Nikolas Papadopoulos: "Sad" image of Cyprus in relation to corruption

"Cyprus is a center of money laundering and a center of corruption"

45A32735 375C 4F5C B240 70521D54F4CC corruption, Nikolas Papadopoulos

The President of DIKO, Nikolas Papadopoulos, referred to a "sad picture" presented by Cyprus in terms of corruption, at a conference on "Corruption - Zero Hour" organized by the party.

After analyzing the proposals of the Democratic Party for dealing with it, he pointed out the strong political will of DIKO in order to preserve the taxpayer's right to transparency and to reconstruct the image, which has passed to the international community, that Cyprus is a center of money laundering and a center corruption.

Mr. Papadopoulos said that all international indicators show that Cyprus has fallen in terms of fighting corruption.

Public opinion, he added, has been rocked by scandalous scandals such as gold passports, the collapse of the Co-operation, the scandalous Altamira deal, the illegal appointment of relatives to the presidency and trips to the Seychelles by private jets and illegal naturalizations. As he said, "Cyprus is immersed in the mire of entanglement and corruption."

"The institutions have been completely eroded and instead of working for the public interest, they work for the party interest and the interest of a close circle that surrounds the President of the Republic," he said.

He added that those few institutions that insist on exercising control, such as the Auditor General, are accepting the Government's relentless war in an effort of unprecedented silence.

It is an indisputable fact, he said, that the maintenance of corruption continues to affect the image of Cyprus and the quality of democracy, with chained consequences for both the economy and society.

"We must all finally realize that if we do not collectively improve key areas of our country's political and economic life, promoting transparency and collectively fighting corruption, it is not only Cyprus's reputation that we will erode, but we will lose the personal - but "Temporary - benefits that may result from acts of corruption," he said.

He also referred to the proposals presented by DIKO for the fight against corruption.

Specifically, it is proposed to provide unrestricted access of the Audit Office to documents and data of any case it wishes to investigate.

Also, the establishment of an irreconcilable appointment of former ministers, deputies or mayors in the positions of Attorney General and Assistant Attorney General.

In addition, the creation of a truly Independent Anti-Corruption Authority, which will not be appointed by the Government but will be approved by the Parliament and will have prosecution powers.

Also, creation of a special Advisory Body for the Fight against Corruption that will be composed of experts and which will draft a Code of Ethics for government officials and MPs.

It also recommends an annual audit of the assets of executive politicians, senior government officials, independent officials, senior government officials and mayors, by an independent audit firm to determine if their assets are justified by their income.

Also, upgrade and modernize the control of Pothen Esches to make real control and immediate promotion of whistleblowers legislation.

Also appointing non-executive directors to the boards of semi-governmental organizations that will have the task of overseeing the rest of the Board of Directors. Their appointment will be made from a list that will not be compiled by the Government but by professional groups.

Also, immediate and real-time publication of all decisions of the Council of Ministers that concern and / or relate and / or benefit, directly or indirectly, the President of the Republic, the Ministers and members of their families.

In addition, immediate and retrospective publication of all decisions of the Council of Ministers of the last 7 years that concerned and / or were related and / or have benefited, directly or indirectly, the President of the Republic, the Ministers and their family members.

Finally, the creation of a List of Interchange Departments in the public service, which will include departments and services of the state in which the continuous service of senior officials will not be allowed for more than 3 years.

The President of the Pancyprian Bar Association, Christos Clerides, said that the main problem in tackling corruption is the non-cooperation of other supervisory authorities. Specifically for the Pandora Papers, he stated that in the Parliamentary Institutions Committee "one threw the ball to the other".

As he said, the Central Bank appeared and said that "we have nothing to do with the issue", the Ministry of Finance appeared and said "it does not concern us", the income tax appeared and said "it does not concern us either", the SELK He said that "it did not concern him at the moment" although he was conducting an investigation, the police said that "we have information about some information from a foreign state but nothing specific" and left the Pancyprian Bar Association to investigate the matter. He added that he had sent letters to all those involved and had not received satisfactory answers. He spoke of the lack of coordination and co-operation between the supervisory authorities and said that a co-ordinating body would have to be found in order for research on these issues to be effective.

Regarding the Independent Authority against Corruption, he said that the Pancyprian Bar Association has strongly disagreed with the bill, since, as he said, it is essentially an authority without substantial powers, and without investigative powers. He noted that a compromise solution was needed to find a solution.

MEP Costas Mavridis referred, among other things, to the recent resolution adopted by the European Parliament, calling for an in-depth investigation by the member states on the politicians involved in the "Pandora Papers" and the consideration of the possibility of taking legal measures against Cyprus. Mr. Mavridis also said that in democracy, the hope is the citizens, while he mentioned that DIKO has a decisive role to play in the formation of the Cypriot society.

The former Director of Technical Audit in the Audit Service, Andreas Hasapopoulos, after analyzing the concept of corruption as an abuse of public power for his own benefit, referred to the findings of international organizations and its causes. Mr. Hasapopoulos brought concrete examples of corruption from the Cypriot reality and presented the important measures which, if implemented then and only, Cyprus will be able to move forward with transparency and meritocracy.