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Our View:  Little hope that bad loans list will be published

Adamos Adamou
House president Adamos Adanou (Photo Christos Theodorides)

New House President Adamos Adamou said he would be meeting party leaders on Tuesday morning in order to decide what to do with Georghadji list that has turned into the longest-running farce in Cyprus politics. Adamou told the state broadcaster that he wanted the list, with the bad debts of politically exposed persons (PEPs), off his hands and was determined to make it public, despite the threatened legal action.

The idea was to put its publication to the vote once again. The House had already voted for the publication of the notorious list, but that vote was null and void because the plenum had been chaired, by then speaker Demetris Syllouris, at a time he was acting president of the republic. All the bills approved on that day were declared null and void but were put on the next plenum agenda for voting. The list, unsurprisingly, was not, so there is no House decision allowing its publication.

Was this part of the political theatre that has surrounded the list since the start of the year when deputies were accusing Syllouris of all types of tricks to avoid publishing the list? It is entirely possible, considering parties voted it through, knowing that Syllouris should not have been chairing the plenum on that day and made no attempt to arrange another vote at a later date. It was a case of collective feet-dragging, with the majority of the parties hoping the issue would eventually be forgotten.

Now, Adamou has decided to take the initiative. He said three parties – Disy, Greens, Alliance of Citizens – had informed him they would vote for the publication of the list but was still waiting to hear from the others. Akel, whose deputy Irini Charalambidou, had been campaigning for the publication of the notorious list and had attacked Syllouris alleged reluctance to go ahead with it, is ironically opposed to its release as is. It decided it would only support the release of an ‘updated’ version of the list, aware there was no chance it would be updated. We would not be surprised if other parties took a similar line.

The reality is that very few of the politicians want the Georghadji list made public and they have been taking the people for a ride all these months, arguing that its release would be a violation of personal data. Adamou claimed he had received several letters threatening legal action if the list was released. While protecting the privacy of individuals is justified, it is not in the case of PEPs, many of whom by law have to submit a declaration of assets; NPLs fall into the category of personal liabilities.

We wish Adamou luck with his initiative, but we doubt the parties will let it happen. Their behaviour so far, does not allow any optimism.

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