The Cypriot president says no one, including his family members, should be immune from a new investigation of alleged wrongdoing in the days leading up to the island nation’s $13 billion bailout last week.
Nicos Anastasiades said Monday that a commission of inquiry set to start work this week should “investigate everything” related to him and relatives related to him by marriage.
Under terms of the bailout, the biggest depositors at the island’s two largest banks, the Bank of Cyprus and Laiki, stand to lose about 60 percent of their accounts to help pay for the bailout. But the Cypriot newspaper Haravgi reported that in mid-March a company owned by in-laws of Mr. Anastasiades transferred nearly $27 million in securities to London.
That was just days before Cyprus’ international lenders reached an agreement with the Cypriot government to confiscate money from all bank accounts on the Mediterranean isle. That later was changed so only the biggest accounts, those over about $130,000, were hit.
In addition, the three judges on the inquiry panel are expected to investigate a list published by Greek media of Cypriot lawmakers who allegedly had loans forgiven by the Bank of Cyprus, Laiki and a third institution, Hellenic Bank, during the banking crisis.
Cyprus linked its economic fortunes to the creation of a large banking center, and as a tax haven for offshore investors. But it faltered with risky investments in Greek government bonds that were devalued to help Athens solve its debt woes.
Despite the Cypriot bailout’s link to its neighbor, Mr. Anastasiades said Greece does not owe his country anything.
“We’re not expecting anything from Greece. Therefore we have to, I mean, it is not a duty of Greece, or, they owe nothing to us. So, we have to fight ourselves. And to build up the new era.”
(Photo: Melissa Wall/flickr.com)