February 28, 2007

CYTA and Kremmos

If any one of you ever doubted that there was always a big brother watching you, now there is no doubt. Stavros Kremmos, in offering to resign over the sale of telephone messages from within CYTA to whoever bid the right price, told us that CYTA cannot fire the people who are responsible because "hundreds of people have access to this information in CYTA and if they were fired, then we could not use CYTA either in fixed or in mobile lines".

Can you believe this? He is admitting there were no controls, anyone could do whatever they wanted....

It is like me a few years back when a friend said: "I see you went to a nice hotel over the weekend". I turn around in surprise and he says something like "What? You dont think we take a peak on your credit card bill?"

Well, something analogous at CYTA, but with the profit motive in place...

February 27, 2007

Ahhhlmond blossom

Who said news agency stuff is boring. Stravaraland's purveyor of truths, half-truths, presidential itineraries, Jimmy's hotel room information and some fine poetic sentiment had this on offer today:
Σε πλήρη ανθοφορία βρίσκονται οι αμυγδαλιές στο κατεχόμενο χωριό Παλαίκυθρο μετατρέποντας τον κάμπο της Μεσαορίας σε πανέμορφο τοπίο, Δευτέρα 26 Φεβρουαρίου 2007.

Το κορίτσι της φωτογραφίας μας, η Δήμητρα με άνθη της αμυγδαλιάς από την αυλή της γιαγιάς στο Κατεχόμενο Χωριό.
And our translation:
Young Demetra went over to her grandmother's village in the Messaoria plain where, in the occupied village of Palaikythro, the almond trees were in full bloom.

Demetra then proceeded to locate her grandmother's house and made straight for the family almond tree (also under occupation) and brutally tore off a branch. She then twisted the branch, completely ignoring its plea for mercy. After she tortured the branch to death she put it on her head and had a picture taken.

February 23, 2007

20 Grand for What?

Following Germany's example, the government of Stravaraland is seriously contemplating introducing a £20,000 bonus for every child (after the second) born on the island. This will boost low birthrate figures and gradually pull the social security fund out of bankruptcy, not to mention help us in our struggle to safeguard the rightful place of Stravaralanders on earth, for the sake of posterity. The measure will also help us in the struggle against the infidels by increasing our numbers relative to theirs.

This new policy has been hailed by most commentators. Lazaros Mavros hailed it because we need a higher quantity to preserve ourselves, a duty to our great ancestors. Not all commentators have agreed with this particular measure though, and for reasons that make perfect sense, see this.

Lazaros Mavros, who makes perfect sense when not talking about Turkey, Greece, Cyprus or international politics in general, pointed out that it is not just quantity that is needed but also quality. Let me expand on that.

Recent research that was popularized by Freakonomics asks what has determined the big decrease in crime rates in the US over the last decade. Is it economic growth? Is it better policing? Is it better courts? Is it better prevention?

Well, No. The answer lies with the advent of The Pill. The idea is simple. Once abortions were legalized in the U.S., unwanted children were not born. Unwanted children bring less attention to them, and they eventually end up committing crimes. Get rid of the unwanted children and 20 years later one witnesses a dramatic decrease in crime!

Now, in Stravaraland, we have the opposite. Encourage the birth of unwanted children at the rate of 20 grand a pop. Pay less attention to these children because you did not really want them in the first place, and in 20 years' time you simply end up with more people around and a higher percentage of gangsters on the loose….

Now how's that for unintended consequences?

February 22, 2007

Six Fives

OK, who started this 'five things about me' stuff out there? Was it part of a chain letter, a chain-link fence, chain mail or a long legged nun with a cigarette holder? All I know is that the ball somehow landed in our grubby court, as the task was also assigned to us by the venerable Drakouna.

As we like to be difficult, however, what we're going to do is not present a list of five things about us Stravalanders but a few things about our precious homeland, instead. We will speak up even if this means we are to sacrifice ourselves. Instead, therefore, of the 'five things about us' we hereby present Six sets of Five. It's a derivative of Shesh-Besh or a variation inspired by two packets of Three Fives (bought in the North, so as to save money with which to make social security contributions). Take it whichever way you will.

Our Five favourite presidents of Stravaraland (in alphabetical order):
1. Makarios 3.0 (Ethanrch Prototype - chain smoker)
Spyros "The Magnificent".
3. George "The Decent" - still has to atone for the Lillikas phenomenon.
4. Glafcos "The Missile turned Euro".
5. TeePee "The Brain turned Saviour turned Sheikh".

