Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

DIKO deputy on collision course with party leader

By George Psyllides

DIKO MP Athina Kyriakidou is on a collision course with the party’s leadership over its policies, which she suggested where not always in the best interest of the country.

Reports said the party was planning to discipline Kyriakidou after she broke ranks and joined ruling DISY’s 20 lawmakers who sided with President Nicos Anastasiades in a foreclosures-related vote earlier this month.

Kyriakidou rejected the criticism, saying she would not accept lessons in discipline from people who had been persistently insubordinate.
“I am accountable to the people who voted for me. I cannot censor myself. I am obliged to speak, think, and vote freely,” Kyriakidou told state broadcaster CyBC.

The Limassol MP said she has been in the party for 35 years, when many of the people seeking to punish her were not even born.
Kyriakidou broke ranks with her party on January 15, when parliament was called to vote on a bill suspending the foreclosures law that Anastasiades had refused to sign and had it returned to the legislature.

The parties’ choice was to either accept the president’s referral or uphold their initial vote, which they eventually did. But Kyriakidou sided with ruling DISY, signalling her disagreement with the party’s leadership.

Suspension of the foreclosures bill by opposition parties has thrown the island’s bailout adjustment programme off track. An €86 million tranche has been withheld until Cyprus complies.

Opposition parties insist they did it to protect vulnerable groups until the so-called insolvency framework was enacted.
The government said it was an unnecessary move that only served to hurt the island’s credibility. The administration said no repossessions could go ahead anyway, in the absence of regulations.

Once a coalition partner, DIKO abandoned the government after the election of Nicolas Papadopoulos to its leadership late in 2013, ostensibly because of disagreements on the Cyprus problem.

Since then, Papadopoulos has opposed everything the government tries to pass through as part of the adjustment programme.
His language a far cry from the days he was saying that the fastest way out of the programme was its implementation.
Observers attribute this change in attitude to his presidential aspirations.

Kyriakidou remains defiant.
“I have my country above everything else and I have learned to think and speak freely,” she said.
And she didn’t pull any punches when she spoke of the party leader.

Kyriakidou said she regretted voting in favour of a €1.8 billion bailout for Laiki Bank in 2012 at the behest of Papadopoulos — who was not leader at the time but was, and still is, the chairman of the House Finance Committee – “although he was also Laiki’s lawyer and one could have thought something else.”
Laiki was shut down around a year earlier with deposits over €100,000 essentially gone.

Kyriakidou also expressed regret for voting against the first deposit haircut in March 2013, again following Papadopoulos’ suggestion.
That proposal called for taxing all bank deposits – 6.75 per cent on cash under €100,000 and 9.9 per cent over that amount.
Opposition parties rejected that proposal – ruling DISY abstained – without a plan B.

AKEL MPs celebrated standing up to the EU with their supporters outside parliament. But 10 days later Cyprus was forced to shut Laiki down and seize almost 50 per cent of deposits to recapitalise Bank of Cyprus.

Related Posts

EU approves €657m for EuroAsia Interconnector

Staff Reporter

Coronavirus: Eights deaths, 2449 new cases (updated)

Staff Reporter

Second Cyprus Choreography Showcase coming soon

Eleni Philippou

Forged euro notes arrest

Staff Reporter

Israel donates medical equipment

Staff Reporter

Feb 3 vote looking likely for anti-corruption watchdog bill  

Jean Christou

28 comments

Comments are closed.