September 30, 2006

Independence Day/Oktoberfest

On October 1st Greek Cypriots celebrate Independence Day in Stravaraland. Independence came in 1960: the island, contrary to all its inhabitants' expectations, became independent from the British Empire. The negotiations in London, between Greece, Turkey and Britain took place in February 1960, independence was then announced on August 14th 1960. I never understood why October 1st is the day of honour. There must be a reason, maybe someone can enlighten us on the issue.

Now what I am really interested in is when October 1st became the day of honour, why and when did it start getting celebrated in the island for all seasons? Was it celebrated with a parade in 1961 as it is in 2006? When did the first parade on October 1st take place? Was it a military one or a student one? Were the T/C taking part in this parade? I somehow have trouble believing that there was a parade for independence in 1961, let alone the T/C taking part in it. So, when did these parades start taking place? When was October 1st discovered? Questions, questions, I tried googling the issue but in my quick search did not find anything informative. Can someone shed some historical light?

September 27, 2006

Just the Headlines, Please

Stravaraland's State Broadcaster has gradually stuffed more news content into their morning show over the last few months.

I was almost pleasantly surprised when I hastily concluded that they'd given the whole news deparment the sack and replaced that sorry lot with this clever young man who seems to be really good at pointing to headlines and just as good at reading them out loud.

It can also be quite entertaining whenever he gets annoyed if the cameraman doesn't get to the next headline in time. When this happens, he sternly remarks: "here ... on the left", or wherever it may be that his pen got to first.

It's a good thing to get an idea of what's in the local press. But if your job is to give us this roundup it would be good if you got there a bit earlier and actually read some of the stuff in print.

Who's Behind the Ballot?

Rumours are rife that a hotelier from the West Coast of Stravaraland may well end up becoming the new CEO of the country's largest corporate entity.

Although the faithful willingly participated in what seemed - to them at least - an electoral process to choose the next spiritual leader of the land, the last laugh may well be on them.

As of Friday more machinations will start unfolding. This may well lead to a final showdown between the hotelier and the youger contender in Limassol.

Bear in mind, however, that the man has already promised that if chosen for the post he will not hang on to the throne till death do them part.

September 24, 2006

Save the Psycho[s]

TeePee, great and infallible leader that he is, could not leave unanswered the calls by the Union of Journalists (ESK) that, basically, the freedom of press ought to be be respected by all, including the Presidency. On his return from the long journey, he accused Stravaraland's reporters of imposing “psychological blackmail” on him.

This from the man who started a witch-hunt against anyone daring to disagree with him by duly branding them as traitors. And now, he is under psychological pressure by what was clearly a failure in anger management and cover up an unpleasant event. After all, some are easier to cover than others - remember Vodafone-Telsim-CYTA anyone?

I suggest that Dr Mikellides should be recruited and accompany the President on his travels. Moreover, a new avenue linking Strakka and Pyrga should be built, so that Dr Mikellides can have speedy access to the President and deal with all his … needs.

I have made my point, but would like to stress what an interesting event this has been. Not all reporters (or relatives) agreed with the ESK lambasting the Presidential attitude to free press. Lazaros A Mavros, the living conscience of the EOKA spirit, was quicker than ESK to emphasise that all this stuff that gets reported was unknown to him (Den gnwrizei i stili") thus justifying the President in accusing journalists of unprofessionalism ("Gnwrizei i stili monon oti o Klokkaris ponei ta zinishia tou").

The other reporter to support this thesis was Haravgi’s Androulla Giourof. The President was right and everyone else lives in Alice’s Wonderland (or maybe pre-1989 Bulgaria?). I suppose that TeePee's statement that “4-5 journalists, self-proclaimed political analysts, come up with [untrue] stories” do not apply to these two buffoons, who must have a superior grip on reality and ethics. They do not live in Wonderland and are nothing less than lights from the extreme right and extreme left, respectively, guiding us in case we ever lose our way…

So, Dear Mr. Pashiardi, drop whatever it is you're doing and get the good doctor on the phone. He may actually do a group deal if Giourof and Mavros are included in a package. After all, these two groupies can always be relied upon to hold TeePee's psychologically battered hand during stressful times.

Make Way for the Kid

TeePee's son, Nicholas Papadopoulos, wrote a letter to the press protesting Nick Anastasiades’ jibe of "[refusing] to respond to a man his age". Nick A is another of those politicians that unfortunately cannot really be trusted, maybe he is too good at what he does. He, like TeePee, also suffers from the inability to curb his natural instinct, which is to avoid saying anything of substance by making sarcastic comments about an opponent.

Sarcasm is a trait that he could probably do without, but perhaps this suggestion comes a bit late in the day. Maybe he should switch, like Kykkou Nikiforos, and dye his hair white rather than black. It might give him a more senatorial look.

