Cyprus Mail

Party leaders pile pressure on Central Bank governor

Embattled Central Bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji

By Andria Kades

POLITICAL leaders have called for Central Bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji to quit, after accusations of conflict of interest over her estranged husband who, until Monday, was the lawyer for former Laiki Bank strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos.

“Under the current situation, it seems inevitable that not only should the governor quit but the Central Bank board of directors should too,” ruling DISY said in a statement.

They highlighted that to reach a suitable solution discussions must be held with the European Central Bank (ECB) of which Georghadji is a member of the governing council. According to CyBC state radio, ECB president Mario Draghi has been informed. He stressed that he could not intervene as long as procedures complied with those of the EU and were being followed.

The calls for Georghadji’s resignation have echoed across the political spectrum, but opposition parties have also called President Nicos Anastasiades to task for his handling of the affair.

The government has insisted it was not aware when Georghadji was appointed in April 2014 that her estranged husband was the lawyer for Vgenopoulos, the Greek businessman at the centre of investigations over the collapse of Laiki Bank in March 2013.

AKEL has cast doubt on whether the president, who said he had not known of the conflict of interest when he appointed Georghadji, was really unaware. Even if he had not known then, “the matter was publicised in November when parliament, political parties, media and society as a whole realised there was a conflict of interest. The president, instead of acting accordingly, simply changed her contract,” the party said in a statement.

Nicolas Papadopoulos, DIKO chief also called for the Central Bank governor and board of directors to step down and said Anastasiades should publically apologise to the people for the low level all institutions have fallen to.

According to a statement, Papadopoulos questioned why a criminal case against Vgenopoulos had not begun and why two years after the haircut, not one legal representative had gone to Greece for at least a statement. He added that he had asked the president why he offered reassurance that all problems had been solved but a few months down the line, there were still discussions over conflict of interest.

EDEK leader Marinos Sizopoulos demanded that whoever fell short of their job title should quit. According to a statement, he said it could fall on to the people to take action if the institutions failed.

He reiterated that anyone involved in scandals or serving interests that had negative repercussions for the public should be brought to justice.

DISY parliamentary representative, Nikos Tornaritis, went even further when he called for all parliament to quit and have early elections. His party were quick to distance themselves from his statements saying they were his own views and had not been discussed.

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