Our Five favourite Souvlakia in Republican Nicosia served at:
1. Theodoros
2. Leventis
3. Costas Grill House
Five favourite places to stage a demonstration on July 20:
1. Athens at any Vissi gig. We will demonstrate on the beaches - we will demonstrate on the streets. If she's sold out any dogarium will do.
2. Any Casino in [geographical] Northern Stravaraland.
3. Latsi. (where only the well-connected get fresh fish)
4. Anywhere in London while on a shopping spree.
5. During any Protaras Beach Party.
Five convenient ways to solve the Cyprus problem:
1. Hard Divorce.
2. Velvet Divorce with a view to Re-engage.
3. Divorce for land.
4. Divorce for dignity.
5. Unite for Peace (a.k.a. Oil for Peace)
Five best ways to rewrite Stravaraland history books:
1. Translate conflict.net
2. Introduce the History Textbook taught in Tommy 2.0's Secret Schools.
3. Ask Father Paul to write his version.
4. Ask Rikkos and Koutsou to write their version.
5. Combine points 2 and 4 above.
Five effective ways to make the turkish army leave Cyprus:
1. Call upon the Turkish Cypriots to serve in the Stravaraland army.
2. If they don't show up, arrest them when they next cross the line or get an EU warrant for their arrest.
3. Unilaterally disband the Army and use the permanent staff as traffic policemen and the drunk-patrols.
4. Unilaterally disarm and keep only a civilian army.
5. Unilaterally reduce military service to one year (for males and females alike).
So the presidents are not listed alphabetically. So what?

February 21, 2007

All Together Now...

"...Oh, little rabbit, little rabbit, wood that you're going to eat...."

We're All in it Together

Tommy 2.0 sits proud and vigilant. Each waking moment is accompanied by the fervent patriotic mantra (albeit uttered in foreign) of No Pasaran. No, the evil foreigners will not be allowed to mess with bank ownership while Stravaraland is under occupation. But perhaps I digress.

The picture, above, is from a new reality/quiz show as the first celebrity lookalike contestants await the tie-breaking question for the grand prize. I forget what the programme is called as I inadvertently threw away the accompanying press release.

February 20, 2007

Kyprianou's Third Reason

Andros Kyprianou, AKEL Press Sec, has thought of a third reason why Stravaraland should not introduce the euro in 2008 (but rather wait until 2009). The reason, which apparently is also why Democratic Rally supports the euro, comes from the fact that introducing the euro "serves the Interests of Big Capital". Now, it is not clear what the interests of Big Capital exactly are and how they will be served by the change in currency from pounds to euros. It is also not clear whether the various AKEL companies are included in Big Capital, or can somehow be left outside this club. It is also not clear whether the interests of Big Capital will suddenly cease to be served by the introduction of the euro in 2009 (rather than in 2008). As always, and knowing that we will not be disappointed, we are eagerly waiting for the next profound argument with excitement that can barely be suppressed...

February 18, 2007

Kyprianou on euro volatility

Andros Kyprianou, AKEL's Press Secretary, yesterday abandoned his "My daughter told me so" argument against introducing the euro in 2008 (rather than in 2009). The new and improved argument is that we are abandoning the pound to introduce a currency that "goes up and down like an elevator". Never mind that the pound is (and has been for the last 14 years) pretty much set to be constant against the euro (or its equivalent before the euro existed). Therefore, if the euro moved against any other currency, the pound also moved against that other currency too, to keep its value constant against the euro.

And therefore the pound was also in the elevator along with the euro... But I am talking high math here. At least the chief comrade spokesman has moved away from his "My daughter told me so" argument. For that to happen within a week constitutes progress. Maybe next time he can also tell us what earth-shattering event will take place that will negate all these profound arguments and make the introduction of the euro a good thing in 2009, but such a bad thing in 2008.

February 15, 2007

Tommy 2.0 Has Yet Another Dream

Dear Stravaralanders,

I did not follow the Moufflon’s advice last nite: I did not eat lite. Right before the Great Fast begins, I had to have some Pafos moufflon for dinner - very hard to digest.

I was turning around all night until I heard The Voice once again:
“Tommy 2.0, familiar is the voice you hear. You recognize the accent. Yes, this is Makarios. I have never died, as thousands Makarioi exist the world over. I am here with you, to guide you in our struggle for fairness, in our struggle to save Orthodoxy from the infidels, to make our land the bastion of the financial services industry and to unite our country under one President and one Orthodox God. Listen very carefully. I am not going to visit you again for a while, this is the third and final dream and you need to pay close attention, as close as the attention you paid while counting those election votes.”