But I digress. What actually amazes me is young Nicholas' audacity to write a letter entitled “Topo sta Niata” (Make way for youth). The letter was addressed to Nick Anastasiades, but the audacity of the letter is again amazing. This is the son of a guy who will run for another 5 years at age 74. Are we to assume that this youngster knows something we don’t?

Or maybe he should consult his father before he fires off another opinion in the general direction of the press.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

September 22, 2006

Peru Steals Marcos?

I don't know what the CTO intends to do about the latest attempt by the evil AngloAmericans to divert tourist traffic away from the only destination that offers sun and sea (Stravaraland) to a place called Lima Sol.

Peru is nowhere near as sunny and you can hardly breathe with ease when you start visiting some of their lakes.

To make matters worse, this CIA front seems to have been hastily put together claiming Lima Sol to be our Marcos the Magnificent's birthplace.

So, what is the foreign ministry going to do about this latest conspiracy?

Our thanks to Kassandra for the tip-off

September 21, 2006

Stravara Mas

Civil Registry and Migration Director Anny Shakalli yesterday defended her decision to go ahead with the deportation of a 40-year-old Russian woman and her three children, despite a strong public outcry that the judgment had been too harsh and the handling of the case inhumane.
“The family were in Cyprus illegally and I stand by my decision. Even the Supreme Court upheld my decision, so who am I to question it?”
Vera Yudina and her children aged 16, 11 and 10 were deported back to Russia yesterday, despite having lived in Limassol for the past 13 years.

It is absolutely amazing that when it comes to looking for a European solution and our human rights we are always first to scream until we're blue in he face.

Yet even the European laws that should have been implemented on May 1, 2004 (at least as a precursor of our imminent European vindication) are still somehow beyond implementation.

I do not fault Shakalli for following the current rules of the land, but I do fault the Members of Parliament who, 2 and a half years after officially being part of the EU, have not ratified the laws that we should be bound by.

Is it so difficult to accept that someone who has been in Stravaraland for 5 years ought to be automatically treated as a local?

Is it so difficult to accept that someone born in Stravaraland should get a local passport (for better or worse - probably for worse if you ask him 18 years later)? Absolutely amazing...

September 19, 2006

It's Not Goodbye

The following is taken from the Stravaraland Press and Information Office. You press them, they'll tell you:

Question: You said you thanked the Secretary-General. It sounds like goodbye.

President: It is well-known his term as Secretary-General is ending.

Question: Which means you will not be seeing him again.

President: No, on the contrary, I said “I hope to see you before that” and he replied “if the opportunity arises, why not.”

OK, you can stop laughing now.

Keep the Bling

I know what you're thinking. It's a good idea, right?

Yes, of course. Seeing as the people are being called upon to elect the new CEO of Stravaraland's biggest corporation, it may be time to give the new businessman-in-chief a more modern and with-it (as the people who are out of it usually say) look.

The double headed fowl-based bling can stay, though. Byzantium is way sicker than hip hop.

OK, you're right; it's actually from a proposed Steve Jobs makeover

Still, not a bad look for the next Archbishop.

September 18, 2006

Doing Crack at the Waldorf

TeePee is currently roughing it at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, supposedly lobbying for Stravaraland. At the end of an interview with the accompanying CyBC reporterette - he suggested that she ask him to elaborate on the Klokkaris Affair.

You may recall that this is what he did when he got off the plane after a previous trip to the real world, when he suggested to his captive audience of reporters that they should ask him what he thought of AKEL's quarrel with Politis.

This was a milestone in post-1974 history, which gave birth to the ambient atmosphere . As TeePee delivered the monster-child he pronounced:
"These people do not print receipts and therefore you cannot prove anything...everything is deduced from the ambient atmosphere..."
And thus he labeled a number of people as traitors, on the CIA payroll.

We now know that every time the great leader asks reporters to ask him something he has either had one too many or he is about to reveal his true feelings. It's very much like even the meanest mother-in-law crying at a wedding. And we all know how good this lad is when it comes to crying in public.

Meanwhile, back at the Waldorf, his latest outburst went something like:
"Four or five reporters - self-described political analysts - have created a storm in a teacup. I ask you, they say Klokkaris is an ethical person but then they also claim that we should not believe him when he says he is resigning due to health concerns. Well, they should choose. He is either ethical or a liar, they should choose whatever they prefer".

The implication is clear. Klokkaris is either ethical and truthful in resigning due to health reasons or he is a liar and should not have been appointed in the first place. I favour the former, as President and therefore stop breaking my balls and get on with it.

Well, the problem is, an ethical person who resigns because he is ridiculed and happens to have back pains, would rather say "I have back pains and I am resigning", than come out in public and say, "Look, you appointed me and I am grateful, but I have to tell the people that on top of having back pains, Jimmy the Sheftali and his supporters won't let let me do my job and the situation in this army of ours is nothing but a nightmare come true".

Klokkaris is not lying, Mr President, he is simply not telling the whole truth, so as to try and cover for you. There is a difference.

We stand by our 3% solution.

