President assures no cover-up in commissioner scandal

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President Nicos Anastasiades pledged nothing would be swept under the carpet after Volunteerism Commissioner Yiannis Yiannaki resigned after revelations he allegedly forged his academic credentials.

“We (the government) do not cover up for anyone, and this has been proven by the increased prosecutions against those who violated or abused the investment program,” Anastasiades told reporters Thursday.

“The European Commission demonstrates it in its report on the rule of law, where it was found that for the first time in the history of the Republic of Cyprus, 37 people, regardless of position or party origin, were brought before a court” he added.

Anastasiades, who appointed Yiannaki, did not want to make further comment, apart from accepting his resignation, out of respect for the constitution and due to the fact, there is an ongoing investigation.

He further argued the courts would have the final say in any corruption case, and trying to score pre-election points did not fool the voter.

Anastasiades said it was not the job of the President to validate Yiannaki’s qualifications.

He argued that Yiannaki was appointed to a government post in 1996 and was later offered a permanent position by the late President Tassos Papadopoulos, who had ruled with the backing of opposition AKEL.

The President said if the parties wanted to stamp out corruption, they would pass legislation that has been stuck in parliament.

“(Parties) should finally vote in the bills that will bring transparency to public office.”

Yiannaki resigned after reports he manipulated his high school diploma grades and included a fake college degree on his CV.

The qualifications were used for a job on the Youth Board of Cyprus (ONEK), where he was first appointed in 1996, securing a permanent position in 2007.

President Anastasiades appointed him commissioner for volunteerism and non-governmental organisations in May 2013.

Reportedly, Yiannaki received a monthly salary of €6,900, an allowance for his expenses as commissioner of €2,000 and the use of a government car.