Greens MP Alexandra Attalides on Thursday accused presidential candidate Nicos Christodoulides of using funds for the enlightenment of the Cyprus problem to boost his social media profiles while he was serving as the country’s foreign minister.
In a letter released by her office, the MP said her claims are substantiated by an auditor-general’s report of the fund’s expenditure from 2018 to 2021, which confirmed that the foreign ministry spent around €70,000 for issues that were not related to the Cyprus problem.
“If there is one thing in which Christodoulides was consistent during his tenure as foreign minister it was the attention he reserved for his public image. Nothing wrong with it had he not used public funds to boost it,” Attalides said.
“How else can we interpret the use of a fund which, while intended for matters related to the Cyprus problem, was used to buy publicity services for the former foreign minister and the events he organised?”
The Greens MP referred to the hiring of a marketing company tasked with revamping Christodoulides’ social media profiles with promotional tweets, as well as the official website of the foreign ministry.
In addition to that, she said that the fund was also used to finance a group formed to participate in a series of marathons for two years and that money was further used to buy T-shirts and meals for the team.
“Moreover, public money was also utilised to light buildings hosting foreign ministry events and to host a series of dinners and gatherings organised by the same ministry,” the letter continued.
“In fact, as we were informed by the current foreign minister’s answer to our parliamentary question, Christodoulides used the fund not only to cover expenses for issues related to the Cyprus problem, but also for other more general purposes of his office.”
Attalides said the misuse of the fund violates the principles of good administration and constitutes a waste of public money. She also slammed him for his attitude during the presidential campaign.
“Christodoulides’ behaviour throughout his campaign, plagued by accusations of plagiarism and claims that his team created fake social media accounts to attack political rivals, is in stark contrast with the image he wants to portray to the public – that of an untainted and ethical political figure.
“The next President of the Republic must be a person of impeccable reputation, who built his career with concrete actions, not with the citizens’ money,” the MP’s letter concluded.