Angelidis and Michailidis submitted their positions for the title of Assistant General Manager
"The title does not upgrade people's abilities"
The Assistant Attorney General of the Republic, Savvas Angelidis, and the Auditor General, Odysseas Michailidis, expressed their positions today before the Parliamentary Committee on Finance in relation to the constitutionally correct name of the Assistant Auditor General.
Last week, Mr. Michailidis had raised the issue of reporting the title of the second to the Audit Office as Assistant Auditor General in the supplementary budget, instead of Assistant Auditor General, at the time when the Audit Office had filed an appeal before the Supreme Court.
In his reports before the Commission, Mr. Angelidis described the whole issue as formal, adding that "there is disagreement out of nothing. "We are all forced to spend valuable time presenting an otherwise typical issue," he said.
As he said, if there is no misinformation or deception, there is a basic lack of knowledge of legal procedures.
"In my opinion, there is no background that justifies the connection between the promotion of the specific budget and the appeal to the Supreme Court for the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Finance to issue or not" circulars. He also said that if the Auditor General wanted to challenge the Advocate General's opinion on the matter of March 24, 2022, he could within 30 days challenge the opinion.
He can not state and argue, not to approve the supplementary budget until the Court resolves the dispute, said Mr. Angelidis, estimating that the Supreme Court will not judge the substance of the dispute.
Saying that the opinion "in no case deals with powers and responsibilities", Mr. Angelidis added that "I say it and I feel that it is not the title, which at the end of the day, creates the faces".
"The title does not upgrade people's abilities," he added.
He noted that "the law on the supplementary budget carries the presumption of constitutionality and this is a principle that no one can dispute."
"And not even through the supplementary budget", he added, "an attempt is made to amend fundamental articles of the Constitution, as mentioned in the position of the Auditor General, an interpretation is simply given that falls within the competence of the Attorney General".
According to Mr. Angelidis, in 1990 there was the opinion of the Attorney General Michalis Triantaphyllides who said that the title is Assistant Attorney General, Assistant Auditor General and so on. Until 2015, when there was the different opinion of Costas Clerides. As he said in 2016, there was compliance with the budget stated by the Assistant Auditor General.
He added, however, that there was a newer opinion on March 24, 2022. "Since when do we choose which opinion of the Attorney General can be forwarded and since when do we say that it cannot be forwarded?" He asked.
"If someone does not like it, there were procedures to try to overturn this (opinion), no one has done it," he added.
He also wondered in what capacity the Auditor General sends a letter to the Chairman of the Finance Committee requesting an amendment to the bill.
"If one uses the phrase constitutional deviation, invoked by the Auditor General, it applies to the Auditor General's entire behavior and actions," he said, adding: "Things are not funny, everyone has their responsibility and no "We can, with all due respect to all institutions, intervene in one institution and this is a shocking example," he continued.
Referring to a relevant letter of the Auditor General to the then Attorney General, Costas Clerides, requesting a relevant opinion, Mr. Angelidis said that "basically the Auditor General accepts that the interpretation of the title falls within the powers of the Attorney General as the only Advocate for the executive ".
"At the end of the day, everyone's actions, behaviors and deeds remain. "We can not try to invoke principles whenever we want and as we want them," he said.
In response, the Auditor General reiterated that the circular of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs "conflicts with articles 115 and 117 of the Constitution. The main basis of our request is the fact that the circular is not in accordance with the Constitution ".
He also said that the executive branch, speaking on June 6 before the Supreme Court, asked for the position of the Audit Office to be rejected, but the Court rejected it.
He also claimed that "the first to violate the opinion of the Attorney General is Mr. Savvas Angelidis and the President of the Republic, because in the act of appointing Mr. Angelidis, while there was a valid opinion of the previous opinion that said something else. The Assistant Attorney General corresponded for two years ".
He also reminded that during the discussion of the dismissal of the then Assistant Attorney General Rikos Erotokritos, he himself objected to the use of the title of Assistant Attorney General.
As he said, he is surprised because the Ministry of Finance is trying with the procedure of urgency to resolve an issue that will be examined by the Supreme Court.
Answering questions from MPs why such an issue is raised only in the Audit Office, Mr. Michailidis said that the issue with the title and responsibilities of Assistant Auditor General had arisen during the time of Chrystalla Giorkatzi.
"There was no issue again because there may not have been an Assistant Auditor General who says he is non-existent and does not accept instructions. He did the same to Mrs. Giorkatzi. I have no obsession and I am glad because the issue was raised on Ms. Giorkatzi. Kyriakos Kyriakou sent a letter without giving his title. "The Assistant Auditor General has raised the issue of responsibilities and argued that we should share responsibilities and everyone should do their own thing," he said.
We are not a court
Taking the floor, the President of the Commission, Christiana Erotokritou, said that the Finance Committee is neither a court, nor will it resolve any dispute. "The committee must be consumed and spend time on financial matters. Nevertheless, because there is an issue of diversification of the supplementary budget, it will listen to your positions. It is not a court in which there is a process of deuterology or response, nor will we decide on any dispute. "
The Vice President of DISY, Haris Georgiadis, said that the executive power correctly proposes compliance with the current opinion and that the examination of the issue by the Supreme is irrelevant. "So, I believe, the Parliament cannot wait for a court decision that may or may not come," he added.
On behalf of AKEL, Christos Christofides linked the issue with the bi-communal character of the state and added that the issue is of a political and not a legal nature. "I think the government has been unjustly asked by the finance committee to take a position on such an issue, especially when it is pending before the Supreme Court," he said.
EDEK MP Elias Myrianthous, for his part, said that the whole issue is reminiscent of a bi-zonal and bi-communal federation with the right content.
DIPA MP Alekos Tryfonidis said that the issue will be judged by the Supreme Court, while Stavros Papadouris of Ecologists said that the Parliament should find a way that will not prejudge the whole dispute.