October 31, 2006

Stravaraland Memories - Part 2

If, by chance, you did want to watch some TV on Good Friday in the '80s, you'll remember how the Great Northern Leader, Rauf Denktash had instituted a propaganda gimmick that aired on that illegal TV station that showed better, albeit pirated, films around 11 at night every Friday. The gimmick took the form of an 'intermission' during which an elderly man would fill us in on the Denktash version of events in Cyprus. The guy was actually unintentionally funny with his glaring mistakes in Greek while trying to introduce fake dilemmas about the version of events we already knew to be the truth. The movie was typically good though, bearing in mind that the competition was state-run CyBC that still showed a few second rate movies, and tons of Lolek & Bolek, bad local theater and of course that Soviet Wolf trying to roger a rabbit.

So, to recap, we had: Omonoia - constantly winning and, of course Spyros K on top!

But another, equally crucial component of life in the 1980s in Stravaraland were the slogans. Back then, the Third World obsession with rallies (syllalitiria) was very much alive, kicking and thriving. Eleftheria Square was typically the venue of popular choice and busload upon busload would descend from all parts of free Stravaraland to demonstrate against one thing or another or for the politician whose flavour dominated the day. Some of the biggest ones (that I personally attended) were typically the ones on July 20th, which drove home the long-term struggle ideal. The other big ones were typically when there were free elections, I guess 1983 was the first such instance.

During these rallies, the staple slogans took shape and reverberated in the atmosphere, only to be repeated in our homes and daily lives courtesy of that insiduous purveyor of local propaganda - CyBC. An essential component of understanding the Stravaraland political problem comes from repeating these slogans and how they evolved over time.

Let's get re-acquainted with some of these all-time classics. I will continue with how these changed in the '90s, but for now I'll limit myself to the ones I recall straight off the bat from the 80s. If people recall any more of these classics I would be much obliged if they could let me know as I am compiling a database - lest these be forgotten.
NATO - SIA - Prodosia
EOK - NATO - To Idio Syndikato
Foniades Twn Lawn - Amerikanoi
Den Xechnw
Ta Synora Mas Einai Stin Keryneia
Pote Pia Fasismos
Ti Tous Kanane Tous Fournous oi NAZI
H Kypros Einai Elliniki
Oloi oi Prosfyges Sta Spitia Tous

Others were not slogans per se but expressions of our collective demands and preconditions to any solution of our beloved political problem. These included:
Dizwniki, dikoinotiki omospondia (Bizonal, Bicommunal Federation)

Treis vasikes eleytheries (three basic freedom) which were, as best I remember: egkatastasis, metakinisis kai idioktisias - freedom of movement, residence and property ownership.

The amount of land to be handed over to the northern stravaralanders had to be limited to around 20-24% of the island, which of course would be way more than their fair share considering the pre-1974 census figures; plus a little extra, because we're right, always have been and always will be. It's easier to leave the waiter a tip when you command the moral high-ground.

The central government would be strong and federal, as opposed to weak and confederal.

Of course, at times the slogans were incompatible with official policy as well as inapprpopriate. But, as part of the bonding spirit of the rally, these could and should be overlooked.

Life changed at a slightly faster pace after 1988 and in the '90s but there you have it: a diary of a schoolkid growing up in Stravaraland in the 1980s. And what this schoolkid remembers is Omonoia, Spyros K and The Slogans...

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

October 30, 2006

Stravaraland Memories - Part 1

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

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

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

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

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

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

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

October 26, 2006

Urgent Plea for Music

On behalf of our good friend Giorgio, this blog appeals to anyone out there who can, to kindly provide us with details of that wonderful song in arabic which goes something like:
"tiki tiki tikii, yarabaaaaaba...[something, something], heeeeeey.....
ya tiki tiiki,
tiiiki tiki...."
Any information would be greatly appreciated, so please feel free to leave a comment with at least a clue as to what the title could possibly be or maybe the name of whoever performs the song in question.

We know for a fact that this song is very popular with Stravaraland ministers, who often sing it while being driven to work every morning.

