CYPRUS: MPs demand the immediate resignation of Finance Minister

Parliament passed a resolution on Friday calling on Finance Minister Harris Georgiades to tender his resignation over the Co-op debacle.

Opposition parties stood firm on their demand to urge Georgiades to stand down, after a probe into the demise of the Co-op Bank, concluded the minister bears the lion’s share of responsibility for its downfall.

Out of 52 MPs present at Friday’s plenary, 32 voted for the resolution, three abstained, including the House chair Demetris Syllouris, while 17 ruling DISY MPs voted against.

A majority of MPs urged Georgiades to assume his political responsibilities attributed to him by the probe committee’s findings on the collapse of the Co-op and tender his resignation immediately.

AKEL’s spokesperson George Loukaides said abusive practices by the banks continue and the government was covering it up.

DISY chairman Averof Neophytou wondered why not ask for the parties to assume their responsibilities attributed to them by the probe and have the whole parliament resign and head for elections in May.

Responding to Neophytou, DIKO leader Nicolas Papadopoulos wondered why not demand the resignation of the President of the Republic, whose government is responsible for the collapse of the Co-op.

The resolution also calls on the Attorney General’s Office and the police to continue the investigation and bring the perpetrators to justice.

The President of the Republic and the Minister of Finance are urged to end the contempt for the independent committee’s conclusion and to assume their political responsibilities.

The House also continued its discussion on the report on the collapse of Co-op, which was the result of a probe conducted by an independent committee appointed by the Attorney General in July 2018, after instruction given by President Nicos Anastasiades.

Meanwhile, President Anastasiades has reaffirmed his full confidence in the Finance Minister.

Commenting on the continued demand by the opposition to terminate the term of his Finance Minister, Anastasiades gave his full backing to Georgiades.

“The opposition is entitled to their own views and of course the President of the Republic has the right to exercise his constitutional rights”.

President Anastasiades refused to answer a question on whether the roots of the collapse of the Co-op are to be traced to the period between 2013 and 2018.

Anastasiades will not ask Georgiades to step down, as the Finance Minister has already announced that he is to resign at the end of the year.

Media reports claim that after the summer holidays, the president is to reshuffle his cabinet and the Finance Ministry’s portfolio is expected to switch hands.

Source: The Financial Mirror