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FinMin “irked” by negative reports about Cyprus

Finance Minister Makis Keravnos said he was irked by the Cyprus Confidential report, saying what irritates him the most is the ongoing effort to project Cyprus as a problematic financial services/investment destination.

He also said that there wasn’t anything in the report that people didn’t already know. “I think that what has been presented was more or less already known and it is precisely for this reason that the government has prioritised creating institutions and safety clauses to avert such phenomena,” said Keravnos.

As for further enhancing the island’s controls over professional service providers, Keravnos said the government was closely cooperating with the British government, which is acting as an adviser.

To this end, the minister said, experts from the British government have visited Cyprus and spent significant resources on helping the island; €800,000 to begin with and more to follow.

The British government’s experts are closely cooperating with his ministry’s officers, Keravnos added, and are in the midst of preparing the legal basis, structures and all measures that need to be taken by Cyprus, which are expected to be delivered at the end of November.

Asked to comment on the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists’ (ICIJ) Cyprus Confidential report, Keravnos said that what irked him the most was that there was an ongoing effort to project Cyprus as a problematic financial services/investment destination.

He also pointed out that the findings that are included in the specific investigation were up to April 2022, when there weren’t any sanctions.

Asked if a criminal investigation had been launched against PwC for allegedly violating the Russia sanctions, Keravnos said he ordered an investigation into certain matters that however he cannot comment on as it was ongoing.

But the investigation has a specific time-frame and the aim is to investigate the sums, the when’s and the how’s, he said.

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