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Cyprus to appoint new boards of semi-state services

27 December, 2013

President Nicos Anastasiades held a meeting with the leaders of the two main coalition partners on Friday, the ruling DISY’s Averof Neophytou and the smaller centre-right DIKO’s Nicolas Papadopoulos, to agree on the appointment of new boards for all semi-government organisations (SGOs), most of which are expected to be privatised, restructured or shut down.

Anastasiades has said that he wants to appoint board members based on merit and their competencies related to the field of activity of each organisation.
“The most capable people, those who have the right abilities, they are the ones that will be chosen,” he said earlier in the day during a visit to the Nicosia General Hospital.
Anastasiades said the meeting with the DISY and DIKO presidents was “to prevent what was in the past regarded as the biggest stumbling block in politics – the meddling of political parties in the running of these organisations.”
But DISY spokesman Prodromos Prodromou made it clear earlier on Friday that even though his party was not presenting a list to the president, suggesting names from among its supporters, as had been the case for the past decades, he expected to see people at the helm of the state-owned telco Cyta, the Electricity Authority and the Ports Authority “who will implement this administration’s commitments to privatisations,” as laid down in the memorandum of understanding with the troika of international lenders.
Trade unions have resisted government plans to privatise many such organisations as this implies layoffs, as well as an increase in productivity and profitability. They claim that the EUR 1.4 bln that the troika wants Cyprus to raise over the next four years in order to help pay down its public sector debt could be found locally and by efficiencies, something that has never been achieved in recent years.
The president is expected to announced the new board members on Monday.