November 30, 2006

Narrow Time Limits

Apparently Marcos Kyprianou and Stavros Dimas, the Cypriot and Greek European Commissioners, suggested to the Commission that there should be a time limit imposed on Turkey's implementation of the Protocol signed in September 2005. They suggested that the implementation should take place by the end of 2008 (this will be the end of the first year in the second term of TeePee, the hard rock is yet to come). Maybe Marcos is not well informed. The slogan of this decade is "No Narrow Time Limits" (Oxi se stena xronodiagrammata stis synomilies). Either Marcos is missing the point or we are about to witness a new slogan or we're simply back to the plain old, "what applies to them does not apply to us"?!

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

Travel Trouble

Despite Andreas Drakos coming close to being lynched after his appearance at the Helios hearings, not all travel related news was pleasant. Some of it weird, perhaps, and some of it enough to send people into the sort of panic that only greek yoghurt on supermarket shelves can cause.

First, we have the latest twist related to the Litvinenko murder investigation from a British Airways announcement. It would be a good idea to check the flight numbers if any of you happened to be on a BA flight between Larnaca and London in November. According to the airline:
"British Airways has been advised that three of its Boeing 767 short haul aircraft have been identified by the UK government as part of the investigation into the death of Alexander Litvinenko.

The airline was contacted last night (Tuesday, November 28) by the government. It has taken the three B767s out of service to enable forensic examination to be carried out."

While relatives of the Helios crash victims were about to give Drakos something to remember, Haris Thrassou was having a chat with his Egyptian counterpart. Stravaraland's minister in charge of civil aviation and boats was told that there's plenty of ferry traffic between Egypt and Saudi Arabia and that he should tell enterpreneurs in Cyprus to take advantage of the 1.2 million people sailing between these two countries. Thrassou promised to pass on the message. So, if you have a ferry and want to make some extra money give Haris a call at 22 800102.

But the best piece of travel news of the day came courtesy of the Cyprus 'News' Agency and, as a bonus, also involves our armed forces helping to oversee elections (not peacekeeping, Perdiki, so calm down.) This time it seems we're going to be sending 2 National Guard officers to the Congo. I would have thought sending a couple of priests would have been more appropriate. Hmm, maybe not...

The 4th paragraph of the press release, by the way, is an absolute classic.

November 29, 2006

No, he isn't

At first glance it may not seem like a conspiracy. There are, however, enough clues to try and piece one together.

First, we have this picture, which sends the wrong subliminal message. No, I don't know what that could be. What I do know is that the Pope (a.k.a. The German Shepherd) is most definitely not Turkish.

Then we have this story (dangerously entitled "Pope holds Mass at Turkish shrine"[*]) with a graphic at the bottom of the page showing a divided Cyprus. I have no idea whether this is a politically correct graphic or whether Stravaraland's High Commissioner in London should take it up with the Broken Biscuit Company.

[*]Aha!! The story's title has been changed to "Pope meets world Orthodox leader". We'd like to thank Jackie Boy for acting so promptly on the matter, while also allowing the BBC to save face by, no doubt, claiming that the change in title had to do with an update.

November 25, 2006

Shh, It's Just an Isolated Incident

Isn't it amazing how little it takes for people to come out of the woodwork with every available opportunity, simply to prove how intellectually challenged they happen to be?

In the aftermath of a recent isolated incident (shhh...) involving racists beating up on children at the English School, we have a number of dogs and their masters falling over each other to be quoted in public.

One of the more bizarre statements was made by police chief Charalambos Koulentis who told the House Education Committee that the police possessed information of extremist nationalist student movements in the Greek Cypriot community, but added that it would not be made public. Listen up, dude, I'm paying your goddamn salary so you'd better spit it out - big secret that it is.

Then we have the leader of EDEK stating that, yes, one should condemn this attack but also warned those who made a fuss about it that they would only be passing on the wrong message to people abroad as well as the Turkish Cypriot community. Now, if that doesn't smack of a pre-disposition to sweep things under the rug sitting atop our moral high ground, I don't know what does. It may, however be a simple case of folks elected by hordes viewing themselves as being more grown-up than the average grown-up. Thanks for your input, Yiannaki, we'll be sure and consult with you every time we get the urge to speak out in public.