PS: We choose not to comment on the thinly veiled attempt to gag the media. Even in Stravaraland this will eventually come back to haunt you.

Apodimos Kypreos
September 18, 2006

Nice One, CyBC

It's easy to pick on Stravaraland's state broadcaster. Way too easy for way too many reasons, which I'd rather not get into at the moment.

From time to time, however they do get something right. In this case I thought it was pretty damned decent of them to kick off their Sunday evening sports programme with a 'thank you' to Marcos.

I hate to be churlish, but why did they have to leave the Baghdatis item for last. Football is great but we're pretty much second-rate at it on an international scale, whereas Marcos the Magnificent is a world class athlete.

...Marcos, Ole...Marcos, Ole...

September 17, 2006

Long Live Our Champion


Marcos the Maginicent has clinched his first ATP title on Sunday, by reigning victorious at the China Open.

At last, some good news that has cheered up so many people in Stravaraland, who've been inundated by prancing priests and their elections as well as the local media (with the exception of Dr. Mikellides in Politis) generally avoiding any mention of the murky goings-on at the Ministry of Defence.

Marcos got the job done in 72 minutes, defeating Mario Ancic of Croatia 6-4, 6-0, becoming the 3rd person to take the title after Rafael Nadal (2005) and Marat Safin (2004).

Ancic, who described Marcos as an "unbelievable player" got some consolation in being on the victorious team of the men's doubles final.

Watch out Tournamentland, here comes our new champion.

All together now: "Marcos, Ole!, Marcos Ole!, Marcos Ole!..."

The Three Per Cent Solution

According to Nicos Katsourides:

"It is others who have the honour of staging coups,"

When will AKEL stop referring back to the coup in 1974 whenever it has no response to a particular issue in question? There seems to be a problem in the National Guard. AKEL's General Secretary says midweek that the investigation will reveal the truth. The Attorney General indicates that not all is well with the "investigative procedures" and before you now it, Katsourides remembers July 15th, 1974, as if the investigative procedures in September 2006 were a direct consequence of what happened on that day!

This, of course is nothing but standard AKEL procedure. When in trouble, cite July 15th, 1974. I wonder how many years have to go by before they actually realize that independent observers understand what happened in July 1974, but are rather more affected by events happening in 2006. And if they cannot offer any solutions to the problems of 2006, then they should pack up and piss off, or at least let younger (in age, that is) comrades take over...

But what is this business of the "parastratiwtikon epiteleion"? As always in Cyprus, nobody, not even well-meaning, relatively independent media, can tell you the truth. If you don't have direct contact with high-ranking politicians, businessmen or priests you have no chance of getting to the bottom of things. So you have to use some deductive reasoning based on facts to help you figure out what is happening and whether anything is going on.

The facts are that EDEK held the ministry of defence with Koullis Mavronikolas in charge from Feb 2003 to right after TP decided to inject some energy in the final stretch of his 5-year reign and replaced him with Klokkaris. This happened right after the parliamentary elections which, in turn, happened right before the summer. In these elections, Koullis Mavronikolas' wife, was elected MP in Lefkosia.

When the results came out, AKEL's General Secretary (a.k.a. Jimmy the Sheftali) was quick to point out:
"We are happy to be the first party in these elections. But we are unhappy that we lost 3%. We will look into the reasons, but the reasons are not emanating from the Yes/No stance in the referendum. You will notice that in Ammohostos and in Deryneia where the Yes vote was so high, we maintained and even increased our popular support. Where we lost was in Lefkosia and in some other provinces. And this is not independent of what is happening in certain ministries".

It also happened that EDEK gained a few percentage points, rejuvenating the Doddering Doctor. Within AKEL there were complaints that the ministry of defence had become "ministry of defending rousfetti". Dr. Mikellides reported (somewhat tongue in cheek) an increasing number of soldiers seeking help. Half were going to Roulla and the other half were going to him, seeking medication.

In this ambient atmosphere, I interpret these events as follow:

EDEK in general (and the Mavronikolas household in particular) practiced what is common practice in Cyprus. They used their power to get votes for EDEK and Roulla elected to parliament.

DIKO does not mind this that much because EDEK's gains are usually AKEL's losses, and a weaker AKEL is better than a stronger EDEK since EDEK has nobody else with whom to co-operate other than DIKO (EDEK has replaced DHSY in the extreme right so they are stuck there until they vanish).

DHSY is not really affected but cannot do much and so it sits on the fence letting the "heterogeneous forces in government" figure it out.

But AKEL? AKEL went crazy with this blatant rousfetti action that cost it 3%, almost all of it going to EDEK. No way Castro would let things get so out of hand.

AKEL, therefore, decides to replace Koullis with someone else. The official reason would be to "get rid of rousfetti" but in reality they would use the same techniques to get the 3% back. Little did they know, that TP wanting some respectable ministers as 2008 draws near and always wanting to appear like an extremely fair and just kinda guy, appointed Klokkaris who seems to be honest, hard-working and not a rousfetti kinda guy.

