The list of Giorkatzi, with the names of politically exposed persons (PEPs) who have red loans, is not the only list that was promoted in Parliament. The list of loan write-offs, the list of inconsistent with their tax liabilities, as well as the lists of cash outflows from Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank during the so-called “closed period”, ie the week, also passed the Parliament. after cutting deposits.
Almost every day, politicians call for a fight against corruption, but without tangible results. In recent years, the involvement and corruption with the involvement of RDPs has been the subject of discussion in many parliamentary committees. The outcome of the debates has sparked intense debate in the public, which is skeptical of the RDP number. Unfortunately, the ball of reaction takes all the RDPs, even those that are consistent with the obligations and literally obey the laws. This seems to be due to the gaps in the Pothen Esches legislation, as officials declare their assets but without listing their non-performing loans.
On Thursday, the Plenary Session of the Parliament decided to publish the infamous Giorkatzi list, from which we did not become wiser. This is because it includes a drop in PEP names, which had red loans in 2018 or '19, however it is not mentioned whether they did restructuring or whether they repaid their loans in the meantime. Also, from the published data, it is not clear whether the specific RDPs received the loans from the banks on favorable terms. This, of course, will only be clarified if a new study is carried out, although the terms of reference of the Ad Hoc Committee on Loans included the investigation of granting loans on favorable terms in RDP, but to no avail.
However, for the series with the Giorkatzi list, the Parliament complicated things on its own. In essence, Parliament was trapped in populism. In December 2018, during the discussion of the state budget for 2019, the president of EDEK, Marinos Sizopoulos, had asked the former Governor of the Central Bank, Chrystalla Giorkatzi, to comment on whether there were RDPs that received loans on favorable terms. serviced loans. On April 8, 2019, the Governor, shortly before leaving her position, sent to the then Speaker of Parliament Dimitris Syllouris a list of non-performing loans of RDPs from all banks. Besides, 10 days later, Mr. Syllouris, during the ceremonial meeting he had with the new Commander of the Central, Konstantinos Herodotou, returned the famous list to him, inviting him to update the information contained in it. In the meantime, after a new letter sent by Mr. Syllouris, referring to the law on the submission of data to the Parliament, he sent a letter to Mr. Herodotus, who on the same day forwarded the “red list” to the Parliament. On July 17, the Parliament decided to publish the list, however the decision was not implemented, as the former Speaker of Parliament had initially referred the matter to the President of the Republic and then repeatedly refused to implement the decision of the Parliament, calling it illegal, based in the opinion of the Commissioner for Personal Data Protection and in suggestions of the Attorney General.
Following the well-known events with the Al Jazeera video on naturalizations, Mr. Syllouris, who considered the list incomplete, resigned and the new Speaker of Parliament, Adamos Adamou, took office and promised to publish the list. list. The Ad Hoc committee, after receiving legal opinions, has been looking for a way to make the list public for months. So, last Thursday it was decided to make it public, through the minutes of the Parliament. A competent source told “F” that there was a simpler way to publish the data. As he said, if the then Governor of the Central Committee sent the list to the members of the Parliamentary Committee on Finance, who requested it, all these legal complications would not follow.
The Auditor's investigation
In the meantime, in mid-February, the names of the RDPs that had red loans to the Co-operation are expected to come to light. The Audit Office will make public the result of its investigation to determine whether any RDPs, which had loans to the Co-operation, were treated favorably. Initially, the service sifted through the loans of 161 RDPs, ie current and former Presidents of the Republic and the Parliament, ministers and deputies, from the period 2008 until today. It then focused on 53, which had non-performing loans to Co-operation in 2013 and beyond, and for which there were restructuring solutions. In the meantime, for 14 RDPs, the Audit Office found that there were restructuring solutions, so further scrutiny was required to determine whether the politicians had been treated favorably by the Co-operation. These cases are considered high risk for possible favorable treatment. Among the restructuring solutions that were made, is the concession of a property in exchange for the repayment of a loan. It also examines whether the value of the property covered the loan. Meanwhile, in the context of the restructuring carried out by the Co-operation in PEP, the service found that for two incumbent MPs, the bank, in the context of the restructuring of loans totaling € 3.47 million, marginalized an amount of € 599 thousand, while it also proceeded in the write-off of € 13 thousand from the loan of a third MP.
List also for passports
In addition, the Parliamentary Committee on the Interior tried to secure another list from the Ministry of Interior last November, in relation to the involvement of RDP in naturalizations. In particular, the committee responsible requested information on the law firms and accounting firms involved in naturalization and related to politically exposed persons (RIPs). Members want to know whether any RDPs linked to these offices (mediators) had taken advantage of the position. To date, the committee members have not received any information on the involvement of RDPs in naturalizations.
List of inconsistencies in the Tax
There has been a lot of discussion lately about the hot list of inconsistent RDPs in the Tax Department, which was sent on September 16, 2019 to Parliament, as secret, by the Audit Office. This list, which includes the names of the RDPs, was given only to the members of the Audit Committee and now some parties are demanding that it be sent to them again. The list shows that out of the 154 cases of RDPs examined, in 84 cases the taxpayers submitted late or did not submit their tax return within the deadline provided by law with a delay of up to 7 tax years. Out of the 84 cases, only 2 cases are included where no administrative fine was imposed, while it should have been imposed, as well as several cases of late submission of a declaration, for which there is the possibility of imposing an administrative fine when tax is imposed by the Department, according to law. This list lists the names of former and current government officials who did not file tax returns or submitted them late. The investigation for the non-fulfillment of tax obligations of officials was requested by the deputies of the Audit Committee, after publications and complaints brought by state officials not to submit tax returns. Despite the fact that the committee received the relevant information, it did not follow up on the matter. However, from the data of the Audit Office, it seems that some RDPs and specifically MPs were legislating to serve themselves. Specifically, they passed legislation to regulate their overdue tax debts. Through the Overdue Debts Plan, interest and charges were written off, while paying their debts in installments.
MPs' red loans and loan write-offs
In March 2015, when the Parliament was examining the causes that led to the collapse of the economy, a list of the red loans of 13 MPs to the Bank of Cyprus came to light. A criminal investigation was ordered for the leak after a relevant complaint to the Police, by Zacharias Koulias. Although the specific list of 13 deputies has seen the light of day since 2015, however, no debate and no parliamentary control has taken place in Parliament to date. Meanwhile, at the end of March 2013, after the deposit cut, another list was leaked with the write-offs of loans of MPs of large parties from the banks. According to what came to light, the Bank of Cyprus proceeded to write off the loans of seven legal entities associated with the RIP, four MPs and a mayor. Hellenic Bank wrote off the company loans of a member of parliament at the time and Laiki Bank wrote off the loans of 3 members of parliament, two companies affiliated with PEP and a former spouse of a Ministry official.
Cash outflows during the closed period
Another list that was made public concerns the outflows of money from Bank of Cyprus and Laiki Bank during the so-called “closed period”, ie from 16 to 27 March 2013, immediately after the Eurogroup's decision to cut deposits. Most outflows seem to have been made legally, with the permission of the Central Bank, while there were also cases of foreign exchange inflows. The list includes oil and pharmaceutical companies, stock exchanges and tourism companies. Disbursements from brokerage firms were made from customer accounts.