Not to be outdone by the folks in South Stravaralanad we have Talat who wants to warn people of the dangers involved in visiting the so-called south. Then he goes the extra mile by preventing youngsters from the north (I mean the opposite direction to south- in case Zoupaniotis needs clarification.) attending a do at the Ledra Palace. More delusions of grandeur from an elected (ooops, I meant pseudo-elected) leader with a dose of Denktash-era nostalgia thrown in for good measure.

But then the idiot stakes get higher with the police chief quoted as saying “The outcome of the police investigation will be made known only to the Attorney-general and nobody else."

If you'd rather retain your sanity, however, I'd suggest you stick to Manolis Kalatzis' articles as they appear in Politis. As a bonus, they also have a pretty cheeky edge to them. His latest takes us through the shock and horror the parents of the kotsirouthkia involved in the attack expressed down at the cop shop and then tells us (almost) all about what good families they're from. Great families, considering what assholes they have as children.

November 24, 2006

Dudes, Where's Your Site? - [updated 30.11]

Damn! By the time you read an article online, the circus moves out of cybertown. Well, almost. Upon reading a Politis article on the brave lads and lasses who call themselves Ε.Φ.Ε.Ν (a "nationalistic" little outfit, curiously named after a radio frequency band) I just had to check out their goofy site. But once you get to it, all you find [*] is a notice that the domain name is simply parked there. No, not taken down in a hurry or anything like that. Just parked. Of course there are also a few turkish-inspired ads in that little parking lot which I'm sure the brave warriors will deal with once they're done with their coke.

Now, how the hell are they going to liberate Cyprus (and subsequently Byzantium, no doubt) if along their merry way to war they simply pull over, park their war machine and take a break for a sandwich, coke and a burp?

But there are still remnants of this site here and there. A couple of cached files on Google - dating back to last week - but sadly missing the patriotic snapshots and groovy music I read about. An old version of the site exists on a U.S. mirror if you want to waste some time but it's nothing to e-mail home about.

The Politis article states that this little fascist outfit is behind the bullying and beating that took place at the English School the other day. But I'm not going to mention any of that for two very good reasons: Chris Pashiardis has instructed the people of Stravaraland not to mention such isolated incidents and if I do, I'll never be given that job he promised me, to head the Cyprus News Agency.

Now try and remember kids, if it's an isolated incident: no talking about it after class. I wonder if this includes natural disasters or just bigotry-related acts.

[*] The cowardly liberators and their site are back online. I suppose someone must have told them that taking it down simply implied guilt. I don't know whether they will continue on their course of liberating Cyprus by beating on children, but I do know that they plan to sue anyone who spreads nasty rumours about them. We are not spreading rumours - we're simply calling them assholes, as do some others who are sick and tired of their bullshit.

Two Wolves

This from Hajimike, the man with a number of websites out there. Thought it was quite appropriate:

An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me... it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, sharing, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. This same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too."

They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?"

The old Cherokee simply replied... "The one you feed."

Big Brave Bullies Behind the Bullies?

The background story seems to be consistent. Two pre-teens involved in a bit of a spat and one of them spat. The spat grew out of proportion, thanks to Simerini and Machi, who really ought to be brought up on charges of inciting a riot.

The question is, however, who put the snot-nosed little shits up to invading the English School grounds and attacking a number of Turkish Cypriot kids. Hey, your average thug-in-training would never show the initiative of gathering a little gang of kotsirouthkia wthout being inspired and encouraged by an elder.

And while gleaning press reports a few interesting facts crop up like the indication that the Turkish Cypriot kids tend to huddle together during breaks and hang out in the turkish language classroom. A case of separate but equal as Apodimos Kypreos rightly points out.

The whole 'story' involving crosses, religion and Turkish Cypriots getting a free ride was also being peddled a few years ago but without much success. I guess it took the two rags mentioned above a few years to get their stories nice and juicy enough, as they were obviously penned by people who still move their lips as they read.

Our tip of the hat to drakouna who has initiated a lively discussion under the heading[s] K.K.K.

November 23, 2006

Are We Surprised?

A Turkish Cypriot pupil was injured yesterday after a gang of malakes burst onto the English School grounds in Nicosia, unleashing an attack against five Turkish Cypriot pupils.