But at least the direction was right for AKEL: no more EDEK in there. But why not try to use the organization to do some rousfetti, we don't need the minister to do that, do we? So therein must lie the presence and purpose of the "parastratiwtikon epiteleion".

Apodimos Kypreos
September 16, 2006

September 14, 2006

Panicos Papadopoulos

This is one of the most paranoid and reality-detached articles I have ever read in a Cypriot newspaper - and for a guy that started reading newspapers at the height of the '78 "consipiracy", this is saying a lot.

The article in question
claims that Tassos Papadopoulos is in a panic because of the massive 76% NO vote in the Annan referendum of 2004 and is now becoming the most fervent and committed supporter of YES to secure AKEL's support for the 2008 presidential elections.

The President is in such a panic at the "stunning percentage of NO", columnist Iacovides writes, that he is prepared "to distinguish himself as the greatest and most consistent "YESsie" in order to be re-elected in 2008 - appealing, one presumes, to the 24% of YES voters.

So that explains it all! That's why the President had his cohorts send all those civil servants those nice little application forms asking if they were interested in serving in the Federal Government of Cyprus in case YES carried the day, and by the way, reassuring them that "every effort would be expended to make sure their terms of employment and rights would not be adversely affected", which (of course) amounted to the same thing as telling them "Vote YES and you can forget your guaranteed ride on the Civil Service gravy train, all bets are off". He must have been in a panic in case too many of them voted NO. That's why he went on TV for the best part of an hour three days before the referendum trying to scare the hell out of us, saying that if we voted YES we would no longer have a country to call our own but would basically become an ethnic community in a state controlled by Turkey, and that's why he cried his eyes out saying it: he must have been in a panic in case an overwhelming majority of us voted NO.

That explains the President's conduct after the referendum too. He must have been in such a panic that so many people voted NO, that he led a defamation campaign slandering many well-known supporters of YES as paid agents of the Americans (see "Da Atmosphere" in the sidebar). Dear Zeus, the panic the President must have been in! How he cowered to appease the massive majority of NO voters, to reassure them that NO, he wasn't one of those traitorous YESsies!

Now he's in such a panic that the same YESsies he and his cohorts, until a while ago, were denouncing as paid agents and traitors, won't support him in 2008, that he is getting the same cohorts to support two of the most well-known AKEL YESsies, Minister of the Interior Andreas Christou and Member of Parliament Eleni Mavrou, for Mayor in Limassol and Nicosia respectively.

The two persons in question came in for a fair amount of abuse during the post-referendum "Ambient Atmosphere" period. Mavrou was fingered as one of the infamous "opinion leaders" in the Nathan Associates report that was misquoted and distorted as part of the defamation campaign. Christou was victimised by Tassos' favourite, Minister of Foreign Affairs Giorgos Lillikas (then Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism) some time later. Lillikas tried to present Christou to the public as a Turk sympathiser and traitor for his handling of matters concerning naturalisation of Turkish Cypriots' children , when Christou was only implementing the Government's obligations according to the Acquis Communautaire in this issue. Clever Giorgos and his boss Tassos were, of course, killing two birds with one stone: distancing themselves from the NO-voting public's perception of the Government's obligations, and defaming a confirmed YESsie at the same time.

At first sight, support from Tassos Papadopoulos for these two mayor candidates would be surprising. But there is no way that I can, without benefit of mind-enhancing substances, construe it as panic-stricken reaction to the overwhelming majority of NO in the referendum of two years ago. Simply, Tassos Papadopoulos is applying the Byzantine-style politics he learned at the knee of his political daddy, the late Archbishop Makarios III. Having bludgeoned AKEL's leadership nearly insensible with the massive political suppression implement that the NO majority in the Annan referendum became in their hands, and having seen AKEL take a beating at the hands of its own voters (who stayed away in droves) in the Parliamentaries, he and his cohorts now want AKEL to recover enough to be useful for the 2008 presidentials. Having secured the co-operation of the AKEL leadership by totally outmanoevring them, they now want to appease the AKEL voters a bit, especially the YESsies who make a large proportion of that party's vote.

What better way than to offer two leading YESsies in AKEL the mayorships of Nicosia and Limassol in the coming Municipals? That provides the AKEL leadership with an alibi for its own voters, makes AKEL more amenable to Tassos' plans for 2008, and also takes two leading YESsie politicians out of the Executive and the Legistature and puts them in local government, where their influence on the political matters Tassos is really interested in will be minimal.

Tassos Papadopoulos in a panic because of the NO vote? The day you see that, you can call me Panicos Papadopoulos. And if the AKEL leadership, especially Demetris Christofias, think that the bludgeoning they've been receiving at the hands of Tassos and his minions since 2003 has been hard going, they'd better brace themselves, because what they've got coming in the run-up to the 2008 Presidentials, and especially after 2008 once Tassos becomes re-elected, will make the era of the Ambient Atmosphere look like a walk in the park.

