Greek Banks will Place over 7 Bln Euros in the Bond Market

ATHENS – Greek banks will be able to place approximately 7 to 8 billion euros in the bond market from March when according to all indications the ceiling set by the European Central Bank on Greek banks’ purchases of Greek state long term bonds will be lifted.

Today the four Greek systemic banks can’t keep in their portfolio Greek state bonds with total value over 9 billion euros.

Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said that this ceiling is going to be lifted very soon. According to the European Central Bank supervision mechanism SSM, the lifing is very probable to be held until the end of March. Bank executives expect this move to help the domestic state bond market by increasing its depth and liquidity, while at the same help create additional revenue form banks which will be able to place part of their liquidity -currently enclaved in the negative yields of Treasury bills into bonds with positive yields.

Greek American Ambassador’s Daughter Accused of Stabbing a Man to Death

NEW YORK – Sophia Negroponte has been charged with first-degree murder in the stabbing death of Yousuf Rasmussen, 24, of Bethesda, at a residence in Rockville late Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, according to Montgomery County police.

Negroponte is the daughter of Greek-American John Negroponte and one of five children that he and his wife adopted in Honduras when he served as a diplomat there in the 1980s, according to the Washington Post.

Say It Ain’t So: Greek-American Jennifer Aniston, American’s Sweetheart, Turns 51

She’s still America’s darling but Jennifer Aniston – who knows where the time goes? – has carried that mantle into middle age, turned 51 on Feb. 11, still as popular as ever among her legions of fans for her acting on TV and in the movies.

She was born in Sherman Oaks, California to Greek-American actor John Aniston and English actress Nancy Dow and spent a year of her childhood living in Greece with her family, mainly in Athens and Crete, her father’s home area.

When they relocated to New York City her dad landed the long-running role of Victor Kiriakis, on the daytime soap Days of Our Lives and her Godfather was Greek American actor Telly Savalas.

The beloved star of the TV show Friends is still radiant, which she credits to her Greek heritage. “My dad is 100 percent Greek; he turned 84 and he barely has a wrinkle. And neither did my grandmother, who was 95 when she died,” she said, the Greek City Times reported.

She started training as a drama student at New York’s School of Performing Arts Fame school. Now she’s famous.

Ask Stavroula: Dating Advice for a Divorced Mom

Dear Stavroula,

I am 30 years old, divorced, have a five-year-old daughter. I’ve been dating a 32-year-old man for nine months. I have no complaints about him other than the fact that every time we talk about the future, asking whether he takes our relationship seriously with the prospect of having a family, he avoids answering me clearly. Although he tells me that he is in love with me, when I ask him when we will live together, he replies that it is too early and everything will be done when the time comes. Recently, my daughter had a birthday and I invited him to the party along with some relatives and friends, because I wanted him to get to know them and my daughter. While he had told me he would come, at the last minute he informed me that he had to work and could not come. Let me also note that I have only met his best friend but not one of his brothers (he has three older brothers). I’m afraid that he doesn’t see me as seriously as I see him. My dream is to eventually start a family. It wasn’t my fault I got divorced. And finally, am I wasting my time with him?

Georgia

 

Dear Georgia,

Every person who starts a new relationship takes some time to decide if he has found the person of his dreams, the one with whom he wants to share joys and sorrows, or start a family. The timing is not the same for everyone. And there is the fact that each of us has different expectations in a relationship. Another wants a family right away, another doesn’t, and a third person may want no children at all. It is very likely that your partner will need a longer time than the nine months you have been together to decide whether to join your lives together. Remember that you have a child and any mature man would not want to make a bigger commitment without being sure that he can handle this situation. This may be confirmed by the fact that he did not come to your child’s birthday or that he has not introduced you to his circle.

Therefore, the best way to find out exactly what your partner wants is to have an honest conversation with him, in which you will express to him the emotions caused by his behavior and ask him what he thinks, what his priorities are, and what his dreams are. You will understand a great deal from the outcome of this discussion, and perhaps receive answers for your questions about the future.

From your message I feel that the most important thing for you is to remarry and rebuild a family for you and your child. And this is probably what you want regardless of the person you are with. Otherwise, you would not be wondering if you are wasting your time with him, whether you will feel valuable in the moments you share with the one you love, and how you will achieve the mood where you let your relationship evolve without worrying too much about the future.

