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Tales from the Coffeeshop: Almost free of the commie yoke
ONLY TWO weeks away from elections that will peacefully free us from the communist yoke and allow us to view the future with a little less pessimism, our establishment feels it should take a superficial look at the candidates and help its customers decide, at least, whom not to vote for.
Before writing anything, Patroclos did the test prepared by TEPAK (the state technical university), which processes your answers on a set of election issues and informs you which candidate’s positions you are closest to, as this was easier than reading up all the campaign bumph prepared by them.
It was a cute test (www.choose4cyprus.com) that informed me that my right-wing, neo-liberal, anti-communist beliefs had only 8 per cent compatibility with Malas’ positions, 14 per cent with Lillikas’ and 42 per cent with the Fuhrer’s. The big surprise was that 36.8 per cent of my views were compatible with the LASOK candidate’s, Lakis Ioannou, which got me a bit worried because I always thought he was a bit of a fruitcake; obviously he is not.
I mention the results of the test in order to warn customers that there may be a bit of bias in the negative write-ups of the candidates, but at least our establishment does not take money to present their election promises in prominent positions like other publications do – this is not for ethical reasons, but because nobody has offered to pay us.
LILLIKAS, for instance, has been paying for a box on the bottom right hand corner of Phil’s front page. The box has been a front-page fixture in every edition since January 12, with the exception of Sunday’s, and informs the paper’s readers of all the super-miracles the rags-to-riches village boy will perform when he becomes president.
For the first couple of weeks, this was presented as a news-story and only when the reader turned to the inside page read more about the miracle was he informed that it was a ‘paid briefing’. Why did the paper not call this gimmick by its proper name, ‘advertisement’? Lillikas was paying for space in the paper to say what he wanted and sell his candidacy to Phil’s customers, just like suppliers of beer, cars etc do, so why was this not an advertisement.
I bet it was the super-smart Yiorkos’ idea to label the advertisement a ‘paid briefing’, because he does have a talent for misleading people, and Phil was not going to turn down the opportunity to make a bit of dosh in these very difficult times for newspapers.
IN THE END, Yiorkos’ idea worked out a treat for Phil, because the Fuhrer also decided to have a ‘paid briefing’ on its front page. He took the top left hand corner from January 25, even though his ‘briefings’ do not feature miracles on the scale of the Panayia miracle-worker, nor his picture.
Since Nice Nik booked space, Phil has decided to have the ‘paid briefing’ label on the front page as well. Yiorkos has also been using Simerini’s front page for his ‘paid-briefing’, occupying the top-left-hand corner of the paper.
Unlike the millionaire candidates, the poor, indebted Malas, has had to rely on the ‘unpaid briefings’ on the front page of Haravghi, which are unlikely to attract any undecided voters. I am surprised the commies have not yet made an issue about the unfair advantage the millionaire candidates have over Malas.
And there is no Andreas Vgenopoulos around now to contribute to the campaign fund of the AKEL candidate as he reportedly had done five years ago.
GOING through Lillikas’ paid briefings for newspaper readers, I cannot hide my admiration for the miracles he plans to perform.
Apart from cashing in on the natural gas and disengaging from the memorandum in 2013, within a year of his election the national health scheme would be in operation, the taxpayer would not pay for the banks’ needs, he would ensure small businesses would pay less interest on their bank loans and have the repayment period extended, create jobs for the young, bring transparency everywhere and eliminate corruption, modernise SGOs, give power to the citizens and introduce all-day school.
And on the seventh day he will not rest; neither would the Almighty if he had the Cyprob to solve. Yiorkos will work on a solution that would rid us of all Turkish occupation troops, ensure all refugees returned to their homes (including those who did not want to return) and all Turkish settlers returned to Anatolia.
There will be more extensive coverage and unpaid briefings of the elections next Sunday, when we hope to offer our customers a clearer idea of who not to vote for.
IN NORMAL countries rioting mobs are usually made of the poor and dispossessed. But last Thursday in Kyproulla we saw a mob of investors storming the Bank of Cyprus headquarters in Nicosia to protest because they were no longer being paid interest on the high-yield bonds they had purchased a couple of years ago.
The investor mob who have been staging protests for months now, claiming they had been cheated by the B of C and Laiki that had sold them convertible bonds on the promise of yields of 6 and 7 per cent, gave a security staff at the HQ a big fright and police had to restore order. Their demand was that the bonds they invested in should not be turned into bank shares, which are almost worthless nowadays.
Members of the mob, with bonds worth hundreds of thousands of euro to their name, claimed in front of the cameras they had been ruined financially. One of the leaders of investors – a man with long hair who loves appearing before the cameras – undermined this campaign for public pity, when he told journalists that if the B of C did not make a satisfactory proposal, it would lose many millions, because the bond holders would move their deposits to other banks.
LAST WEDENSDAY, the front page of Phil reported that Cypriot bankers suffered their “first strong shock” after meeting PIMCO and realising that the analysis of their books featured “unpleasant surprises”.
According to the paper’s information, “the banking institution that ‘cried’ after seeing the audit carried out by PIMCO was the Bank of Cyprus.” It did not say who wiped the banking institution’s tears, but added that PIMCO, while refusing to explain the methodology it used, informed the weeping bank of some of the assumptions it had made.
