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Cyprus

‘Nothing dodgy’ in severance deal with outgoing CBC boss

By George Psyllides

Outgoing Central Bank (CBC) Governor Panicos Demetriades offered to resign provided he was paid €265,000, Finance Minister Harris Georgiades told MPs on Tuesday, as he made it clear there was nothing dodgy about the deal.

Georgiades said Demetriades had contacted the government early in March, expressing his intention to resign provided he was paid €265,000.

“The condition for his resignation was the payment of €265,000, tax free, wired to a London (UK) bank,” the minister told members of the House Watchdog Committee.

Demetriades resigned on March 10 and is due to leave office on Friday. He will be replaced by Chrystalla Georghadji, former auditor-general.

An appointee of the previous government Demetriades stepped down almost two years into a five-year term, citing “mainly … personal and family reasons”.

The banker had also cited difficulty in working with the board of directors – most of whom were appointed by the present government.

His poor relationship with the administration, which assumed power a year ago dogged his term, particularly amid the tumult of a chaotic bailout which saw a bank close and bank deposits raided last year.

Demetriades did not attend the committee meeting saying he was busy with the handover.

The minister said there was no signed deal with Demetriades that he could submit, but he gave MPs a statement signed by the outgoing governor that his financial demands were fully satisfied and he had no other claim.

The cash was paid through a fund used by the state legal service to pay damages, court expenses, and settle lawsuits and did not need parliamentary approval.

Demetriades said he wanted the money wired to a London bank because “that’s where I’m going to live with my family,” Georgiades quoted him as saying.

Upon retirement he will also receive a lump sum and pension according to the months he served.

Full retirement benefits are paid upon completion of 30 months in office.

Public officials who complete 18 months are afforded partial pension benefits, which increase according to the duration of their service.

Demetriades’ term lasted 23 months

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