Cyprus Mail

Mudslinging escalates in Phedonos-Papadopoulos spat

DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos

Paphos Mayor Phedonas Phedonos is ‘a common sycophant’ and someone not worth bothering with, DIKO leader Nicholas Papadopoulos said on Wednesday.
He was commenting on Phedonos’ earlier comments that Tassos Papadopoulos & Associates, a law firm linked to the eponymous Papadopoulos family, acted as the legal counsel for Nemesis, a contractor embroiled in the Paphos Sewerage Board (SAPA) scandal.
In the ongoing SAPA trial, Nemesis senior officers have admitted to greasing officials in return for securing contracts for public projects.
Tassos Papadopoulos & Associates recently represented Nemesis in an appeal before the Tenders Review Authority (TRA).
Last year the Department of Public Works excluded Nemesis from a tender involving the construction of a road connecting the port of Limassol to the Limassol-Paphos highway.
But Nemesis subsequently challenged the decision with the Tenders Review Authority (TRA), which earlier this month ruled in the company’s favour.
In a 3-2 decision, the TRA acknowledged that Nemesis had been excluded from the tender because it was guilty of serious professional misconduct – bribing officials in the SAPA affair.
Nevertheless the TRA said it lacked jurisdiction to act on this acknowledgment, because existing legislation did not spell out the meaning of professional misconduct.
The TRA therefore concluded it could not bar Nemesis from tendering for the road construction contract.
Alluding to the Nemesis connection, Phedonos suggested that the DIKO party, which Papadopoulos heads, is now reluctant to back a bill blacklisting contractors as it would mean a blow to his family law firm.
The Paphos mayor has been engaged in a tit-for-tat with DIKO since claiming that the late former president Tassos Papadopoulos may have been implicated in a stitch-up that led to the awarding of waste management contracts to Helector, a Greek company.
Hitting back, the DIKO chief said he no longer deigned to answer Phedonos.
“In politics, there is no place for the corrupt, for perjurers and those engaging in bribes. Yet equally there is no place for mudslingers and slanderers,” Papadopoulos said of the Paphos mayor.
“For us, he is no more than a common sycophant, and we shall no longer deal with his mudslinging and lies,” he added.

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