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Cyprus

President to try and close Georghadji affair with new contract

The President will meet with CBC governor Chrystalla Georghadji before he departs for New York on Saturday

By Angelos Anastasiou

THE government has decided to stop flagellating itself over the affair of Central Bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji’s altered contract, with President Nicos Anastasiades meeting with her before departing for New York for heart surgery on Saturday, daily Politis reported yesterday.

Last week, government spokesman Nicos Christodoulides had admitted to shortcomings in the inner workings of the Presidential Palace, which allowed Georghadji’s contract to make it to Anastasiades’ desk for his signature with two clauses amended.

Georghadji acknowledged having made the changes – removing a clause forbidding her immediate family from holding jobs that clash with her duties and inserting another that raises her remuneration – but claimed she had attached a memo to the contract for Anastasiades’ information, which has since mysteriously vanished.

Anastasiades, the paper reported, will see Georghadji some time before he leaves for New York, in order to arrange for a new contract to be signed, including the original provisions.

Speaking on state television yesterday morning, DISY leader Averof Neophytou confirmed the strategy.

“Too much has been said – this issue must be closed,” he said.

“I think the President’s intention to invite the governor for some changes to the contract is the right one.”

Still, Neophytou couldn’t resist firing barbs at the presidential aides responsible for the oversight.

“Let us not mince words: Chrystalla Georghadji should not have amended the terms of her contract,” he said.

“That said, the President has been let down by his people’s incompetence.”

Although Neophytou’s assertion seemed to contain a hint of suggesting the dismissal of the presidential aides responsible, his denial was promptly forthcoming.

“The President has announced a probe,” he said. “When it is concluded he will proceed to much-needed corrections in the structure and operation of the Presidency.”

But opposition AKEL announced later yesterday that it has no intention of letting the issue subside.

In a statement, AKEL deputy Aristos Damianou pointed out that Georghadji was appointed by Anastasiades and DISY, who are paradoxically now attacking her.

“Because Mrs Georghadji refuses to furnish evidence on her own claims of attempts of bribery and extortion, and because an attempt to bury this scandal is already underway, parliamentary control will continue, with a view to unearthing the truth,” he said.

He was referring to a probe into the matter of Georghadji’s contract by the House Ethics committee. The committee’s inaugural session on the issue ended abruptly when Georghadji stormed out of the room after asserting she could not be bought and that blackmail would not work on her, never elaborating on her claims.

“However, it is clear that in the background of this conflict lie huge Cypriot and foreign financial interests,” Damianou added.

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