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Cyprus
May 20, 2019
Cyprus Mail
CM Regular Columnist Opinion

Deputies are every bit as guilty as Christofias

By Loucas Charalambous

THE PROVOCATIVE behaviour of our deputies has become intolerable. They have lost all sense of measure. While they have a very big share of the blame for what has happened, they are acting as prosecutors and judges.

They have turned the legislature into a people’s court, undertaking investigations and taking statements from ‘suspects’, as if they were state investigators. Their aim, they say, is to shed light on the crisis, find those responsible and punish them.

This raises another question. Why do we not set up an investigative committee that would look into the responsibilities of the deputies for the catastrophic course we followed all those years before we fell into the abyss?

This legislature has committed the biggest economic crimes against the country. Who will investigate it and judge it?

The responsibility for the doubling of the public debt in the last five years, from €8.3bn to €16bn does not belong exclusively to Demetris Christofias.

Even the last euro spent, from the loans we secured in the previous five years, went through the House of Representatives and was approved by almost all those deputies who are now playing the judges.

Large chunks of the many hundreds of millions distributed as benefits by Christofias, in the hope of buying votes for his re-election, were approved by the deputies of the opposition parties.

In fact the current deputy leader of DISY, Lefteris Christoforou often criticised the government on the grounds that the borrowed millions it was wasting in absurd benefits were inadequate and had to be increased.

At some point, a committee should investigate bank loans given to the political parties and with what collateral they were given. There should also be an investigation into the banks’ write off of political parties’ debts and those of individual politicians and their relatives.

A banker friend recently told me that many politicians would be looking for a place to hide if the write-off of their debts and those of their family members were made public.

This may also shed some light on the reasons for the audacious behaviour of some bankers. Did they feel they could get away with all the scandalous things that are being revealed today because they had political protection?

But even if we only look back to the most recent, critical decisions for the country we would see our deputies in standing in front of us. The consequences of the unforgivable crime of March 19, when they rejected the first Eurogroup deal were devastating.

The ‘proud and heroic’, but also idiotic, ‘no’ they said to the deal brought about the destruction from which the economy and the public will suffer for decades.

On the pretext that they wanted to keep foreign businesses in Cyprus they rejected the first deal with the Eurogroup, under which depositors would lose between 7 or 10 percent of their bank deposits.

And what did they achieve? They paved the way for the second deal which led to the closure of one bank, the loss of half the deposits in the other and the closure of thousands of businesses while the foreign businesses, they wanted to protect, lost almost all their deposits.

If we were living in the Athenian state of classical times, all deputies would have been executed under the law which stipulated the death sentence of public officials that caused harm to the polis.

In a country like Japan, in which political sensitivity and dignity still exist, some deputies would have committed suicide rather than live with the shame of a political crime of such proportions.

In Cyprus, there was no suicide, we did not hear a single apology from our political charlatans who are a public danger, and they even have the nerve to carry out investigations and set up trials, supposedly, to decide others’ guilt.

What is really needed now is for the establishment of a special court to try the members of the legislature, our scoundrel politicians and Christofias who, with their irresponsible actions, have dealt a deathly blow to the country, the effects of which will be felt by the next two generations of Cypriots.

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