Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has promoted the head of the police training academy as the new chief of the force, after incumbent Michalis Papageorghiou was sacked on Thursday.
Zacharias Chrysostomou (photo - left) takes over as new Chief of Police from Friday, March 28.
Tension had been running high between the outgoing police chief and Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, with Papageorghiou saying that reforms and budget cuts were tough to impose, while the minister constantly talked of lack of information from the police.
The police have been accused of not planning properly ahead of events where violent clashes took place, such as demonstrations by public service workers in front of parliament two months ago, protesting against plans to privatise semi government organisations and state-owned utilities.
On Wednesday night, a small group of extremist right-wing thugs stormed a public debate in Limassol where former Turkish Cypriot community leader Mehmet Ali Talat was about to speak about reunification of the island’s two communities. After smashing some glass windows they were eventually turned back by police and the discussion went ahead as planned.
Minister Nicolaou and President Anastasiades condemned the events and said police had been ill-prepared to deal with the organization that is well known for its racist activities.
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