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Cyprus

Coronavirus: House president denounces claims his children were on repatriation flight

Demetris Syllouris

House president Demetris Syllouris said on Sunday that he has reported to the police a news website that reported his children had received preferential treatment by catching a flight home last week.

Syllouris said on a social media post that a website has been spreading fake news concerning the arrival of his children.

“I have already officially reported this unacceptable and criminal behaviour to the police,” Syllouris said. He added that those spreading such rumours will be held accountable.

The case reportedly concerns a repatriation easyJet flight with 29 passengers that arrived from the UK to Paphos airport on March 29.

Akel MP Andreas Fakontis earlier in the week asked whether it was true that many of the passengers were students who, except for those in vulnerable groups, are banned from returning to Cyprus. The MP said the families of other students who are stuck in the UK were upset and demanded explanations.

He also called on the transport minister to explain whether the 29 passengers were among the groups exempt from the obligation to present a certificate stating they do not have coronavirus.

The Solidarity Movement’s MP, Michalis Giorgallas, also sought clarifications by the transport and foreign ministers asking whether among the passengers of that flight were close relatives of state officials.

The two ministers replied on Saturday that none of those 29 passengers repatriated on March 29 was a close relative of the president, House president, ministers, MPs or other state officials.

They said all of them were eligible for repatriation while some of them had travelled to the UK from Sweden, Croatia, Colombia and Peru to catch the easyJet flight that was scheduled to arrive in Paphos on March 29 to transfer British people back to the UK.

One of the passengers was a student who had been tested negative to coronavirus while being treated at a London hospital for a health issue, the two ministers said.

“Therefore, he had the right to be repatriated as per the decree,” they said in response to Giorgallas’ open letter.

They also said that information on that flight and its passengers are available for inspection by whoever wants to see them.

 

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