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Tales from the Coffeshop: Amid the horse-trading, cabinet remained gloriously Paphite free
WE WERE overjoyed to see our dear Fuhrer, Nice Nik, sweep triumphantly into power last Sunday ending the Terrible Tof tyranny and freeing us from the AKEL yoke that had threatened to turn Kyproulla into the Albania of the Mediterranean.
Communist misrule is over, the People’s Republic of Kyproulla has given way to the First Reich of Zypern, the red hordes will soon go home and the comrade can no longer cause us harm, having retreated to his Kellaki dacha, to produce red wine vinegar for his friends and family.
There is also a selfish reason for our joy. In the previous two presidential elections our establishment had backed candidates that lost and there was a danger that our support would be viewed as the kiss of death, confirmation that a candidate is a loser.
For once, we backed the winner, but our joy soon turned to disappointment when it became apparent that Nik would not reward Patroclos’ loyalty with a ministerial appointment or at least make him a Commissioner of something.
But we assure our new president that we would never allow this bitter disappointment to turn into hostility towards him, for now. We will wait until he appoints the chairmen of the semi-governmental organisations and if again he chooses DIKO losers ahead of Patroclos, who has a preference for CyTA, it will mean war.
ELECTIONS always turn Kyproulla into the People’s Republic of Arslikhan, with hundreds of leading citizens sharpening their tongues and getting their saliva flowing in the hope that this would enable them to be awarded a ministry.
Names of nobodies appear in newspapers as prospective appointees, the heads of pretenders regularly pop up behind the president-elect during public appearances, others wait outside his office to congratulate him while some recruit the help of influential party to people to advance their claim.
One man successfully used his father-in-law, an influential DISY stalwart, to land a ministerial post in the new government. The formidable father-in-law, renowned for his powers of persuasion, arranged a meeting with Nik and in no time secured a ministry for his daughter’s hubby.
The news was immediately posted on a newspaper website to ensure the appointment was locked.
OTHERS were not so lucky, because not everyone has an influential dad-in-law, with access to Nik.
Poor old Professor Philippos Patsalis, head of the Cyprus Institute of Neurology and Genetics, may have been following the Fuhrer during Sunday’s celebrations and he was mentioned as a possible health minister, but in the end he got nothing, because health was reserved for Garoyian’s gang of losers.
Garoyian first proposed the self-important Paphite, Christos Patsalides who had served as interior minister in the Ethnarch’s government and as an unsuccessful health minister in Tof’s. The tribes of Paphos were certain that their man would get the post, but wise Nik, bless him, pooh-poohed the idea, causing mass mourning in the hillbilly district.
Had he been appointed, the principled Paphite for all seasons would have served as minister under three presidents, all of different political backgrounds. Yiorkos Iacovou, whose stellar political career sadly came to an end this week, served under four presidents, but two were from DIKO and under Tof he was only a commissioner.
In the end there was no Paphite in the cabinet for the first time since the 1980s, prompting complaints in Hicksville. Paphite DISY member Simos Tselepos said that Paphos had many personalities, one whom could have been in the cabinet. Paphos’ loss was our gain, as Nik figured out.
THE HEALTH ministry was given to another Garoyian protégé, Dr Petros Petrides, an appointment that caused much amusement among the medical community. Dr Petrides had enjoyed the patronage of the late Spy Kyp and was vice-president of the state doctors’ union, one of the island’s most irresponsible unions.
In his biographical note sent out by the PIO, it said that Dr Petrides studied medicine at Athens University “with a specialisation in angio-surgery”. But from what we know he obtained this specialisation at a later stage in his career and not from Athens University. Why had he omitted to mention the university at which he trained for this specialisation?
It was good enough for him land the post of director of the angio-surgery clinic of the Nicosia General Hospital, so why is he reluctant to mention the medical school at which he trained.
Dr Petrides became minister because he got lucky. Nik had already rejected Patsalides and could not bring himself to reject Garoyian’s second nominee for the post, even though he must have known that a former union boss, with specialisation in angio-surgery and mentored by Spy was the last person he could rely on to introduce the national health scheme in the next five years.
STAYING on health issues, there was also a lobby group that tried to prevent the new president from appointing Christos Stylianides to any government post. The pancyprian association of patients of the Stylianides dental practice pulled all the strings to keep him out of the new government, so he could carry on treating them, but failed to avert his appointment as government spokesman.
The argument that their teeth had rights too and an under-employed DIKO lawyer, whom nobody would have missed, could have been appointed spokesman did not dissuade Nik and neither did the threat of dynamic action. He obviously has healthy teeth and could not show any sensitivity for those of us who do not.
EUROCOCK deputy leader Rikkos Erotocritou might not have been appointed minister, but his fans were ready to organise a big party for him on hearing that he would be appointed deputy attorney-general, replacing Tof courtier Akis Papasavvas, who was due to retire in June.
