Behind the eight “golden” passports given to executives of a company associated with the investment of the Ayia Napa marina is the law firm Nikos Chr. Anastasiadis, with yesterday's report of the Audit Service for the Ministry of Tourism to claim that the specific “golden” passports were granted while they did not meet the financial criteria of the Cyprus Investment Program (KEP). The exhibition “photographs” again the President of the Republic due to the involvement of a person from his environment, with the parties again raising the issue of order and conflict of interests for Mr. Anastasiadis.
In particular, the Audit Office led to the investigation of the eight “golden” passports on the occasion of a decision taken by the Council of Ministers on 6/6/2018 based on which state land was leased to the contractor of the Ayia Napa marina for as long as the lease. of the marina, ie until 27/4/2067, thus substantially modifying both the terms of the tender that was announced and the contract itself. This coastal state plot, which was estimated at € 2.5 million at 2018 prices, has a total area of 3,093 sq.m. and was leased for tourist purposes and specifically for its integration in the area of the marina of Ayia Napa “in order to create an urban and architecturally complete and uniform development of the area, with indistinguishable and unobstructed access to the beach”. The Audit Office concludes in its report that, at first sight, the conclusion of the specific lease agreement is not in accordance with the legislation and does not ensure the optimal use of state land and the maximization of state revenues.
The Audit Office, as stated in its report, for the sake of transparency and especially due to the fact that the lease of the above state plot was decided by the Council of Ministers, notes that one of the directors of the company that manages the Ayia Napa marina “is a family member. environment of the President of the Republic “. He also states that the applications for naturalization of the eight directors of the company that owns 80% of the company that manages the marina of Ayia Napa were submitted by the law firm Nikos Anastasiadis & Partners. The Audit Office makes another finding: The person from the family environment of the President of the Republic took over as director of the company that manages the marina of Ayia Napa in November 2015 at the same time as entering the share capital and the management of the company of the Egyptian investor , who acquired control of 80% and a year later received Cypriot citizenship through the KEP. This is the Egyptian billionaire Nagib Saueris, who became widely known in September 2016 after he was beaten in a nightclub in Ayia Napa. The Audit Office did not comment on its naturalization as it does not have access to the files of the Ministry of Interior. Therefore, it remains unclear whether the Egyptian investor also received citizenship through the law firm Nikos Anastasiadis & Partners.
The eight directors
It is noted in this regard that between the years 2018 and 2020 eight persons who are directors of a company registered in Cyprus which belongs to the Egyptian investor and is the parent company holding 80% of the share capital of the management company of the Ayia Napa marina , also received Cypriot citizenship under the KEP. Due to the fact that the Audit Office does not have access to the files of the “golden” passports, the naturalization procedures were not checked. However, the data provided by the Audit Office from the Land Registry and the Tax Department showed that these persons bought a house, the seven under construction in the Ayia Napa marina and the eighth in Larnaca, but did not meet the other financial criteria. . The Ministry of Finance told the Audit Office that for the above eight persons, although they did not meet the financial criteria, the Minister of Finance suggested to the Minister of Interior, given the general direct benefit to the Cypriot economy resulting from the investment of the parent company. company in which these persons are directors, to submit on his behalf a relevant proposal to the Council of Ministers for their exceptional naturalization, with which he would agree. As it happened. The applications were submitted by the law firm Nikos Anastasiadis & Partners and were submitted to the Council of Ministers for approval with the positive suggestion of both ministers. It is noted that with the same argument and without satisfying the financial criteria of KEP, the 27 “golden” passports (18 plus nine relatives) were granted to the executives of companies related to the investment of the casino in Cyprus and to 64 executives of Wargaming. The government argues, however, that these are political decisions that do not fall within the control of the auditor general.
Asked to comment yesterday on the findings of the Audit Office, the Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios stated that he is not able to understand the reasons why the Audit Office included in its report for the Undersecretariat issues that are not relevant, clearly referring to the reports on “Golden” passports and the involvement of persons close to the President.
Services and exchanges
The report sparked new criticism from parties against President Anastasiadis. “For the first time, the direct and direct involvement of the law firm Nikos Chr. Anastasiadis in illegal naturalization, DIKO states in a statement, pointing out that based on the report of the Audit Service, the Council of Ministers approved the naturalization of eight persons of the Ayia Napa marina consortium without meeting the criteria. In other words, it approved the applications submitted by the law firm Nikos Chr. Anastasiadis in violation of the applicable criteria “.
For his part, AKEL spokesman Stefanos Stefanou referred to the blatant conflict of interest between the President and members of the government in the case of the “golden” passports. If one adds the efforts made by the government to avoid control by the Audit Office, then it is revealed, as he said, “the size and the responsible mind of the 'golden' passport industry that has dragged our country”.
According to the Movement of Ecologists, “the so-called 'Success Story' of the Anastasiadis government is immersed in corruption, entanglement and the convenience of mothers. […] The report of the Audit Service reveals the favorable treatment enjoyed by the company of the marina of Ayia Napa, where the relatives of President Anastasiadis hold managerial positions “.
The response of the Ministry of Tourism to the report of the Audit Office: Not related to our responsibilities
This is how the trick was done in the golden passports – What the governor of the Central Committee said before the Nikolatos Committee
Revelations Thanks to gold passports: Windows, perforated checks
Konstantinos Petridis for golden passports: I was never in favor – I was pressured by an MEP and an MP
Sofronis Clerides / Golden passports: “From this is Cyprus and I in jia… to tik tik jia they passed” (audio)