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Cyprus

Documents linked to Laiki scandal submitted to the House

Two Greek former Pasok deputies, the dominant party in Greek politics from the 1980s until very recently, have furnished House president Demetris Syllouris with new evidence concerning now-defunct Laiki Bank’s Greek operations, it was announced on Wednesday.

During a closed session of the House ethics committee, which has been investigating the reasons for the 2013 economic collapse in Cyprus, Syllouris submitted the documents.

“The House ethics committee members have received documents from the House speaker, relating to financial crime, which will be forwarded to party leaders,” chairman Zacharias Zachariou said, declining to disclose details.

The Greens’ leader Yiorgos Perdikis said the information found in the documents “relate to the Marfin Laiki scandal, particularly in Greece, and the relationship these may have with cases open in Cyprus”.

“Evidently, the investigation of our country’s economic collapse cannot be closed, and we must re-engage with all involved, particularly after what former Central Bank governor Athanasios Orphanides told the committee, in order to complete the puzzle and help police investigators in their work,” Perdikis said.

“At last, the real culprits for the economic scandal and the country’s destruction must pay.”

Asked whether this evidence has been submitted to the attorney-general, Perdikis said those who delivered the information must decide on this.

“Once assessed, perhaps it will be given to the AG,” he added.

However, he noted, this evidence is enough for the committee to reopen the discussion, because, despite the significant work that has been done, investigation into the economic scandal is “far from over”.

Τhe committee decided to investigate the root causes of the economic collapse in 2012, and came up with a final report in May 2014.

In September 2016, former Central Bank of Cyprus (CBC) governor Orphanides, who now lives and works in the United States, was finally able to address the session.

In a two-day session, Orphanides faced a barrage of questions, claiming among other things that the Christofias government had tried to interfere with the independent CBC, both directly and through its appointed board members.

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