But the intensity with which you experience the desire to rebuild what you have lost could lead you to another wrong choice. I would advise you, therefore, to focus on the person you are with before making any decision. Is this man really your dream companion? Do you have similar principles and values and do you view life the same way? Has your relationship been tested with the difficulties of daily life before you decide that it is sustainable in the future? Do you have any common interests and ways to share your free time together so you can enjoy these moments? And most importantly, how is this man with children? Do you see elements in his character that confirm that he is the right person to live with your child?

One last thing. Although your divorce may not have been your fault, in any relationship that does not work out, both parties have some measure of responsibility. Exploring and understanding your own mistakes or omissions, even the criteria with which you chose your former partner, would be very helpful. Remember that you are no longer just making decisions for yourself – your decisions have a major impact on your child’s life.

AHI Upset Over Turkey Changing Church Museum to Mosque

American Hellenic Institute (AHI) said a ruling by Turkey’s highest administrative court last November to allow conversion of the Church of the Holy Savior, known as the Chora Church, to a mosque – again – is progressing and could lead to the same being done to the revered Hagia Sophia in Constantinople some day.

AHI said the ruling “denigrates Turkey’s Christian heritage and sets an ominous precedent for the world-famous cathedral church of Hagia Sophia.”

The 1,000-year-old Chora church was converted into the Kariye Mosque in the 16th Century after the Ottomans seized Constantinople, Greece, and Asia Minor. It functioned as a mosque until 1948 and was reopened as a museum in 1958. The Turkish court though said that was unlawful because its rightful use was as a mosque – although it’s a church.
“(The ruling) paves the way for President Erdogan to make good on his threats to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque,” said Larigakis, according to the Greek newspaper Kathimerini.

Erdogan has threatened to turn Haghia Sophia, which has minarets and is one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions, into a mosque.

Greek-American Charlie Callas: A Comedic Force of Nature

Without question Charlie Callas remains one of the most renowned and celebrated Greek-American comedians of all time. Throughout the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s Callas seemed to be performing his elastic sense of humor, everywhere all at once. It proved to be a nearly endless cycle of touring the country performing in one club after another to television appearances to motion pictures and then back again. You can still see Callas’ brand of frenetic comedy in movies, DVDs of classic American television programs and YouTube.

Today, published accounts on Callas speak of his ‘antics’ and his seemingly nearly uncontrollable physical humor. But more was at work with a man whose gifts extended beyond simple humor to music and even a type of kinetic humor that verged on a form of Americanized mime. While Callas has never been forgotten by the Greek-American community his true place in the American comedic traditions needs reexamination.

Born Charles Callias on December 20, 1924 in Brooklyn, New York, he was the son of a Greek father and German mother. Curiously little of Callias early life and experiences are reported upon. Two moments in his early life are always noted. First that he served in the United States Army during World War II and that he loved music. Such was Callias’ energy and talent that after World War II he became a professional drummer. Callias played with some of the foremost musicians of the era such band leaders as Bernie Cummins, Tommy Dorsey, Claude Thornhill, and Buddy Rich. Far from a passing fancy Callias was not only a recognized musician of considerable talent. Reference volumes and historical accounts of American music in the post-War period in jazz, big band, and popular orchestras frequently cite Callias’ presence and participation. For Callas the late 1940s and 1950s proved a period of sustained musical success and transition.

Callias didn’t seem able to take his unquestionable success as a musician seriously. All available sources report that Callias was always clowning around and would drive the band members crazy on the bus as they traveled. Professional performers, all his band mates soon began to urge Callias to become a professional comedian. Callias, ever the natural comic, eventually gave up drumming to try his hand at comedy. He dropped a vowel from his legal name, Callias, when he took to the stage in his first television appearance in 1963 on the Hollywood Palace variety show. For the next four decades Callas was literally all over the entertainment scene in North America.

Tracking Callas’ career after this point is for all intents nearly impossible. No performance venue was beyond his considerable talents. While I will more or less ‘block’ Callas’ venues by the categories of television, motion pictures, and clubs/casino reviews – the truth of the matter is this man was all over the place all the time.

In terms of television it is no exaggeration to report that Charlie Callas was an inordinately frequent performer on most of the variety talk shows on television from 1960s into the 1980s such as Ed Sullivan, Jackie Gleason, Merv Griffin, The Andy Williams Show, The Jimmy Dean Show, The ABC Comedy Hour, the Des O’Connor Variety Show, Bobbie Vinton Show, The Flip Wilson Show, and he even co-hosted The Joey Bishop Show. Other guest spots followed on many programs including, but most certainly not limited to, The Monkees, American Style, The Munsters, The Brady Bunch, and The Love Boat.

