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House publishes PEP list, lawsuits coming (Updated)

The Georghadji list containing details of the non-performing loans of politically exposed persons (PEP) was published on parliament’s website on Friday with threats of lawsuits already being issued.

The list is part of the minutes of House plenum’s Thursday session when the publication of the list was approved with 47 votes in favour and one against.

Under the parliamentary resolution, the list was published ‘as is’, as it had been submitted by former Central Bank governor Chrystalla Georghadji to then-House President Demetris Syllouris back in April 2019.

Minutes after the list was published the House website was down.

Just before the list’s publication, the Maronite Representative in parliament, Yiannakis Mousas, whose name is on it, said he would take legal action.

“I do not have a non-performing loan, neither today, nor when the specific list was prepared,” Mousas said in a statement on social media. He added that “wrongly, unjustly and incorrectly my name is on this list, which the Speaker of Parliament himself described as shoddy and erroneous.”

Mousas also told state broadcaster CyBC the publication of the list only served populism while tarnishing hundreds of people who have done nothing wrong.

Head of the securities and exchange commission (CySec) and member of the investigative committee on naturalisations for foreign investors, Demetra Kalogirou also said that her family loans seen on the list were serviced during the reporting period.

“One of the loans has already been settled while the other is being serviced,” Kalogirou told the Cyprus News Agency.

Personal Data Commissioner Irene Loizidou Nikolaidou said publication of the list by parliament as is, did not quite serve public interest which was one of the reasons invoked for the move.

Nikolaidou told CyBC that, for parliament to be truly serving public interest, the list ought to have been updated to only include people who have enjoyed preferential treatment and who could not justify the facilities they enjoyed.

“It is information that would have justified publication and would serve the purpose the parliament wanted to fulfil,” Nikolaidou said. She added that parliament had time to update the list before publishing it.

She said that she had told MPs and the attorney-general that some steps were necessary before the publication of the list such as seeking permission to collect the data, at least as regards systemic banks, from the European Central Bank.

She said that now, the outcome of this move by parliament would be judged in every case on the list her office will be called to investigate.

Over the past two years, the debate over publication of the list has caused a multitude of controversies including threats of lawsuits from certain MPs.

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