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Cyprus

Environmental movement back Akel’s anti-corruption protest

presidential palace

The Cyprus Environmental Movement announced on Thursday it was calling off a protest set for Saturday and urged all those who would have attended to instead back Akel’s rally against corruption, taking place on the same day.

The environmental conservation organisation had initially planned to hold protest on Saturday morning in downtown Nicosia in light of the 26th UN Climate Conference (COP26) which will begin in Glasgow the following day.

On Thursday it announced however that it would postpone for a few days its own event to back that of main opposition Akel, taking place also on Saturday morning, against corruption. That protest was called after President Nicos Anastasiades was named in a resolution adopted by the European Parliament last week where MEPs called for thorough investigations into any wrongdoing exposed by the Pandora Papers taking place in EU jurisdictions.

The NGO said this dictated a change in plans and it would thus join Akel on Saturday outside the Presidential Palace where the protest will be held.

It said that its board decided that the actions of President Anastasiades and the ruling party’s leadership “have provoked feelings of anger and indignation among the Cypriot people for humiliating the country around the world, which necessitates the immediate reaction and mobilisation of active citizens and all organised actors in society.”

Anastasiades denied any wrongdoing after the law firm he founded, and bears his name, was accused of hiding the assets of a former Russian senator behind fake beneficial owners in a secret report filed with financial regulators in the British Virgin Islands.

The Bar Association said it has launched investigation into the law firm in question and another one, also mentioned in the Pandora Papers, the Demetris Demetriades law office. The probe is expected to be completed in the next few weeks and if it identifies any criminal offences, it will be conveyed to the Legal Service, Bar Association chairman Christos Clerides told the House ethics committee on Wednesday.

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