Cyprus Mail

MPs to decide whether to publish PEPs list (updated)

House president Demetris Syllouris presiding over the committee meeting

An ad hoc committee discussing a list that includes the names of politically exposed persons (PEPs) with non-performing loans decided Monday to recommend either publishing it as is or publishing after it was updated.

The final decision is expected to be made by the plenum on Friday.

MPs discussing the issue arrived at the two recommendations but neither gained the majority vote (three-three) and it was decided to submit both to the plenum and let all MPs decide.

Ruling Disy, the Green party and Elam, favoured publishing the list as is, while Akel, Diko, and Solidarity voted for updating the list before publishing.

The Citizens’ Alliance and Edek withdrew from the committee before the vote. House president Demetris Syllouris, who chaired the committee, had said that he would not be casting the winning vote if it had come to that.

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

The list includes data from six banks, Alpha, Eurobank, Hellenic, Bank of Cyprus, Kedipes and the House financing organisation. The data from five are dated December 31, 2018. Kedipes’ data are not dated.

The issue has been going back and forth since, prompting criticism that parties were trying to hide their dirty laundry.

Syllouris said despite the universal agreement that the list was not a research tool because of its quality, there were parties that supported publishing it immediately, while others favoured processing by parliament and the central bank or other experts, before publishing.

“We are going with these two suggestions this coming Friday for a decision to be made,” he said.

The House president said names who may not be PEPs must be deleted from the list as well as MPs who do not have NPLs. It will be examined whether those who have NPLs had had any favourable treatment or any connection with the bank.

Syllouris said some even wanted the list published as is so that people should realise it was not of good quality.

But that, he added, was like naming and shaming people across the board and then forcing those without NPLs to come out and deny it.

Disy MP Marios Mavrides said the party’s position was to publish the list as in the name of transparency and accountability to society.

“Any effort to correct this list or update it … will create more problems and more suspicions that some people were trying to hide information,” he said.

After publication, he said, a probe should be launched to see whether any loans had been restructured on favourable terms. That probe should also extend into 2018 and before 2013, which are not included on the list.


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