A local TV station was irresponsible enough to run a story about crosses and faith with the usual lack of journalistic ethics.

Now, let's all stand up and tell the world how poor little Cyprus has been a victim of bullying for over 30 years.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

Lost in Translation?

I suspect a couple of celebrity journalists in the United States have been sharing a bottle of absinthe. And naturally, diplomatic sources are inclined to confirm these suspicions.

The celebrities in question are none other than Zoupaniotis and Ignatiou. But please don't get me started on Ignatiou. I'm in a relatively good mood today and intend to stay that way.

There's a lovely little piece on Cyprus Comedy Central, filed by Mr. Zoupaniotis that appeared on Wednesday night entitled "UN Has No Mandate to Assign Responsibility to Parties in Cyprus", which is a glaring example of what is known in journalism as a non-story. Yes, I am being polite.

The article is based on clever little questions which the Secretary General's spokesperson was forced to answer regarding statements Annan had made after his meeting with Talat of the North a few days ago which had the Cyprus government frothing at the mouth. It was time to unleash Celebrity Journalist.

Here's an excerpt from the piece:
Invited to comment on Annan’s statement where he used the phrase "Turkish north", the Spokesperson replied "the Secretary General was referring to northern Cyprus, the area of the island under Turkish Cypriot administration".
But the best bit of the story - which appears only in the original form in greek but not in the english translation, goes:
"Διπλωματική πηγή ανέφερε ότι ο Κόφι Ανάν κινείται εκδικητικά επιχειρώντας να προδιαθέσει το διάδοχό του στο κυπριακό, με το θέμα της λεγόμενης άρσης της απομόνωσης, που επιχείρησε πολλάκις να φέρει στο Σ.Α., αλλά απέτυχε εξ αιτίας της παρουσίας της Ελλάδας και των ρωσικών αντιδράσεων."
Roughly translated; according [naturally] to a diplomatic source, Annan is being vindictive and trying to influence his successor on the matter of lifting of the "so-called isolation..." yadda, yadda, yadda...

Now, I wonder if the "diplomatic source" knows he or she was quoted. Could it have been the kafetzou, or the driver, perhaps? Could it have come from a little brain storming session at the UN Mission, after he read the first draft of his piece out loud?

We'll never know as this would obviously betray confidentiality.

Koumpare Pashiardi, am I going to get that CNA job you promised, now that the coast is clear or what?

November 21, 2006

Stravaraland Memories - Part 5

The 1998 – 2003 presidency was arguably the most important one since independence. Random and planned events took place that the people of Stravaraland were unable to understand, assess rationally, or take advantage of, and thus managed to miss the biggest opportunity to work towards a better future (rather than getting stuck in the past) - an opportunity that might not arise for another generation. Let’s go back in time…

Clerides was re-elected in 1998 on the back of S-300 rhetoric (somewhat similar to the veto-logy, currently used by TeePee). Commissions from the purchase of the missiles were paid out in both Stravaraland and Greece, and in the face of possible extreme Turkish reaction, and public finances in Greece unable to handle any warm summers back in 1998, given how close the country was to joining the eurozone (even on fake statistics), the missiles were packed off to Crete. We were all assured that they would be ready for action if anything were to happen.

The Lazaros Mavroses of the land were (and still are) livid. Greece entered the eurozone though - a far more important long-term benefit than the deployment of S-300s. At around the same time, Ocalan was captured on the way to the Greek Embassy in Nairobi, while his passport stated his name as our very own Lazaros Mavros, the living conscience of the EOKA (and in recent years the Kurdish) struggle. Nationalists in both Stravaraland and Greece were beginning to think that they could not vote for their respective incumbents again. The cracks in the wall began to show as nationalists of both Stravaralands were getting ready to strike.

So, given that the S-300 adventure was over (re-election accomplished), Glafcos focused on what was coming next; it was clear that the EU would offer a deal. This would be a tough sell to the Greek Cypriots who had grown up with the slogans of the '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s. A federal, bizonal plan (the official, stated aim since 1977) for Stravaraland and simultaneous entry to the EU or else both sides would remain out of that club forever.