The next morning I felt I had slept for a century. This is the letter Makarios left for me:
1. You will embark on a War for Orthodoxy. You will travel to Africa where I still have good contacts and start baptizing for 33 days
non-stop. From there you will fly to China: when I was around I could not get there to convert them to Orthodoxy because my friend Mao was not so keen on such missions. But now this great nation has opened up to trade and capitalism (or “Chinese socialism” as Jimmy prefers to call it). They have allowed TeePee and Jimmy to make the trip, so I am certain they will allow you to get there. Imagine the potential if they let you start baptizing. We are not talking thousands of little Tommys seeing the light, we are talking millions!

2. While at it, you should venture a trip to Tibet (but don’t mention that it is occupied by China, we only support China vis-à-vis Taiwan, that is a more convenient parallel with the Stravaraland Problem. Look at how deftly Jimmy avoided this comparison…). Try to convert the Tibetans and also try to get some inside information as to who the new Dalai Lama will be, he might be a good ally in the future. You know, the current Dalai talks with all these Hollywood stars, I always wanted someone like Peter O'Toole to play Makarios on the Big Screen. I did not achieve that but there might be a chance for you, don’t waste it! Just imagine: Tommy 2.0, The Great Struggle. Starring Tom Cruise with a nice beard, imagine the propaganda you will generate in writing that script, not to mention the kudos you’ll gain by converting him to orthodoxy…

3. You should strive to make Stravaraland a centre of financial services, these Sheikhs in Dubai seem to have overtaken us - the infidels. You will visit New York and London, we have lots of faithful Orthodox there and you should try to show them your spoils. 25% of Hellenic Bank will be more than enough for you to get their attention. Try to get them on board. Along with the casinos and the golf courses in Pafos we need a new World Trade Center, we don’t have a lot of space but we can go upwards, 200 floors should be enough, we decide on that later when we see how much demand there is. Actually, come to think of it, we should build a World Trade Center in Pafos. Once we build it, they will come!

4. We need to spend some energy training our own people on this financial services business. After NY you should fly to Boston and visit Harvard and MIT. I hear they have good post graduate schools, one is very good in basketball administration and the other one in business administration. Go to the one that is good in business and make a deal to send some of our smarter clergymen there. If they say that our men are not qualified, point out to them that these are Men of God, and that they will eventually bring peace to this war-ravaged island of ours (and offer them a couple of million pounds for each one they accept). I am sure they will see the benefit to world peace and start admitting as many as we want to send. If you still have trouble, talk to that other celebrity from Panayia, George Lillikas. I hear he did something similar a couple of years ago, it worked wonders, so I am sure he can give you expert investment advice.

5. You need to be more steadfast when it comes to history books and lessons for our island. We have been getting these books for free for the last 47 years, it was fine when we wanted enosis but now we want something different. These books have Stravaraland in two colours instead of having one thick dividing line - yukk! Moreover, they talk about a potential solution after the EU but don’t say that the solution should comply to EU specifications. They mention invasion but don’t mention how many missing we have, (how many are there these days anyway?) I trust you can take this up. If you have trouble, I hear Pavlos sent 24% to hell last time around, put him in charge of excommunicating anyone who goes against us. I am sure he will be with us on this one and not with Athanasios.

6. You must delegate a bit more because I am assigning too many tasks to you. I insist that the Secret Schools (similar to the Madrases the infidels have in Pakistan) should get started. We need fighters and we need them to be orthodox. Pavlos is a good candidate for both headmaster and Highest Teacher of the Faith.

7. You should unite Christianity under the Greek Orthodox Church of Cyprus. That will really turn us into a global powerhouse. The House of Tommy of Pafos. Think about it, all our brethren and descendants from Pafos will be set for life. The rest of the Cypriots will be too, because now instead of going to Tinos on the 15th of August, we will have them come to Panayia from all over the world. And as the summer is high season anyway, we will invite them to come on the 19th of January, my name date. Thus, we will also be helping those whiny hoteliers and CA, while also helping our very own business interests.

8. You should begin utilizing Athanasios to bolster the image of the Church among the faithful and non-faithful alike. He is really popular you know. OK, you run the danger of making him more popular but after the reforms you pushed through at the Synod level, you have nothing to fear.

