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27 May, 2024
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Monks, millionaires, and mammoths: Cyprus' epic saga of scandal and schemes

In today's politics blog, we unravel the mysteries of development projects, golden passports, and hidden treasures in the 'Land of Aphrodite'



At an unexpected time, I had written to you that a mammoth development project in a coastal town would likely meet the fate of mammoths—meaning it would fade into history without us ever seeing or touching it.

Unfortunately, things are predicted to get much worse in the future than they appear at present. What does this mean? It means that not only do they not intend to deliver the project, but—exploiting loopholes in the contract—they are contemplating legal action against the state, seeking compensation. (Essentially from our own—holey—pockets). The saying "having your cake and eating it too" fits like a glove in this case. You might say, "What's more common?" as Evangelatos says. We've seen this project before.

I'll only quote what the rumor mill says, and everyone can draw their own conclusions: the entrepreneur behind this project is also behind an ambitious project in another coastal town in Cyprus. Of course, he has also obtained a golden passport, not from just anyone, but from a notorious passport office, a veritable treasure trove of golden passports.

What could be the reasons these grand projects have stalled? One reason is surely the current economic conditions, as the company has suffered significant losses with developments in Ukraine and Israel. Another reason—which the rumor mill considers equally important—is pressure from the occupied territories. Yes, you heard correctly. Because, according to the rumors from the rumor mill, the said entrepreneur found opportunities for activity in a coastal area of the occupied territories along the way, and this has further complicated things. Rush, rush, don't build.

You might say, "You're speaking in riddles, old man." You understand that I can't speak more clearly. I am forced to speak in riddles in Christ, brothers, like Paisios. But if the Government truly cares about protecting the country and its unfortunate citizens from looming massive losses, then it should investigate the rumors. I am sure it will uncover clues and monsters. Behold Rhodes, may we be spared the leap. Marina's (how devilish a coincidence) Satty song fits our case like a glove: may pain not find us, I fall and roll like a die.

Of course, if someone wants to investigate the alleged new scandal, I suggest they do it as quietly as possible. Why? Well, so as not to awaken our MPs and the competent Authorities who usually sleep the sleep of the just. Let me close with my favorite topic: the Avvakoumians. The amount found in the monks' safes and accounts touches one and a half million, and their lawyers are fighting tooth and nail to justify the sources of this treasure and the reasons their clients are entitled to keep the money. Lord, keep watch over my tongue.

Add to this one and a half million various pieces of land, apartments, and houses in Cyprus and abroad. And of course, these are only what the investigators have managed to uncover so far. It's very likely—if we consider that the monks were looking for ways to hide the money they had in their possession—that they managed to smuggle out several million that will never be traced. Ultimately, for some, the monastic life is a very profitable business. They tempt me to become a monk to pay off the bank. Get down, my Christ, and bring a whip.

[This opinion piece was translated from its Greek original and endeavors to maintain the writing style and irony of the author]

Cyprus  |  scandals  |  corruption

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