ILLUSIONS were shattered and false hopes dashed during the second visit of the troublesome Troikans, with many members of our ruling elite finally realising that we will not set conditions, for accepting multi-billion euro loan, as they initially thought.

On this visit the terrible Troikans were a bit more forthcoming, talking about the austerity measures they envisaged and the annual spending cuts of one billion euro they would expect to be made. There was talk of scrapping CoLA, suspension of 13th salaries and 15 per cent reduction of public sector wages, as well as cuts in state pensions and benefits.

The illusion-busting was completed at the House Finance Committee on Friday when the Troikans told deputies that the measures would hurt and that the next two years would be a difficult time of recession. On the plus side, the measures would not be anywhere near as tough as those imposed on Greece.

It was about time that the rampant thieving of the state and the people by the blood-sucking public parasites and their all-devouring comrades at the semi-governmental workers’ co-operatives was stopped. Our good-for-nothing politicians would never have done it so they should thank the Troikans for doing the dirty work for them.

 

UNION bosses left their meeting with the tricky Troikans, on Wednesday looking as happy as a shareholder of the Popular Bank who had also deposited in pseudo-convertible bonds. 

I must confess not feeling a hint of sympathy for any of them. On the contrary, it was quite a pleasure seeing the Parasity boss Glafcos Hadjiklamouris looking much more miserable than usual, having his tsambouka (swagger) kicked out of him at last.

He was in defeated, self-pitying mood, telling hacks that “the only thing we haven’t heard is that civil servants will not get paid,” adding ironically that “we should work for free so we can all move forward”. 

His mood improved slightly the following day, when he directed his self-righteous indignation at the banks which had caused all our problems and were now threatening poor public parasites’ privileges. He demanded an official investigation to establish who was to blame for our financial woes and the need for a bailout.

And once it is established that the banks were to blame we could close them all down as punishment, for lowering the standard of living of our public parasites.

 

SOME unions persisted with the defiant rhetoric pledging not to accept unilateral decisions and to fight until the bitter end. They were even prepared to go on strike to defend their rights. 

This cheap militancy was being encouraged by the commies of AKEL and the government who seem to be preparing for the proletarian revolution.

“No to tough austerity that leads to the vicious circle of recession and no to the unequal shouldering of the burdens of the economic crisis,” said the AKEL/government mouthpiece Haravghi in Thursday’s editorial, also endorsing the party line that the Troika should target wealth.

The mouthpiece of the ultra-hard-line Akelites, the weekly Gnomi, set the general tone on Friday with a front-page, banner headline which urged, ‘Resistance to the Troikan terrorism’. 

 

ONLY the bungling idiots of Tof government still seem to be under the illusion that they could persuade the Troikans to agree to mild austerity measures, a sort of bailout-lite that would preserve parasitic privileges (also known as social cohesion) and focus on development projects; the government, as a special concession, would undertake to pursue fiscal discipline at the same time.

This was what the comrade told the Troikans when he met them; the AKEL leadership said the same. The idea is that the ECB, IMF and Commission would give us about ten billion and what was not needed by the banks we would spend on development projects that would stimulate growth and generate state revenue that would allow us to repay the loan.

Charmless AKEL spokesman, Giorgos Loucaides yesterday declared that “the Troika has failed”. The tough austerity model used in other countries pushed them deeper into recession, he explained adding, “wherever the Troika intervenes there is a social cost and social unrest.”

“Cyprus can be the exception, as long as the logic of growth and social cohesion is followed,” Loucaides said, unable to conceal his genuine desire to help the Troikans improve their image as baddies that cause misery wherever they go. 

If they improved their image, by being nice to Kyproulla, it would boost the Troikans’ business as many more countries would ask for bailouts.

 

YOU HAVE to admire the arrogance of ignorant Akelites who have decided to give lessons on how an economy should be run to the highly-qualified and experienced economists of the troika. These people were chosen by the IMF and ECB, from hundreds of applicants, because of their abilities and excellent qualifications. 

The ministers that make up our negotiating team, with the exception of Vasos Shiarly, were chosen because they have Akelite DNA and have taken an oath of eternal allegiance to comrade Tof. Those are not the best qualifications for discussing bailout terms.

Sotiroulla the bourekka, a member of our team, did however stand up to the nasty IMF representative, Delia Velculescu when the latter said that in Romania, wages had been cut by 25 per cent. This was why so many Romanians had come to Cyprus looking for work, replied our bourekka.  