9. You should also begin using Neofytos to branch out to the T/C and start inviting them to come to the Secret Schools. That will be hard work but I am sure that with my divine intervention we will manage to convert them to Christianity and then all our problems will be solved.

10. Start a political party. It is about time. I have a great name for it. “The Party of God”. The leader of the Party will be the Head of the Church, if this person is a former Bishop of Pafos. If not, the Bishop of Pafos will be the leader of the Party. I would not trust such a Party if it fell in the wrong hands (you know, Neofytos and some others like him). With this clause we are safe. Our goal will be to always hold the balance in the Presidential elections, you know, something like you did with the elections for Archbishop. For instance, if TeePee is running against Kassoulides, if TeePee looks like winning from the first round, we support Kassoulides. In the second round, we make a deal with TeePee and support him instead. Maximum impact, maximum unpredictability, maximum benefits.

Within this Party, you should try to recruit some of the most able men of the land. You should go for the current governor of the central bank. He is making the right sort of noises, voted with us in the Patriotic Referendum and looks like he could be a good manager of the Party! He does not fall into any political party directly right now so this might be an opportunity he will not give up. Especially if we flag our 24% stake in Hellenic and how that can be used to appoint him as CEO. One bird with two stones, if you know what I mean.

This may be seen as a tall order for the Glory of the Cypriot Nation under Your Leadership. May God Be With you in the Fight Against the Infidel!

Markos is Wrong...

That is how Chris Pash commented on the "personal views" that Markos Kyprianou, the Cypriot EU Commissioner, voiced in an interview on Sunday. For us who live in foreign lands, who have to find excuses (if we bother) for the policies of a government that are more reminiscent of the 1960s than the 2010s, these personal views are not wrong. They are just the reality of how foreigners view the Cypriot government led by TeePee and similar-minded, mustachioed, men who are simply stuck in the 1955-1959 period. And when I say foreigners, I don't mean foreign diplomats with imperialist backgrounds and imperialist ambitions that live and breathe to destroy Stravaraland or to hand us over to become a Protectorate of Turkey (one dominant view behind the 2004 Patriotic No).

I am talking about the average informed citizen of the western world, who cannot understand why, if we do not want to unite the country, we just beat around the bush, and don't propose something reasonable that we can discuss. Or, if we do want to unite the country, what have we done to convince the Turkish Cypriots, other than offering free medical care and low-paying jobs in the construction sector? Even TeePee in his Hard Talk interview let it slip that he gives that to them, the generous master who offers charity to the poorer brethren.

Click on the link in the sidebar on the right and watch the BBC Hard Talk interview that TeePee gave 2 years ago. He claimed in that interview that his dream was to unite the island before his first term in office expired! The incredulous journalist could not hide his surprise, and asked what he has done to try to promote unity in the land! Now, how credible can a President be, when he cannot convince even an informed neutral party, with no direct interests at stake?

February 14, 2007

My Funny Valentine[s]

[Addendum] And cupid was back in time for Valentine's (many thanks to Mike!)

February 13, 2007

Defenceless City...

Is the Bank of Cyprus, according to the Central Bank Governor.

It is defenceless because the institutional investors from London have been allowed to buy up to 30% of its shares whereas the Directors of the Bank just talk and do not do anything to prevent these developments. In fact, the directors should start buying rather than let the foreign investors accumulate such high stakes that will eventually allow the sale of the bank to foreigners.

It is not clear what instigated this attack by the governor. It is probably the first time in an EU country that a central bank governor accuses the directors of a bank for not somehow preventing the sale of shares to "foreigners". Preventing such sales or buying these shares on behalf of the bank is either impossible (OK, say quite difficult) or illegal or both. That is besides the point, probably.

Interestingly, it just so happens that in 2007 the decision as to who will take over at the central bank is being taken (by TeePee if you are wondering). My hypothesis for the cause of this outburst is that either the central bank governor wants to be re-appointed (giving us some clues to TeePee's position on the issue of bank sales to foreigners) or, failing that, wants to jump to the hierarchy of the Hellenic Bank bandwagon, the true national bank champion.

Any alternative, sensible hypotheses are welcome...

February 12, 2007

Best Friend & Better Than New York

Jimmy is busy in China and China is busy with its love affair with our favourite Sheftali. Hell, he even rode on a train for seven minutes but failed to draw a parallel between their public transportation and our own.

