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Mayor puts onus on public to speak out against corruption

Phedonas Phedonos

Paphos mayor Phedonas Phedonos urged people on Monday to speak out against corruption, as the rumour mill went in overdrive during the weekend after he claimed that two political leaders were involved in dodgy business.

Speaking on Alpha news, Phedonos said he was not alone in the ‘crusade’ to end corruption and he urged people who know things to report them to police.

“I’m not alone in this,” he said. “There are certain state institutions that are standing tall,” he added, giving the auditor-general and the attorney-general as examples.

“People should speak up. A lot of people know things. It doesn’t matter if they lose a project or a friend,” he said.

His interview followed another one last week when he recited a litany of corruption within state mechanisms and across the political spectrum.

Asked why he was doing this and where his information came from, Phedonos replied that “he would be seriously concerned if the question posed by the society is where I find out these things instead of why they are happening.”

The mayor, whose revelations have led to high-profile arrests in the waste management scandal and probes into other cases, said people who knew things didn’t want to stir up trouble.

As an example, he mentioned several Paphos developers who paid kickbacks to town-planning officials. They were afraid to open their mouth because the ‘system’ would then turn against them and they would not be able to do business.

Last week, Phedonos said two party leaders, one big, one small, were allegedly involved in separate cases of bribery and tax evasion, without however providing names.

The leader of the large party, he said, allegedly helped a businessman to secure a quarry licence – during the previous administration — in exchange for the free renovation of his holiday home in Paphos. The other leader allegedly sold a plot in Ayios Athanasios, Limassol, but asked the buyer to declare a lower price so that he could get the balance in cash.

This sparked a frenzy of rumours on social media over the identity of the politicians but no official confirmation has been provided.

Phedonos said the names will be published before the presidential election so that people would know.

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