Cyprus Mail

Presidential Palace waiting for CBC governor decision

Central bank chief Chrystalla Georghadji

By Angelos Anastasiou

Despite trying to play down the issue of Central Bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji’s altered contract and conflict of interest arising from her daughter legally representing ex-Laiki boss Andreas Vgenopoulos, the government insisted on Wednesday that it was up to her to take such action that would resolve the matter speedily.

Speaking on state radio, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides repeated that President Nicos Anastasiades’ harsh indictment last Friday of Georghadji’s handling of the matter is clear, but acknowledged that “internal weaknesses” that were also to blame for the shambles were being addressed.

“There is a way, through specific actions by Mrs Georghadji – that she will choose herself – for this matter to be resolved,” he said, without elaborating.

“At the same time the Presidential Palace has identified weaknesses in its internal processes, and the president has issued explicit instructions for a report on what exactly has transpired.”

In the process of preparing the report, the government spokesman added, internal weaknesses will be identified and remedied.

“But in terms of how we got to this point [on the Georghadji issue], the president’s statement from October 31 still stands,” he said.

Anastasiades slammed Georghadji for not informing him of the family affair when signing her contract.

Christodoulides said “corrective action” is expected of Georghadji so that any notion of the rules of good governance being breached is dispelled.

“For this issue to be resolved, important decisions must be made in a short period of time,” he said.

The spokesman added that the president’s statement was still on the table.

“The government will not ask Mrs Georghadji to do anything,” he added.

“She will have to move in a specific direction on her own, to ensure no good-governance issues relate to the execution of her duties.”

Christodoulides said that before the conflict of interest issue was addressed to meet Anastasiades’ standards, the issue of revising Georghadji’s contract – including her salary – will not be discussed.

The only way this can be achieved is if Georghadji’s daughter – a lawyer at Georghadji’s ex husband’s law firm – severs all professional ties to Vgenopoulos, who is being sued by legacy Laiki – effectively the Bank Resolution Authority, headed by Georghadji – over his role in the lender’s failure.

So far she has refrained from commenting on what is being asked of her, but it seems likely that she will have to either do so imminently or face the government’s disapproval.

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