Cyprus Editorial: The list of lists and the crooks of crooks

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As Carnival time approaches, politicians seem to be taking their cue and imitating the clowns that will be parading up and down our streets next week, only this time, they continue to make a fool of themselves over the endless scandals that keep on popping up.

First it was the party-approved developers and crooked supermarket owners, then it was the incompetent bankers who crashed the economy and Cyta trade union bosses taking bribes for land deals, followed by last year’s revelations of the widespread corruption in the Caliphate of Paphos where anything goes – from free mobile phones and concert kickbacks, to backhanders for the as-yet incomplete sewerage system.
Even the local chapter of Transparency International issued a mild warning saying that a mere handful of MPs had so far filed their personal statements, leaving the majority of deputies undisturbed by the suspicion that our elected representatives do not care about conflict of interest.
That is probably why the blame-game is afoot, with rival party bosses blaming each other for anything and everything.
We all agree that in this day and age of a need to keep the moral high ground, the President of the Republic and his family members ought to have been outright about their advisory deal with Ryanair over a prospective Cyprus Airways takeover. Ironically, though, the accusers are often so deeply stuck in rotten and stinking mud, that no one knows who to believe nowadays.
On the other hand, the recent list of tax evaders includes names and transactions that are more than a decade old and have probably been lingering in a dusty dossier somewhere at the local tax office. Once again, these lists serve no other purpose than to push public opinion away from the real problems of the nation – a struggling economy, unsatisfactory projections and a desperate need by all to satisfy the grumpy civil servants for fear of losing precious votes.
Almost two years into his term, President Anastasiades and his team are only now starting to talk about reforms, even though we have yet to hear anything about the six Deputy Ministers’ posts that were promised a very long time ago.
Our leader had declared in New York that after his heart operation he would be back with a vengeance to get things moving. It would seem that he probably forgot his magic wand in his hospital room, as he doesn’t have any pixiedust, either, in order to sprinkle over the courtiers that surround him.
Ah well, back to the carnival parade. At least there we can have a real laugh…