To show his appreciation in advance, Giorgio has kindly furnished all of you out there with this link for your listening pleasure.

October 25, 2006

In Greece... as well?

Haravgi's lead headline on October 25 read: "Criminal Investigation into Helios in Greece as well"

Can someone please go over to the newspaper's offices and tell them that the title should have been: "Criminal Investigation into Helios in Greece!", without the "As Well" but with an exclamation mark to indicate that:
(i) there has been no criminal investigation ordered in Cyprus yet.
(ii) this will now, unavoidably happen on the Island of Love as well.
(iii) all the potential culprits in Cyprus (and yes, on this one it should include the people who were in power before 2003) should start getting nervous.
(iv) being politically connected in Cyprus is no longer sufficient to be able to keep screwing up with impunity. Ask Kikis for his take on the subject....
Thank you, Athens. Thank you Brussels. God Bless Globalization that is empowering the proletariat...

Capitalists of the World... Beware!

Food for Democracy

You know how our omnipotent president, Tee Pee The Magnificent, has always been accused, among numerous other things, of not being too fond of Turkish Cypriots? The detractors are mean and wicked and want to take TeePee's place as President. Lately, these creeps started to spread more vicious rumours, this time accusing TeePee of disliking the island's religious minorities as well. Poor Mr. Cleanthous was also accused of doing as much.

Despite these underhanded efforts at undermining the Great Driver of Our National Leoforeio, the results of Sunday's DIKO party elections for a new leader have proven the detractors wrong and Da Man vindicated.

By making a few 'phone calls and even going as far as to threaten certain pig-headed members of the party with a bit of innocent blackmail, our beloved and cunning leader has made certain that no one can accuse him of racism anymore. As a result of these efforts, the new President of the Presidential Party, Marios Karoyian, hails from the island's Armenian community, which makes up around 1% of the Stravaraland's happy and shiny population.

This means that our Ethnarch can no longer be accused of racism or partiality - let alone hypocrisy. He is the ueberpresident of all Stravaralanders who loves and cherishes every single individual component of the island's population. Rumours of worldwide trademarking of Lahmajoun as a national product are unfounded.

The cartoon above, depicting an illiterate loser being served lahmajoun, was stolen from Politis.

October 23, 2006


Stravaraland has spent a small fortune and engaged in quite a few legal battles in order to safeguard the origin and trademark of its local cheese, Halloumi and yet it has overlooked an obvious weapon it could add to its diplomatic arsenal.

Why is it that we have not been trademarking and protecting the Hellim apellation? Hell, if that's what the Turkish Cypriots call it then it ought to be trademarked by the Republix.

Seeing as the Republix safeguards their right to Cypriot nationality, shouldn't we also ensure that our common heritage is protected in all its guises?

Of course hellim.com is taken and the ministry of [not] runny cheese will have yet another bozo to negotiate with (in addition to the owner of halloumi.com) for a domain name but, hey, either we do things right or we don't do a damned thing at all.

The danger, as I see it, is that if Turkey were to register Hellim in the EU, the US and Canada, their lobbying prowess - not to mention their marketing muscle - could send halloumi into oblivion.

Smokescreen Alert

This from Stravaraland's version of Comedy Central - Also Known As The Cyprus News Agency:
The Cypriot government is taking into serious consideration the content of a US report on the issue of missing persons, but is not in a position to verify it, Government Spokesman Christodoulos Pashiardis said.

He added that the government would be requesting the report of the "Defence and Foreign Affairs Strategic Policy" company and would have meetings with the author of the report, in order to determine whether it stood to reason.

OK, boys and girls at the CNA. Let's get a few things straight here. The "company" refered to by Pash is actually a monthly journal published by the International Strategic Studies Association [see link below in our instructions to Pash]. Now, I'm not trying to put pressure on you or anything, but maybe you should check a few facts before embarrassing the nation by proving your journalistic ineptitude. Yes, yes, I know it's not your fault; if Pashiardis said it, I suppose you have to print it.

