THE Shacolas Group said yesterday that contributing money to Cyprus’ presidents to be used to help the needy, was normal practice for the company and others who can afford it.
The company issued an announcement in a bid to set the record straight after media reports that it had contributed €330,000 to a special solidarity fund set up by former president Demetris Christofias.
“This is a normal and nationally imperative practice, both for our Group and all big companies and financial groups in Cyprus, and individuals who can afford it,” the Shacolas Group said.
Financial contributions for national, charity, cultural and other causes were also given to all presidents of the Republic without exception, the group said.
Through the fund, the former president handed out around €522,000 – mostly in cheques worth €1,000 each – “to poor fellow humans” just before the last presidential elections, daily Politis said.
According to Politis, two cheques worth €17,300 were paid on December 18, and 262 cheques worth €263,000 were handed out on December 31.
Towards the end of January, the fund issued 152 cheques of €1,000 each and nine days before the February 17 elections it paid €89,886 in 124 cheques.
The cabinet had set up the fund on April 23, 2008, also chipping in the first €10,000.
Shacolas contributed €330,000, the Russian Commercial Bank gave €100,000, Nicolas Treppidis an additional €100,000, Politis said.
An anonymous individual paid €2,000 into the fund, Kimonas Developments Ltd, also gave €2,000 and Hariton Stamatiou, €7,985.
Shacolas said it had also contributed in other instances, including paying for the production of informative material regarding the Cyprus problem, sponsoring cultural events and assistance to people with health problems.
The group also handed over a large amount to late former president Tassos Papadopoulos as assistance for those affected by the fires in Greece in 2007.