Akel MP Irini Charalambidou asked Defence Minister Savvas Angelides in a letter on Monday if the public interest is being served by Attorney-General Costas Clerides after the council of ministers’ decided to exempt shipowners and their children from military service if they bring their operations to Cyprus.
The decision to grant exemptions to Cypriot shipowners and their children living abroad from the obligation to fulfil their military service was taken in 2015, and recently reconfirmed by the council of ministers.
The exemption requires that the shipowners transfer their headquarters and economic activities to Cyprus.
The decision claims to serve the public interest since it will attract foreign investment. Charalambidou has requested that the House is informed whether this reasoning has been accepted by the advocate-general.
Akel and the Citizens Alliance described the decision as ‘provocative and unacceptable’.
The Ministry of Defence has yet to release the official number of exemptions granted so far for shipowners and their children, but unofficial reports suggest that there have been very few.