IMH conference organiser has been promoting its Women Leaders’ Forum at the Hilton Hotel on Tuesday with a picture of the president’s missus, who is referred to as ‘Philippa Karsera Christodoulides – First Lady, Republic of Cyprus’.

Since when has First Lady become an official title of the Republic of Cyprus and is used as such? All it means is that she is the wife of the man elected president and it is used descriptively but presenting it like an official title of the Republic is a bit excessive even by the village standards of Kyproulla.

The Forum is subtitled ‘Achievement driven by women,’ making you wonder what career achievement First Lady, Republic of Cyprus will be talking about. She had an undistinguished career as a state employee – an achievement of tens of thousands of Cypriots – and was only noticed when her hubby became Prez Nik I’s favourite underling.

She was promoted to a top post above her ranking in the foreign ministry but could that be considered an achievement when the man she shared her bed with was in charge of the ministry at that time?

Then again she did marry an obscure Paphite with nothing but people skills and turned him into the First Gentleman, Republic of Cyprus. That was an ‘achievement driven by a woman’ but it is doubtful she will talk about it at the Women Leaders’ Forum.

THERE are also the biological oranges being grown in the gardens of the presidential palace and made into juice that is served at public schools, which are not good enough for the presidential daughters. Incidentally, these biological oranges cost the taxpayer an arm and a leg because there is an army of full-time gardeners tending them.

This idea belonged to Environment Commissioner Dr Maria Panayiotou, who a few months later was appointed minister of agriculture. Dr Panayiotou is a historian with no knowledge or interest in agricultural matters but her biological oranges initiative put her on friendly terms with First Lady, Republic of Cyprus who decided she was the right woman for the ministry.

In her tearful acceptance speech, at the swearing-in ceremony at the palace, Dr Panayiotou made a point of profusely thanking Mrs PKC for her appointment. Not the president and not the leader of her party Edek, neither of whom appear to have had a say in the matter.

PAPHITE Greens turned red when last month they heard that agriculture minister Dr Panayiotou had attended an event for the protection of the endangered Mediterranean Monk Seal at the super-luxury Cap St Georges Hotel and Resort in Peyia.

The event was organised by the hotel owner and big developer of the area, affectionately known as Corantinas, who has wreaked havoc on the Paphos coastline for his developments, which could not have left the habitats of the Mediterranean Monk Seal untouched.

The minister of agriculture, rural development and the environment was obviously unaware of this – as Commissioner for the Environment she only dealt with biological oranges for juice – and happily helped the environmentally sensitive developer boost his companies’ ESG reputation.

THE GODFATHER of political opportunism, Yiorkos Lillikas, has found a worthy successor in Marios Pelekanos, who quit Disy on Friday and joined Elam so he could stand for the party in the European Parliament elections.

Pelekanos, a loser with delusions of adequacy, unknown outside his neigbourhood, got his big break when the incorruptible Preznikone made him government spokesman in the dying days of his rule. In last year’s Disy election, probably with a big help from his mentor, he was elected vice president of the party.

But when last month the party failed to select him as candidate for the European elections, he went into a sulk and resigned from his post. On Friday he announced he was joining Elam because his long-standing positions, such as migration and helping the vulnerable groups of the population, were identical to the neo-fascists.

He is not intelligent enough to realise his actions show he has just one long-standing position – to get on the European Parliament payroll. The guy would have joined Akel if there was a place on its ballot paper, it also helps the vulnerable groups of the population.

Or if he knew how to cultivate biological oranges, there may at least have been a ministerial post for him, even though MEPs are paid more.


Political opportunism: Marios Pelekanos

THE NEWS boss of the state broadcaster, Yiannakis Nicolaou, appears to be losing his marbles. Last summer he had refused to answer questions about his shabby treatment of an employee suffering from multiple sclerosis at the House human rights committee, telling deputies that he would go back to Rik and tender his resignation. It was lie, because he is still there.

Last month, as Rik would have been the host of Prezniktwo’s televised news conference, the liar, as its news boss, had to chair the show, but he refused. The Antenna news boss was asked to chair but the day before the show Nicolaou decided he actually wanted the role.

When he was told this was not possible he threw a tantrum, and out of spite decided the Rik political journo assigned to represent the corporation would not take part, replacing her with a morning show presenter. And then he took three days’ leave to sulk.

Everyone is entitled to erratic behaviour, but for a state broadcaster to have a liar as the person in charge of news seems inappropriate, as it undermines its oft-repeated claim to authoritativeness.

I WAS unable to watch Thursday night’s television interview of Odysseas for more than 10 minutes because the guy’s unrestrained self-regard, self-righteousness, self-assuredness, self-promotion and egomania are just impossible to tolerate for too long.

The personal perfection and infallibility he claims for himself are cartoonish, but he is incapable of recognising this. As for the constant use of the royal plural in referring to himself, is that supposed to make us think that he is not an egomaniac, but a team player who is always talking on behalf of the team?

How could decisions be taken collectively, when one member of the team has attained human perfection, whereas the rest are mere mortals? Perhaps it is his generous spirit that forces Odysseas to use the royal plural, giving credits where it is not deserved.

WE HAVE kept today’s shop secular, until now, but I feel duty-bound to mention Archbishop Georgios’ interview in Saturday’s Phil, and express my sympathy to the poor guy, who said he was having sleepless nights thinking about the shenanigans at the Osiou Avakoum start-up monastery.

In the interview, Georgios had a go at all the charlatans who bring what they claim to be holy relics and tour the churches collecting money from the faithful. While there were miracles, relics with divine scent and miracle-making icons, he said, “we deny and censure the exploitation of relics for financial benefit.” Putting these “on tour, from village to village and church to church to collect money, is unacceptable.”

He did not allow this to happen in Paphos when he was bishop there, nor at the archbishopric now. Did this also apply to the Holy Belt of the Virgin Mary, which was recently brought here? “Did you see it being brought to the archbishopric?” he asked, clearly implying it was a scam.

This was not what our Prez thought. The state greeted the holy belt at the airport, with the honours normally accorded to a head of state. The Prez even made time to go and pray to the holy belt at the Paralimni church where it was kept during its official visit to Kyproulla.

VETERAN hack Aristides Viketos, who nowadays specialises in religious matters, made quite a revelation on Trito radio on Saturday morning. He said that the money found in the safe of the Avakoum monastery was more than the 800 grand reported. He claimed it was about a million, but 200 grand was taken by Bishop Isaias to repay a debt. I am sure he was joking as there is no way a bishop of Isaias’ honesty would have done such a thing.