Last weekend’s get-together between the energy minister and the board of directors of the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) was cut short due to tensions immediately surfacing at the meeting, the Cyprus Mail has learned.

Saturday’s brainstorming session – in the format of a workshop – was supposed to discuss the EAC’s role in the energy sector and the organisation’s transition to ‘green energy’, among other issues.

But soon after the meeting got underway, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou and his team got up and walked out of the room.

Later on in the day, the EAC released a statement saying the meeting was interrupted because of the minister’s displeasure with the keeping of minutes.

The EAC also said that as a public utility organisation which follows transparency measures, it keeps minutes of every meeting attended by members of the board of directors and management.

Asked about this by media, Papanastasiou said he was “saddened” by the EAC’s explanation “which does not correspond to reality”.

But the minister declined to comment on the reasons for the walkout.

Local media then reported that Saturday’s incident pointed to poor personal and professional relations within the EAC, which makes it difficult for cooperation between administrative and managerial staff.

But the EAC sought to dispel the reports of bad blood within the organisation, stating that it was merely following established protocols.

Sources have told the Cyprus Mail that the meeting had been understood to be an informal one. Similar meetings have taken place in the past, without any minutes being taken.

The board’s insistence on taking minutes was not the real or main reason for the meeting going south, the same sources told us.

Rather, tensions were palpable as soon as the attendees walked into the room. It appears the EAC board’s insistence on the taking of minutes had a chilling effect on some of the EAC delegates themselves – or at least it was perceived as such.

Whether deliberate or not, this negated the purpose of the gathering – to have a free discussion.

It was not immediately clear whether the two sides would reschedule the cancelled meeting.