Being rational and forward-looking, Glafcos and Vassiliou went along with this, after all, there was nothing to lose given the status quo. Thanks to pseudo-northern intransigence, our boys were held in high esteem by their European colleagues and were winning the argument against being punished for the green line running through Rauf’s head. Simitis also helped with newly gained, albeit fleeting, respect Greece had managed to gain.

But then the summer of 1999 arrived. Mostly due to loopholes in the legal system and the unprofessionalism, incompetence and corruption within the authorities, a stock market bubble developed and burst in 8 months. Sufficient time to destroy a substantial number of gambling Stravaraland men (almost all men on the island are either hunters or gamblers or football fanatics, or any combination of the three). The authorities sat back and let the stock market index go from 81 in January 1999 to around 850 in November 1999, taking advantage of the numerous private offers handed out to them like koufettoues. Splits and private placements were the new buzzwords, stockbrokers appeared like mushrooms and gold fever spread like a summer fire. When The Economist published an article in October 1999 talking about the bubble (something about Mediterranean froth), the usual attack was made, even on the Lazaros Mavros daily prayer-ritual-show: foreigners jealous of our success are trying to undermine us, they don’t understand that Stravaraland is simply different.

The bubble burst but it left a really bad taste in the mouths of our gambling addicts. And, as always, the fault, when things go wrong on the island of the consummate gambler, fell with the government. Trust on all things official, on all local institutions, evaporated. I wonder to this day whether things might have developed differently had the summer of 1999 never happened. Trust, once lost, for whatever random reason, is almost impossible to regain.

Some good did, however, come of the whole state of affairs towards 2000. There was more freedom in the air as evidenced by the scandals that were being pointed out daily. Politis made its appearance in February 1999 and challenged the 'official' paper of the Establishment. The new newspaper was responsible, of course, for the daily scandals that were making the news, and was considered to be anti-government back then, as it is considered now, in 2006. The economy, despite the mess of the stock market, managed not to nosedive and continued its slow progress. But the slowdown in growth was there for everyone to witness.

In the midst of all this, the President coined an unfortunate term. He called the country a Banana Republic. A very insightful comment that was met with wide popular approval. Yet, if the country were a Banana Republic, what did that make its President?

The beginning of the end was just over the horizon...

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

November 19, 2006


Today I intended to catch a movie. My aim was to review "Casino Royale" from the perspective of the Cyprus Problem. Strangely enough, though, a diversion cropped up in the form of a curious little entry on a map-inspired blog that was brought to our Foreign Ministry's attention by Sraosha (may his thousand-pillared house always be serene) who quite correctly suggested the title of this desperate post.

The map related blog, strangemaps, merely brings to our attention what a weird little place Stravaraland may seem to be if one merely gazes at a map. Once you get there, though, it all starts making sense... right?

What are we to do about the blogosphere invading our poor island? Should we address this issue and clarify the situation? Should we visit the map blog and post a comment before Talat visits? What's Lillikas doing about this?

Now let me see, when's "Casino Royale" showing?

*The [Eastern] Cyprus Problem

Stravaraland Memories - Part 4

Clerides must have been as surprised to win in 1993 as Spyro K had been shocked when he lost back in 1988. Natural-born enemies until that time, partly because Clerides the statesman was at a rather different level of intellectual ability than the stiff and confused-looking Spyro K and partly because Glafcos could probably not understand (much like TeePee) how Spyro K had managed to succeed Makarios. Enemies in public can become the closest of bed-fellows when it comes to power-sharing, though, just as the recent elections for the current Archbishop proved.

Spyro K negotiated a bundle of spoils for his waning DIKO (supposed to stand for Democratic Party, it also means Mine in Greek). Glafcos was content to give him lots of power as long as he could be left alone to deal with the Cyprus problem. Glafcos knew that the EU application could potentially prove to be a sbstantial lever in dealing with the problem. Magnanimous in victory and in need of good marketing skills, Glafcos appointed Vassilliou to spearhead the campaign. EU diplomats at the time must have thought that these guys were living a fairy tale to believe that the EU would take on board a divided country. But Vassiliou would not give up in trying to convince the Europeans that the Greek Cypriots could not be doubly punished for the Turkish invasion and the subsequent intransigence of Denktash by preventing them from joining the Union.