But where did the paper get its information from? The previous evening B of C chairman Andreas Artemis met Central Bank Governor Professor Panicos and expressed his strong objections to the methodology used by PIMCO to calculate the bank’s financial needs.
Artemis did not speak to Phil about the meeting so who leaked the info about the bank’s tears to the paper? Professor Panicos will no doubt report the leak to the Attorney-General and demand a police investigation.
STAYING on the subject of leaks, I am very surprised there has been no leak about the findings of the investigation by Alvarez and Marsal, which was called in by Professor Panicos to find out who was responsible for the problems of the banks so they could be brought to justice. While the report has been delivered there have been no leaks.
We can only deduce it did not find the former Governor of the Central Bank guilty of any major wrongdoing, which was the main objective of the investigation, not having seen anything about it in the press. There would be no leaks about the man who sank Laiki, Andreas Vgenopoulos, if there were allegations of wrongdoing in the A&M report, because he is under the high protection of comrade Tof and Akel.
PROFESSOR Panicos, finally realising that his eagerness to punish the banks, by supporting the tough methodology and extreme assumptions used by PIMCO to calculate their financial assistance needs, has caused insurmountable problems for the economy has embarked on an arse-covering operation.
Maximising the financial needs of the banks and making our public debt unviable may have pleased his comrade benefactors at AKEL, but could jeopardise his career prospects under the new government. So now, efforts would, supposedly be made to lower the amount needed by the banks.
Yesterday the Central Bank announced that the PIMCO report, which would have been released today, would be made public when the memorandum is signed, presumably so that Panicos could try to bring the re-capitalisation figure down.
The Phil web-site yesterday reported that while PIMCO put the figure at €10b, the Central Bank believed it should be €6.5b. Professor Panicos will no doubt report the leak to the Attorney-General, even though it shows him in a positive light, and demand a police investigation.
COMRADE Tof may have become accustomed to being snubbed and ignored by fellow leaders when attending meetings in Brussels, but he is obviously not willing to tolerate any such shows of disrespect in his own backyard.
This explains why the Chief of Protocol at the foreign ministry, Nearchos Palas wrote to the president of the Honorary Consular Corps Cyprus, to register the government’s displeasure for the poor turnout of honorary consuls at a reception at the presidential palace on January 8.
The reception, given by the President and the First Lady for the diplomatic and honorary consular corps, is an annual fixture and held at the beginning of the year. In his letter, Palas noted that of 121 honorary consuls only 26 attended, which constituted 21.4 per cent of the corps.
The Chief of Protocol expressed “displeasure for the low attendance rate” and wrote that the “issue would be raised with the Diplomatic Office of the President of the Republic.” He concluded his letter as follows:
“I consider it unacceptable for Honorary Consuls of foreign countries in Cyprus to receive an invitation from the Head of State and not respond.”
Palas must release the names of the consuls who snubbed Tof, so we can send them a ‘thank-you’ note.
THE ABOVE was attached to a letter sent by the President of the Honorary Consuls Corps, Panayiotis Antoniades, to all members. Antoniades also said the low attendance rate was “unacceptable” and never before had there been such a low number of consuls at the reception.
“We all have to respect the President, irrespective of our personal political beliefs, in order for the Consular Corps to be respected and continue(sic) to be invited to such events,” wrote Antoniades. It was all a matter of respect, according to Antoniades, who added: “I urge all honorary consuls to attend these events out of respect to the countries that entrusted us to represent them, out of respect towards the President of the Republic and in order to increase the status(sic) and respect of the Honorary Consular Corps to the level that it deserves.”
A little respect for the English language would also help increase the status of the Corps to the level that it deserves.
I KNOW that state visits are arranged months in advance, but Tof the Terrible’s official visit to Serbia during the week could not have been more badly timed. As if it were not bad enough having all of Europe making money-laundering allegations against Kyproulla the comrade went on an official visit to of all places Serbia, the country that under his fellow commie Milosevic, helped us acquire our money-laundering reputation. Even on the rare occasions he does not mean to cause harm to the country, he still does.
LABOUR minister Sotiroulla ‘Pourekka’ Charalambous on Friday thought it appropriate to boast about the huge amounts of money the government wasted on social benefits and led the state to bankruptcy. Social benefits increased by 42 per cent since 2007, she said, proudly adding that from December 2009 to today, the state had spent €308 million on welfare benefits to pensioners. This spending reduced the number of pensioners living below the poverty line, a proud Pourekka said. She avoided mentioning that the state’s bankruptcy achieved by the caring commies dramatically increased the number of non-pensioners living below the poverty line.
WE WOULD like to report an incident of mass child abuse to the Commissioner for the Protection of Children’s Rights Leda Koursoumba. AKEL has been recruiting kids under 10 and making them chant commie slogans. I thought only in North Korea did the communist party take children and brainwash them, but I was wrong. A video on You Tube shows that this totalitarian practice also takes place in EU member-states and I hope Ms Koursoumba will do something to protect these poor kids. She can see the video for herself at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eV9AFyg-978.
ONLY 14 days left for the elections and 25 days before Tof starts life as a pensioner living above the poverty line.