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Cypra says had nothing to do with demise of Kofinou abattoir

Cypra 07
The Cypra slaughterhouse in Kato Moni

The embattled management of Cypra slaughterhouse denied Friday they had anything to do with the demise of a state facility and receiving preferential treatment along the way.

In a statement, the company said it had uploaded detailed documents on its webpage, which show that claims made by witnesses who appeared before an inquiry were unfounded.

“The information in question clearly reveal reality: Cypra company had nothing to do with the inevitable bankruptcy and closure of the Kofinou central slaughterhouse, as was arbitrarily claimed without substantiation, by witnesses who appeared before the committee” earlier in March. “In addition, Cypra has not received any preferential treatment.”

The business is owned by the husband of the state treasurer. It found itself in the eye of the storm last November after some 100 staff at the facility tested positive for the coronavirus. It later emerged that the majority were asylum seekers who had not been declared to the department of social insurance.

The matter gradually snowballed, revealing building code and environmental violations that were never properly addressed, ostensibly due to slow bureaucratic and legal procedures.

It had also been suggested that Kofinou was left to close so that Cypra could benefit.

The attorney-general appointed a three-member panel to investigate the affair.

According to the company, Kofinou had been bankrupt since the first year of its operation in 1981. It accumulated a debt of €31m shared between the social insurance fund, inland revenue, and creditors, and was eventually shuttered in 2013 when Cyprus faced economic collapse and also shut down the national carrier.

Cypra said it is an indisputable fact that for the EU to approve restructuring Kofinou’s loans, the slaughterhouse itself should have contributed 50 per cent of the amount.

On January 16, 2015, the European Commission said the abattoir was unable to afford 50 per cent of the amount. On top of that, Kofinou had received state aide in the previous five years, rendering it ineligible for further aide.

Cypra said it is proven that the acquis communitaire was applied to put an end to the waste of public funds to keep the slaughterhouse “on a ventilator”, the press was reporting since 2005.

The company said it has paid in full its dues to the state and rejected suggestions its emissions were outside the permitted levels.

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