September 13, 2006

Grow Up!

The tragedy that befell our country 13 months ago is not something to be taken lightly by anyone. This is implicit and respected by most. As heated and as irrationally behaved a crowd of mourning relatives of the Helios disaster victims may have gotten outside the House of Representatives, some people simply must realise that there is a time, a place and a manner in which to speak out.

So, Stravaraland minister of (among other things) transportation, I feel you behaved in a totally inapropriate manner on Tuesday.

So they got in your limousines's way for a few minutes and vented their anger. Who the fuck do you think you are, trying to turn things around and make it all about you, you, you - you callous, incompetent fool?

So, it's a bit unpleasant being shouted at. So, maybe it's not nice to be picked on by a mob. Has is it ever occured to you that maybe losing relatives in a calamity is also not a pleasant experience, or did someone piss a bit too much in your ear the last time your brains were on fire?

Do you think you're asserting yourself and that miplsaced sense of authority you were handed by making veiled threats against the people who took the unfortunate (and irresponsible) step of making 'phone threats?

Are your brain cells not talking to each other, like a couple who don't even remember (sic) what the argument was about in the first place? Is that why you were unable to take two simple steps in trying to deal with the anguish of the people who stopped your shiny little Merc - as misguided as the action may have been?

If you had testicular attachments you would have gotten out of the car and faced these people. It's easier said than done, granted, but a bit of effort could, and would, have disarmed and calmed them. You walk towards grief and anger and not sit in your shiny taxpayermobile being all in-charege, ministerial and full of mastros-mastrappas self-import.

It's not like a relationship, it is one; in this case it is the bereaved who are looking to you for answers. So their manners leave a bit to be desired. And what did you gain by wearing that pathetic facsimile of a God of Thunder expression on your ministerial face as you made your flurry of half-witted announcements to inform the world that, among other things, you've alerted the police to the threatening 'phone calls, almost none of your [immediate] relatives are Libra shareholders, the government will keep its promise of ensuring that justice is served and that you are saddened by the sight of a mob?

Putting things in perspective, empathising and taking the first necessary step when things go to hell has never belittled a man but rather, defined him as one.

September 08, 2006

School Text

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Some people lie, while others simply avoid telling the whole truth. Stravaraland's State broadcaster, however prefers to combine elements of both these tendencies and get a bit hysterical while quoting things out of context.

There are mediocre first-year journalism students at second-rate colleges the world over who have a better grasp on professional ethics than the journalists at our own Pashin Arnin.

News by extrapolation and fantasy is a favourite tactic at this exclusive taxpayer subsidised resort.

Friday's hysterics included a claim that the Times ran an article urging its readers to "think twice" before investing in property in the PseudoNorth.

By the tone of delivery, I imagined front page headlines and was pleased by the prospect that the Orams case would not end up being a fiasco for Stravaraland, after all.

Of the items found on the Times' site, the first does not actually have a very encouraging headline, whereas the second does not actually contain a warning to think twice. |*|

By the way, if anyone is still interested in helping Mr. Pashiardis and his boss study the Orams case judgement it can be found here.

Then we another hysterical outburst, quoting a Reuter's item. This re-interpration claimed FIA officials were outraged at the goofy stunt involving Talat of The North after the Constatinople Grand Prix. Yep, the Turks may lose next year's event and ... "other sporting events". I suppose these other events may include the World Baklava Eating Championships - which FIA also organises.

The Evening News on CyBC Uno, however, ended with La Kenevezou delivering a classic line regarding the two G3 rifles that were stolen from the kitchen of an National Guard outpost somewhere in the Red Villages.

Kenevezou closed the evening extravaganza by telling us that the authorities feared that the rifles may have " ... fallen into the wrong hands"

|*| Erratum: The second item in the Property Section of the Times does offer the advice to prospective buyers of property bargains. I stand corrected.

However, within the context it hardly justifies jubilation.

Singing in the Reign

Election campaigns and debates don't always go hand in hand. But, according rumours, the candidates for the throne of Nova Justiniana have decided to organise a pageant instead. Yeah, just like Miss Papoutsosyko and what have you.

They plan to sashay in their modest black dresses, preach peace on earth but instead of the bikini portion, there will be a Tsiattisto showdown.

Here we see one of the hopefuls warming up for the finale.

So Long, Suckers!

He was once described by a man named Bruno, in Malta as The Cypriot Yoda. AKEL once pretended to back him during presidential elections. The remorse our Stalinists felt, however fuelled by the resulting from this prank, however, landed him a job for life.

But we know him better as the Shistris Waiter, who rose to worldwide fame by becoming Stravaraland's first ever (and last) Minister of Tavern Affairs. A worldwide craze for traditional Stravaraland Mezedes after all, is one of the secret weapons that have, in the past, been utilised by the Government in search (as in found and lost) of a European Solution.

