By unanimous vote the House on Thursday approved a €20.9m supplementary budget for the semi-state telecoms company, largely to cover the gap in the organisation’s pension fund.
Of the amount, €3.9m will go toward paying off a fine imposed on CyTA by the Commissioner for the Protection of Competition.
The bulk, €17m, will be paid into the CyTA workers’ pension fund, which the government has guaranteed by law.
According to an actuarial report, the pension fund of CyTA employees has a hole of €161.5m.
This amount will be paid by CyTA to the fund in ten yearly instalments until the deficit is covered.
The same report found that the gap was created by the 40 per cent fall in the value of the fund’s investments in properties, creating €73m deficit. The other factor was a €88m loss due to the haircut of bank deposits.
Speaking in parliament, ruling DISY MP Prodromos Prodromos said mismanagement, abuses and party meddling over the years are all to blame for the massive deficit.
CyTA’s profits, he said, are eaten up by the “black hole” of the pension fund.
Prodromou stressed the need to find a strategic investor for CyTA.
The public-law organisation is set to be privatised next year, per a deal between Cyprus and international lenders.