Papasavvas however wrecked the party plans, declaring that he would stay in his post until June, because he had no accumulated leave to take. State employees usually take all their accumulated leave (two to three months in many cases) ahead of retirement. As Papasavvas has none to take he will carry on serving the country, and the party for Rikkos’ appointment, regrettably, has had to be put off until June.
CONGRATULATIONS to self-righteous MEP’s assistant and part-time Brussels correspondent of Sigma TV Yiannos Charalambides who seized the opportunity to explain the high moral standards he expects from our politicians.
The insufferably self-regarding Charalambides took great offence when he heard, during a Sigma debate last Sunday that Michalis Sarris was almost certain to be appointed finance minister and felt duty-bound to share his moral disgust with the TV viewers.
The morally superior hack felt that Sarris who had been detained in the north in connection with fabricated vice charges, was unsuitable to be a minister and asked the following question to make his point. “If I was caught in a casino in the north with women of easy virtue would they make me a minister?”
If he was a member of DIKO and had Garoyian’s backing, of course they would.
But it seems a bit hypocritical that a 24-carat bash-patriot like Charalambides could cite the pseudo charges, brought by the pseudo-police in the pseudo-court of a pseudo-state to make moral case against someone. Is he not afraid that by doing so he is recognising the pseudo-state?
THE AKEL-appointed leadership of the Central Bank, Governor Panicos and his deputy Stavrinakis wasted no time in paying their respects to the new president. They sent him congratulatory letters on Monday.
In their respective letters, they both “assured” the new president that the Central Bank “within the framework of its authorities as an independent institution, would work closely with the new government to overcome all the problems and challenges faced by the banking sector the economy of our country in general.”
This is the same Central Bank that within the framework of its authorities as an independent institution, worked closely with the previous government to create insurmountable problems for the banking sector and the economy of our country in general.
Change of government, change of policy for the independent state institution, the governors of which could be feeling a bit of job insecurity now that their comrades are no longer around to protect them.
CONFUSION surrounds last week’s London visit by Governor Panicos. The Tass news agency initially sent a report saying that, according to its information, the Professor was having “important contacts” in London “with potential investors for the Cypriot banks”.
No other information was given by the agency, but it seemed bizarre that the guy who had been publicly discrediting Cypriot banks for the last eight months, exaggerating their problems and inflating their capital needs, was now trying to get people to invest in them.
A few hours later, Tass sent out another story about Panicos’ London visit. It said: “According to Cyprus News Agency information, the main purpose of the trip was to inform the British media about enforcement of legislation relating to the fight against money laundering.”
No mention was made about his “important contacts with potential investors” because he probably did not find any. But I am sure the new president noted his zealous efforts to counter the negative publicity we are receiving in the British media.
NOBODY loves publicity like our Nobel Laureate Christoforos Pissarides who was on our TV screens almost every night last week. He was by Nik’s side during Sunday’s victory celebrations, visited the DISY offices in the week and made statements to TV hacks, whenever they put a mike in his face. For the economy’s recovery, we should focus on agricultural production, exporting olives, wines and halloumi.
Although he seemed keen to become a minister, Pissarides had to settle with the honorary post of chairman of the National Council for the Economy. According to our moles at the DISY offices the Nobel-winner was a bit miffed when he asked how much he would get paid and was told ‘nothing’.
WELCOME back to the Egyptian ambassador Ms Menha Mahrous Bakhoum, who had disappeared from the island shortly after throwing a wobbly at Larnaca Airport, slapping a female cop who had insisted she went through a security check before entering the departure lounge.
Ms Bakhoum left the island on January 2 and was absent from her country’s National Day reception. She returned to Kyproulla on Monday. The Egyptian foreign ministry did not take any disciplinary action against her, but obviously thought it would be good for her to stay away for a while until things calmed down.
There aren’t many employers who would give their staff a two-month holiday for slapping a cop doing her job.
COMRADE TOF gave a fine performance at the farewell party given by the staff of the Palazzo de Popolo on Tuesday. There were tears, sentimentality and a touch of humour.
The tears flowed when he started thanking everyone.
There were no tears for “for my good friend Yiorgos Iacovou” or his “wave-barrier” Titos Christofides, but when he mentioned the government spokesman Stef Stef, his eyes swelled up and he was overcome by emotion. He had to stop and compose himself.
He also cried when mentioning Toumazos Tselepis, his negotiations advisor, whom he thanked “from the depths of my soul” for saving Cyprus with his proposal on the Cyprob. But the most tears were shed for the presidential guard “which kept the presidential palace intact at the hour of the big attack, the fabricated attack, after the Mari blast.”
Now that he will have only 15 police guards protecting him they might be unable to repel attacks on his Kellaki dacha.
He also praised the his son in law Nicos Moudouros who “had the courage to marry my daughter, the wild animal known as Christina, who cannot be tamed”
FAREWELL comrade and we assure you, you will not be missed.