December 17, 2007

Mikellides for Themistocleous

The good doctor surprises again and delays by one(?) week his Vote for Tassos piece. Instead, we read why we should vote for Themistocleous, a seemingly honest man who, judging from his house in Aglantzia, is either the scion of a well to do family, or married well or got some extra pocket money from those desalination plants. What strikes us, as well spotted by readers of this blog, is the complete abstinence of the good doctor from any foul language. It is perhaps the first time that the use of nice cypriot adjectives to give meaning to the words is completely avoided. Normally the lack of vivid hyperbole makes the average writer more convincing. Nevertheless, in the case of Mikellides, this works to make the piece the least convincing from any the good doctor has produced to date (including the Ones before the VOTE FOR ... series).

Meanwhile, at the European Council...

December 14, 2007

You Have Reached the Tassos Campaign...

December 13, 2007


These gentlemen were brought to our attention by our very own Ministry of Culture and Agnostic Affairs

Da Flag

We are informed today that Da Flag on Da Mountain is being painted and will be brand new and ready for New Year’s Day. CNA informs us, moreover, that Da Flag is 450 meters long and 225 meters wide, and the cost of lighting it up last year came to 800,000 Cyprus pounds. Once again, we'd like to remind our T/C friends that they should grow up!

December 11, 2007


or is it Tassisms?

3 Gems in Less Than 3 Minutes

Please pay attention, children. I say children because we should assume we're being treated as children by the sort of people who don't know how to deal with them. You. know, the types who insist on talking loud and in a condescending and seemingly intellectually challenged manner.

Stravaraland's Propaganda Broadcaster was in the throes of extended multiple orgasms yesterday, Monday, as it celebrated Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov's unconditional support for the island's stand on Kosovo. In return for our brave stand on the matter which coincides with Russia's position, Lavrov also had a few stern words for the UN Secretary General's unacceptable stand on the easing of the so-called pseudo isolation of the alleged Turkish Cypriot community.

The elation felt at the taxpayer-funded propaganda broadcaster was unprecedented. Bulgarian-trained Yiannakis Nicolaou was simply beaming with what looked like post-coital smugness. The kind of look a kid gets after getting away with not paying for an expensive hooker. The side effect of this satisfaction was a new air of confidence that led him to utter a few gems on the daytime current affairs programme on CyBC. This led to the Freudian Annan-related slip of the year when Nicolaou interrupted AKEL's Takis Hadjigeorgiou.

Also appearing on the show was Nicos Tornaritis (who has the last word in this clip, albeit off camera) and a slightly hyperactive chap called Papadakis.

Don't forget to sign the CyBC petition on your way out.

[cross-posted on the Cyprus Presidential Elections 2008 blog]

December 10, 2007

Mikellides for Kassou

Last week it was Vote for Jimmy. This week it is Vote for Kassou. I cannot wait for next week's article, which unavoidably has to make the case to vote for TeePee.

December 08, 2007

Jimmy’s Check Mate

(Or, the only way for Jimmy to win the elections).

Jimmy needs to make one important move if he is to convince the middle class to vote for him. Being unable to vote for Tassos myself just because of the kind of supporters he attracts and his inability to act as a unifying force in a divided country, I have to give it to Tassos that he managed to appoint the first finance minister (perhaps since independence) that actually knows a thing or two about economics. The appointment of the central bank governor was equally impressive. Despite what AKEL tries to tell you, these appointments were arguably the best appointments in the history of the Republic, they were done meritocratically, and they were actually done so that the job could get done. And indeed it is being done (in the case of the finance minister this was with the help of the tax reform enacted by the previous government that enabled the low tax regime to attract foreign capital and, actually, some specialised/high-end labor).

Now AKEL has been making the wrong type of noises about these appointments and these people, talking about abstract ideas like “neo-liberalism” that cannot be well-defined and therefore cannot be well defended. The comrades in the party have to wake up and smell the coffee. Most people in the land, including AKEL’s supporters, are fine with the capitalist system and mentality and indeed would just like the government to be out of the way as much as possible (a neo-liberal ideal that somehow gets lost in the cheap talk). People in the land like (and have gotten used to) the low tax rates inherited from the previous government, and see (rightly) not many things actually wrong with Sarris’ economic policies.

