls from staff complaining about their low marks, but this is not the end of the story.

Each ministry has an ‘Objections Committee’ to which an employee can appeal against the evaluation mark they have received. These committees never had any work to do, but the interior ministry’s committee will now be flooded with objections. It remains to be seen whether it will uphold the objections and give everyone 10 out of 10, as is the tradition in the kingdom of sub-mediocrity.

MY FORMER dentist, Christos Stylianides, has been crucified by local media and politicians for remarks he made in Greece’s parliament. His political career may have moved to Greece after his stint as Kyproulla’s EU Commissioner, but he is still considered a legitimate target, especially when he talks about the Cyprob.

Stylianides, minister of shipping, told parliament that Greece’s efforts to defend Hellenism should take into account the balance of power, because otherwise we would be led to new national tragedies like those of 1974.

“Hellenism has no other margins in Cyprus. Half of Cyprus is already Turkish,” he said leading to opposition claims that “he had handed over half of Cyprus to Turkey.” It was a classic over-reaction, considering no individual, not even a minister, can hand over ownership of a plot of scrubland verbally to anyone, let alone half a country to another country.

He should have said half of Cyprus is under Turkish occupation, said his critics, and they had a point, because only with the use of the correct terminology will our country be liberated.

PREZNIKONE, although deep down he wants the truth to shine, made one last ditch attempt to prevent the investigation of the corruption allegations made against him in Makarios Drousiotis book, Mafia State.

His lawyers sent a letter to the author asking him to withdraw his books, make a public apology and pay damages, just a few days before the appointment of experienced international lawyer from Down Under, Gabrielle Louise McIntryre, was to be formally announced by the authority against corruption. McIntyre will be the chief investigator.

If the books were withdrawn and an apology issued, there would be no object for an investigation. I suspect Nik would also generously give up the demand for damages if this happened as it is his reputation as an upstanding, ethical, scrupulously honest politician he wants to defend. It is the truth he is interested in, not the moollah.

SOURCES close to the orphan’s palace told a reporter from this paper that the party-orphaned prez’s approval ratings would not have been so piss-poor, if the survey was carried out after he had announced the extension of the subsidies on electricity and fuel.

They had to say something, ignoring the fact that the subsidies were tokenistic and will not make much difference to anyone. The support measures were valued at €60m, of which €40m would go to businesses that will not have to pay the €350 levy this year. This left €20m for the remaining support measures. But the orphan still announced the measures personally in the hope that people would love him again.

The car fuel subsidy was extended to the end of March and that for electricity to the end of April. The Electricity Authority meanwhile fears that when people get their bill they will think they have been cheated, because the saving for the use of 800kWh – the average consumption -will be about €15, because the government subsidy is on the price of oil, which has fallen by some 30 per cent. When it was over $100 per barrel in 2022, the reduction in electricity bills was in the region of €70.

VERY SURPRISED at the euphoric reaction by the employers’ organisations Oev and Keve to the scrapping of the annual company levy. Both issued announcement praising the government to high heaven, as if the saving of €350 a year would in any way help a business. The amount is a little over a third of the minimum monthly wage, so it would make zero difference to any business, no matter how small or desperate it is.

WE HAVE a lot of crackpot priests on our island but nobody is in the same league as the Bishop of Morphou Neophytos, who earlier this week revealed his man-crush on Vladimir Putin. In an interview with Russian state news agency Tass, the bishop spoke about Putin as if he were the new Messiah, saying that he ‘honours’ him in all his liturgies.

He refers to him as Vladimir, he said, adding that he also honours, Sergei Lavrov and Putin’s lap dog, Dmitry Medvedev. “I pray for them,” he said. The loony priest also made it clear that he was firmly on the side of the totalitarian East in its fight with the West.

“The leadership of Cyprus has decided that we belong to the West,” he said. “I personally disagree with this position. We have much more in common with Russia….”

Do we really? In Kyproulla we have a democracy and people who oppose the president do not end up dead as they do in Russia. In a recent TV interview, Neophytos saw “a Putin who does not want war, he wants peace.” Interestingly, the first lady PKC has in the past attended the enlightened lectures given by this demented bishop.