Hang on, I'll tell him myself, then...

..."Reeee Pashiardi, ela da... I'm going to tell you what to do":
1. Get TeePee's credit card while he's taking a nap.
2. Go to this site and click where it says order form for ISSA products.
3. Choose carefully. If you order the Defense & Foreign Affiars Handbook, for instance it could cost $457 - including postage. Also, don't order any potatoes or tomatoes - you never know where they're from.
4. Return the credit card and wait for the publication to arrive. Wait at the entrance of the Presidential Castle to catch the postman. Make sure no one sees you taking delivery of that package or you won't be able to take well-deserved credit for the next step.
5. Hold a press conference and blow some more smoke up our asses.

October 22, 2006

Ambient Atmosphere Revisited

In October 2004 TeePee invented the infamous Ambient Atmosphere.

In October, 2006 Nicos Koutsou remembered The Ambient Atmosphere, much to TeePee's delight.

I support complete transparency on this issue because a lot has been said and written about it.

But my point at this stage is different.

Why did the President wait 5 months (from April to October, 2004) to bring up this issue? And why, again in October, 2006?

It could be a coincidence that following a well deserved summer vacation after having saved the Republic in 2004), October presented the first opportunity to bring up the issue. Not investigated - as it should have been - despite the fact it was all taking place with the government's permission and approval. By sheer coincidence and without apparently communicating with the President, Koutsou decided revive the issue during the new parliamentary session.

But could it also not be a coincidence? In December 2004, you may recall, negotiations between Turkey and the EU officially got under way. Despite the innumerate mentions of an elusive "veto" in Cyprus, TeePee knew then (as he does now) that the only chance he has is for Turkey to continue talking with the EU. Of course, he probably realizes that saying "veto" at the same time as knowing that your interest is the opposite of "veto" makes your threat completely inaffectual.

The bluff was called back then and will keep being called in perpetuity. Which means that it is useful if we can have the occasional distraction to silence any criticism. Our inability to get any tangible results can then be swept under the carpet. And what better way than to accuse all your critics of somehow, somewhere, having taken money from Satan?

October 2006 was chosen as the month to revive the Ambient Atmosphere. It so happens that nowadays TeePee and his gang do not mention that "veto" any more. They at least show some aptitude in learning from previous decisions at the EU level. But they know they will still get the short end of the stick. Nothing they will ever gain will take us closer to a solution of the Cyprus problem.

I may be wrong and in 2 months Varosha may be back in the hands of its rightful owners. And I will apologize in public if that happens. I predict, however, that in 2 months we will still be scratching our heads and talking about the next wave of the Ambient Atmosphere, to avoid talking about the lack of anything that takes the country closer to a solution and long-term peace.

The Ambient Atmosphere is here to stay... Recalled whenever the great leader and his supporters need to divert attention from their astonishing failures on the job...

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

October 21, 2006

Count Me Out

Why is the Jack of All Trades urgently needed in London?

The answer lies in The Economist's Leader on Turkey of October 20, 2006. As far as Tee Pee is concerned, this is an important and respected magazine - but only when it suits TeePee.

And now Brussels is threatening to suspend entry talks unless Turkey fulfils its promise to open its ports and airports to the [Greek] Republic of Cyprus, although the EU's effective embargo of northern Cyprus will remain in place.

But The Economist forgot to mention TeePee's comment when asked whether he would feel alone in the future within the EU - which was nothing less than a resounding:
"I will not be alone. The whole of the Greek Cypriot people will be behind me..."
To laugh or to cry? Irrelevant...

All I have to say to TeePee on that presumptuous outburst is: Count me out.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

October 20, 2006

Go West, Jackie Boy

Blessed are the Stravaralanders who make the UK their home, for they shall inherit... Jackie Boy.

It's official: Our former Minister of Tavern Affairs is taking over as the High Commissioner of Cyprus to the Court of St. James.

This is a unique opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Actually, it's more like three birds during the Ambient Atmosphere Renaissance, but who's counting...

