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25 May, 2024
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Helicopters, popes, and the rise of global Trumpism

An ironical odyssey of deals, diplomacy, and political pondering in Cyprus



Today, our President is set to meet His Holiness Pope Francis, a rendezvous that comes with a touch of irony given the president's previous likening to the late Archbishop Chrysostomos as the "next Blessed One." Rumors that he might seek the Pope's appointment as a special envoy for Cyprus are, of course, dismissed as baseless.

The silver lining of the President's visit to Serbia is the successful offloading of 12 ancient Soviet helicopters, which we promptly sold to our Serbian brethren. What they'll do with them is anyone's guess—perhaps use them as spare parts or decorative items in a war museum. Either way, the late Tito, a fraternal friend of Makarios, would surely be proud of this agreement.

Speaking of Tito, what happened to that colossal statue monument that once adorned Eleftheria Square before Zahid changed its lights? Could we, perhaps, sell it to Serbia along with the helicopters? Food for thought...

Stefanos, not the tennis player or the filmmaker, but ours, sent a letter to the unequivocal Nikos, seeking a meeting on Public Health and GESY. However, due to the President's packed schedule—dealing with the Pope and resolving the Middle East, no less—it's challenging to find a suitable date. I suggest, dear Stefanos, you inaugurate the renovated AKEL building and invite our little, young Nikos to cut the ribbon. You can discuss Health matters on the side, but no need to hurry; after all, we'll all die someday. Do we need a pope—or a Pope—to tell us that?

Meanwhile, a Trump supporter is elected president in Argentina, a far-right figure becomes President in the Netherlands, and Trump himself leads in polls for a potential re-election in the United States. Trumpism seems to be evolving into a global phenomenon, whatever that may signify. The perceived failures of the Biden presidency certainly played a role, but let our politicians—our political actors, rather—heed the signs of the times before we face similar phenomena.

[This op-ed was translated from its Greek original and endeavors to maintain the tone and irony from its original]

Cyprus  |  diplomacy  |  politics

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