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EDITORIAL: Comical Ali - The Cyprus version

08 February, 2013 | Posted By: Financial Mirror

The noise over the procedure and last-minute political appointments by the outgoing administration could very well turn out to be another scene from a contemporary edition of Shakespeare’s “Comedy of Errors”. The president, in between his busy schedule of ribbon-cutting ceremonies, has drawn the ire of all his political opponents for appointing loyal centralbanker Spyros Stavrinakis to Deputy Governor, a post that technically belongs to the Turkish Cypriot community and which has remained vacant since the bicommunal troubles first broke out in 1963.
The promotion, justified with the excuse of increased workload at the Central Bank, came just 13 days from the departure of the current administration and will keep Stavrinakis, who was supposed to retire within a year, in this post for another five years. But this is hardly force majeure.
The excuse, repeated by the president and his government spokesman, seems to have convinced the unknowing media, who, believing that the addition of supervision of the Cooperative banks will bring added responsibilities to the Central Bank of Cyprus, have ignored that bank supervision in general will be reduced once the European Central Bank takes on that burden as well.
In any case, this was a decision better left to the new president who will be elected later this month, who might even be surprised with a premature departure of the incumbent Governor and Stavrinakis stepping in.
The irony was the way this whole affair was stage directed and the timing of it all that also sparked the fury of Attorney General Petros Clerides who was left out of the loop, with the government spokesman insisting that the defender of the Cyprus Constitution was well informed. Who to believe?
Remember Comical Ali who was saying that “The American infidels would never enter Baghdad” while U.S. tanks and troops were crossing the bridge in the background? Perhaps the government spokesman was left out of the loop as well…