Α 19-year-old student who had been hired at the Deputy Ministry of Tourism in a consulting role has resigned, Minister Kostas Koumis told CyBC on Tuesday.
Koumis said the nineteen-year-old was hired as a contractor to manage the Ministry’s social media, but resigned today due to public outrage over her appointment.
The Deputy Minister stressed that he had received three opinions saying there was nothing illegal in hiring a person under 21 years of age, who is not a university graduate for the specific position.
Koumis also said he did not know that the 19-year-old worked for Christodoulides’ election campaign and that the President was not aware of the hiring.
The Minister went on to denounce what he called “attacks” on the young woman, himself and his family, by members of the media, the opposition and the public over the appointment.
Commenting on a report by the Auditor General’s office damning the appointment, Koumis noted that he respects the opinions of the Auditor General and that, “if the system itself is sick, it must be corrected.”
“The Ministry,” Koumis said, “has more serious problems to deal with and they should let us get to work so that we can be judged by the results”.
The scandal came to the fore on Sunday after a revelation by philenews.
Following, the Auditor General’s office released a damning report saying that hiring a 19-year-old woman who does not hold any university degree “is blatantly illegal and abusive”.
The Auditor General’s office also referred to a Cabinet’s decision in March 2019 which defines the framework for the employment of state consultants/associates.
Amongst other conditions, government consultants must be 21 years of age and hold a university degree.
The appointment would be equal to an A8 grade, which requires a university diploma, and earns an estimated €30,000 a year.
Government draws fire over appointment of unqualified teenage student as ministry consultant