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Cyprus

CyTA ’squandered millions’ in bogus projects

By Andria Kades

The Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (CyTA) paid millions for projects that haven’t even started through their staff pension fund, the House finance committee heard on Monday.

Presented with CyTA’s supplementary budget, deputies said CyTA would pay out tens of millions to various companies for several projects which never materialised or even began.

“For the majority of these investments they have already given the money and several of them are still fields,” said deputy chairman of the committee, Angelos Votsis.

“This raises concerns as to how the decisions were taken and to what extent there will be repercussions – disciplinary or criminal that will need to be determined and so everyone gets what they deserve.”

CyTA’s supplementary budget is €20.9 million, Votsis said. Of this €3.9m is for fines from the Commission for the Protection of Competition (EPA) and €17m is part of a €164m deficit from the staff pension fund CyTA has agreed to repay over a 10 year period.

The €164m pension fund deficit is split into €76m that covers the disputed issue – payments made as investments – and €88m that were haircut deposits.

Aside from the Dromolaxia scandal that CyTA is embroiled in, another 11 cases were sent before the attorney-general who has passed on the case to police for investigations.

According to EDEK MP NicosNicolaides, the €76m was at December 2014 prices.

Calling it a huge scandal he said “this is a case of squandering several millions of euros, enormous squandering and a blatant mismanagement of the fund.”

Giorgos Perdikis, Greens MP said CyTA’s crimes of the past were now recorded in numbers – a total of €76m “that CyTA will be called on to pay from their profits as it is a semi governmental organisation or if it is privatised, from public funds, essentially the tax payer.”

He stressed those that took the ‘criminal decisions’ should pay the cost financially and should be held accountable.



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