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Cyprus Editorial: Is Akel proud of its Academy of Stupidity?

15 January, 2014 | Posted By: Financial Mirror

A heated argument on Sigma’s breakfast show suggests that post-administration Akel is once again in total disarray, with the Larnaca MP Giorgos Georgiou uttering the most stupid words one would expect from a deputy.
The debate was whether Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, formerly a staunch critic of harsh policing methods and corruption within the national security force, should resign as the most high-ranking politician responsible for the tragic goings on at the Central Prison, especially after the fifth successive suicide of a convict late on Monday night. If anyone should stay, it is Nicolaou, who rightly has long demanded for heads to roll.
In his usual cynical tone, MP Georgiou said on Sigma TV that “you cannot talk of the former president [Akel’s Christofias] taking responsibility for the deaths of 11 people at the Mari blast and not of the justice minister for the deaths of five convicts.”
How low can one stoop to defend, at any cost, the “unblemished” Christofias administration, that fortunately lasted only one term, otherwise it would have caused further catastrophy to the nation and our economy.
DISY’s Soteris Sampson should be commended for his composed “your comment is not worthy of any response,” while TV host Petroulla Argyrou was quick to side with the House Legal Affairs committee chairman.
Ironically, the latest event occurred when a team from the MMAD rapid response unit was sent to the prisons to ensure things did not get out of hand as foreign hunger strikers have also caused some riots recently.
The fact is that the prison service is probably the most corrupt public institution in Cyprus for a number of reasons, ranging from the incompetence of politicians to properly regulate the system and the wardens, to the petty (and sometimes larger) bribes some of the officials receive. It has always caused a headache to past and present administrations, but this will never change unless we have a major culture change. Politicians, civil servants and policemen alike should realise that serving at the prisons is a correctional duty to help reintegrate born-again convicts back to society or keep them lock up forever, if they are deemed a danger to society.
As regards Akel, last week’s statements by Skevi Koukouma that the handful of Iranians on a hunger strike outside the Ministry of Interior must get some passport or travel document to move on to other European states, was unfortunate in that it disregards laws and procedures, yet says nothing about speeding up the application process at the Migration Dept., where corruption or plain red-tape is the rule of the day.
And finally, Akel’s “whistleblower” Irene Charalambidou, who quite often has good leads, should learn to follow-through many of her allegations, or else give up on blowing the lid on public scandals and revelations that sometimes stop short of being investigated by the proper authorities.
Just as when former government spokesman Stephanos Stephanou was often likened to Saddam’s ‘Comical Ali’, for believing everything he was told to say, perhaps Akel deputies ought to learn a thing or true about bowing out gracefully from an argument they know they can’t win or even to occasionally admit to the wrongs of some of their colleagues. Unless if they are convinced that they are all perfect and the rest of the world is involved in a full-scale conspiracy against them.