It is likely that OLAF’s reference to Cyprus does not concern the areas under the control of the Republic of Cyprus, Government Spokesman Kyriacos Koushos said on Tuesday.
Koushos said that this was concluded from information the government of Cyprus has had so far and in view of the fact that no relevant authority of the Republic has been involved or informed of an OLAF case of diverted EU environmental research funds to a casino – hotel, as well as that the only company which has undertaken such a project in Cyprus has issued a denial.
In a press release on Saturday, OLAF referred to a case recently concluded during which it was discovered that EU funds intended for an environmental research project had instead been diverted into a casino/hotel project in Cyprus.
In statements at the Presidential Palace, today, Koushos said that from the investigation so far and the information we have received “it seems that no relevant authority of the Republic has had any information on the matter.”
“No Cypriot companies are involved in the specific case,” he stressed.
The funds which were disbursed by EU agencies did not concern the Republic of Cyprus, he added.
Koushos also said that Attorney General Costas Clerides “has already been in touch with relevant European authorities seeking relevant information.”
According to the spokesman “from the information we have so far and in view of the fact that no relevant authority of the Republic of Cyprus had any involvement or information and the denial issued by the company which has undertaken the construction of the only casino in the Republic of Cyprus, it is likely that OLAF’s reference to Cyprus concerns areas which are not under the control of the Republic of Cyprus.”
He called on all political parties and persons to refrain from further comments and statements on the matter unjustifiably stigmatising Cyprus until further information is received from the EU.
Cyprus has been divided since 1974 when Turkey invaded and subsequently occupied its northern third.