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The Auditor General returns for President Christodoulidis' diplomatic allowances

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ΕπανΕρχεται γι αιλμικδαου ;ρουΧριδοδοΓενικ ; Ελεγκτorς

Re-opens the issue of foreign allowances received by President Christodoulidis during the period he served as a diplomat of the Republic of Cyprus and when he returned to Cyprus in 2013 after a relevant summons for official reasons .

The allowance, according to the report of the Audit Service, continued to be paid since the relevant decision on the transfer to Cyprus did not have a duration and in fact on the grounds that while he was serving outside Cyprus, he was called without sufficient warning to return to Cyprus for official reasons.

According to the conclusions of the Audit Service, it appears that the appropriate procedures were not followed, in accordance with the current Expatriate Allowance Scheme and the allowance was granted in violation of the relevant regulations which provide that the expatriate allowance is terminated upon the transfer of the diplomat to Cyprus.

In response to Ministry of Foreign Affairs to the Audit Service, it is reported that Nikos Christodoulidis, from March 4, 2013, by decision of the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, was called to Cyprus for official reasons,for the purposes of performing the duties of Director in the Office of the Minister, in the context of which he would accompany the Minister to the Foreign Affairs and General Affairs Councils in Brussels, as well as meetings in Belgium. In fact, during the period in question, Nikos Christodoulidis was appointed by the President of the Republic as his Advisor for European Affairs (Sherpa), a position which entailed his participation in the meetings of the Sherpa Group in Brussels as well as accompanying the President of the Republic to the European Councils in Brussels.

As pointed out, Nikos Christodoulidisat that time lived in Brussels with his wife who is also a member of the diplomatic corps, also stationed in Brussels, and his three daughters, and any transfer would have direct financial consequences for him. Also, in case of a change of residence and any compensations, the costs would be borne by the State.

Finally, the Audit Service notes that during the essential time, the foreigner's allowance for Belgium amounted annually to €68,567, reduced by 15% from 1.1.2013 (€58,282). The monthly allowance amounted to €4,128.45 (85% of the total amount based on the position held by the diplomat) and for the period 4.3.2013 until 30.6.2013 Nikos Christodoulidis was paid a total amount of €16,514. In this regard, it is stated that the rent allowance was paid to his wife (consultant) for the period when her husband was serving in Cyprus. She was transferred to Cyprus from 1.9.2013, after Nikos Christodoulidis was seconded to the Presidency and the Presidential Palace from 1.10.2013 to take over the Directorate of the Office of the President of the Republic.

The payment of foreign allowance was terminated from 1.7.2013 based on his transfer to Cyprus. For the period of March 2013 – In May 2013, according to the Audit Service, the GEE was paid without approval, while the cover approval given was not secured by the competent Minister.

Source: www.philenews.com

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