At any rate, Jackie Boy was eventually asked to leave his cabinet post in exchange for junkets and a globetrotting experience. Free Business Class travel, after all, broadens both minds and smiles.

In case you were wondering, he's off to Cuba next week to attend ...some Non Aligned Movement conference. Oh, but wait, it seems we're not members of that fine organisation anymore so our man (along with "other EU dignitairies" - according to the Official Press Release!) is simply going to make a guest appearance. Not even Co-Starring billing, re gamwto. But he will be discussing the Cyprus Problem as well as "other international matters"

Keep paying your taxes, children...

September 07, 2006

Comment Contest

OK, here's the deal: You take a look at this screen capture of La Kenevezou while she's interviewing the Bishop of Kition and let us know what you think she's saying.

The daily Archbishop Elections programme on CyBC is the most fascinating thing they've aired in years.

Highly recommended is the upcoming episode of this reality show on the 14th when the Bishop of Paphos will tell all about how the Church makes its money.

The winner of the caption contest wins a free picnic basket and a bus ride to Throni.

Readers under the influence of alcohol or psychotropic drugs are not eligible to participate.

September 06, 2006

Meletis Apostolides o Prosfygas

Meletis means "studious" in Greek. It also happens to be the name of the first Greek Cypriot refugee in Stravaraland, who, in pursuit of a European Solution, post-2004, teamed up with lawyer Constantinos Kandounas (mayor of occupied, jewel of the [currently] pseudo - north, city formerly known as Kyrenia), to sue the Orams' for buying the plot of land for which Meletis has title deeds but was forced out of after the 1974 Turkish invasion (OK intervention if you are pseudo-live in 'northern' Stravaraland).

The Orams had built themselves a nice little villa with their £160,000 nest egg on said [current]pseudo plot (of land-not daktylos) and all was lovely jubbly the pseudoparadise. Now, based on the renowned fighting spirit of the Cypriot legal profession, the political ambitions of his crafty lawyer, and the frustration of being honoured as a refugee in his own land for 30 years, studious Meletis decided to sue the Orams for usurping his property. Moreover, based on the pending European Solution, (as promised by the patriotic parties of Stravaraland), had the Orams not complied with the local court's verdict, Meletis could get access to the Orams' property in Surrey to compensate for his own loss.

You can imagine the political repercussions. A test case for European norms, for the morality and legality of Stravaraland's cause in 2006, for the 200,000 refugees getting ready to start a class action suit and what have you. Force the Orams out and the [illegal, so-called etc.]PseudoNortH cannot go it alone but has to come back to everyone's fave sugardaddy - TeePee Da Man.

Imagine, also, the economic consequences. No more villas in the [pseudo]n0rth, perpetual property rights insecurity and let them southern boyz and galz point out how lazy the pseudoNorthenerz are - they who merely squander Paradise Lost. No more selling of a villa in Pafos to buy a couple in [so-called]Girne. No way, Memet - you ain't gonna violate my human rights no more!

Yet, the indefatigable legal profession, the politicians and the like suddenly cannot even acknowledge the enormity of the decision of September 6, 2006. Stravaraland state radio talks about appealing, yet does not spell out the decision. "Is it possible that we can appeal a decision that hasn't even been made?" our good foreign readers might wonder. Well, when it comes to rights and wrongs, it does depend really, it's all in the eye of the beholder. But I digress...

A decision was reached, despite the good natured attempts of the local Tass agency to ignore the gravity of the verdict. To remind our kind readers: "Their counsel, Cherie Booth QC, had argued that the case raised a matter of fundamental importance for people who lived in the Turkish-controlled region in relation to property dealings. Mr Justice Jack's ruling that a judgement obtained against the retired couple in Nicosia was not enforceable in the English courts followed a four-day hearing at the High Court in London in July. The judge gave Mr Apostolides, who was not in court, permission to appeal. He also ordered that he should pay 75% of the Orams' £863,000 costs, with an interim payment of £150,000 - although £75,000 of that will be stayed, pending appeal. The remaining £75,000 has to be paid within 28 days."

Now where is Mr Meletis going to find £75,000? And if he is not willing to pay the money, should the Orams' sue for all his assets in Stravaraland? What has this world come to? We all know Mr Blair has political troubles but to find an innocent refugee and let him have it like that, I tell you this is simply heartless.

There is no justice in this world, it is like Marcos playing against Agassian and 23,000 New Yorkers are all up in arms against him. Not fair, not fair...

Apodimos Kypreos,
September 6, 2006


Believe it or not that lovely, soft-spoken spokesman up at the presidential castle was silent on the outcome of the Orams' appeal at the High Court in London today. His reaction was the predictable Stravaraland government ploy of "we will comment once we have studied the court's ruling". What, exactly do you need to study, re gamwto?

The decision merely states that seeing as the acquis communautaire cannot be imposed in the pseudonorth (as per Protocol 10 of the Accession Treaty 2003), there is jack shit European courts can do about the case.

