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By Peter Stevenson MEMBERS of Volunteer Doctors Cyprus have treated around 350 people at their free clinic in Nicosia since it opened three months ago, while two more, one in Paphos and one in Polis are due to open today. Limassol also has a free clinic, which was opened only last month, and plans have been drawn ...
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SOME 10 days ago, foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides raised expectations by announcing the possibility of a deal with Turkey for the opening of the fenced off area of Famagusta, for the return of its inhabitants. In exchange the Cyprus government would agree to the opening of Tymbou airport to direct flights. ...
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By George Psyllides PRIVATE auditors have expressed doubt the electricity authority (EAC) could be considered a going concern and have asked its board to draft a credible plan to tackle the problem, according to the auditor-general’s 2012 report on the semi-state company. Among other issues, ...
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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Who to believe in these troubled times? ]

Who to believe in these troubled times?

THE E.U. has just downgraded 2009 forecasts of industrial production – a decline from 1.8 per cent to four per cent – claiming the recession is just beginning to bite and the real effects are only now being felt.

The rate of job losses is expected to increase and yet more factories close. French workers are rioting in Paris as are the Germans in Berlin, blaming immigrant labour like the Russians for their woes as well as their leaders for giving golden handshakes to factory bosses, bankers and their like. The Japanese are joining the Communist Party like never before, now over four million, doubling their percentage of the poll since the start of this recession.

The world has gone mad and the media, to a large extent, is to blame; Coptic pigs have been illogically slaughtered in Egypt and travellers from Mexico were confined to a hotel for days in Hong Kong. We are beginning to panic, and we must not.

But how does one report world events responsibly, given the seemingly unremitting demand for newspapers, 24-hour TV, radio news and the internet? Little is censored and writers, journalists and commentators are given free rein (not the case, of course, in the depoliticised countries).

So it’s up to us then, Joe Public, to be discerning is it?

Well frankly, yes!

I am right not to listen to what our Finance Minister, Stavrakis, has to say; it’s impossible to know where our economy stands given his previous ill advised prognostications. Besides, I prefer to question other citizens and ruminate on their prophecies.

Things still look good here; unemployment is low by EU standards and money seems to be flowing like water. For example, my niece went for a 60km drive on Sunday to take lunch with her boyfriend at a mountain resort restaurant (can’t help making Cyprus sound like Switzerland). And then drive home. While they were delighting in dunks I was eating ‘poulet au citron’, basmati rice and baked potatoes under browned cheese, salad and cream cake at my cousin’s house – a bottle of Xinisteri going the way of all white wine once opened, down or bad.

Later, comparing the cost of both meals, it seems my niece won hands down, and that’s not including the cost of petrol and wear and tear on her new Saab.

But she’s single, has an excellent government job and a part share in a housemaid to boot. She is in her mid-thirties and turns her nose up to the labours of married life, screaming kids and housework. Not unnatural in these times, you might say.

But Stavros, a member of our bridge club and 37, took the Holy Vows the day before. All club members were invited to the reception at the Hilton – the magical handshake, congratulations and the handing over of that infamous envelope.

I don’t begrudge parting with the envelope for a glass of wine and idle chatter since I rather like Stavros and wanted to meet the bride. Stavros is doing OK, causing me to regard this envelope malarkey as extortion, blackmail or money laundering.

Pampos, a friend and fellow invitee, proceeded to tell me over our second glass that his daughter’s wedding cost him nearly 30 grand. And when was it? Over three years ago.

Well, what with inflation and the euro raising our cost of living here by at least 20 per cent since, I daren’t imagine what this Hilton affair was costing the bride’s father, who Pampos told me was stinking rich. Clever Stavros. Apart from that, I couldn’t imagine what the Hilton was making, given that another three receptions were under way in other suites at the same time – the car park a fiasco.

Not unnaturally, since my wife is in China, I gravitated towards a group of women well known to me. I call them the Trinity – all three are in early middle age and divorced. Somehow it didn’t augur well for Stavros, who is an excellent bridge player and in no way a womaniser – the Trinity’s ex-husbands were all there.

I began chatting to one of them, an extremely beautiful and elegant Russian. She asked me about my wife. I told her that she returns in a few days’ time.

“Is that a prophecy or fact?” she asked.

“A fact... but then, who knows?”

“My daughter arrives later this evening from London.”

“Oh...what’s she doing there?’

“She works at Barclays Capital...”

Full circle... I arrived home and put on the music from Pedro Alamadovar’s movie, Hable con Ella (Talk to Her).

But who talks today?

(Source: Cyprus Mail)
Copyright © Cyprus Mail 2008 Please contact Cyprus Mail for the copyright terms of this article.

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