Mr Nikos Christodoulides seems to be having an issue with the choices he is making. Even before he became President, he chose a communications expert who fooled him and copied an entire passage from an outdated presidential campaign speech. Then there was Manolis, who, with great ease, leaked all the messages he had exchanged with the (then) presidential candidate who employed him. [Translator’s note: Manolis Kyriacou, a former associate of Christodoulides, claimed that Christodoulides had asked him to create fake social media accounts to promote his candidacy] Messages that were highly revealing of the temperament and interests of their author, yet had no impact on the sentiments of the people who had already decided on their unconditional sympathy for him.
And since that was the case, he continued to not weigh his decisions too much before taking action. So he proceeded to appoint a Cabinet whose profile was far from that which he had previously proclaimed, with bridesmaids and brothers-in-law placed in key positions. But he didn’t slip in this case. It was his choice, despite the pressure he was under from the parties that had supported his rise to power.
In the same context of pressure exerted by his co-governors, Kyriakos Kenevezos’ posting as ambassador in Athens was extended, even though it had been announced that the post would return to the diplomatic corps. Any day now he’ll be marking a decade-long term, rightfully claiming the title of longest tenure in an embassy in recent years.
After so many ‘blunders’ (if they were blunders and not conscious choices, of course) came the appointment of a man with questionable degrees to the PSC [Public Service Commission]. This was now too big a slip: A person with questionable academic qualifications would be judging the qualifications of others whose appointment and advancement would depend on his say-so. So, he stepped back and the post went to a person with degrees of renowned – if anything – prestige, but [that person was] the bridesmaid of the former President.
After all this, we arrived at the appointment of a 19-year-old girl to the Deputy Ministry of Tourism with an annual salary of 30,000 [euros]. And the answer we got is: “Don’t cannibalise the girl.” With a tone of superiority, the President advises us to be careful in our criticism. “Criticism is welcome, it is well-received, we are in a democratic country, but it should be directed towards the executive.”
It is the executive that we are addressing: If degrees, qualifications, age, laws and rules don’t matter, abolish the criteria for everyone so that everyone can have access to such positions instead of having to make coffee for a living after their studies. And a clarification: we’re not being sexist in relation to the girl’s age when we’re being critical. Really.
This is an unofficial translation in English by CDF available in penna.cydialogue.org. The accuracy of the translated text has not been verified by the original author.
This opinion piece is also available in Greek and Turkish.