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New law ‘important step towards combatting corruption’ says presidency (updated)

Υπουργός Δικαιοσύνης, Υφυπουργός Κ
Justice Minister Stephie Drakou

The government on Friday welcomed the passing of a law establishing an anti-corruption authority, saying the effort to combat the phenomenon on all levels “must and will continue”.

The law passed on Thursday after four years of back-and-forth provides for the establishment of a five-member authority selected by the president as the go-to body for reporting suspected corruption in the broader public sector.

“After the passing of the whistleblower protection law in late January, another important step towards combatting corruption was made yesterday,” the presidency said.

“As we had repeatedly said, fighting corruption comes not with words but with actions,” ruling Disy said in a press release.

Cheering on the new bills, the party said they are “proof that the political will of the Anastasiades administration and Disy to fight corruption and ensure transparency”.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Stephie Dracou said the new move was “an important step towards restoring the credibility of institutions and the political system,” and guaranteeing transparency.

The government is now faced with its next big responsibility, she said, which is to effectively implement the new laws.

“We do not expect that corruption phenomena will disappear with the passing of these laws, but now we have the tools to anticipate, spot and fight them, but most importantly to better handle them”.

At the centre of the new laws is the anti-corruption authority, which will examine reports/complaints about malfeasance/misfeasance in the broader public sector, but will also be able to look at private-sector entities where these have dealings with the government.

Also on Thursday, the House passed a bill regulating political lobbying – aimed at ensuring transparency in public decision-making.

The two bills, along with the one affording protection to whistleblowers and which has already been enacted, form the trifecta of reforms designed to combat corruption in public life.

“All three bills are the result of a collective effort and dialogue, conducted in an atmosphere of agreement and goodwill,” Dracou said. “The House justified its role by placing unity, responsibility and response in society above its differences”.

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