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25 June, 2024
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Finance Minister perturbed over 'Cyprus Confidential'

Makis Keravnos vows stringent measures to safeguard Cyprus' financial integrity


Finance Minister Makis Keravnos expressed dismay over the revelations in "Cyprus Confidential," emphasizing concerns about ongoing portrayals of Cyprus as a problematic financial and investment destination. Speaking after a Cabinet meeting, he reassured reporters that the government has initiated an intense process since March 2023 to implement additional safeguards and build institutions, aiming to preserve Cyprus' reputation.

When questioned about strengthening the legal framework for auditing service providers on money laundering issues, Keravnos revealed close cooperation with the UK Government, acting as an advisor. English experts, backed by significant funding, are collaborating with Cypriot officials to enhance legal structures, with initial outcomes expected by the end of November.

Addressing the recent findings in "Cyprus Confidential," Keravnos reiterated the disturbing image it projects for Cyprus, emphasizing that the investigation extends back to April 2022, a period without existing sanctions.

Regarding a potential criminal investigation against PWC for sanctions violations in Russia, Keravnos confirmed ongoing inquiries initiated by the Ministry of Finance on specific issues. He assured a thorough examination of amounts, timelines, and relevant matters.

Responding to calls for increased transparency, Keravnos highlighted the government's commitment to openness, referencing previous reports on the revocation of an accounting firm's license. He emphasized the government's priority to establish institutions and safeguards against such phenomena.

When asked if he personally encountered surprises in the revelations, Keravnos stated that these issues have been known for years, and the government has long prioritized addressing them.

Regarding investigations in Cyprus, Keravnos acknowledged ongoing inquiries into several issues, some predating sanctions. He stressed the importance of ethics alongside legality and laws.

Asked about reactions from foreign counterparts, Keravnos reported no negative responses, asserting that transparency is a cornerstone of the government's approach.

Regarding communication with the journalists involved, Keravnos acknowledged the possibility of communications with officials dealing with the issues but clarified no direct communication with him had occurred.

Cyprus  |  economy  |  crime  |  finance

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