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Akel calls for probe into ‘illegal’ sale of former co-op assets

Main opposition party Akel is calling for an investigation into the apparent selling off of assets of the legacy Cyprus Cooperative Bank to entities in contravention of prior government pronouncements.

On Monday Akel leader Andros Kyprianou addressed letters to both President Nicos Anastasiades and attorney-general Costas Clerides, asking for a probe into the management of the assets of the now-defunct co-op bank.

Kyprianou said his party has received reports that real estate formerly belonging to the co-op was in the process of being sold to third parties.

At least one such property has already been sold.

This was in breach of on-the-record statements made by the president last August, namely that the immovable properties in question would be transferred to municipalities and local communities to be used as cultural centres or for other charitable activities.

If true, Kyprianou added, this information casts a shadow over whether lawful or transparent procedures are in place to manage the assets of the co-op bank, which was state-run and therefore belonging to the taxpayer.

“We urge you to personally intervene in order to put an end to this process, and to implement the commitment which you personally undertook at the time,” he noted in his letter to the president.

Addressing the attorney-general, Kyprianou called on the official to immediately look into the matter to determine whether the law has been broken.

The co-op was wound down in August last year, with its ‘good’ part being sold to Hellenic Bank and the ‘bad’ part transferred to a co-operative asset management company, known as Kedipes.

Kedipes took over €8.3bn worth of assets, including €6.97bn in non-performing loans and around €620m in immovable property previously on the co-op’s books.

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