By George Psyllides
DISY chief Averof Neophytou is worth over €2 million it emerged on Monday after he made his assets public for the sake of transparency, but also in an apparent bid to disperse rumours about his financial and business dealings.
In a written statement accompanying the list of mostly immovable properties, Neophytou said he believed that in the present climate of doubt prevailing in the country, people had the right to know beforehand whether their leaders possibly served any personal interests when deciding on public issues.
“Absolute truth and transparency frees the politician himself, who can do their job undistracted by the orgy of rumours and mud,” Neophytou said.
Neophytou was apparently referring to his relationship with Giorgos Koumas, the deputy chairman of the Cyprus Football Association (CFA) accused of being implicated in match fixing.
In the list of assets, Neophytou said he has an interest in a piece of land – bought in 2004 – in Lysos worth €300,000, which is owned by NEOKOUM Ltd – in which Neophytou and Koumas have 50 per cent of the shares each.
There is also a second piece of land – bought in 2003 – worth €200,000, in the same area, owned by G. Koumas Investments Ltd. Neophytou said he holds 50 per cent of the shares in this company also.
Koumas has a television production company that covers football games. It also does business with the television arm of state telecoms company CyTA.
It had been alleged that Neophytou was in business with Koumas in this field and that the two had companies registered abroad.
The DISY leader said politicians and the public must establish a transparent and honest relationship between them if they really want to help society prosper.
“The shameful phenomena of corruption that appeared in our country have dealt a heavy blow to democracy,” Neophytou said, welcoming the fact that several cases were on their way to justice.
However, shadows, witch hunts and mudslinging, also hurt democracy, he added, suggesting that certain people wanted to undermine the path to change and the reforms the country needed.
Neophytou’s list of assets included, among others, land in Polis worth €850,000, a home in the same area worth €750,000, and land in Lysos worth €200,000 that was a gift from his father.
Neophytou said he did not have any cash in the bank, in Cyprus or abroad, nor shares in any overseas companies. The only cash in the bank, around €20,000, was in the name of his son, Pericles.
He said he owed €1.7 million to seven banks and other creditors and has not exercised any profession since 1999.
Neophytou said he gets paid as DISY chairman and MP.