It's a hat-trick, gamota:
1. You will get to listen (first hand...but stay at least 20 feet away from his moustache or you will be seduced by his Machiavellian charm) to the grand sheftali-server analyze our position in the EU, in the world and on the Cyprus problem. Problem could refer either to the invasion of the Turks or the invasion of the intellectually challenged leaders of Stravaraland.

2. You will get to enjoy comedy live; especially now that Benny Hill is , sadly, nothing more than re-runs, Jackie Boy might fill the void...but from what I hear he is a puritan, so no hanky-panky innuendos in his comedy ...damn, what a sight that could be...

3. You finally get your chance to pose with Shistris' right hand-man (or is he a lefty, concrete-maker too) and have him carefully autograph the picture on the spot and put it in the living room of your Harringey semi-detached, right next to the ethnarch's picture...but please put him on the right side - next to the man in the black dress.

It seems his first speech, after the official tour of various Cypriot establishments, will be at the London School of Economics (and Political Science - lest we forget) - which, ironically, backed the Annan plan - where he will demonstrate the new and improved art of EU-approved ampelopoulia pickling techniques.

Most likely at some point he will retreat to the spas at Bath to write his autobiography: "A Jack of All Trades"

October 18, 2006

Consumer Taxes & Hot Air

The children running Stravaraland are about to make changes to the consumer tax on cars. Everything's getting cheaper. Once the Attorney General's office checks this essay for spelling and gives it a grade it is sent to the Council of Ministers - the quieter children, sitting in a smaller class than the kids at parliament. The Council Kids will then draw butterflies on the final draft and also sign each other's shirts, even though school ain't out yet.

Three of the children in Parliament applauded these changes by making cute little statements. Even though they get things wrong, we must encourage these kids to speak up. The next step is trying to convince them that saying malakies is OK from time to time but not when it comes to statements made public.

In a nutshell, the larger the engine, the bigger the tax break. So, the more emissions your car generates, the more you save.

The best of the statements came from Antigone, who sits in parliament with the DIKO kids, who, according to Politis said something along the lines of:
"The reduction in taxes is combined with a reduction of emissions"
Yes, Antigone, if you buy a new Range Rover, you'll be saving at least £16,000 and really doing the environment a huge favour.

The other 2 stars of the class - Evagorou of AKEL and Christoforou of DISY also took this opportunity to prove that they're just as silly as silly Antigone. I wonder if they have MySpace sites?

Class dismissed.

IFC to Showcase Cyprus Problem Film

OK, so it ain't "Akamas" and maybe it never made it to an ass-kicking fest like Venice, as was the case with "Pharmakon", but a prankish short film, entitled "Apse To Fos" - which currently resides at The Independent Film Channel's Media Lab Site - will be airing, along with a selection of other short clips on IFC in the USA in November.

The 3 minute-long problem child...hm, I mean film first popped up at the 3rd Cyprus Short Film & Documnetary Festival at the beginning of 2005, in Limassol. The makers claim the film was "purpose-built" for the festival where it received an honourable mention. Whether there were any bribes involved or whether UNOPS money was used during the making of this short remains unclear.

The story revolves around two communities somewhere in the Mediterranean trying to co-exist on the same couch.

From what I have seen it has sound, subtitles (for the foreigners), a man, a woman and that pretty interesting purple couch once allegedly owned by the Artist Formerly Known as Prince.

For all those in the United States "IFC's Media Lab Shorts Uploaded" will be airing on Monday, November 6th at 8:30 P.M Eastern Time (Prime time, baby!) Tuesday, November 7th at 12:35 A.M. and Thursday, November 9th at 7:45 A.M.

P.S. Taking things a step further, the producers of the film have announced that they want to continue with this bi-communal theme. Their next project will be a feature film entitled "When Haris Met Salih"

October 13, 2006

A Few Changes

In the spirit of transparency that is sweeping the nation, Stravaraland's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ΥΠΕΞ) has assumed the responsibility of engaging in all correspondence with those who wish to stay in touch without seeing the need to post a comment.