Of course, the official line of propaganda has already been passed on to the local media in the form of a quote from Apostolides' lawyer where he more or less says, "yeah, but the court did mention illegality..."

Well, whoopee doodie!

Mr. Candounas, the lawyer representing Mr. Apostolides on whose family's property the Orams built their villa in Lapithos, also mentioned such staples as "justice will prevail in the's not over yet.." and other comments of this ilk.

As a friend remarked: It's amazing that the various refugee organisations are not already up at the presidential palace to lynch the current occupant.

Needless to say The [pending, yet nowhere to be seen] European Solution will, in the future, prevent such legal anomalies as the decision handed down by Mr Justice Jack.

In the meantime, however the court has ordered Mr Apostolides to fork over 75% of the Orams' £863,000 costs, with an interim payment of £150,000 - although £75,000 of that will be stayed, pending appeal.

So, how long will it take your boss to study that court ruling, re Pashiardi? It's OK, no hurry, we're in it for the long haul.

Hands Off Spyro

Who the hell do these Google people think they are? In the latest conspiracy against people of Stravaraland, this Internet behemoth has started what, to the untrained eye, may seem like a good idea.

The Google New Archive is up and running. Go ahead and help yourself to over 200 years' worth of news and press releases. Sounds fair enough, right? Sounds like a good idea, right? Wrong!

As you may have already gathered, the bulk of material available will be available for a fee to the respective 'owners'. So, when I searched for Spyros Kyprianou I was horrified to find that the various media co-operating with Google are nothing less than a bunch of bandits. Hell, an obituary published by M2 Presswire will set you back $9.95.

What is the government going to do about this blatant case of foreigners trying to sell a precious Cyprus icon on the web?

How dare these barbarians make money off the back of a National Treasure: Our precious Spyro?

Upon Google News Archive we hereby bestow our Ftou award.

September 02, 2006 or

A friend of mine has an interesting story to tell regarding our indigenous cheese. In the days of heady dot com frivolity, my friend - to whom I'll refer as the Big Cheese - decided to register the Domain Name

Having done so, he set up a few e-mail forwards and at least a handful of people had a little laugh along the way. There was even a strange little website that briefly appeared. After a while, however, everyone went back to the daily grind.

A good 8 months later, Big Cheese got a phone call at work:
"Hello, could I speak to Mr. ...?"
"Speaking", Big Cheese replied.
"Yes, well, I'm calling from the Ministry of Commerce, and I've been asked to inform you that you should transfer this title over to us"

Needless to say, the conversation went South - so to speak - from that moment onwards. Big Cheese suggested he could put together a really nice site to promote our cholesterol-rich product, while the unimaginative and seemingly harassed pen-pusher insisted on ownership transfer as if the subject of the matter were nothing more than a second hand car.

Now I read that the Republic of Stravaraland will be trying to get this cheese of the Ancient Gods registered in the EU as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin).

If I'm not mistaken they could find themselves in a legal quandary if Big Cheese were to challenge this, seeing as the Domain Name was registered waaaay before Stravaraland decided to claim, protect and serve Halloumi as its European, God-given right.

This has nothing to do with an item this blog ran a few weeks ago about being sold to the Danish Dairy Board. That was merely a rumour and nothing less than a blatant lie. But it does get some people out there thinking, doesn't it?

Long Live Halloumi - the cheese your arteries will adore.

September 01, 2006

The Pride of Cyprus

I feel guilty and sad. Guilty for not being able to secure a ticket and go with my flags, t-shirts and hats to cheer for our leventis last night.

Sad not because Marcos lost to the Armenian legend but because of the way he lost.

There I was, in front of the plasma TV, using the couch behind me for support in case I fell over, since I was pacing during pretty much the entire first two sets of last night's game.

Then the smile returned to Marco's face and he started pumping his chest - as did I, for fear of some sort of syncopy from what I was witnessing.

Suddenly, a bizarre message flashed on the TV: 'Due to prolonged inactivity, your (satellite) receiver will shut down. Press No or Cancel to cancel this action'. Remote in hand, it took me 13.5 seconds to press the damn cancel button. The wife starts poking me, “hey, wake up, press cancel, I’m watching the game!” Conspiracy theories flooded my mind. Someone doesn’t want me to stay in touch with my heritage… ”katarameeeno Aroksol... oute ena toso da mikro karatsidaki” ...But I digress...

Marcos was pumping his chest and, looking heavenward, smiled at the Big Guy in the Sky, and then there was the volley 3 inches from the foot that hit the net and bounced out. I think Marcos knew this was not his night. He looked towards the Big Guy again, crossed himself, kissed his cross and smiled. He was content and at peace. He played in front of 23,700 rude New Yorkers (really, New Yorkers and rude - is this redundant? I say it’s the definition of rude.)

They booed Marcos when he double-faulted, they booed when he fell in pain and played 2 games basically with no legs. That is rude and unprofessional, but what do these barbarians know?

