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Cyprus

Audit boss investigating Greens leader over driver allowance

Giorgos Perdikis

The auditor-general said he was investigating Green Party chairman Giorgos Perdikis after it emerged that he may have been taking a monthly state allowance for over a decade for a driver that he didn’t have.

Odysseas Michaelides said he was acting on a letter from ruling Disy about the matter and would publish his findings after Perdikis responds to his questions.

“This procedure is used to ensure there will be corroboration of the events, as they have been recorded,” he said.

Michaelides said he expected Perdikis to respond inside the next three days.

The issue was raised by daily Alithia – owned by Interior Minister Socratis Hasikos – which reported on Tuesday that Perdikis has been receiving a monthly driver allowance since 2005 without actually having one.

This, the daily said, came about “after Perdikis stubbornly refused to accept police protection and in return he had claimed by the then government – and won – this allowance, which in 2005 was CY£1,000 (around €1,700)”.

The amount, the daily said, was reduced to around €1,000 the last few years due to the economic crisis. The sum the Greens received from the state over the years is around €150,000.

On Friday, the party said that not one euro was pocketed by Perdikis.

“Mr. Perdikis refused the guards. The government at the time decided – so as not to create an issue of unequal treatment – to grant the party a driver allowance,” a written statement said.

The decision was renewed every year with the approval of the state budget and it “the state and the taxpayers have saved over one million euros.”

 



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