The electronic address is stravaraland[AT]gmail[DOT]com

Protocol dictates that the Foreign Ministry can and will use the essence of any correspondence in the occasional 'mailbox roundup'. All those wishing to stay anonymous please append a note stating as much.

Comments are hereby unmoderated. They do, however, require word verification to fend off bots plying such inappropriate wares as Viagra and penis enlargement methods, as neither of these are necessary for the well being of any self respecting Stravaraland citizen of either sex.

The Foreign Ministry hereby cautions all foreign governments (ftou sas, karakiozides!) to refrain from offering us large amounts of money in order for us to endorse peace plans, insane re-unification suggestions and all rantings of that ilk.

Long Live Stravaraland - One Nation, Almost Undivided, Under God.

The Greengos and The Brain Stain

It's been a long time coming. It all started in 1963 when that infamous green pencil came out and divided Lefkosia between the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots. Which part was safe and for whom depended on your ethnic background. It slowly started to dawn upon the entire population of Stravaraland that this line was for real.

More alarming, however, was that the line started growing inside our heads, becoming a second soul, and taking on a life of its own. Take any Cypriot born after 1963, do a brain scan and I am sure scientists will find the first green line going through a brain, dividing the 'good' part from the 'bad'. Moreover, for two otherwise identical species, the good part will be found on the north side of the brain, while for the second one the opposite would hold, namely a good part in the southern sector of the brain.

1964, 1967, 1974, 1996 brought about major brain shocks that firmly established the green line in both our heads and our collective conscience. The first two for the Turkish Cypriots, and the latter two for the Greek Cypriots.

Now, though, the Greek Cypriots have joined that club of higher nobility known as the EU. Now, human rights on both sides can be sorted out in courts. A complete and final settlement of the property issue by suing each other until Kingdom comes. Or disappears. You be the judge, depending on the size of your own Green Stain .

Allow me a metaphor. It is a bit like introducing seat belts. Without the seat belt you drive safely and a few people get killed for not wearing them. Introduce the seat belt and you feel that there is no need to be careful because the belt is there. End result? Same number of fatalities. If it so happens that you also have a green line running through your head, then fatalities will increase. If the green line, God or Allah forbid begins to wane, then what you need is just a major shock to revive it, making sure never to erase it from the brain.

Why do I suddenly say all this? Imagine the impact of all these law suits in the name of human rights that both communities are unleashing at each other. For sure this will solve the property issue one way or another. It might solve it by ending the uncertainty about property rights in the northern stravarapart but what the hell, they have some catching up to do so that TeePee can welcome them back to the Republixx. This may also help dispel the myth of the long overdue vindication in that elusive guise of a European solution.

But will it ever help remove the green line running through our heads? And if, in fact, it actually works towards making green line thicker, EU laws and safeguards not withstanding, will that not make for a dangerous new world for the future inhabitants of what we now [still] call Stravaraland?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

October 10, 2006

Brave Transparency

Mr. Tsolakis came to Stravaraland today. He handed over his report on last year's Helios crash to a man called ThraSS as well as the land's supreme ruler, affectionately known as TeePee. I think the report was handed to Thrass and then to Teepee. Or maybe ThraSS handed it over to TeePee. Are you following this? Well, I'm not. Too many people handing over big fat envelopes with bits of tape stuck to them. But, hey, if you don't follow protocol you ain't worth shit.

Listed below are some of the findings, at random and - in keeping with governmnet policy - presented to you as if you are nothing more than idiots:

First and foremost the tragic crash is due to human error, as humans were flying the plane in question. The Civil Aviation Department was also to blame as they did nothing to prevent a flight crew from enganging in human error. Boeing is to blame for making 737s and have been duly told off and we can all rest assured that the aircraft manufacturer will do smething about it. Whatever that it may be.

