The testimonies before the investigative committee are increasing, according to which, in the war declared against the government slaughterhouse of Kofinou, the husband of the general accountant and owner of the Cypra slaughterhouse, George Georgiou, had allies from within, state machine. Yesterday's testimony of former Interior Minister Neoklis Silikiotis was quite revealing. Among other things, his following reports stood out:
- Since the opening of the Cypra slaughterhouse in 2006, the excavation of the Kofinou government slaughterhouse inside and outside the public service has begun. In November 2006, the Cypra slaughterhouse reported to the State Aid Superintendent, Christos Andreou, illegal state aid to the Kofinos slaughterhouse, which consisted of loans granted to him first by the state through the Public Loan Fund and then by the Union of Municipalities. In January 2007, the State Aid Superintendent sent a letter to the relevant state services urging them to claim their debts to the state from the Kofinos slaughterhouse. Mr. Silikiotis spoke of a “strange study” shown by the State Aid Superintendent in the complaint of the owner of the Cypra slaughterhouse, who, as he said, acted in a very short time, while he should have shown more tolerance. Asked if he knows if the State Aid Superintendent has anything to do with the owner of the Cypra slaughterhouse, Mr. Silikiotis replied that what is being said is that they have something to do.
- Following the letter from the State Aid Superintendent, a letter was sent by the Council of Lending Commissioners, which manages the Public Loan Fund (currently non-existent), requesting the Kofinos slaughterhouse to repay the state loans. It is noteworthy that the Board of Creditors was chaired by the then Assistant General Accountant Rea Georgiou, the competitor's wife. That is, Ms. Georgiou was pressuring another government agency, which was her husband's main competitor, to repay the loans granted to her by the state, knowing that this could not be done, thus leading the state slaughterhouse to a lock.
- At yesterday's meeting of the investigative committee, it was revealed that there was a decision of the involved Ministries of Interior and Agriculture not to request the repayment of the state loans of the Kofinos slaughterhouse until the restructuring plan is completed. Nevertheless, the Council of Lending Commissioners, chaired by Rea Georgiou, insisted on repaying the loans.
- Mr. Silikiotis supported his position that the owner of the Cypra slaughterhouse had inside information, and the fact that the written complaint he made to the European Commission against the Republic of Cyprus for illegal state aid to the Kofinos slaughterhouse included documents and government service notes. These documents were submitted at meetings aimed at preparing a restructuring plan for the Kofinos slaughterhouse, which were also attended by representatives of the General Accounting Office. “It is a question of how they were found in his possession,” said Mr. Silikiotis. In short, at a time when efforts were being made by the Ministries of Interior and Agriculture to prepare a rescue plan for the Kofinos slaughterhouse, some civil servants acted as “Trojan horses”, supplying their private competitor with these documents, which they used to Democracy.
- As Mr. Neoklis Silikiotis testified, there was a constant war from within to close the Kofinou slaughterhouse, “to the point that I was forced, in 2011, to publicly denounce that public officials are undermining the efforts to save the Kofinou slaughterhouse”. Noting, at the same time, the following: “I remember in one of the many meetings that took place, both I and the then president of the Union of Municipalities, Mr. Andreas Christou, criticized the fact that the Kofinou slaughterhouse was undergoing thorough inspections by the state services. while for the Cypra slaughterhouse there was tolerance “.
- Asked if he had any evidence to substantiate the inside information provided by the owner of the Cypra slaughterhouse, Mr. Neoklis Silikiotis referred to the surrounding atmosphere and the reasonable suspicions that arose every time he heard public officials arguing in favor of it. Kofinou. “We could not prove it then, but the facts that were revealed afterwards showed that the goal was to create a private slaughterhouse with a dominant position in the market,” he concluded.
- With behind-the-scenes contacts and meetings, but also with tempting proposals, the owner of the Cypra slaughterhouse managed to blur any prospects for finding investors who would take over the Kofinou slaughterhouse. With the former Minister of Interior, at the same time, complaining to DISY that he was pushing things towards the privatization of the Kofinou slaughterhouse, with his representatives (DISY) stating that it is not the job of the state to make the butcher.
- Prior to the accession of the Republic to the EU, the carcass fees were set by the Parliament, were very low and were a form of social policy. Therefore, the Kofinou slaughterhouse could not cover its operating costs and the state financed it. With our accession to the EU, any state sponsorship of the Kofinou slaughterhouse would constitute illegal state aid. According to Mr. Neoklis Silikiotis, the loans to the Kofinou slaughterhouse should have been written off before our accession to the EU. In this way, the Kofinou slaughterhouse would be kept alive, he said.
- The fact that the Cypra slaughterhouse had information from the public service, claimed in their statements to the investigative committee last Friday, both the former mayor of Larnaca and the former chairman of the board. of the Kofinos slaughterhouse Mr. Andreas Moiseos, as well as the vice president of the Kofinos slaughterhouse Mr. Stavros Gerolatsitis. In fact, the latter wondered whether the State Aid Commissioner treated all state services with the same fervor or was there something else with the Cypra slaughterhouse.
€ 1.1 million sponsorship
As revealed at yesterday's meeting of the research committee, the Cypra slaughterhouse received an amount of € 1.1 million from European funds through the 2004-2006 rural development plan. This sponsorship was given illegally, as, according to a report by the Ministry of Interior to the Ministry of Agriculture, the Cypra slaughterhouse had illegal facilities. Therefore, it did not meet the criteria for sponsorship from European funds.
The 12 Turkish Cypriot pieces
The director of the production unit of the Kofinou slaughterhouse, Mr. George Gabriel, while submitting yesterday to the investigative committee, spoke about “significant interventions” of the company Cypra, which knew in advance all the actions taken by the Kofinou slaughterhouse for its rescue and objections in advance to the European Commission. At the same time, he left tips for 12 Turkish Cypriot plots of land donated to the Cypra slaughterhouse and asked the investigative committee to investigate who gave them, how and why. As Mr. Gabriel said, “millions were given to a unit that did not even have an operating license.”
Gerolatsitis: Once the Cypra company was founded, the Central Slaughterhouse was asked to repay loans
A. Moiseos for CYPRA: He knew from the inside about the Kofinou slaughterhouse – He had his wife as a source