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Syllouris washes his hands of PEPs loans list

House President Demetris Syllouris on Tuesday washed his hands of a controversial list containing names of politically exposed persons (PEPs) with non-performing loans whose publication has been the object of an ongoing debate.

Syllouris said the list was no longer his concern and he would never deal or speak about it again.

Speaking after a meeting of a parliamentary ad hoc committee created to discuss whether the list should be made public, Syllouris reiterated that he was not going to publish the list because he considered it illegal, and urged anyone who was willing to go ahead and do so.

Though most parties agreed that the list must be published, they all cite personal data laws and the potential of a flurry of lawsuits against whomever puts the list out there.

This further reinforces public speculation that parties never wanted to make the list public, fearing the backlash.

“Parliament can take any decision it wants on this issue. I said it many times, others can make the list public, not me, I won’t break the law,” Syllouris said.

Τhe PEP document – marked ‘confidential’ – was first delivered to Syllouris by former central bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji in April 2019 just before she stepped down.

Syllouris then returned it to her successor, Constantinos Herodotou, arguing that the former governor had not followed proper procedure.

After a lot of back and forth, parliament in July voted to publish the list but inserted a caveat that President Nicos Anastasiades would have to make the final decision.

Anastasiades referred the list back to parliament citing the opinion of the attorney-general who said under the constitution, the president must sign parliamentary decisions.

Publishing the PEP list however, under Article 52 does not fall under the term “decision” but is rather “an expression of political will” which the constitution does not have any provisions for, the AG opined.

Green party MP Giorgos Perdikis said parliament was unacceptable and Syllouris’ stance was regretful for not publishing the list.

Perdikis suggested Syllouris’ arguments were obsolete, and parliament and the institutions were humiliated further.

Perdikis said if he were in Syllouris’ position he would have resigned.

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