 

SENSING that the Troikans are not giving much ground in the consultations, the government is now trying to buy time. This was the main reason the comrade, a recognised expert in delaying tactics, asked for a meeting with them.

He argued that we should not rush things and that we should lengthen the period for putting public finances in order, as this would mean milder measures. The negotiating team, meanwhile unsuccessfully tried to persuade the troika to push back the deadline for a zero deficit budget. It is the familiar Cyprob tactic against asphyxiating time-frames.

Even his spokesman, Stef Stef resorted to the Cyprob discourse on Friday, saying that negotiations with the troika would continue so that it would be possible to reach convergences. And the bailout terms must respect the right of all refugees to return to their homes and ensure the withdrawal of Turkish occupying troops.

 

SPEAKING of the Cyprob, Big Bad Al must have been very disappointed after this week’s brief visit to his workplace. First there was the life-sapping humidity that must have prevented him from playing a couple of rounds of golf but even worse was that his meetings with the leaders and the technical committees did not provoke a single negative comment in the local media.

Has he lost his touch? He better find it soon, because without negative comments in the media the big-wigs at UN headquarters might begin to suspect that he is a bit underworked as guardian of the Cyprob convergences.

 

STAYING on the issue of Cyprob convergences, why is the taxpayer still paying Yiorkos Iacovou a salary? He has been doing nothing for the last five months, but we are still paying him. 

And everybody knows that if Cyprob talks ever resume it would be after February, under a new president, who will not be using the services of the superannuated Iacovou. Can our bankrupt state really afford to pay Iacovou 100 grand a year to do nothing? It is time he was left to draw the generous state pensions he is entitled to. 

 

IF THE delaying tactics fail, and the comrade is faced with signing a bailout agreement, cutting wages, pensions and social benefits, abolishing CoLA and collective agreements and raising taxes what would he do? Would he sign and be debited with the most savage austerity measures ever imposed on Cypriot workers?

Some very weird information has reached our establishment this week. A skettos-drinking customer said he had heard that if the austerity package was too tough the comrade would reject it and tell the Troikans he did not want a bailout. It would be the Cyprob logic at work, but without the security of the status quo to fall back on.

A second customer, a metrios drinker, claimed that top Akelites were seriously discussing the possibility of the comrade stepping down rather than signing a bailout. He would leave office as a hero, a president who sacrificed his post rather than sign a package that was against the workers’ interests.

This is just gossip for now, but the possibility cannot be ruled out given AKEL’s time-honoured opportunism and the comrade’s cowardice. AKEL mouthpieces, stepping up the rhetoric against the “Troika terrorism” and urging “resistance,” may be preparing the ground for a heroic resignation.

 

MEANWHILE banks are sinking deeper into the merde by the day. The Popular Bank is constantly drawing large amounts of emergency liquidity from the Central Bank – our banks can longer use the ECB for this purpose – but its CEO and former Vgenopoulos lieutenant, Christos Stylianides does not seem too bothered.

He is more concerned about bad-mouthing fellow executives and accusing them of signing unsecured loans on the instructions of Vgenopoulos. The funny thing is that Stylianides also signed dodgy loans on Vgen’s instructions, but has always claimed that he was simply following orders. 

Stylianides, despite being a leading member of the disgraced Vegn regime, was made CEO because his knowledge of international banking would enable him to secure capital for the ailing bank. He secured a little over a million, but when you consider the bank’s capital needs this does not even constitute a drop in the ocean.

 

WHILE Stylianides is bad-mouthing fellow executives, more and more people have been asking whether the Popular Bank will go bust. “No bank in an EU country was allowed to go under,” said a senior diplomat when the matter came up in conversation. “Yes, but no other EU country has Christofias as its president,” replied another diplomat.

 

THE CENTRAL Bank has advertised a vacancy for a press spokesman whose pay and benefits would be close to 100 grand. 

The Bank had an excellent spokeswoman, who was paid significantly less than 100 grand but her contract was vindictively terminated a month after the arrival of Professor Panicos because AKEL’s spies in the bank considered her too close to the former governor. 

But why is the Central Bank offering such a whopping big salary at time of recession and austerity? And since when does a press spokesman command a salary as high as Yiorkos Iacovou’s?

 

APOLOGIES if I bored you with the troika and the economy. Next week’s Coffeeshop will focus on sex.

 

 

 

 

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