Read all about it, including some memorable quotes, here

February 10, 2007

Where have all Our Intellectuals Gone?

Asks Savvas Jacovides of Simerini. Where have they all gone? Why don't they come out to show our students the way forward? Why do we, instead, have to suffer all the ignominious (ατιμωτικό) rewriting of Stravaraland history from Athens?

I do not agree with rewriting history out of Athens myself, but does Jacovides wonder what we have all been taught in Stravaraland schools over the last three decades? Has anyone heard of the Akritas Plan in any school? Of the name Nikos Sampson was given by The Times in the 1960s? (“The Butcher of the Turks” if you are wondering). Have our children been told that EOKA (A, the good one) killed more Greek Cypriots than English soldiers? Had we been told while growing up that there are at least 500 T/C who are missing from before 1974? That some of the G/C missing were buried in unmarked graves that nobody cared to unearth since 1974, even though people knew where these graves were? Have we ever been told in schools what really happened between 1960 and 1974?

I could go on. My point is simple. There is a simple answer to Jacovides' question. The intellectuals are either away from Stravaraland, or are shut up by the Simerini people (was Akamas shown in Stravaraland?), or live on the Other Side (Angastiniotis) or (most of them) simply cannot take part in the organized propaganda that Jacovides etc want to orchestrate. True intellectuals cannot be one-sided, much to the chagrin of Jacovides and company.

Here is an objective history of Stravaraland by an intellectual (granted, a foreign one):

Just translate this for a modern history of Stravaraland. Simple, ain't it?

Will Jacovides accept this objective history to be taught in our schools?

And, if not, is it really any wonder that intellectuals are nowhere to be found?

February 09, 2007

Berlin Minus?

And this (as well as the cartoon you see above) by way of the Economist

We Will All Be Refugees by 2074!

There is a big debate in Stravaraland whether a newborn should be given refugee status. Apparently, the question is not whether such refugee status can be given to someone who is born in, say, Limassol in 2007 but whether refugee status arises from the status of the mother or the father as refugees, respectively.

Now, this debate is discriminatory: whether the hereditary right is coming from a woman or a man should be irrelevant. Therefore, eventually it will have to be the case that if any hereditary right of any form is to be recognized, it has to come from either parent so as not to be disputed at some point at The European Court of Rights as being discriminatory. Now the debate has other interesting implications.

Assume for a moment that we take the view that this hereditary right passes down to the son or daughter from either parent. Now, with the original refugees being around 30% of the population, if we define as “refugee” every person that gets born that has only one parent being a refugee, then how many years will it be before all Stravaralanders are “refugees”? Now that is a good mathematical puzzle that should make it into the Public Service Entrance exams for StravaraLand (along with, of course, “When was the latest year Stravaraland was saved from the mouth of the Bad Wolf?” and, next question, my own favourite, “Who Saved Stravaraland in 2004?”).

But I digress. How do we figure out the approximate year when all Stravaralanders become refugees? Well, assume that the maximum age to live to for anyone born right before the invasion is say 100 years. Then, by around 1974+100=2074 all Stravaralanders will be refugees, therefore a great weapon in our fight for a fair solution to the Stravaraland problem. Just imagine. We will not say “We have 200000 refugees” any more. We will instead say: “We are all refugees” or if you prefer “Ich bin ein Refugee”. Now how effective is that for a slogan? We might even make it a bit better and expand on the other, long forgotten, favourite: “Never forget, we are ALL refugees NOW”. In 2074 we can erect a (digital) poster up at Ledras, where the Berliner kiosks will have been upgraded, and the poster will say: “On behalf of the whole Stravaraland population, you can now observe across the divide the militarists that turned us ALL into refugees”.

Now as an apodimos with children that are eligible to be refugees, I would like to point out that I am going to lobby so that my children get the “refugee” status. And I would like the government to set up a Refugee Community Centre so that all our refugees can be accommodated, given blankets, free medical care and the like. I would also like Angelina Jolie, as UN good will ambassador for refugees, to be invited to this Refugee Centre and offer solace to all our refugee children (and, why not, their parents). So that we show to the world the barbaric nature of our enemies’ actions, and to create a much more effective lobby for The Cause in the foreign lands…

February 08, 2007

Once, Twice, Three Times a Jimmy...

