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Government accused of hypocrisy over huge CBC salaries

AKEL spokesman Giorgos Loukaides

MAIN opposition AKEL accused the government of hypocrisy yesterday, over the hefty rise in the salaries of Central Bank (CBC) board members at a time when it was imposing painful austerity measures on the people.

Party spokesman Giorgos Loukaides said it was an extreme contradiction and a brutal provocation for the five non-executive members of the board to reportedly collect €30,000 a year while executive members were paid €105,000.

CBC board members used to be paid €1,700 per year.

Loukaides challenged the government to confirm or deny the reports and explain itself to the people if they were true.
“At a time when the administration is imposing a policy of bloody austerity on the people… they have absolutely no hesitation to sort out their own with fat salaries,” Loukaides said.

Loukaides, whose party most people blame for the collapse of the economy, questioned whether the duties the non-executive members would be performing justified a 1,800 per cent increase in their income.

In what has become a daily occurrence, the government responded to the accusations immediately, saying the board, through its new, upgraded role, would succeed in making savings that will cover its payroll.

Deputy government spokesman Victoras Papadopoulos said the government appointed two executive members on the board in line with new legislation and recommendations of the International Monetary Fund regarding the gaps in the governance of the CBC.

One of the executives, George Syrihas, was already a senior director.

“Also, the change in the board’s operation and its new upgraded role demands continuous meetings and participation in corporate governance, in contrast with the two to three times a year of the past,” Papadopoulos said.

The spokesman added that board member incomes had remained low since 1960 compared with the governor’s revenues, which rose continuously.

It was judged necessary to upgrade the pay so that capable professionals would be interested in participating, Papadopoulos said.

“The government is convinced that the new CBC board, which shows for the first time in history that it is acting properly, will make the necessary savings while examining the budget to cover the payroll cost,” Papadopoulos said.

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