The main culprit of everything going tragically wrong was, according to the report:
"Non-recognition that the cabin pressurisation mode selector was in the MAN (manual) position during the performance of the Preflight procedure, the Before Start checklist and the After Takeoff checklist. was left in the manual position".
This from the Times article :
According to David Learmount, the Operations and Safety Editor of Flight International magazine who has been briefed on the final report, the switch had been set to manual because ground engineers were testing the airliner's seals after a reported leak.

"It would have been ideal if they had set it back to its normal position, which is 'auto'. But they are not required to do that," he said.

Helios is now ajet and is not allowed to operate in dense fog. It can still fly and no one from the company has been charged with anything. We are led to believe that the local inquiry led by Mr. Kallis will see to that. In good time. Eventually. Maybe.

I am not suggesting that the minister under whose jurisdiction the whole affair may fall should take any responsibility. He's too busy patting himself on the back while placing his nose firmly between the buttocks of his boss by repeating that this inquiry proves that the president wants to ensure that justice is served.

Indeed, the children running the place ought to be congratulated for acting like grown-ups. 121 people are killed and they're brave enough to order an investigation. And they never lose an opportunity to pat themselves on the back.

And the minister assures us that none of his immediate relatives own shares in the company that owns the re-named airline. And the minister is going to tell the policeman about the threatening 'phone calls he has received. The minister is very upset about angry relatives standing in the way of his ministerial limousine as he's trying to make his way to Parliament and congratulate himself for being part of a government that ordered an inquiry.

There is no doubting that people want to see justice done. No doubt that people are taking the matter seriously. What is disturbing and distasteful is people getting self congratulatory and mentioning transparency no less than 3 times when making a public announcement.

Let's be fair and wait for Mr. Kallis to transparently get to the bottom of all this.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

Da Flag on Da Mountain

Our criticism of the great leader of Stravaraland does not mean that we think the Turkish Cypriot leadership is beyond reproach. In fact, we think that the previous occupants (the Denktash estate) were a complete disaster while the current leader, Talat, is at best only marginally worse than TeePee. And don't think the sum of the two parts (north + south leaderships) is greater than the whole. In fact, put them together and you make the strongest argument in favour of the majority of Greek Cypriots voting No in the Great Patriotic Referendum.

Of course, nothing compares with the Denktas autocracy, for ample proof, go here. TeePee, on the other hand seems to have, besides his law firm, a link to some sort of olive oil concern, but is smart enough not to compete on the same psychedelic level. What does compare, however, is the smooth way with which Denktash, Jr. managed to become foreign minister when all the Turkish Cyrpiots were up in arms against Denktash Senior. Not unlike like The Kid making it to parliament. But, hey, foreign minister is another level altogether. One can simply conclude, therefore, that the PseudoNorthern Cypriots are a slightly worse version of their Southern brethren. Proof that they can live together...

What is really interesting on the other side is the way they try to gain some self respect. Yes, I am thinking of that flag that they posted on the internet ... oops, I mean the mountain. That big flag of their state recognized and supported by Turkey that states "How proud to be a Turk". Of course, if they were smart enough, they would have written it in Greek but given how bad the spelling is when you cross the Green line, perhaps it's better that they stuck to Turkish. That way we cannot really check their spelling.

Now, maybe it would be interesting to find out a bit more about Da Flag. Something like our independence day question. When was Da Flag created? Whose idea was it? Maybe it was that bright chap Rauf of Da North. Maybe he does not maintain the monopoly on intellect in his community. Whose idea was it to post it on the mountain (as opposed to, say, something similar to the ΜΑΚΑΡΙΟΣ ΖΗ mountain tops we used to have). I hear it was specifically designed to be illuminated, as it recently has. Maybe, in a fit of environmental conscience, they wanted to prevent planes from slamming into Pentadaktylos - especially as Greenboy Pertikos does not seem to care about the environmental degradation of the Kyrenia mountain range, concentrating his efforts and boundless wits on Akamas. But I digress...

