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Cyprus

Government a scandal-producing greenhouse, Akel says

Cypra 07
The Cypra slaughterhouse in Kato Moni

Akel accused the government on Saturday of being a scandal-producing greenhouse over its handling of a slaughterhouse fracas, which brought other issues to the fore, including the closure of a state abattoir in 2013.

Akel district secretary, Christos Christophides, said the current administration has been handling all matters relating to Cypra slaughterhouse for the past eight years and had been turning the blind eye to all the wrongdoings that saw the public light.

He was responding to government spokesman Kyriacos Koushos who accused Akel on Friday of letting the state abattoir at Kofinou go bust. As a consequence, Koushos said, Cypra currently holds a dominant market position.

“The government spokesman’s idea to once more try to implicate the previous administration is becoming absurd,” Christophides said.

The current administration’s involvement with big business interests was such, that it “has created a scandal-producing greenhouse.”

On Friday, Koushos said the Kofinou abattoir’s competitive position started to be undermined in 2003 when the market was opened. Akel held the interior ministry, which administered the facility, between 2004 and 2013, during which it accumulated a debt of €30m it could not repay, the spokesman said.

During Akel’s administration, the abattoir could not even afford to pay its electricity bill, he added.

The administration had come up with a restructuring plan, but it was rejected by the EU Commission and the abattoir eventually closed in 2013.

Cypra, which is owned by the family of the state treasurer, found itself under the spotlight last week after close to 100 staff tested positive for coronavirus.

Among them, some 60 foreign workers who, it later transpired, were asylum seekers working without permits.

It later emerged that the company faced other issues relating to building code violations and environmental wrongdoings.

Despite reports in the past, nothing had been done essentially to resolve the matters.

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