By Peter Stevenson
MEMBERS of parliament have taken the unusual step of rejecting CyTA’s request for a pre-budget approval of funds to pay for a new car for the state telecom provider’s chief executive that has already been bought and delivered.
Deputies at the House Finance Committee unanimously voted against freeing up the €58,000 to cover the cost of CEO Aristos Riris’ Audi Q5 service car which was ordered in January and has already been delivered. They said Riris could get by with another car from the organisation’s vast fleet.
CyTA was making use of standard practice of state-funded bodies spending money prior to their budgets being approved to cover administrative expenses.
The committee decided that Riris should not have spent money before the budget had been approved. His contract stipulates that CyTA should provide an executive car, costing up to €77,000, although the telecoms company could give him a car from their own fleet.
The law allows parliament to authorise bodies to spend part of their budget – up to a maximum of two months’ spending of the previous year’s budget – if it is considered necessary for the provision of public services.
Riris’ Audi Q5 is worth €58,000 and was delivered in May. He told the committee his contract allowed him to spend up to €77,000, but he opted for a car 25 per cent cheaper, instead.
The committee said it would not be blackmailed into paying for the car which had already been purchased and that paying for the vehicle was now the CEO’s responsibility.
Following revelations last month that Riris had ordered the car, Greens deputy Giorgos Perdikis said parliament was being faced with a scandalous and provocative spending spree. Committee chairman Nicolas Papadopoulos called for the re-examination of such wasteful practices at a time when the country’s economy is in crisis.