October 30, 2006

Stravaraland Memories - Part 1

What does one remember from growing up in Stravaraland in the early '80s? And how have things changed? Let's start with some of those memories and continue with a series of articles on how things have changed since then.

1. Omonoia - Laos:
This was as if there were no other football teams on the island. It was great being a Laos supporter. Omonoia-Ajax, 4-0. OK, so we lost the first away game if you must insist. Nevertheless, Kaiafas, Kanaris, Kleitos and Savvides were The Players.

2. Spyros K:
He made a deal with AKEL to become president in 1983. The deal was baptized The Minimum Programme. Why minimum you may ask. Well, minimum because it was the minimum possible deal for Spyro to get re-elected. There were no reported abductions this time round, but who knows what would have happened had we not had The Minimum Programme. The Deal collapsed in 1985 or thereabouts but I still remember going to school on that Monday morning in 1983, wondering why there were still people celebrating in the streets at 7 A.M. Weren't they needed at work? Did they not have school to attend?

It is only recently, of course, that I've realized how powerful the President of Da Republic happens to be. Do you know that there exist 19 semi-governmental organizations in Cyprus, and the president has the right to appoint around 200 board members who get power, money and privilege for doing nothing? And then we have all the other stuff like appointing a cabinet, government employees, members of independent bodies like the Central Bank and the Competition Commission, being Commander in Chief, being responsible for police, the fire brigade, the big monopolies like CyTA and the Electricity Authority - you get the point. It's a big deal having the President on board, don't let anyone fool you into thinking otherwise. And this, to a large extent, is still the case.

Spyros K (a.k.a. Spyraklas or Tzipris) never inspired confidence, even in us children back then. But at least he was honest. Or seemed to be honest, at any rate, as state-run CyBC would broadcast daily. The 8:30 evening news bullettin invariably kiscked off with the infamous: "Today, The President ta ta ta ta ta ta ..." It is amazing that he only inspired more laughter than confidence. But maybe the laughter came later, with Radio Proto's Atsoutsou.

At the time it could probably be better described as a "long term struggle" of sorts. Or depression, if you will. Please bear in mind that CyBC was the only show in town. There was no TV on Good Thursday or Good Friday, no internet, and on radio, your favourite church correspondent was on for the 12 Gospels or the Epitafios, so off we went to the local church, proud to continue the traditions of the nation. Please don't ask which nation, there were no complications back then, life was simple and we had no fake dilemmas.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos


Anonymous Mariampas said...

This is funny. I was talking yesterday with a catalan friend and i was explaining to him that Omonoia beat Ajax 4-0, in the 70's. The of course i had to clarify that we had lost 10-0 on the first match, and that Ajax came to Nicosia with his (more or less) youth team!

30 October, 2006 14:19  
Blogger Giorgio said...

Ev 8a ksixasw potte tes ekloges tote me to minimum programma pou eishe interview to Spyro sto radio. Eipe o dnmosiografos tote oti o kirios blah blah, leei oti dev ekamev o Spiros to a kai to b. Veuriazei loipov o Spiros (areske mou polla pou emila Kypriaka ama eveuriaze) tze lalei: "Prwta ap'ola poios ev pov toutos o kyrios????" tze se mia alln fasn lalei o Spiros "Ti allo 8elete??? Ev pervoume kala?"

30 October, 2006 23:05  
Anonymous Mariampas said...

@ giorgio

"Ti allo 8elete??? Ev pervoume kala?"

Μεν μάσιεσαι που έκοψεν έτσι κουβέντα! Αν εγίνη έτσι πράμα, προσκυνώ!

31 October, 2006 00:50  
Anonymous Pittokopritis said...

Honest?? Spyraklas was HONEST?? I suppose he didn't pocket any money from the sale of Airbus to Cyprus Airways or from the Limassol highway fiasco.

Ahhh, the good old days - the Spyro days

31 October, 2006 06:21  
Blogger apodimos Kypreos said...

@custodian of DIKO ethics, AKA pittokopritis: Do you mean to say that CyBC was presenting lies?

@giorgio: Maybe that is how Pantelakis Kouros intervened 20 years later live and Spyro had to use the infamous "Pantelaki mou, ma egw ..."

@mariampas: I dont think they fielded such a bad team, Omonoia was a decent side back then. Lots of barter trade was taking place pre-1989 and lots of players came down to support the local party. Remember Spas Tsevizof? Kolef? And, moreover, they left cyprus after retiring so that Anny Shakalli would not run after them and waste precious public money...

31 October, 2006 11:01  

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