From 1975 through 1978, Callas co-starred with Robert Wagner and Eddie Albert on the series, Switch in his role as Malcolm Argos, the restaurant owner and former con man. Callas’ character used different disguises in most shows, proving his innate versatility.

As a comedian of his standing and popularity it is not surprising to learn that Charles Callas appeared over 50 times on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Callas remained a popular favorite of Carson’s until September 21, 1982. On this occasion Callas’ free association and improvising were simply not funny. “With Mr. Callas bombing, Carson made a whistling-buzzing sound – as if tracing a bomb’s trajectory. In comic desperation, Mr. Callas leaned over and shoved Carson (who subsequently fell out of his chair). Carson, almost always amiable on air, was so annoyed that on the spot, in front of his television audience, he told Mr. Callas he would never appear on the show again. Carson kept his word.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette January 29, 2011)

Among Callas’ very last television appearances were on Larry The Cable Guy’s Christmas Spectacular (2007) and Larry The Cable Guy’s Star-Studded Christmas Extravaganza (2008) where he delighted audiences with his trademark antics and exceptional comedic talents.

Callas’ appearance in motion pictures began with his antics on television. In 1967, Callas was appearing as a guest on The Merv Griffin Show. Jerry Lewis, (another one of Merv’s guests), was so taken by Callas’ hysterics he told Merv that he had to use Charlie in his upcoming film, The Big Mouth (1967). Without detracting from Callas’ performance as the manic character of Rex in Lewis’ film, it is also the case that he is undoubtedly most remembered for his various Mel Brooks films such as Silent Movie (1976), High Anxiety (1977), History of the World: Part I (1981), and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995). Let me quickly note that Callas appeared as a character actor in other films as well. Callas also received considerable renown for his voice work as Elliott the dragon in Disney’s live-action/animated musical film, Pete’s Dragon (1977).

No single account could ever present a true chronological listing of the night clubs, dinner theaters, and casino showrooms in which Callas performed. Without question Callas had a rapid-fire humor that tantalized audiences in nightclubs from coast to coast. Among his nightly appearances was a one-year tour of major engagements with Frank Sinatra, including the Universal Amphitheater in Los Angeles. Callas also appeared at the Hilton Hotels, Caesar’s Palace, The Sands Hotel, Flamingo Hilton, Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas; Harrah’s Clubs in Reno and Lake Tahoe; Cal-Neva Lodge; Lake Geneva Playboy Club, Resorts International, the Playboy Club (in Detroit and elsewhere), Claridge Hotel and Park Place.

It is said that beginning certainly by the late 1950s, Callas’ brand of stand-up comedy backed top performers in Los Vegas (and elsewhere) including Dean Martin, Jerry Lewis, Tom Jones, and Frank Sinatra; he later became especially identifiable for his frequent appearances on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts. Callas’ touring association with these specific performers has led to the question of whether or not he is the ‘missing’ Rat Pack member. Mark Callas, one of Callas’ two sons, has said his father without question knew and performed with every member of the Rat Pack.

For those readers too young to know, the Rat Pack consisted of a group of actors/performers that included Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Joey Bishop, and Peter Lawford. Whether or not Charles Callas was an official member of this unofficial group of individuals, without question he and persons such as Don Rickles were, by the 1960s, part of the overall fun. For those who wish to see Charlie Callas perform at the height of his powers, you need only view any of his appearances on the Dean Martin Roasts. YouTube clips and DVD re-releases of the Roasts are readily available.

Whatever the performance venue, Callas’ incredible abilities as a physical comedian cannot be over stated. While his stand up routines were frequently punctuated with sudden outbursts of odd sounds and incredibly dynamic jolts of sudden movement, his speechless performances, most famously as a fly or as an ostrich, were legendary not simply for their comedic flair but also for his incredible accuracy as to his ability to so closely mimic their actual physicality.

Charles Callas died on January 27, 2011, in Las Vegas. One of the most telling memories of this man I have found was recalled by longtime friend Mel Brooks: “Charlie Callas was a cast of thousands all by himself. He could do a thousand faces, a thousand voices, and a thousand sound effects. In High Anxiety, he played a cocker spaniel. He cost me a lot of money – it was almost impossible to finish a scene without the whole crew collapsing in laughter. The world of comedy will miss him very much.” (Los Angeles Times January 29, 2011).

