Tales from the Coffeeshop: The teeth of wrath

WE ALMOST felt sorry for deputy Attorney General Akis Papasavvas on Thursday night when he appeared on RIK’s main news show to announce that he would be returning the 17 grand that we paid for his tooth implants.

The poor guy was visibly upset – his voice was quivering, he was stuttering, words were not coming to him, he had the faraway look, he grit his tooth implants, he was playing with his pen and he kept moving about in his chair like a hyper-active kid.

He was so shaken he could not even do basic arithmetic. He said he had been at the legal state services since 1977, which meant he had been working there for 43 years. Worst of all – he did not smile once to give us a glimpse of the teeth of wrath.

Our View: All parties should join forces to solve economic crisis

IT WOULD be grossly unfair to blame the precarious state of public finances solely on the Christofias government. This has been the result of decades of mismanagement, profligacy, reckless populism and short-term thinking, based on a single consideration – the number of votes that could be secured for the re-election of whoever happened to be president. Financial prudence was an unknown concept as successive governments never thought beyond the next presidential election, when making decisions.

Leaders to meet next month in New York

THE LEADERS of the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities will be meeting with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon on November 18 in New York, within the framework of ongoing talks to resolve the Cyprus problem, the UN announced yesterday.

It is believed that the tripartite meeting is an effort to exert some kind of pressure on the process to help resolve the property issue, which is the thorniest, by the end of the year.

A UN progress report is expected by the end of November.

Earlier this month, Ban telephoned the two leaders to voice his concern at the slow pace of the talks and urged them to make concrete progress.

Changes to EU budget could benefit Cyprus

LAST week the European Commission published its ideas on possible reform of the budget of the European Union. That is bound to raise the tone of public debate in Brussels. Even though the EU is based on the principle of solidarity between member states, when it comes to money, that solidarity evaporates in an instant. In the past, most deliberations on budgetary arrangements degenerated into a scramble with member states trying to secure as much as possible for themselves.

The key from the depths of time

Wishful thinking will not protect us from the truth

In the late 1970s, in my capacity as Minister of Foreign Affairs, I used to visit New York quite often, for our recourses to the United Nations. During my stay there, I was invited many times as the keynote speaker on Cyprus by Cypriot and Greek clubs and associations.

I was once at an Association of Greeks from Asia Minor, when an old man approached me with a large key in his hand.

“Minister, do you know what is this key?”, he asked.

“No”, I said.

“This key opens the door of my house in Smyrna. I still have it”, he said with a lot of emotion.

Both sides should pay up and shut up

EMPORIUM, taken from the Greek ’emporion’ (place of trade, commercial centre, traveller or trader) has become the most used word in Cyprus today. Whether traders from the north deal in tomatoes, onions, fish or bricks, they are definitely harassed when selling to the south. And after last week’s decision by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee on the direct trade regulation, EU trade embargoes will continue in the north never mind their promise in 2004 to eliminate restrictions in return for a Yes vote on the Annan Plan referendum.

Dig deeper for the real tooth scandal


IT IS WRONG to blame deputy Attorney-general Akis Papasavvas for the scandalous decision to waste the taxpayer’s money on his 10 tooth implants.

Papasavvas should not take a big share of the responsibility for this sordid affair which reminds us of the decay and filth suffocating this country. Papasavvas is a fellow citizen who is facing a problem. This is blatantly obvious to anyone who has been aware of his behaviour in the last few years. But any of us could have a similar problem.

UK says Yemen bomb could have brought down plane

Parcels found in Britain, Dubai set off global alert

A BOMB found on a US-bound cargo plane was powerful enough to bring down an aircraft, British authorities said yesterday, as forces in Yemen searched for suspected al Qaeda militants behind a plot to bomb Jewish targets in Chicago.

“I can confirm the device was viable and could have exploded. The target may have been an aircraft and had it detonated the aircraft could have been brought down,” British Home Secretary Theresa May said.

Two parcels sent from Yemen and containing explosives were intercepted in Dubai and Britain on Friday, triggering broad travel disruptions and a massive international investigation.

Villagers forced to leave as volcano erupts again

INDONESIA’S military forced villagers off the slopes of the country’s most volatile volcano yesterday as it unleashed a new powerful explosion that claimed another victim and temporarily shut down an airport.

Troops stood guard in front of ash-covered homes and local television showed one woman who refused evacuation orders being pinned to a stretcher as she screamed and cried in protest.

Meanwhile, hundreds of miles to the west, aid workers were struggling to deliver food and other supplies to desperate survivors on islands hardest hit by a tsunami.

Four killed in Antarctica helicopter crash

* Two French scientists, pilot and mechanic found dead

ALL four people aboard a French helicopter that crashed in Antarctica were found dead by rescue workers yesterday, the French government said.

The bodies of two French scientists, a pilot and a mechanic were recovered from the wreckage and flown some 100 kilometres to France’s Dumont d’Urville research base in East Antarctica, France’s Southern and Antarctic territories authority said in a statement.