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Politicians’ farcical wealth declarations

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Once again, politicians have added to the insult of ordinary Cypriots struggling to keep their households afloat by declaring net wealth that, in most cases, are in six-digit figures.

Perhaps a fundraiser ought to be organised to help these poor members of society stay in business, having gained the trust of the naïve electorate.

The assets and income declarations of the Cabinet members, following from declarations of the candidate and elected MPs earlier this year, makes for some fantastic reading.

Some would call it science fiction.

As usual, one could say politicians “have done nothing wrong” as they abide by the wealth declaration rules, which they designed and passed through parliament.

Meanwhile, home-saving programmes for the rest of us, such as the Estia scheme, is still languishing in parliament, costing many people the single roof over their heads.

However, the biggest insult is not declaring a mansion to be worth a handful of euros, nor (to their credit) those who have worked hard, amassed fortunes and have declared it down to the last euro cent.

The most hurtful of all is how, on a declared income of, say, €25,000 or thereabouts, with bank deposits of maybe €50,000 or €100,000, some of these politicians and career MPs have accumulated debts of €250,000 or more.

Even the President declared a net wealth of about €266,000 with €115,000 in the bank (in Cyprus).

When this blatant inequality was first out in the open, during the non-performing loans saga, every justification was given, some fending off criticism by saying credit card debt is not debt and that some loans were being paid off, hence considered as ‘performing’.

Try talking to a bank manager, and you will be told you have no chance of securing a loan based on the above terms.

It begs the question, why have banks not called in these unsecured loans, regardless of whether they are serviced or an NPL.

At the time, the Auditor General was accused of embarking on a witch hunt, while others opted to stay out of the clash for fear of Odysseas Michaelides coming down hard on them later.

In other words, don’t rock the boat, and whatever you do, don’t awaken the sleeping lion.

It is a wonder how long the public will continue to take this verbal garbage of excuses.

This is, perhaps, why political parties opted to postpone the municipal elections, as in some municipalities, we will have to suffer two and half more years of incompetence.

So, be generous next time you see a moaning MP or retired politician, including past and present Cabinet members.

Get a fiver out of your wallet (if you can afford it) and make sure they get a sandwich and a bus ride home.