The real story of the 90s, however, was the growth of Paphos. It is not clear why it happened then (as opposed to during the '80s. In the '70s it was way behind Famagusta, Kyrenia and Karpasia.) But the Paphians started booming and growing in the 90s and have never looked back. Their enlightened Despotas and his brother, Aristos (as in Aristo Developments), pushed forward the development of the second poorest district in the free Stravaraland to bring it, by the turn of the century, to the forefront of economic development in a mere 10 years.

In the meantime, the Clerides presidency was coming to an end in 1998 and things were quiet on the national obsession front, thus favouring the incumbent who stands for the status quo. The Denktash mantra that peace had arrived (in a painful way) in 1974, has by this time infiltrated the subconscious mind of the islanders, even though this will be vehemently denied in public by any Greek Cypriot, government official or not, young or old. But it is the reality on the island - even more so in 1998 as all the Greek Cypriots had repeatedly seen the pictures of the violent murders of of Solomou and Isaac in 1996.

Clerides was always a master of dealing with the Lazaros Mavroses of the island. Towards 1998, the concept of the Common Defense Pact with Greece was hatched, and orders were placed for the mightly S-300 missiles from Russia. Whether accidentally or not, while maintaining the established 1974 status quo, and at the same time claiming to be fighting for the rest of the occupied land (a common theme in the next President's policy) Glafcos marched to victory in 1998. He then went back to negotiating accession to the EU along with canceling the missiles and sending them on holidays to Crete. The demise of the Common Defense Pact would prove to be slower.

To recap, DIKO doing its thing, Glafcos dealing with the EU through Vassiliou, Pafos growing, in general the openness inaugurated in 1988 was very much around. The air seemed fresh and contributed to Glafcos' 1998 re-election.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

November 18, 2006

Message in a Bottle?

August 1977. Makarios dies. Greek Cypriots start panicking in the middle of their August holidays: "The Turks are coming to get us..." - A month of national mourning is declared.

What I'm curious about is who decided that Makarios' heart should be preserved? Did they surgically remove it from his body to be displayed in the Archbishop's residence? And if so, then why? Was it to clone future little Makarioi and thus fulfil the prophecy: "A Thousand Makarioi will continue Your Struggle"?

And would this continuing struggle be made possible by ingenious new technology thanks to Stravaraland's very own Dr. Zavos? Was The Heart to be preserved for the future of humanity (and Stravaraland's children)? If so, was it the Church or the politicians of the time who hatched this scheme? If it was the Church, did they not realize that his would cause a major glitch for the late archbishop during The Second Coming?

Will Makarios get resurrected without a heart? How come nobody mentioned it, until now? Any answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated.

November 17, 2006

On Yer Bike

"Kostis and Yiannis Go Home" is not a slogan I expect will be spray painted on a wall anywhere in Lebanon anytime soon. It may, however, be shouted from the mountaintops by none other than the man who asks more questions than anyone else in parliament - the Honourable (yes, I use the term frivolously) Mr Perdikis.

I'm sure there are some serious members of the Green party. Perdikis doesn't need to be, as he is the leader. And to prove this point he has penned a fabulous article in Friday's edition of Politis.

The two National Guard officers have to be withdrawn, according to Perdikis and then he waffles on about a number of objections he has about Stravaraland's presence in Lebanon all of which are either silly or contradictory. One of his more entertaining objections has to do with the possibility of Kostis and Yiannis being asked to take on the Hezbollah.

Then he goes on about the Turks and how it must be "the first time ever that a victim and an aggressor are part of the same peacekeeping force".

If Perdikis ever makes a trip to Cyprus he may notice Argenitne and British troops serving together in an outfit called UNFICYP.

OK, Greenboy, now go over and complain to the UN for not including Cyprus as a member of UNIFIL on this website.

November 14, 2006

Thank You

Things happen. Good things, bad things and just about everything in between, with the obvious exception of that ever-elusive European Solution. This blog celebrated its first anniversary a couple of days ago. It would not have survived without the support of the core members of a once heroic online presence that simply says temporarily out of service these days, as it hibernates on a server somewhere out there and yet still inspires.

It was a year and a few days ago that Giorgio wrote TeePee, Da Man's unauthorised biography which will continue to inspire future generations of Stravaralanders as they, in turn, take over the unhealthy task of awaiting the legendary EuroSol.