 

Trump’s 3rd Year Report Card: Well Done Yet Again

January 20 marked the end of President Trump’s third year in office, and as I’ve done every year for TNH since 2010, I’ve issued the sitting chief executive an annual report card.

As always, I do so with a caveat and a premise: more accurate evaluations of a president’s performance can be gleaned over time. Presidential historians recommend waiting 20 years before ranking a president, so as to give time a chance to simmer any lingering positive or negative emotions. It’s easy to get caught up in the hoopla of the moment, but the real test is to assess the situation with detached perspective that only time can establish. Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean we have to wait 20 years to begin talking about Trump’s performance. We can always reserve the right to change our minds at some future date.
The other factor is the premise that the two main pillars of any presidency are peace and prosperity: are we at war, or are we at risk of going to war soon, and are we at peace economically, or are we worried about losing our jobs and not being able to pay our bills?

Finally, before beginning, it is important to take personalities out of this. Let’s consider the past five presidents, including Trump: George Bush the father was often maligned for seeming dispassionate and out of touch. Bill Clinton’s critics were infuriated when he would bite his lower lip in a manner they were convinced was supremely phony, a cheap attempt to feign concern. George Bush the son’s detractors simply thought he was too “dumb” to run anything, let alone the United States. Barack Obama’s haters thought he was a smooth-talking empty suit and, let’s face it, some Neanderthals among them (thankfully, few) simply couldn’t get over the fact that a black man was president. As for the Trump-bashers, take your pick: his antagonistic, double-down tone, his erratic, unpredictable management style, the way he may have treated tenants or vendors 40 years ago, and his egotistical, narcissistic indulgences and interactions with those around him, particularly women and persons of color.
Now we have a big “hate list” – but very little of that has much to do with presidential performance.

Beginning with the prosperity pillar, the economy is not merely good, or even very good – it is ridiculously good, as in record breaking good. And though every hard luck story is unfortunate, we need to dismiss the notion that cherry picked anecdotes represent the broad economic landscape. In a nation of over 325 million, even if 90 percent were in good financial shape – which would be a staggering success – that would leave over 32 million people from which political opponents could harvest tales of Sam the Iowa farmer who went bankrupt waiting for Trump’s trade war with China to subside, Nancy the single mom waitress whose daughter couldn’t be treated for bronchitis because they couldn’t afford health care, or Joaquin, the Colombian Dreamer who is an Eagle Scout, was his high school’s valedictorian, and was awarded a full scholarship to Harvard, but now is facing deportation because his parents brought him to the United States illegally when he was only a toddler.

There will always be stories like this, which political saboteurs will use as fodder. The bottom line is that overall, by overwhelming proportions, our manufacturing base is healthy again, companies are reinvesting in the United States, and employment statistics are amazingly strong beyond any margin of error. And enough with the “it’s Obama’s economy continued” baloney. The economy went from sputtering to soaring directly after Trump dramatically reduced both corporate taxes and regulations.

In terms of peace, things have quieted down. Not much is heard from Russia, North Korea, or the Middle East lately. Trump is bringing our troops home, and we are using our unparalleled technology to pick off top-level terrorists every now and then.

Equally importantly, Trump has unified the Republican Party more so than any other president, has continued to expose and shame dishonest, hypocritical politicians and their media messenger boys, has raised the national consciousness about political overcorrectness, particularly the contagious insanity of being “woke,” and has done more to curb illegal entry and stay than any president in over 100 years.

Some will be quick to point out that he has “abandoned our allies and befriended rogue dictators.” In a word, that’s nonsense. Others will bemoan his tweets, emphasizing how undignified they are. Here’s the real story: plenty of politicians, including presidents, have done plenty of undignified things; the difference is that Trump doesn’t spend any time trying to hide his from the public.

By all accounts, then, I should give President Trump an “A” for the year, but I’ll pair that down to an A Minus for two reasons: first, he should have more stability at this point in terms of his circle of advisers/Cabinet members. Sure, some shuffling is in order, but by this point, there should be less of it. Second – and this is a point not made often enough – he should consult with all former presidents far more often, and in public. Presidents become a special breed. Of all living people, only Presidents Carter, Clinton, Bush, Obama, and Trump know exactly what that job is like, and the five of them should meet often; the onus is on Trump to mend and strengthen those relationships.