And this from the Stravaraland People's News Agency:
"At the Dolton Hotel, where he [Jimmy] will be staying during his two day visit, in a suite on the 41st floor, Mr Christofias was greeted with applause by employees and hotel guests"

A more serious note on the Euro

AKEL’s main (or stated) fear with introducing the euro comes from the potential rise in prices when translating from pounds to euros (something that happened to some extent in Greece). The (unstated) fear is that TeePee will be untouchable with his campaign right after the euro is introduced. The campaign will be a tangible testament to the Europeanisation of StravaraLand and will offer implicit hopes of a forthcoming European solution.

The unstated fear is reasonable but there is nothing AKEL (or any other political party) can do about that. They simply will play the game with TeePee having an unfair advantage, they 'd better get used to that fact.

Moreover, this unfair advantage will be even worse when households will discover that the different prices will actually be reduced, rather than increase, as AKEL is fearing. They will decrease because only now is globalization (through European integration) coming to Stravaraland. Very soon Stravaraland will boast its very own IKEA, its very own LIDL, and other big superstores that will be pushing down prices as nothing that the island has seen before. The main difference with Greece is that Greece entered the EU in 1981 and did not enter the eurozone until 2001, a full 20 years later. By that time, all the positive changes from being part of a bigger EU market, the increase in competition and the concomitant decrease in prices had taken place. Stravaraland, on the other hand, has not had sufficient time from 2004 to 2008 to attract sufficient foreign investment to push down prices. Prices have fallen (as shoppers at Carrefour will testify) but by nowhere as much as they are still going to fall.

Prices will fall for goods that economists call “tradeables”, goods that can be traded easily (like cars, toilet rolls, all the good things that Stravaralanders know how to import for consumption). The prices of “non-tradeables” (stuff like haircuts or cappuccinos at Starbucks) might be more tricky to predict. But even the prices of these products, I dare say, will not increase much. They will not increase because even in the rest of the EU, the range of total increases from the introduction of the euro has been around 0.1 to 0.3 percent according to the European Central Bank. In the case of Stravaraland, because one pound can buy more than one euro, (as opposed to 2000 italian lira or a few million drachmas), the ability to push prices upwards by a large amount without pissing customers off will not be great. Even if it happens, the effect will be small. If one takes the average between tradeables and non-tradeables, I predict that the CPI (the consumer price index, ie the total index of prices) will actually fall after Stravaraland enters the eurozone.

There is one caveat which is unrelated to all the arguments AKEL has mentioned, which is the decrease in interest rates to eurozone averages. That will be inflationary (especially for house prices and land) for Stravaraland, but this is unrelated to all the arguments we have heard. This, indeed, is a disadvantage from introducing the euro because it means the loss of independence in setting interest rates in response to domestic conditions. If the Stravaraland economy is growing above average, an even lower interest rate due to events in Germany, say, will be inflationary. But this, the only logical argument that economists will accept, is the only argument I have not heard being made in Stravaraland! (The economists who understand this argument happen to be on the anti-AKEL camp, so will not offer the argument to AKEL for free, they simply do not believe in comradely love).

On the other hand, this disadvantage is probably outweighed by the potential political benefits stemming from eurozone membership (like making obsolete the relevant Anan plan chapters on currency and central banking by events on the ground). Any future plan will not have to deal with these issues any more.

Overall, there might be some trouble from the introduction of the euro but not due to any of the reasons AKEL has pointed out. I am sure the comrades will self-congratulate themselves whatever happens, regardless. They have been especially good at it in the last 4 years, for much more cement-like issues, so I am sure this euro-fudge will be a much easier hole to dig out of.

My daughter thinks so

Andros Kyprianou, AKEL's press sec, told us today that when his daughter came back from her studies in Athens, she said about introducing the euro "But dont you know how bad the experience was for Greece when they entered the euro zone unprepared?". So, end of argument. We should not enter. Kyprianou's daughter thinks so based on her experience of what happened in Greece! Amen.

February 07, 2007

Another Day in Paradise

Read the latest entry in the paradise diaries here

February 06, 2007

Copy Cats!

We are informed today that the nationalist newspaper Volkan on the Other Side has called Akinci a traitor because his wife in 2001 got £ 75+25 thousand from the UNDP for a non-profit organization she was running. And the money ended up in Akinci's party, therefore he is a traitor.

Akinci is one of the most clever and open to a unitary state Cypriots on either side of the divide, apparently.

Maybe Rikkos and Koutsou should invite the editor of Volkan to discuss tactics. What do you think?

February 05, 2007

Why Christofias should Run, and Why he will not

Very soon we will get the official announcement that TeePee will be running in 2008. The only real unknown lies with the method that will be chosen to bring this to the people.

