Guilty as charged. I know that I am running at least a couple of weeks behind but to be truthful I have found that this take over of the treasurers job for St Andrews has been more involved than I had originally hoped. Just getting the local banks to sort out signatories, costs masses of time as they want letters from this official and that official before accepting any changes. Over here we have in every local authority a man called a “muhtar” ( pronounced muckta) who has to give you permission to live in his village. Now Joan and I had to get a letter from the local guy when we came back in order to get our rental contract approved. We also have, in the eyes of central government ” permanent residency” with a special certificate to that effect, but no, the bank want me to go and get another letter from the muhtar to say that I live here. Crazy stuff and so unnecessary but then this is TRNC and all of this sort of thing entails running around getting signatures and official stamps. But then enough of my moaning, lets at least take a look at the recent newspaper reports.
We have a new president, Mr Mustafa Akinci who seems to have immediately crossed swords with Turkey. He has been saying things like ” I want to have relations with Turkey based on respect. He says he is going to resolve the Cyprus issue and take us into the EU as an equal partner of a Federal Structure. He said that it is high time for this baby to stand on it’s own feet” This brought an immediate response from the Turkish President, who told reporters the TRNC president needs to hear the words coming out of his mouth, he said “does Mr Akinci think he can wage that struggle by himself” . Looks like we have a war of words coming up and whatever you say, we have to look at the billions of dollars that Turkey has spent, propping up the TRNC and wonder if they are prepared to give that away now.
Interesting, Pegasus airlines has now started flying four times per week in and out of Gatwick. That should be good for some people, it might also be interesting for us when we next go to UK. Have to take a look at prices of course.
They are at it again. Drink-drive incident and written off car in spate of road accidents. All of these accidents seem to occur in the early hours, probably when people come out of the all night casinos. Once again the paper reports that these people lost control, in one case on a roundabout and in another when a small hatchback was hit by a taxi and thrown 15 meters off the road, Guess the taxi was going quite slowly then in the middle of Girne !!!!
A civil servant is found guilty in court of taking a bribe, this time he was caught with 3,000 TL but I suppose one has to wonder if this was just a one off. Us Brits here have always said that brown envelopes are one of the best seller items at the local stationers.
The Cyprus Today for today’s date says that Girne Council and the Government are seeking funds to revamp the old harbour. This area is of course a major tourist attraction with the many restaurants along the harbour wall and for years now it has been obvious that some real work was needed to maintain this old original harbour.The harbour wall has been crumbling for many years now and tourist boat owners and the restaurant owners have been crying “shame” for lo0ng enough, but just as always here the problem and the fault for no work being done has been passed from one department to another, end result, nobody does anything.
Also a new “master plan” for Girne is set to ease congestion in the town. A count suggests that traffic has increased by almost one third in the last four years. The plan includes having 5 police trained traffic wardens issuing parking fines in the town for the first time, starting this month. Now that will be interesting as parking is ridiculous, in bike lanes, on the pavements, but it has to be right outside the shop or office the person is visiting. It will be very interesting to see if this actually works and if people are prepared to make use of the almost empty municipal car parks and do a little walking. It will also be interesting to see if the Dolmus buses are prevented from stopping just anyplace, especially on junctions and bends.
The new President has reiterated his hopes of reaching a settlement on the island this year and he has even appointed a new negotiator . The new man was the Foreign Minister and is replacing Ergun Olgun in the post. There is already controversy within the government about this appointment. Mr Akinci is clearly pushing for a solution but has had his wings clipped by the President of Turkey already and I can’t imagine that Turkey will let all the billions they have invested be given away. Mr Akinci has admitted that he is no magician.
A panel of analysts meeting in Lefkosa have warned that Turkish and Greek Cypriots should not expect an imminent solution to the problem here on the island but suggest that the property issue could be the major stumbling block.
Whilst all this is going on we hear of interesting times back in UK.