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Our View: Witch-hunt against Georghadji will land Cyprus in trouble with ECB.

THAT the Governor of the Central Bank Chrystalla Georghadji has been the target of a witch-hunt by the political parties there is little doubt. The parties have been out to get her for months, an effort that reached its peak with the allegations by the former executive director of the Central Bank Stelios Kiliaris at the legislature last March. This effort backfired as Kiliaris' allegations led to the investigation of the deputy attorney-general Rikkos Erotokritou with the known results.

At this time parties were also misleadingly claiming that Georghadji had a list of names of deputies that had NPLs at the Bank of Cyprus with the intention of blackmailing them. It was a disgraceful claim, which supported the theory of a witch-hunt. The list had been prepared by the Bank of Cyprus and the governor requested a copy after she had read of its existence in a newspaper, but any talk of 'blackmail' was pure fantasy. Once the list had been leaked to the press the parties all united in calling for her resignation.

Last month, we had the absurd raid of the Central Bank offices by the police who confiscated the hard-drives of the computers of the governor and three of her associates. Court orders for the confiscation were secured by the police after a deputy, not renowned for his good sense, reported Georghadji to the police alleging she had leaked the list and thus violated the law on personal data. Attorney-general Costas Clerides gave the go-ahead for the confiscation of the hard-drives, because of the political witch-hunt that President Anastasiades was also participating in.

He had asked Georghadji to submit her resignation. This investigation has been frozen on orders of the AG after a letter, threatening legal action, was sent by the president of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, to Anastasiades.

On Tuesday the draft of the findings of the investigation undertaken by the House ethics committee was ready. There was unanimity among the parties about the conflict of interest -- the law office of her estranged husband was representing Andreas Vgenopoulos -- and they all agreed that she should not have accepted her appointment as governor because of this. On the same day it was confirmed that Anastasiades had written to the attorney-general asking him to file an application at the Supreme Court for the termination of Georghadji's services. This, despite the advice of Clerides, who felt no offence, justifying the termination of the governor's services, had been committed.

It is now up to the Supreme Court to rule on the matter, which could land Cyprus in trouble with the ECB and cause further embarrassment to the president, who had unwisely joined the parties' witch-hunt.

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EXCY
Date:Jun 11, 2015
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