So the whole damn thing came to a grinding halt in March. So what? It was revived in August and since then we've been having a ton of fun. Thanks to all of you who take the time to contribute, drop by, leave us a comment and to the thousands of people in Stravaraland who inspire us regularly - each in their own way.

Oh, and by the way, please watch out for Giorgio's comments but bear in mind that they can't all be removed. He has rejoined the roll of contributors in his role as karmic advisor after having been accidentaly removed a few months ago. Of course he didn't even notice that little error.

Ela kentron, eshei kamian koursa?

November 12, 2006

Curious George

It's curious to see how children take to writing essays. Besides keeping them off hard drugs, this exercise does wonders for their self esteem. Simerini, ought to be commended for giving the likes of young George, the former MP, a chance to take part in Sunday's essay writing showcase. Of course we'll need to pay the lad a bit more attention and have a word with him regarding bigotry, but at least he managed to get a few things off his chest.

A friend of Prodromos Prodromou and a former MP in his own right, young Colocassides points out in the newspaper's creative writing section that the Finns are nothing but a bunch of suicidal drunks, living in a bland wasteland. The gist of his rebellious little piece is, predictably, that the Finns have no right to assume what may or may not be right for us because we are a more colourful people who thrive on creative anarchy.

George's essay does, however, serve as a reminder of how pathetically passive most Stravaralanders happen to be when it comes to a deep seated belief in international diplomacy owing us a favour. We gladly take the perceived bait (in this case trying to spread hysteria among the masses regarding the possible return of Varosha) and then, when reality bites, we convince ourselves that we're dealing with just another bunch of evil spirited foreigners, who'd like nothing better than to see us buried on our very own moral high-ground.

The essay's weak point is in its conclusion; that we are not about to get ahead in this life, simply by adopting, say, Finnish education, a New York Stock Exchange or French winemaking. Yes, alright, I get it - a 'leave us alone to fix our own broken toys' kind of attitude. Not to worry, George, I think they will.

As for Finland being a cultural wasteland, I'd suggest that young George pick any film made by either of the Kaurismäki brothers, or even go back a few years (if he's old enough) and remember how Ari Vatanen (now a Member of a big Parliament with grown-ups) was revered here in our complex, creative and colourful island during his rally driving days.

November 10, 2006

What's for Lunch?

" koumpare, I'm just saying that it wasn't always safe around here"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, before the place got into the EU all these malakes used to come along in their diplokampins and play us with their shipetts"
"Ate re..."
"Nai, re gamwto, but because their dogs were terrible swimmers I survived"
"Malista, and the people of Larnaca were so impressed that they named one of their hotels after me"
"What...Kokos Hotel....?"

November 09, 2006

Stravaraland Memories - Part 3

It must have been the shock of a lifetime for Spyros K to lose the 1988 elections to a man unknown to most CyBC-informed Cypriots, George Vassiliou - the upstart candidate supported by AKEL. Moreover, the new president was a capitalist with a leftist background and a successful entrepreneur involved in market research into the demand for American products in the Middle East. Vassiliou had no active political experience, although the family did have a significant history of Trade Unionism and agit-prop.

Such an upheaval after 9 years of Spyro rule, preceded by 19 years of Makarios rule, (MAKARIOS ZH, as the mountain-tops of free Cyprus screamed up till the late '80s) must have been as close to a political revolt as Stravaraland had witnessed. I cannot begin to imagine the shock in Spyro K's camp.

Vassiliou wanted to solve the Cyprus problem "...yesterday" and even initiated talks with the Fat Man of the North. Of course, back then, Rauf was unmovable and his predictable response was to repeat Ecevit's mantra that the problem was solved in 1974, and there was nothing to discuss other than the possibility of reparations for land and property the two sides had exchanged since 1963.

But Vassiliou did begin to introduce certain elements of justice to the system. The establishment was under attack. By a different establishment maybe, but under attack nonetheless. Despite protests, Vassiliou started the new University of Cyprus. He somehow managed to submit an application to enter the EU, despite AKEL's opposition and sloganeering.

Moreover, he introduced new troops to the stale political scene. Young but clever troops. One of them, Andreas Theofanous, now pretends to be the thinker behind Tee Pee's policies towards eradicating all fake dilemmas. Another, George Lillikas, might well become a successor to Tee Pee and is a faithful general in the long-term struggle to preserve The Republixx. Judging by their careers, of course, one could question Vassilious's choice of neophytes, but on second thought, maybe he ought to be commended for selecting natural born political chameleons.