It will not be sufficient for AKEL to not say anything about this issue because either way this issue is going to be brought to them if Jimmy makes it to the second round. Whether rightly or wrongly this is irrelevant, remember this is politics and at stake is the most powerful political position in the country for 5 years. On Monday morning after the first round and with Jimmy still in the running, there will be special ads in the papers and in the radios frightening the electorate about the coming red revolution, about the closet communists waiting to jack up both personal and corporate tax rates to fund projects of waste like they were doing in the former Soviet Union. Make no mistake about it. This will happen. The question is, how can AKEL (and Jimmy) deal with this onslaught, especially when this onslaught has an element of truth given the types of messages many AKEL supporters send out.

What is Jimmy’s check mate move? Well, find a “neo-liberal” and agree with them that they will take over the ministry of finance with the directive of doing as they see fit. Get someone (I was going to mention names but this might generate conspiracy theories) who is known to be part of the Cypriot capitalist mentality and there are no questions about his (or even better her) capitalist credentials. AND publicly announce this the week before the first round to get rid of the weapon of mass destruction accumulating in the opponents’ arsenal. This move will make sure the middle class is not swayed by arguments like "You are being sold for nothing to the communists" or "Your high standard of living will be sacrificed in a Quixotic battle to prove to the rest of the world that a communist system might work". Believe me, there is a sufficient amount of noise coming from AKEL supporters that these fears are very real. And it will cost Jimmy tremendously among the large share of the population, who for the first time in Cypriot politics, is unattached to political parties and will be the deciding factor as to who wins and who loses the coming election.

December 07, 2007


The management empathises with all those EU ministers of foreign affairs who will not be able to do a spot of Christmas shopping in Stockholm this year.

The Government spokesman in Nicosia claims that the meeting between Carl Bildt and Erato Markoullis (originally scheduled for December 18th) had to be postponed, as the Swedish foreign minister would be traveling to Annapolis! Now, why Mr. Bildt would want to return to Maryland, having already been there as of November 26th is beyond me. And the local journalists just sat there during Palmas' briefing without so much as uttering a word.

Dudes, check this out. But, hey Annapolis is so far from Stravaraland, it might as well be non-existent. And as we already know, there are some people in government whose excuses are even further from the truth than Annapolis.

Singing in [and out of] the Rain


spot the mayor

Not only is the ambassador of Slovakia a damn fine looking woman, she also has a low tolerance for foolish behaviour. Her Excellency, Dr. Anna Tureničová dragged a bunch of people round the Green Line and then they all sat down for a chit chat. The upshot: Yes,Ledra Street could be opened if the political decision were to be taken.

A most dramatic entrance was made by the 2 mayors of Nicosia (or, if we want to be politically 'correct', Elenara and a 'so called mayor' of occupied Nicosia) who flew in through the window with flames of reconciliation shooting out of their ears. The image could, unfortunately, not be captured for posterity as the CNA photographers were out and about snapping pictures of people walking around in the rain carrying umbrellas. These pictures carried a caption reading:"people in the rain with umbrellas".

Then a bunch of politicians started arguing about turkish troops, the quality of ravioli at Zennetos Tavern and shoe sizes, at which time Dr. Tureničová told them all to put a sock in it.

As anyone can tell you there are no turkish troops anywhere near the Ayios Dometios checkpoint.

The president of the Republic, in the meantime, is dishing out money.

December 06, 2007

Keep Him Home for Christmas

Now, listen up, you meddling foreign bastards. Yes, you, who keep trying to punish us for the heroic 'OXI' we defiantly screamed in your conniving and conspiratorial faces in 2004. You keep accusing us of trafficking women and turning artists into harlots.

Well, here we have proof at last that there is no such thing as prostitution on the island. We do, however have the highest concentration of pole dancing experts in the EU, many of whom work tirelessly into the wee hours. Pole dancing, as the Dizzy Chicks (a progressive female rock band based in Cyprus who also have their own culture show on State TV) of "better together" inform us, is a new and wonderful form of exercise that can boost any woman's sense of self esteem.

The intro to the item is hilarious, but my fave line in the pole dancing story: "Ha, ha, some people may think that that pole in the living room is there to prop up the ceiling".

December 04, 2007

Mikellides for Jimmy

Now that is quite something, our psychedellic doctor Yiangos Mikellides urges his audience to vote for Jimmy. The reason is, according to Mikellides, that those who are behind Jimmy, are basically the best raw intellect left standing in Stravaraland. Impressed I am that, despite the weekly satire of what is commonly known as The Banana Republic, our good doctor has something to look forward to in Stravaraland.

December 02, 2007

Lessons from A Wise Man

This is the last lecture from a CS professor at Carnegie Mellon.

His last lecture, at one hour and 44 minutes is long, but arguably one of the best lectures you might ever witness...

December 01, 2007