July 18, 2007

Burns, Shoots and Leaves

CyBC's Yiannakis Nicolaou's star guest on Wednesday was none other than our legendary Minister of Agriculture, Onions and Potatoes, Photis Photiou.

Photis was in Brussels until a couple of days ago to visit EU Agriculture Commissioner Mrs Boel (seen in the picture during happier, pre-fire days, when Photis insisted on dancing with her on the airport tarmac - a habit he has since been encouraged to kick) and to collect promises of compensation arising from the recent disastrous forest fires in the Saittas - Troodos region.

As we've had a spate of new fires, and in order to divert attention from the accusations of a lack of co-ordination and the acute shortage of firefighting planes, Yiannakis and Photis sat in the CyBC studio and decided to play the blame game. It ranged from the ludicrous to the shamelessly bigoted. And the conversation involved 2 important facets of the recent spate of national tragedies:

Photis spoke of the support he would get from the EU, as he had already secured the support of Spain, Italy, Greece, France and Portugal. Because he said, we're talking about damages of way over the initial estimates of £3 - 4 million. Yes, responded Yiannakis, there has been talk of up to £14 million. "Even more," says Photis, "maybe £14 or even as much as as £20 million...". Now, a cynic would hint that being a middleman or 'facilitator' of such sums would constitute a far better way of making money than trying to either buy or sell anything.

New culprits (besides the Electricity Authority and their dodgy cables and transformers) have emerged, although none of them could be specifically named or shamed. Photis, however made a few things very clear. We may well be talking about arsonists, here. And what sort, you may well ask.

"For instance you may have the case of a person saying, 'you didn't give my son a job, so I'm going to burn down the forest' ", said Photis. Others, he continued telling Yiannakis, simply take advantage of the aftermath and move in to collect what is left in order to sell it off as firewood.

Now, if you think it could not get more ridiculous than these examples you'd be wrong. Yiannakis came up with the gem of the discussion by telling Photis that he has a young son. And (as opposed to advice, say, Andros Kyprianou get from grown up offspring) dad sometimes 'lends an ear' and, Yiannakis continued, "... could it be possible that there are also arsonists from the North at work here...?" Needless to say, Photis took this golden opportunity and ran with it. CyBC then attributed the quote to the minister during their 6PM news.

Now, the question is, how did this child become so bigoted and who could possibly be to blame for this? After all, the danger here is of a grown up being gradually corrupted by a child, only to end up becoming a shameless bigot himself. Should we give a kid the Zacharias Koulias Tolerance Award of the week or should the father receive it on the child's behalf?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Yannakis's son could prove useful in the next "anasximatismos'...


19 July, 2007 02:24  

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