Cyprus Problem | Facing Up to Island-Wide Corruption

Cyprus Problem – Facing Up to Island-Wide Corruption

According to the Cyprus Mail, up until the recent elections in the south, corruption went unchecked at the state body administering abandoned Turkish Cypriot properties there and all political parties were involved. The form the corruption took was people with party connections using the property for their personal benefit. On top of this non-refugees are now using Turkish Cypriot properties, refugees are sub-letting the properties, rents were not being paid for years even though they are still at 1980s prices and the state pays for repairs and improvement work.

The Guardian of Turkish Cypriot properties in the south is the Minister of Interior but, until the appointment of Socrates Hasikos a year ago, all his predecessors ignored the problem and no one in parliament complained, the reason being that they were part of the scam!

Hasikos was the first Interior Minister to face up to the corruption and the most important decision he made was to try to transfer the civil servants working for the Guardian to other jobs. Like all staff working in the same job for many years, they had formed ‘relationships and dependencies’ which prevented them performing their duties objectively. It did not help that the Civil Servants Union (PASYDY) aided corruption by preventing the government from transferring civil servants to other jobs at regular intervals.

Whether Hasikos will be successful in cleaning up the corruption at the Guardian, and wherever else it is found, is debatable, and doubtful, but at least he had the moral fibre to face up to the challenge. I wonder if the same would happen in the north?

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