Cyprus Mail

Archbishop wades into privatisation fray

SEMI-GOVERNMENTAL organisations (SGO) should be privatised rather than continuing to be the play-things of various political parties, Archbishop Chrysostomos II said on Sunday.

In his comments the Archbishop appeared to be siding with the public and not with the parties saying that the government cannot turn back from privatising SGOs.

“Rather than be the play-things of various parties who put their cronies in charge, I would prefer they reach the private sector’s hands as they won’t put their cronies in charge but those who are the best at their job,” he said.

In response, AKEL general-secretary Andros Kyprianou said that these issues did not fall under the Archbishop’s jurisdiction.

“I honestly wonder why his Holiness must give his opinion on such matter. It does not fall under his jurisdiction and it is not a matter that I believe the church should be involved in,” he said.

Kyprianou said that his party has its own views on the matter and insisted that the privatisation of SGOs would cause the permanent destruction of the economy.

“They need to be restructured to give them more flexibility in terms of decision making and we need to ensure the system remains in place so they can continue to offer the same services they have offered the public over the years,” he said.

Finance Minister Harris Georgiades said last week that the only event that could prevent privatisations from going ahead would be Cyprus wining €1.4bn in the lottery.

The minister is currently engaged in a dialogue with trade unions and political parties regarding the privatisations which are part of the terms of the bailout programme by the troika of international lenders.

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