You’ve earned an A Minus, Mr. President, and as a result, in my view you’ve also earned the chance to serve the American people for four more years.

It’s the Constitution, Stupid – Part Deux

After the Senate vote not to call witnesses in the impeachment trial of donald trump, I looked up quotes defining democracy. Considering that something had gone terribly awry with ours, I just wanted to make sure I hadn’t been dreaming.

A consistent theme in many quotations is the importance of an educated electorate: “The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education” (FDR); “Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife” (John Dewey); “The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all” (JFK).

I could go on, but you get the point. Among other things, the impeachment hearings in the House and the trial in the Senate educated us about the Constitution, a document that we take for granted because, for the most part, it works. If you want to become a citizen, you have to pass a civics test that asks about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and American history. That makes sense. But when I ask my American-born university students how many members comprise Congress, they don’t know. They can’t name their own representatives.

Then again, donald trump [sic et seq] doesn’t know the parameters of his office as defined in Article II. Apparently, neither do members of Congress. On July 23, 2019, trump announced, “I have an Article 2, where I have the right to do whatever I want as president.” And on July 25th, he did just that when he called Volodymyr Zelensky. What he didn’t anticipate is that career public servants know Article II better than he does, especially Section 4: “The President…shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Another thing about the Constitution that trump probably doesn’t know is that Article I grants all legislative power to Congress. That’s right. Before the office of the president is defined, the Founding Fathers enumerated the responsibilities of Congress in 10 sections as compared to only four for the president. Flanking him on the other side is the Supreme Court, described in three sections of Article III. The civics test asks what this arrangement is called. Answer: checks and balances.

Somehow, this prescient design by the Founding Fathers has eluded Republicans in Congress. Indeed, even the definition of who we are as a nation has been lost. We are a representative democracy. We elect officials to represent our best interests and execute our requests. So what happened when 75% of Americans, including 49% of Republicans, demanded that witnesses be called in the impeachment trial? Nothing. People know that a trial, by definition, requires witnesses. They also sense that, by not calling witnesses, the defense is hiding something. Needless to say, the president’s lawyers and Congressional Republicans have underestimated the American people. They may be unable to recite the preamble to the Constitution, but they know “Law & Order.”

They know what trials look and sound like. They know that the Republicans made noise about the House hearings, insisting that the president was not permitted to call witnesses when, in fact, he could but chose not to. They know that witnesses are necessary to set the record straight, yet trump, his team, and his complicit cronies still chose not to call any. And they know that he was acquitted because the Republican-controlled Senate rigged the system, to borrow from the trump world view, not because his behavior did not rise to the level of “high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Americans know more than their representatives give them credit for. They know that trump’s behavior put his needs before “the common defence” and the ensuing impeachment process certainly undermined “domestic Tranquility.” They know that Susan Collins is incredibly naïve when she believes – nay “hopes” – that trump learned an important lesson. They know that his behavior at the National Prayer breakfast, his attack on Mitt Romney, his firing of Ambassador Gordon Sondland, Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his brother, Yevgeny, a member of the National Security Council, and his award of the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh fly in the face of the unwritten section of Article II: that the President of the United States will be a person of integrity and civility. The Founding Fathers probably assumed that the President of the United states would always, naturally, be a decent human being. Wrong. But the Founding Fathers incorporated the remedy into our system of government: elections every two years for representatives, every four years for president, and every six years for senators.

They probably also remembered Plato in their understanding of an informed citizenry. “If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools.”

Orphaned Albino Elephant Recovers from Poacher’s Snare

HOEDSPRUIT, South Africa — Khanysia did not see the trap set by a poacher in South Africa’s Kruger National Park. She dove head first into the sharp wire snare, which cut her mouth, face and underneath her ear and chin.

It was days before the four-month-old albino elephant was found badly dehydrated but alive, and taken to the Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development center, three hours away.

One month later, Khanysia, named after the Tsonga word for light, weighs a healthy 150 kilograms (330 pounds), is adding 500 grams (1 pound) every day and spends her time playing with caretakers.

“She is a little albino elephant, so it is a bit different than your normal elephant just in caring, especially when the sun is kind of severe,” said Adine Roode, founder of the center, in the heart of Kapama game reserve. “Due to the animal human conflict, we are sitting with orphans. Because of the decreasing land and habitat, we will see an increase, in the future, of elephant orphans.”