An interesting side-discussion is whether Jimmy will, or should, run. Well, unfortunately we are in a situation that Jimmy should run, but for the same reason, he will decide not to.

Let me be a bit specific.

He should run so that TeePee does not win re-election on the implicit platform of “clean solutions”, recently cited by different Israelis as a model-solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The details of how high to build the fence will be worked out in private technical committee negotiations once the ground has been well prepared and appropriate experts have been summoned to offer their opinions.

If Jimmy runs, it is highly likely that TeePee does not make it to the second round and between Jimmy and a DHSY candidate, it is likely that the DHSY candidate will get elected with DIKO votes (and this is not the fault of DHSY but the pikka that will arise from the mere fact that Christofias decided to run).

If TeePee does make it to the second round, either against Jimmy or against the DHSY candidate, then TeePee will be again re-elected, either with lower negotiated power for AKEL (against the DHSY candidate) or with the DHSY votes (against Jimmy).

In all three scenarios I spelled out, AKEL loses power and does not necessarily solve the CypProb.

The first scenario is the most likely scenario in my mind (and in most people’s minds, I think). but all three possible scenarios have the same outcome. Jimmy running means TeePee loses the election (that is why Jimmy should run so that some hope about political settlement, of one sort or the other, can be generated). But for that same reason, Jimmy will choose not to run because the uncertainties of a political settlement are much greater than the pure certainty of clinging to power.

February 03, 2007



February 02, 2007

Mani Mani, Money, Honey

There are diplomats and, on the other hand, there are ministers in Stravaraland.

basically called Lillikas an excitable and ill-informed boy over the latter's revelations of secret memoranda of understanding crap.

should the Yanks get our money, Lillikas may well feel. And why should the northerners get any of the oil money?

And why should Turkey get any of the money, on the pretense that they'll pass it on to the Ottoman Cypriots?

And why should a Sri Lankan woman get £300,000 left to her in her former employer's will, [as the bereaved relatives may well be wondering]? And why should we have agreed to a re-unification plan that would have cost us an arm and a leg and brought the economy to its knees? And why should Oil prices be so high - is it nature's answer to solving the Cyprus problem?

does it cost so much to buy a bank nowadays? Do men haggle better when they're not wearing dresses?

Why, Delilah, why gamoto?

Has anyone seen the President lately?

Ατζαμήδες, άλλως Amateurs

Jimmy the Sheftali today demanded that the international community condemn Turkey for her threats against Stravaraland.

Now, we spent the last 3 years trying to get Turkey to recognize us but we think we failed (we are not sure yet, everyone else knows except the average Kostis who reads Phil and listens to CyBC). We've now discovered the oil business - given the upcoming elections - and when various people started wondering, well, wait a minute, Turkey is only 50 km north of Stravaraland and if there is oil off the south of the land, there might well be oil to the north as well. So how about we figure out to whom the sea between Kyrenia and Mersin belongs?

Are we going to spend the next 3 years figuring out our territorial waters and, in the process, how to get out of this oil mess now?

We;re talking big strategists here. King TeePee, his White Knights, and Bishops from Pafos.

They are here on a mission and they plan to stay!

Να μας ζήσουν!

Lillikas, The White Knight

We learnt today that George Lillikas, in one of his first acts as minister of trade, cancelled a secret memorandum of understanding between the previous minister, Nicos Rolandis, and the current resident of the White House, George Bush. The secret memorandum had neither been approved by the council of ministers in Stravaraland, nor had it been seen by the Attorney General. Nevertheless, it stated that the Bush family would have a monopoly of Stravaraland's petroleum, if and when petroleum were to be found.

We are not in a position to know whether the secret memorandum covered petroleum byproducts such as vaseline, as well. But do not worry. The new White Knight of Stravaraland, TeePees's golden boy, has cancelled the offending memorandum unilaterally and thus saved the Land. The Petroleum is ours and we are going to do with it as we please, no need for imperialist Yanks to be involved, and we are clearly going to have open competitive bids and auction off our stuff to the highest bidder, not give it away for free, as Rolandis was planning to do (for his own reasons, of course).

And if Rolandis does not stop writing letters to the press about four stories and 2 funerals he will very soon find out whose funeral we'll be attending. The White Knight is only now begun his crusade, and he has not even made it into any of Tommy 2.0's dreams yet!

