Interview of the Week : Anna Theologou – FULFILLING THE “CYPRUS DREAM”

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On Friday I met a very interesting person. Getting ready for a scheduled meeting, a standard working process, I did not even imagine how interesting the conversation would be and how I myself would be involved in the cycle of pre-election events of the Cypriot deputies.

As they say, nothing boded … met with colleagues on the Boulevard of Limassol, not far from the entrance to the capital, approached an ordinary, unremarkable building, without flashy signs and inscriptions, luxury signs and inviting advertisements. On the third floor, there was a knock on an ordinary door, behind which was a modest but cozy and tastefully furnished office. The secretary smilingly offered to sit on the couch and apologetically asked to wait. The owner of the office, economic consultant Anna Theologu was talking on the phone, and it was clear from the anxious look of the secretary that the question was serious and the telephone conversation would drag on for a long time. The secretary, referring to the lunch break and saying goodbye to us, disappeared behind the door.  

We managed to make out all the furniture, the interior and study the layout of the premises, were going to evaluate the sanitary standards in the toilet, but … with a radiant smile, a young girl came out to meet us, embarrassedly asked for forgiveness for the delay. She was charming and we immediately felt warmth. Anna explained that it was today that her application for participation in the elections was confirmed and many congratulated her. With tears in her eyes, she tried to hide how moved she was. We, having entered the situation, pretended not to notice her excitement and I began a conversation from afar …

So Anna, although she looked no more than 28, turned out to be 35 years old, ten of which she studied and defended her doctoral dissertation in economics. She is still a student, now studying both international law and legislation at the “Univercity of London”. Anna also has a daughter who is 10 years old. In general, a happy Cypriot woman with everything “covered in chocolate”. It would be biased to think that she did not have enough power, well, or to show off in front of the public, hunting in front of the cameras, so to speak … 

The depth of her level and the degree of responsibility struck from the first minutes of the conversation.

– Anna, how about women in politics in Cyprus? Easily?

– Don’t tell me, I’ve already been a deputy since 2016. How easy it is to talk – so everyone listens, nods, even pretends to listen carefully. And if we are talking about serious matters, they try to humiliate and show their place. All the time they call me “Anulla”, like a little girl, whose word has no weight, whose opinion you can not listen to. Downplay my importance.

– I think this is a common form of address, because I am also Anna, and often they call me that. Maybe people put it in a different sense?

– I can sense their goals! They do it on purpose, in front of everyone, especially if they are my opponents in an argument. “I don’t want women politicians to be upset or cry.” We have to suppress our natural femininity, emotionality and our nature in order to survive in this area, controlled by men. 

– Are you a deputy from which party? Whom do you represent?

– From any, you know, we are not a party union, but members of an “independent” political movement. Just people who want to repay their debt to their country, parents and give a bright future to our children. 

– The reasons are commendable, but I am ashamed to ask, who finances you? What pocket is the pre-election campaign paid for? If I’m not mistaken, you have about fifty candidates!

– To be precise, there are 56 people. I’m the only current deputy. Everyone pays for himself, for example, my last election campaign cost me 3000 euros. You see, if a person is trying to create a new image for himself, an image of who he really is not – money is needed here. And I am the real one, the way everyone sees and knows me. Transformation is of no use to me. So we get by with little. Everything that voters see – on the Internet or in print – was done by our enthusiasts, absolutely free of charge, for an idea. They all want new people in power!

– Anna, did I understand correctly that you want to change the age qualification among the deputies in the hope of changing the course of events? Should the Golden Youth of Cyprus take the helm? There is, frankly, not a flattering opinion about this generation. Justify your point of view, please!

– Our generation, from 32 to 45 – the most educated people in the country – 90% with higher education. Everyone invested in us, both the state and parents. We feel indebted to the country. We understand that we live in a small, narrow society, where stereotypes have formed for centuries. It’s time to lolm them. You cannot live in a society where the law is violated for the sake of friends or relatives! Corruption is everywhere, in all forms and manifestations. We want to be useful to the country and we will change Cyprus for the better. If we stay where we are, then in 20 years the state will completely collapse. What is the future of our children?

– Anna, society in Cyprus is such that the opinion of a neighbor or relative is more weighty than an expert or specialist. The phrase “what will people say” is much more terrible than a court verdict. It will be difficult for you to fight it. What are the plans? Specifically, what will you do?

– We want to behave differently! We do not need anything for ourselves and for our personal benefit, we want to transform our beloved island! Of course, the easiest way is if the EU puts foreigners in all significant positions, who don’t care about our kumbaros, grandmothers and aunts! But we will strive for this without outside help, on our own. Let’s try to form a coalition in Parliament.