Do the Turkish Cypriots actually get a kick out of having Da Flag up there? And how come nobody has asked for it to be discarded? Of course, given the Orams case, the time will come when the price of land there will be so high that even the brainy Denktash family will figure out that 100 villas in the area of the flag might take them a few million pounds extra to put away for a rainy day. But until the time comes, when the pseudoeconomy has caught up to such an extent when, according to TeePee, it can be united with the Republixx, what is to be done?

Ignoring Da Flag is the reasonable thing to do, but I wonder whether the Turkish Cypriots who go back and forth (or just stay put) actually realize how pathetically stupid to any neutral observer Da Flag on the mountain looks? Perhaps it's time for them to grow up and take it down? Is anybody listening? Great Northern Leader?

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

October 07, 2006

Show Me the Money, Baby

Lazaros A Mavros, giving due credit to C. Mavrides, - an academic teaching at NoWhere University and DIKO candidate in the last parliamentary elections - points out in Simerini's October 6th issue that it is a bit strange that Politis and Alithia have made such a big song and dance over the £50,000 the President (nice one, TeePee) gladly took from Watford Petroleum on the very day that the Annan Files have been opened in Parliament.

The Annan Files, you see, will eventually expose the scumbags who took UNOPS money to support the treacherous plan, which, instead of truly uniting the blind and the free would have handed over the blind to the Turks for free. Ask Zaharias Koulias (that poster boy for the abolition of democracy) who is convinced that Stravaraland would have become a Turkish protectorate, left without a voice in the EU and robbed of a decent chance of setting the record straight regarding Turkey. For further verification please refer to Nicholas TassPee - a.k.a. The Kid.

And as Politis and Alithia have a lot to fear from the damning outcome of the Annan Files investigation, they obviously needed to resort to diversionary tactics...

It is as if Politis were on the USAID payroll and, once caught red handed, tries to skirt the issue by shouting: "Aaaa, malaaakes, you just wait till you get caught taking dirty money,...". After all, the crude propaganda has long insisted that all foreign money - especially the AngloAmerican flavour - is, by definition, dirty.

Now, Mavrides is a curious case. Having never published an academic paper in his life, he has managed to intermittently teach at university level years here and there while still finding the time to enlighten the inmates of the motherland. He then took a leap into the business world around 2000 and managed to end end up in court with his boss, NKS. Ironically, Politis was the only newspaper that supported the guy! This, in turn, led to NKS pulling its advertising from Politis, a policy that may well stand to this day.

Mavrides, now out of academe, unemployed and in and out of court with NKS, had to find something to do. So what do most local losers end up doing? Although not every politicians is a loser, all losers do try, and many succeed, in becoming politicians in Stravaraland.

You guessed right. This failure of a man became a combination of Venizelos wannabe and with a touch of Robin Hood thrown in for good measure. Not only did he explain to parliament how so many profited while the stock market fiasco reached its bubble crescendo (wouldn't you like to see his trading account?), he became DIKO consiglere and even made it as far as becoming a parliamentary candidate.

Moreover, Mavrides is a regular fixture on the Lazaros A Mavros show, imparting his wisdom in the hope that all of us, his blind and misguided brethren may one day see the light...

October 05, 2006

You Don't Ask, You Don't Get

Our job as mere mortals, eligible to vote is to exercise our scared duty and draw little crosses or place ticks behind curtains. Voting in our representatives ensures that there is a grown-up in parliament who'll look after us and address our concerns. They need to pose questions and do so persistently and without fail to the extent of some of them being seen as irritating. You can't be polite about things as people prefer for things to stay as they are.

The people of Stravaraland have proved this and their defiant spirit, as foreigners have tried to impose their fiendish plans on us. And things stay as they are, with tens of thousands of unpleasant chappies armed to the teeth in the pseudonorth calling themselves the Turkish Army. But the European Solution - as those amongst us on crack insist - will make those unsavoury bastards disappear overnight. Whenever that day may arrive, that is.

In the mean time, though, we have to do as best we can and not overlook the Representatives who ought to command more respect and adulation. I speak, in this case, of Mr Perdikis of the Cyprus Greens (no, not as in salad, essential to the digestive tract - the party).

