By Elias Hazou and Stefanos Evripidou
INTERIOR MINISTER Socrates Hasikos is by far the wealthiest minister in the current Cabinet, according to data released by the government yesterday.
According to an official statement, the financial disclosures of the members of the Cabinet are part of the government’s commitment to transparency and good governance. The financial statements of Cabinet members will be released at regular intervals.
Apart from revealing who is, at least on paper, the richest and poorest within cabinet, the disclosure also showed that today’s ministers, not unlike the society they govern, have a penchant for German automobiles.
The data, prepared by the Treasury, shows that Hasikos has a net worth of €3,318,085, of which €809,462 is in immovable property.
However, the Treasury based all its calculations on the original cost of properties, not their current value, ignoring any appreciation or depreciation in value. It also did not include property that was either inherited or gifted.
The interior minister owns stock in a number of companies, including Apoel Football Ltd, and is the proud owner of three cars that together cost €381,349: a Range Rover, a Mercedes and a flashy Jaguar-Daimler.
His liabilities (loans) come to €577,032.
By contrast, education minister Kyriacos Kenevezos has a net worth of minus €404,713. His assets (real estate for the most part) amount to €161,599, his liabilities (loans) to €566,312.
However, land gifted to him worth €680,000 is not calculated. The young minister apparently drives an Audi worth €4,000.
The financial statements are dated March 1, 2013.
Meanwhile finance minister Harris Georgiades, in charge of helping the state put its house in order, seems to be the man for the job. The 41-year-old has no liabilities whatsoever, according to his statement, and his assets are worth €509,552.
Georgiades drives a Mercedes CLK200, bought for €48,733.
And foreign minister Ioannis Kasoulides has apparently shunned the property ladder; his net worth totals €533,499, of which €489,542 is in cash and bank deposits. The loans he has taken out amount to just €4,586. He drives a BMW.
Trade and energy minister George Lakkotrypis has assets of €1,266,483 and liabilities (loans) of €325,887. He owns stock in Bank of Cyprus, (former) Laiki Bank, Nokia Corporation and Microsoft. He too drives a BMW.
Undersecretary to the President Constantinos Petrides has a net worth of €201,806, which includes property in Brussels. The 36-year-old right-hand man of the president appears to be a little short of petty cash however, declaring only €100 cash at hand. One can only assume the coffee at the Presidential Palace comes for free. He drives an Alfa Romeo 156.
Government spokesman Christos Stylianides has a net worth of €251,441, though property he originally bought at €275,102 has since doubled in value, something which is not taken into account when formulating the financial statements.
The former dentist has €161,719 in bank deposits, though it is not specified in which banks and what country, and only €1,600 in cash, barely enough for a pair of tooth implants. He has also made a number of investments, including €186,000 in shares of Blue Chip Portfolios Ltd and perhaps regrettably, €5,836 in Bank of Cyprus bonds and shares. He drives a VW Golf with a 1.6 litre engine.
Health Minister Petros Petrides has a net worth of €337,217, which includes shares of Cosmos Insurance, whose original value comes to €3,417. He drives a Mercedes Saloon E220.
Defence Minister Fotis Fotiou has a net worth of €562,113, though according to his statement, property inherited in Maroni and currently valued at €2,365,000 has not been included in his net wealth calculations. He too drives a Mercedes originally valued at €78,902.
Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou has a net worth of €732,479, though this does not include over €400,000 in immoveable property which was gifted to him. He drives a Mercedes E250.
Communications Minister Tasos Mitsopoulos has a net worth of €335,079, mostly made up of immoveable property and drives a Mercedes. He has also inherited a residence in Larnaca and land in three other areas which have not been valued.
Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis has a net worth of €225,559, acquired 3,000 shares in Cyprus Airways for €270 and drives a Mercedes. He has also inherited land in Pano Deftera worth €225,000 that was not included in the net worth calculations.
And finally, Labour Minister Zeta Emilianidou has assets worth €407,429 and debts of €366,268, taking her net worth to a modest €41,161. Her assets include the golden handshake she will get from the state on retiring from the public service, coming to €267,146.
She owns a number of shares in media group Dias Public Ltd and Sigma Radio TV Public Ltd and drives a BMW and Jaguar.
Speaking to reporters, Hasikos said the financial disclosure of ministers’ assets and liabilities is the fulfilment of President Nicos Anastasiades’ election pledge.
“It is something that should have been done,” he said, adding, “politicians need to be checked on the full range of their activities”.
“The financial disclosure on the part of members of the Cabinet and others appointed by the President enable citizens to check, whenever they want, the status of a public official’s finances,” said the minister.
Asked about his own disclosure, he replied: “I am who I am. I have been working all my life.”
How that is interpreted is up to journalists and members of the public who can examine the financial statements and make known any queries they may have, he added.
Anastasiades was elected to power five months ago. On his election, he announced a 25 per cent pay cut for himself and 20 per cent for his cabinet ministers and other state appointees.
The financial disclosures above do not include the assets or liabilities of the spouses or children of state officials.