What the former government ministers are doing now

One by one, the ministers and deputy ministers of the Anastasiades Government are returning to work in the private sector.

Most are young people with many productive years ahead of them until they reach retirement age, when they will also enjoy the fruits of their ministerial tenure with a pension to match.

However, it should be remembered that, according to the law, former government ministers need to be given relevant approval from the competent control committee before accepting employment in the private sector.

The committee can give the green light only after examining the facts at hand and receiving pertinent information from the Permanent Secretaries of the Ministries in which the specific persons served.

The aforementioned committee established by virtue of legislation covering the Control of Employment in the Private Sector by Former State Officials and Judges and Certain Former Employees of the Public and the Greater Public Sector is an independent special three-member body. It is composed of a representative of the Law Office of the Republic, appointed by the Attorney General and who chairs the Commission, a representative of the Audit Office of the Republic, and a representative of the Treasury.

The term of office of the chairperson and the members of the Committee is three years, with the possibility of renewal for another term. The existing Committee took office in June 2022 and consists of Elena Zachariadou, Elena Zachariadou. Attorney of the Republic, Stalo Tanda Aristidou, Director of Technical Audit - Audit Office of the Republic, and Andreas Sophocleous, Director of Accounting at the Treasury.

Seven former ministers entering the private sector

The Committee has already examined the applications of seven ministers, who were given the green light to be active in the private sector.

In the first batch of approvals, there were applications submitted last June.

Specifically, former Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides received permission to teach at the University of Cyprus, as a specialist scientist in the Department of Economics.

Former Deputy Minister of Tourism Savvas Perdios, will once again be active in business in the tourism sector since as he states in his application, he plans to establish three companies that will exclusively belong to him and involve self-catering accommodation. Perdios was also given the condition that for the next two years, specifically until March 2025, he would not provide services to the state.

At the same time, the former Minister of the Interior, Nicos Nouris, applied for a license to operate as a consultant in a consultancy company, with the committee approving his request, also on the condition that he does not provide services and does not have transactions with his former Ministry.

In addition, the former Deputy Minister of Shipping, Vassilis Demetriades, filed an application to obtain a relevant license, so that he could establish a company providing consulting services, which he received on the condition that he does not do business with the Deputy Ministry of Shipping. Besides, as it became known, Demetriades has also joined the Board of Directors of the Apollon Limassol football club.

The former Minister of Labour Kyriacos Koushos, who is known to be one of the partners in the office Koushos Korfiotis Papacharalambous LLC, also received permission to return to his law office.

Two more licenses

On returning from the summer vacation, the Control Committee approved two more applications from former ministers, once again setting conditions.

Specifically, on 12 September, the chair of the Commission informed the Parliament that the application filed in July by the former Minister of Energy, Natasa Pilides, had been examined and approved. Pilides requested that the Commission grant her permission to work at CIM Cyprus Business School as Vice President of the Advisory Committee.

The Commission requested in its letter, dated 12/7/2023, the opinions of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry, who was asked for his opinion as to whether the proposed employment conflicts with or is related to the duties and responsibilities, including the exercise of policy, that Pilides exercised during her term as Minister.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Energy, Trade and Industry, in a letter dated 12/7/2023, informed the Committee that there was no conflict.

It is recalled that Pilides last May, received a proposal House President and DISY leader Annita Demetriou to assume the position of Executive Director at DISY. In fact, she participated in party processes, on a voluntary basis, since the relevant permission she would have to receive from the Commission was pending. However, a month later, Pilides decided not to take up the position.

Pilides and Nouris, meanwhile, are also rumoured to be considering running for the position of Mayor of Nicosia.

Finally, the former Minister of Health, Michael Hadjipantela, also submitted an application to be active in the private sector. Hadjipantela requested permission to be employed as a non-executive Member of the Board of Directors of Argus Management Ltd.

The Committee requested the views of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health. The Committee's request was that it be sent the views of the Permanent Secretary as to whether the proposed employment of the Applicant by Argus Management Ltd, conflicts with or is related to the duties and responsibilities, including the exercise of policy, which he exercised during his tenure as Minister. The response was that it does not appear to.

The application was approved under the condition that the approval ceases to be valid in the event that during the next two years from the departure of the Applicant from the position of Minister of Health the company in question carries out any transaction with the Ministry of Health.

(Source: Reporter)

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