In this photo taken Tuesday Feb. 11, 2020, Adine Roode, founder of the Hoedspruit Elephant Rehabilitation and Development center (HERD), tries to feed Khanysia, a five-month-old albino elephant in Hoedspruit, South Africa. (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

It is not known how Khanysia was separated from her mother and herd, said Roode.

For the past 22 years, the center has looked after orphaned elephants, and now has 17 pachyderms on site, she said. The young elephants are eventually released to the private game reserve, she said.

Khanysia is separated from the rest of the herd for the time being. At night she stays in a heated room and in the daytime she goes outside to a large enclosure with tall grass and a mud pool. Under 24-hour supervision, the blue-eyed, pink-skinned toddler seems to be in a non-stop play mood, craving attention and only stopping now and then to scratch her itchy scars on the wood pillars surrounding her pen.

After two hours of cavorting with Khanysia, causing the little elephant to trumpet repeatedly, Roode leaves her in the care of Liverson Sande, the center’s senior carer.

Outside, the 17 other elephants line up for a walk. “It’s so easy to get too attached,” says Roode. “It is difficult to let go.”

Turkey Moves to Reopen Varosha Ghost Town on Cyprus

Ignoring demands to stop by the legitimate Cypriot government – a member of the European Union – Turkish and Turkish-Cypriots unlawfully occupying the northern third of the island are speeding ahead with plans to reopen the abandoned ghost town of Varosha.

That would also be in defiance of a United Nations resolution that it can’t be untouched with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emboldened by the EU not moving to stop him from drilling for oil and gas off the island’s coast.

Turkey seized territory in a 1974 invasion and is the only country to recognize a self-declared republic there, leaving Turkish-Cypriots isolated on the word stage and Turkey floundering in a bid to join the EU with accession talks stalled for 16 years.

Turkey said reopening the town where everything has been in place since the invasion, the infrastructure deteriorating, would be an historic  opportunity to bring tourism and economic benefits, said the news agency Reuters in a feature.

Ringed by a fence which extends into the sea, the former holiday resort has been off limits to anyone but the Turkish military since its 39,000 Greek Cypriot residents fled advancing Turkish troops.

Speaking in Varosha after touring the area, Turkish Vice President Fuat Oktay said opening Varosha would have benefits for tourism, the economy and trade.

“Keeping this coast of paradise under the sovereignty of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus idle is not acceptable legally, politically or economically,” Oktay said.

Turkish and northern Cypriot officials were continuing their inventory efforts there, he said. “There is unfortunately an abandoned area here as well as rotting buildings. Our hope is that Varosha is revived in a way that will revitalise the economic, trade and social life here,” Oktay said.

Turkish plans for the abandoned town of Varosha on the northern third it has occupied since an unlawful 1974 invasion are to make it once again a resort mecca and gambling haven, although the UN resolution said only the original inhabitants can return, those alive.

During its peak, Varosha was a resort that attracted celebrities such as Brigitte Bardot, Sophia Loren and Elizabeth Taylor but now is a decrepit ruin, stuck in time in 1974, an area of abandoned hotels, empty apartments and weed-covered streets taken back by nature.

In a feature in October, 2019, the British newspaper The Telegraph said if Turkey can make it happen that a revitalized Varosha could be a playground again, if you don’t mind going to an occupied land for partying and fun.

Varosha “will become Las Vegas again,” Ersin Tatar, the Turkish-Cypriot self-declared prime minister, said during the summer and all the trappings are there to make it happen unless the infrastructure is unsafe and too far gone.

Land claims by thousands of Greek-Cypriots would be taken into account, but Tatar said preference would go to conflicting claims by Islamic religious organizations dating back to British colonial rule of the island, paving the way for Turkey to take it all.

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades said the plan is “completely unacceptable,” and has undermined hopes of restarting reunification talks that fell apart in the last round of talks in July, 2017 at the Swiss resort of Crans-Montana.

Around 45,000 Greek Cypriots had to flee the area during the war between the two sides and they still own land and property in the sprawling ghost town, which is situated in the Turkish Cypriot north on the southern edge of the port city of Famagusta, the paper noted.

Untouched for 45 years and open only to the Turkish military, Varosha has clothing stores with 1970’s fashion and 1974 cars in showrooms. out of bounds to the public, Varosha harbours old clothes shops with mannequins dressed in 1970s fashions and a car dealership full of old Toyotas.