Property tycoon Chris Lazari, ranked fourth wealthiest Greek in last year’s Sunday Times Rich List, has offered to sponsor any executive jet travel that the President of Cyprus may need to help with the government’s shoe-strong budget following the 10 bln euro bailout by the Troika of international lenders.
Lazari, who heads the family-controlled Lazari Investments Ltd that owns and lets premium properties mainly in London, was quoted by the Sunday Times as having a personal fortune of GBP 730 mln in 2013, half the value of the company’s portfolio.
"Taking into account the economic situation of my country and wanting to actively express my support to the efforts of my personal friend President Nicos Anastasiades - who has to travel abroad frequently - I decided to assume the cost for the use of a private airplane, when this is necessary, for example where there is no direct air link with Cyprus," Lazari said in a statement on Friday.
Anastasiades thanked the benefactor for assuming the cost for the use of a private jet, when necessary, and said that this would be used frugally.
The Cyprus government has had to endure harsh austerity measures after years of uncontrolled spending that sent the public sector deficit spiralling to nearly twice the national output.
Earlier in the week, Anastasiades’ cabinet issued a list of senior government officials who would be entitled to business or first class travel if the journey was transatlantic or exceeded five hours, including stopovers.
Lazari, who left his birthplace of Dhora near Limassol when he was 16, is an example of the rags-to-riches fame of hundreds of immigrant Cypriots who fled the island during the 1950s and 1960s seeking better fortunes, soon after independence from British colonial rule.
He has featured regularly in the Greek Rich List, an annual offshoot of the Sunday Times list, where the Greeks with the biggest fortune were featured.
In 2012 he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award during the annual Props Presentation in London organised by the Variety Club with awards being presented to different persons in different worlds in the property business.
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