Marco had the guts to come back against Agassi and he almost won. And he did it alone gamota. Where the f**k where the Astorian Greeks and Cypriots? Not a single flag. Ftou sas.

And then everybody - the rude fans in Ashe Stadium and millions of TV viewers saw the true spirit and grace of Marcos as he congratulated Andre and wished him luck. In the post-game interview, when asked whether he thought it was unfair playing against 23,000 NY fans, he simply said: “a lot of things are unfair in this life. No I don't think it was unfair”. That is class. Despite his young age, Marcos proved himself to be a world-class athlete who plays his heart out and will never give up.

He is inspiring in many ways and reminds me of my son who, from the day he was born, never gave up the fight to live. Almost five years later he is the inspiration for a lot of people.

I had a dream. Marcos was standing there, with no regrets for last night, while I was telling telling him not to worry and that he would get to where he wants. It was as if he was not paying attention to me. My son, who was standing behind me, was whispering to him to never give up. It was a weird dream son telling Marcos:
“Don't give up. I never gave up and look at me. I may not be able to pump my chest like you do - thanks to that fine line down to my belly button - but I never gave up. You will get there Marcos”.

I woke up and ran to my son's room. He was still sleeping with his Marcos shirt on and had a grin in his face. I am happy again, knowing that Marcos will make us all proud again and again for many years to come.

What a year it’s been for those of us who desperately needed to feel proud of Cyprus, and one guy did it; with a racket and a heart of gold.

Thank you Marcos. Thank you for showing us the true meaning of being a Cypriot...away from avles and tampourla and deksiwseis.

Humble, on and off the court, you don't need to be riding in tax-free BMWs or cry like a girl on TV and radio. You don't need to wear a tie with Republic of Cyprus emblems. You don't need to be speaking at plateies and over a megaphone to bring out the Greek and Cypriot pride in us.

If those who do all the above believe they represent the true spirit of Cyprus, they need to hear the owner of the Xatzi-omorfos tavern in one of the Paphos villages say 'kavlies sshistes'. Maybe then they might get it ...

September 1, 2006

Eisai Monadikos

Like a good Cypriot, I failed to plan ahead for the Baghdatis vs Agassi match. I was oblivious to the fact that there were large screens set up - one of them at the Rockefeller Center - with a live broadcast of the showdown. Trekking out to Flushing was out of the question. The Arthur Ashe court was sold out. Over 23,500 locals cheering for their man, Agassi.

I eventually had to opt for the computer and a radio feed. One of the most tense experiences of my recent life. Somehow the scores were up to date on the US Open's web site but there was a confusing enough delay in the radio feed.

Where is Captain Pikifrinos when I need him, I murmured to myself.

The crowd was obviously going to be hostile towards Marcos, who was quoted as saying "Tonight, I'm the bad guy..."

And playing Agassi is not the same as playing Federer, really. You can't be thinking numbers, seeding or any of that. Here is a formidable opponent whose illustrious tennis career is coming to an end. One of a handful in the world with a Grand Slam career.

When Marcos started bouncing back, the crowd did not necessarily get hostile - they simply became downright rude.

At the end of it, the incredible amounts of energy expended and cramps took their toll on Marcos. And when it was all over he was cheered by the crowd. In earnest.

Marcos is unique. He blew everyone's mind and his determination and skill made people sit up and pay attention. His charm and gift are never overlooked.

Marcos is also naturally graceful off the court. The crowd erupted in cheers when he thanked Agassi for all he has given to the sport.

And there is so much you will give as well, Marco. That much we do know.

Beards are Sacred

Has anybody noticed that with each reshuffle of the cabinet in Stravaraland at least one minister with a mustache is given his walking papers. Cynics among you may think that someone at the presidential castle is trying to play down the fact that we’re the first Middle Eastern country to join the EU.

I checked with official photographs and even called the palace. I must have dialed the wrong number and got through to a bakery that was recently fined for selling tashinopittes containing ball bearings. Needless to say, the baker was furious. Regarding the fine, that is.

At any rate, the whole moustache thing can probably be attributed to some benign form of narcissism. You know, like not wanting to be seen wearing the same dress as someone else at a cocktail party.

Go Ahead, Punk – Celebrate!

What are we going to do with the Stravaraland police? First, we have the beatings and then no one except those who cheated manage to pass an exam.

It seems one of the examiners was married to one of the cops who allegedly passed. Her story is that she didn't know her husband was going to sit for the exam. You’ve got to feel sorry for the cop, though. First he's accused of cheating and now the whole world knows his wife has a more important job and probably higher salary. But this particular scandal has already gone the way of all scandals in Cyprus and … disappeared without a trace.

But the best police related story of the week has to be the one involving an officer who, having partied hard with friends, decide to mark his name day buy whipping out his pistol and shooting it off into the air. The neighbours must have deposited a few mosphila before deciding to get on the phone.

The celebration came to an unceremonious end when the … police turned up to arrest the policeman…

I don't know about you, but I need a drink.