The cute little chart above shows without a doubt that Greenboy is more committed to asking questions at parliamentary sessions than anyone else. Yes, definitely committed with a total of 708 questions posed since... hmm, not quite sure. It may be since 1989 but the website doesn't clarify.

I can see it now:
Perdikis rushes in late and takes a pew, the MP next to him rolls his eyes as if to say 'here we go again':

Perdikis: (to MP next to him) "Crap, you guys started without me?"

Perdikis: "Damn, my watch stopped, do you know what time it is?"

Jimmy The Sheftali starts pontificating with gavel in hand: ".....la la la la la, yadda yadda yadda, fuckin' imperialist sons of unwashed whores....yadda yadda... send Fidel a bouquet of flowers.....all those in favour...."

Perdikis: "What, what, I didn't hear him, how much are the flowers going to cost?"

Perdikis: (Interrupting Omirou, who is about to ask about the cost of the flowers to be sent to Fidel and whether they can be procured from his second cousin's neighbour's daughter's flower shop) "Jimmy...Jimmy (jumping up and down trying to get the Speaker's attention) I have a friend who processes lubricants and his wife runs a flower shop. Shall I get on the phone and get an offer on those flowers?"

MPs start hissing, as they all know of a florist they'd like to promote, and start pelting Perdikis with small cubes of Tofu, supplied to them at a reasonable price for such occasions by the police sargeant in charge of MPs parking their subsidised cars in the middle of the street.

Perdikis: (trying to take cover)"Guys!...Antigone!...enough! Can't an MP ask a question around here?"

As you can see, that's 5 questions right there, that could have been asked by the honourable Mr. Perdikis within the first 10 minutes of the session.

43% of all questions posed, according to the Greens' website. Mashalla, Greenboy, mashalla!

October 03, 2006

The Press and its Guardian Angel

TeePee despises the media. This is no hyperbole. Da Man used that precise term to describe his feelings towards the press just a few days ago. To be sure, this was not news to anyone who has followed the man over the years. The truth is, TeePee despises pretty much everyone - not just the media; but we will leave that for another day.

What exactly is TeePee's view of the role of the media in society? To get a clearer view, let's cruise down memory lane to 1960. In April of that year, Antonis Farmakides, one of the editors of "Alithia" newspaper, was kidnapped and held hostage for nearly two weeks after he published an article criticizing the Makarios government. It is an accepted fact that the kidnappers were working for the then Minister of the Interior, Polycarpos Yiorkadjis, who also happened to be TeePee's koumbaros and best friend, as well as the husband of his future wife.

(Young readers: do not be shocked; this kind of thing was very common in the early days of our Republic. For more on this particular incident see this article by Makarios Drousiotis (in greek.)

Why is this relevant to our story? What follows, in greek, is a quote from TeePee, following Farmakides' kidnapping:
"Το κράτος [...] δικαιούται να αναμένει από πρόσωπα ασχολούμενα με την υψηλήν αποστολήν της δημοσιογραφίας να αρθούν εις το ύψος της αποστολής των και να ακολουθούν τα πλαίσια της κοσμιότητας και αξιοπρέπειας, συμπεριφερόμενοι ως υπεύθυνα και πολιτικώς ώριμα άτομα. Εκφεύγοντες των πλαισίων τούτων και ασκούντες αντί της υπευθύνου και εντίμου αντιπολιτεύσεως κακόβουλον και υβριστικήν επίθεσην εναντίον των αντιπάλων των, πρέπει να έχουν υπόψη των, ότι η τοιαύτη ανεύθυνος δημοσιογραφία εξεγείρει και εξάπτει τα συναισθήματα ατόμων τα οποία με πολλήν αγάπην και εκτίμησην περιβάλλουν τους αντιπάλους των".

If you don't speak Greek, or if the katharevousa is a bit challenging, let me give you the gist of it: journalists should be careful not to say anything that may offend their opponents. If they do, they get what they deserve.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the president of the Republic of Cyprus.