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Outgoing CBC chief says she was bullied and deeply hurt by media coverage

Central bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji


Outgoing central bank (CBC) Governor Chrystalla Georghadji said she had been bullied and deeply hurt by certain stories during her five-year term in office, which ends in five days.

Speaking to CBC staff on Friday, Georghadji, who will be replaced by Constantinos Herodotou, did not rule out suing those who accused her of falsifying her contract early in on in her tenure.

“This will be resolved in court now that I won’t be governor,” she said.

Georghadji had been accused of altering the terms of her contract to reflect a salary bump and less stringent conflict-of-interest restrictions – allegedly to overcome potential issues arising from the fact that her daughter worked for her father’s law firm, which was handling a banking case at the time.

The firm represented ex-Laiki Bank strongman Andreas Vgenopoulos in a lawsuit by the CBC-appointed administrator of former Laiki over his role in the collapse of the failed lender.

Subsequent revelations suggested that Georghadji had altered the two template contracts sent to her by the Presidential Palace at the time of her appointment after consulting with the CBC’s legal consultants to accommodate the pertinent provisions of the law on the operation of the central bank, meaning the contract’s legality could not be challenged.

But a harsh statement issued by President Nicos Anastasiades suggesting he had been unaware of the changes found in the contract, left all fingers pointed squarely at Georghadji, who claimed that she had attached notes to the contract, informing the president of both amendments. The Presidential Palace said the notes were never found.

On Friday Georghadji said that she had been asked by the president to sent him a contract and she sent two copies with a handwritten note saying “I’m signing both and I am prepared to accept whichever you prefer with any changes you want to make.”

“Certain journalists and a lot of people considered this a falsification. Meanwhile, the two contracts I proposed could not be found,” she said. “But God almighty found the texts on the computer of my secretary. Then there was silence from the mass media.”

Georghadji, who was auditor-general before taking over the central bank, also bemoaned the criticism against her over the handling of a helicopter purchase by the state.

“And then the CID judged there was nothing untoward and that the case had been handled exceptionally. Silence once more. Nothing, not one came out to say Georghadji had handled the helicopters well and many such stories that hurt me deeply,” she said.

Regarding her future, she said she would rest first and then consider three proposals from abroad to sit on company boards. One is from a Belgian company whose officials will come to Cyprus for talks.

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