The economy, despite being badly hit by the first Gulf War, managed to grow. There was optimism in the air. The rallies started to wane, MAKARIOS ZH mountaintops were turned into artificial ski slopes and CyBC lost its hegemony, to be challenged on both television and radio fronts. Omonoia was losing games and championships, but as the Presidency was secure there was no need to waste money on football. In general, there was more openness in the air.

In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, the invasion in Hungary was finally called an invasion by most communist parties in the rest of Europe and perestroika and glasnost were catch-phrases on their slow way to Stravaraland. Of course AKEL failed to rise to the occasion, or perhaps it assessed the psyche of the cypriot laos and simply got rid of a few voices of reason to create a monolithic party that would have the stamina to one day bring true communism to the island.

But scheming Spyro was not going to let them keep him out in the cold. Better Glafkos with our support, than Vassiliou and those commies in power. A lot of Clerides supporters at the time were even more extreme hard-liners, but he'd already written his "Deposition", (which should have been entitled: "Makarios' blunders and how I told him they could be avoided") so there was no real danger of him making any more trouble.

So in 1993, with some help from Vassiliou's ego, Clerides takes control. This was no mean feat, considering his age and the fact that he persisted after so many unsuccessful attempts. It proved to some older gentlemen that retirement does not come in one's 60s! In fact, life may well begin at 70. Hope, after all, dies after all else is lost.

originally posted by Apodimos Kypreos

November 07, 2006

His Master's Voice?

"Yes, Lord...well, I told them it's just for a few years...Earth years?...Oh, OK, yes...yes...I understand Lord... yes, of course, Thy Will be Done... yeah, I'll let them know ... well, in good time. Yeah, OK, and say hello to Christakis from me... yeah, later...

Dude, where's My Archbishop?

"And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, "We're gonna vent our frustration
If we don't we're gonna blow a 50-amp fuse"
Sing it to me now...

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
Oh baby, yeah, yeah!"

November 04, 2006

Poetry and Diplokampina

And now, something to cheer us all up. It comes in the form of a picture a well-wisher e-mailed. The picture you see comes from the Cyprus News Agency with the following caption attached:
Μετά τη βροχή και το μαύρο πέπλο το πολύχρωμο τόξο στολίζει τον ουρανό. Μια νέα ελπίδα γεννιέται στις καρδιές των ανθρώπων. Στη φωτογραφία το ουράνιο τόξο στεφανώνει στο βάθος το δάσος της Αθαλάσσας και το κατεχόμενο ύψωμα 'Αρωνας'.
Semi-literal translation: "After the rain and the dark veil [it cast], a rainbow graces the sky. New hope is born in the people's hearts. In the picture we see the rainbow adorning Athalassa forest and the occupied Aronas plateau".

Please excuse the shoddy translation. Poetry has never been my strong point, despite the hopes I find flourishing in my heart.

Still, it goes to show that not all news is bad news. And, as of Monday, it's free cars for everyone in Stravaraland. I believe the best deal on wheels would now be this diplokampino and screw emissions.

November 03, 2006

Sleep from That Side

One of TeePee's strongest arguments for not meeting with Talat is that such meetings could raise false expectations in the public's mind that something may be happening, when in atual fact nothing could be achieved from such a theoretical meeting. At face value this may even sound reasonable to the neutral observer.

In the past 2 months, however, we have been innundated with suggestions that Varosha will be given back so that the Turkish Cypriots can go ahead and start using Famagusta port legitimately. Ask people in Cyprus and they'll probably tell you that Varosha will be ours in time for Christmas. Now, this will most most likely (99.999%) not happen. The question is, which is a worse? TeePee having coffee with Talat every 3 months or the predicted outcome of Varosi's fate? And if it is the latter, what faith should a neutral observer have in TeePee - Da Man?

Kiss Me, Baby

Over the last few days, the dim-witted police chief of Stravaraland and his discriminatory comments have given almost every politician on the island a chance to prove how dim-witted they are, as well. Just when you thought no one could be more useless than the last minister of justice, we now have a man who seems to be suffering from a chronic case of nasal congestion as well as mental ambiguity.