– How many people out of these 56 does your movement want to see in the ranks of the deputies? And if you do get what you want, which ministry or ministries will you take “under your wing”?

– Now only I am an acting deputy, and at least 5 people listen to it! Then we can already influence decisions and constructively regulate the current situation. In my opinion, all ministries are important, but our life base is laid in childhood, school is the foundation of the foundations. Ministry of Education and Ministry of Labor. We’ll be helpful here!

Returning to school, we remembered how class and school presidential elections are held. Teachers do not explain to the children of primary grades what to choose based on the student’s plans, on his suggestions and the reality of the implementation of ideas for the whole class, and not on who is friends with whom or who promised whom sweets or other mutually beneficial exchange. Starting at school, children vote for friends, not leaders, based on their strategic plans. This is what Anna and her team will try to change. Explain that it is not a shame to bring the guilty person to justice, but it is a shame to turn a blind eye to this, even if the perpetrator is a well-known person. The law is the same for all. According to Anna, middle-aged people should be in power who have the strength and desire to create a “Cyprus dream”, to go to the light. If nothing is changed, then, as it seems to Anna, the birth rate will decrease, over the past 10 years, the number of babies has decreased by 1000 (10%). All this will lead to the fact that there will be no one to guarantee pensions. If earlier one worker provided a pension to one elderly Cypriot from salary deductions and taxes, now two citizens are working to pay one pension. And keeping children is even more difficult. There are no statistics on the island of how much one child costs the state: a nursery, a kindergarten, a school, textbooks, and vaccinations. But they calculated how much it costs for parents to raise a child up to 18 years old. It turns out that putting on shoes and feeding, plus mugs and entertainment – 100,000 euros! One hundred thousand euros per child! It turns out that 460 euros per month comes out. It’s good that these statistics are not published, otherwise the Cypriots would have thought hard – to give birth or not give birth at all! that there will be no one to guarantee pensions. If earlier one worker provided a pension to one elderly Cypriot from salary deductions and taxes, now two citizens are working to pay one pension. And keeping children is even more difficult. There are no statistics on the island of how much one child costs the state: a nursery, a kindergarten, a school, textbooks, and vaccinations. But they calculated how much it costs for parents to raise a child up to 18 years old. It turns out that putting on shoes and feeding, plus mugs and entertainment – 100,000 euros! One hundred thousand euros per child! It turns out that 460 euros per month comes out. It’s good that these statistics are not published, otherwise the Cypriots would have thought hard – to give birth or not give birth at all! that there will be no one to guarantee pensions. If earlier one worker provided a pension to one elderly Cypriot from salary deductions and taxes, now two citizens are working to pay one pension. And keeping children is even more difficult. There are no statistics on the island of how much one child costs the state: a nursery, a kindergarten, a school, textbooks, and vaccinations. But they calculated how much it costs for parents to raise a child up to 18 years old. It turns out that putting on shoes and feeding, plus mugs and entertainment – 100,000 euros! One hundred thousand euros per child! It turns out that 460 euros per month comes out. It’s good that these statistics are not published, otherwise the Cypriots would have thought hard – to give birth or not give birth at all! And keeping children is even more difficult. There are no statistics on the island of how much one child costs the state: a nursery, a kindergarten, a school, textbooks, and vaccinations. But they calculated how much it costs for parents to raise a child up to 18 years old. It turns out that putting on shoes and feeding, plus mugs and entertainment – 100,000 euros! One hundred thousand euros per child! It turns out that 460 euros per month comes out. It’s good that these statistics are not published, otherwise the Cypriots would have thought hard – to give birth or not give birth at all! And keeping children is even more difficult. There are no statistics on the island of how much one child costs the state: a nursery, a kindergarten, a school, textbooks, and vaccinations. But they calculated how much it costs for parents to raise a child up to 18 years old. It turns out that putting on shoes and feeding, plus mugs and entertainment – 100,000 euros! One hundred thousand euros per child! It turns out that 460 euros per month comes out. It’s good that these statistics are not published, otherwise the Cypriots would have thought hard – to give birth or not give birth at all!

We ended the conversation in a positive way, imbued with the plans of an independent political movement, the founder of which is Anna Theologou. We even got excited about the idea of ​​translating her election campaign into Russian, so that those who wish to vote could study everything in detail and in detail! I think this is not our last meeting, so if you have any questions, we will be happy to ask Anya personally!

Anna Ioannou