Cyprus Mail

Communications ministry hits back at former aviation adviser

By George Psyllides

The Communications Ministry on Tuesday denied claims by the former presidential adviser on aviation that someone costly had been appointed to advise on the restructuring of the civil aviation department.

The ministry said that after the completion of a study conducted by Eurocontrol on creating a separate company that will provide aviation services, it had been decided to appoint an experienced project manager.

The decision was taken together with Eurocontrol, the ministry said.

“Therefore, Eurocontrol has been asked to go ahead with selecting a project manager through an open and transparent procedure, in line with the organisation’s rules and European law,” the ministry said.

Any cost linked to the services provided by Eurocontrol is recovered by the state through over-flight charges, the statement said.

Christos Petrou, who resigned on Monday, had claimed that current Communications Minister Marios Demetriades had refused his advice.

When he asked to meet the minister on restructuring and improving Cyprus’ civil aviation “the performance of which was among the worst in Europe”,  all he was granted was five minutes at Starbucks at 7am and told that someone from the private sector “obviously costly” had been appointed  to the task.

The minister responded on Tuesday on his Facebook page.

“Goodmorning. This morning, at 7.15, I have a meeting at Starbucks,” he said on his status, an entry that was apparently removed later.

Petrou responded underneath: “Look at the level of the ministers of our state.”

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