Navel Patrols [Oil for dorks programme]

How many children with ADD does it take to run a newspaper? Do the parents know what they're up to?

Phileleftheros has decided (or perhaps asked to decide) to flog a horse to death and then flog it some more. The subject is the latest national obsession: Oil. The obsession is multi-faceted and manages to bring out the schizophrenic core of the average Stravaralander. Until this whole Panayiri about our oil began, my favourite was sweet piece of graffiti on a Lukoil station that read 'No More Blood for Oil'. Yes, well, we may occasionally throw Russian mothers off the island but I doubt if Russian oil companies have anything to do with the war in Iraq. But, as Pikifrinos would say, I digress. Others, however regress; to childhood and all the mental disturbances associated with that tender age.

As the Idiot Moufflon pointed out, Stravaraland is a country that can barely manage to trademark halloumi, let alone play a grown-up role in the world of oil exploration. We've gone past our yearning to be recognised by Turkey and are now threatening their naval forces.

So, the newspaper quotes a Turkish TV news network about Turkish naval patrols off the coast of Stravaraland. Chris Pash calls the item inaccurate, as does Theodoros Roussopoulos, the Hellenic government spokesman. And then, out of the blue (so to speak) we have the acting permanent secretary of Stravaraland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (so, he's married is he?), Alexandros Zenon stating that "The government is watching the situation closely, in co-operation with the National Guard, and it will act accordingly, if our territorial waters are violated."

And how, pray tell, are we going to act? Are we going to bring out those Silkworms? Are we going to finally borrow and use our S300 missiles to pre-emptively take out their air force?Are we going to react with equal force or with more than equal force? Does it mean with or without collateral damage? Are we going to throw wreckage of our air force at them or simply rely on a small number of post-pubescent boys with painted faces in a rubber dinghy?

Google Are Control Freaks

Thanks, blogger dudes, for completely messing up our humble blog! First Apodimos wasn't able to post for a while and then they linked my profile with his. Soooo, now some of the best stuff posted by Apodimos Kypreos are erroneously attributed to Noullis.

As of this post Apodimos will be correctly credited.

I guess when it comes to blogger we get what we pay for!!

February 01, 2007

Phil view, etc.

In Yesterday’s Άποψη: Δημοσκοπήσεις και Ευθύνες Ταλάτ, Fhileleptheros (Phil) accuses essentially Talat for the shift towards the two-state solution on the Other Side. According to Phil, this shift is worrying, and for sure must not be coming from the behavior of the Cypriot government that has offered so many conveniences for the T/C brothers (like free medicare and the like). If the T/C have indeed shifted to the 2 state solution, then analysts should look for responsibilities in the Talat regime for all the attacks it unleashes on the Cypriot government.

Of course, cause and effect in these situations are hard to untangle. Nevertheless, if you had to bet, would you bet that Talat is leading his people (equivalently for TeePee) or are his people leading Talat (equivalently for G/C and their politicians)?

Levent in Politis had a more balanced view arguing that it is not Talat’s fault really but this change of attitude since 2004 has come naturally due to the economic upturn on the Other Side since 2004. If the economy can do well without the G/C, then why complicate matters? As the practical Yanks say, “If it aint broke, don’t fix it”. Which is not too different from the attitude among the G/C about the dangers of a federation, a key fear driving many NO votes in the Patriotic Referendum.

Now, I realize we want to have a propaganda machine, but how many of us actually believe Phil? Levent in this case is more reasonable and has part of the answer, but not exactly.

The plain truth is that the T/C are for 2 states because they predominantly view us, the G/C, as wanting two states! Honestly now. How many of us (the G/C) think that there can be one unitary state (along the lines of bizonal, bicommunal) from now on? How many of us want such a state, really? Moreover, how many of us believe that such a state can arise from the policies of TeePee? How many of the younger people would like to have anything to do with the T/C? 10%? 15%? I think even that is optimistic. The T/C view this, and given that this also suits them in terms of keeping the disproportionate share of land they got in 1974, they think, “why not?” They think, “Wait a minute, we started the quest for taksim, for partition, now the G/C are for partition, but if we can get partition and what we got in 74 with a good economy, why not go for it?”

Simple as that. And with the machissimo politicians we have among the G/C, especially with Presidential elections coming up, will there be any doubt that however much Talat tries to also "look tough" so that he can stay in power, the pendulum is fast swinging towards the Denktash tradition coming back to power in the Other Side? Will that also be Talat's fault?