It was a classic case of all the usual suspects getting together, as the newly appointed minister and a member of the opposition appeared on the morning news show on that subsidised excuse of a broadcaster known as CyBC. The conversation between these two was about as fascinating as two pebbles on a Limassol beach trying to f**k.

The issue of idiotic comments, regarding women in the force, made by the police chief ended in an almost homo-erotic scene (live on state TV) between the minister of justice and a guy with bleached white hair. They did the usual, which involves a bit of touching of the other guy's forearm and agreeing while pretending to disagree, and giggling like silly schoolgirls applying for a job in the police force. And then they laughed a bit to ease the sexual tension.

Do the Justice Ministers of Stravaraland come from the same experimental laboratory? Could we please have the rats from that lab take over for a while? Here we have two self-proclaimed grown-ups talking about how much they respect the role of women in society and the police force while they're looking into each other's eyes like a pair of closet queens straight out of an Almadovar film.

And what they have to say on the subject of policewomen slowly deteriorates into the verbal equivalent of a bad case of diarrhea.

What is truly amazing is what short memories Stravaralanders seem to have . The top scorers in police admittance tests have always been women. And women happen to be human. The police force ought to advertise and seek applications for specific jobs. Those who are best suited should, theoretically, get the damned jobs.

OK. so women are not as good as acting stupid and saying things like "Hey, I am the law" - as the average policeman claims when he's trying to shut down a bar and walk away with a case of free whiskey, but I'm sure they'll get the hang of it.

The police force of Stravaraland deserves the minister in charge just as much as it deserved the last idiot they had in charge. But why does the taxpayer have to suffer?

November 02, 2006

Ti allo thelete...En Pernoume Kala?

"...So then, when we realise that the guy is not willing to haggle, Jackie Boy decides to point out that he's a High Commissioner and he's entitled to a professional discount and then...."

No to Anarchy, No to Choice

Great progress has been made in the European Nation-State of Stravaraland regarding shopping hours. It is with great pride that we can announce to the rest of the world that shops will remain shut on Wednesday afternoons after 2 PM to honour our colonial past, which is when that little brainless regulation first came into effect. On Saturdays, the people of Stravaraland will have the privilege of being allowed to shop till 3 PM.

According to the shopkeepers' association, POVEK (glory be to them), anyone breaking the law, by keeping their shops open until they bloody well feel like it, will only contribute to "anarchy and chaos".


November 01, 2006

Taking Over the Asylum

November promises to be fun, bizarre and rife with people in the public eye getting insanely silly. The race is on to see who can be the most outrageous. Quotes as well as actions are equally eligible in this impromptu panayiri currently getting under way in Stravaraland.

So far, we've had Kikis making a run for it so as to avoid a court appearance in a money laundering trial, involving an offshore company, allegedly linked to the Papadopouloss Law firm. Run, Kiki, Run! . Meanwhile, back at Banque Populaire, some guy from Greece is getting ready for a merger before he can go ahead with a further takeover involving a bank from the real world.

Then we had the new defence minister expressing his concern over the alarming increase of youngsters who want to have nothing to do with the National Guard. This issue prompted Antigone Papadopoulou to suggest that she will embark on a mission to eradicate the epidemic of mental illness, which refuseniks cite in order to give pissing about aimlessly for 25 months a miss. To Antigone we suggest that she should start with her own alarming case of the affliction.

We have a police chief who is horrified by the prospect of the force being taken over by women. According to the Cyprus Mail, Koulendis said: "women also had the unfair advantage that their physical requirements were lower than those of men, and suggested introducing a uniform physical exam instead, which would possibly slow down the problem temporarily". Priority will now be given to the guys with the nicest tits - assuming they can successfully pass a cooking test.

Stravaraland's minister for Externalised affairs, and legend in his own mind, Georges Lalique, told the press he had nothing to say regarding a possible high level meeting in Finland on Sunday, as the people of Suomi had kindly asked him not to make any comments on the subject.

We've also noticed TeePee's nose getting longer as he claimed he was far too busy to think about whether or not he'd be going for a second term in office. He will only do it if we all gather round and beg him nicely, though.

Sit back and enjoy the rest of the month.