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House committee to discuss PEPs’ bad debt list in March

Central bank governor Constantinos Herodotou

The House watchdog committee will be discussing a list of politically exposed persons (PEPs) with bad debts on March 5 in the presence of central bank (CBC) governor Constantinos Herodotou, it was announced on Thursday.

Committee vice chairperson, Akel MP, Irini Charalambides said her party’s position on the issue of the list was to have full transparency.

Charalambides said the central bank governor will attend the meeting to respond to MPs questions without any restrictions.

The list and its contents have become a bone of contention between ruling Disy and Akel.

On Thursday, Disy leader Averof Neophytou challenged his Akel counterpart Andros Kyprianou to a public debate over the matter.

Neophytou tweeted that he had addressed certain questions to Kyprianou regarding loan write-offs and PEP bad debts but four days later he had not received a response.

He said Akel should stop the whispering campaign and agree to an open debate with Disy on everything.

Earlier, Disy MP Annita Demetriou announced that her party had decided to table for discussion the matter of debt write-offs extended to parties, organisations connected with parties, and PEPs.

The PEP document – marked ‘confidential’ – was first delivered to House president Demetris Syllouris by former CBC boss Chrystalla Giorghadji in April of 2019 just before she stepped down.

Days later, Syllouris held a courtesy meeting with her successor, Herodotou. During the meeting, Syllouris surprised the governor by handing him back the list and asking the bank to process data held by commercial banks regarding delinquent loans held by PEPs and on possible circumspect debt write-offs.

Although Herodotou had written to the House watchdog committee twice, informing it there were no legal obstacles to submitting the list for discussion, he was ignored by its chairman Zacharias Koulias. Only after the intervention of members of the committee was Herodotou invited to the committee.

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