President Nicos Anastasiades has decided for “reasons of public interest” not to veto a House decision to dismiss four presidential associates — previously contract workers – who had been granted permanent civil servant status by the administration.
In a letter to House President Annita Demetriou, Anastasiades said he could have gone through the motions of vetoing the decision and see it going to the Supreme Court if parliament insisted on keeping it.
However, and “most importantly, it would be against the public interest since, pending the court ruling, I would not be able to sign the budget law with unpredictable fiscal and economic consequences,” the president said.
Vetoing the House decision, which was passed as an amendment to the budget last week, would have seen it going back to parliament and potentially to the Supreme Court for the final say. The latter could have taken weeks at best.
According to the amendment, the employment of the four associates would be terminated at the end of the administration’s term.
One of the individuals concerned – but not named – is Anastasiades’ niece. She’s understood to be employed as Anastasiades’ aide at the presidential palace.
The four were described as secretarial staff, working for the Presidency since 2013.
Three of them are personal assistants, the fourth an IT officer. Two of them had served as assistants to Anastasiades from the time he was chairman of the Disy party.