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25 May, 2024
 
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High-stakes clash over official's credentials

Ministry of Health dispute grows amid Director General's degree controversy

Newsroom

A simmering dispute within Cyprus' Ministry of Health between Minister Popi Kanari and Director General Christina Giannakis has garnered increased attention, fueled by social media posts that raise doubts about the authenticity of Giannakis' academic qualifications. The situation has escalated with reports indicating that Minister Kanari has taken steps to investigate Giannakis' educational background.

In response to the social media controversy surrounding Giannakis' degrees, Health Minister Kanari reportedly sent a letter to the Director General. This letter, according to a report in Phileleftheros, was subsequently communicated to the President of the Republic and the Department of Public Administration and Personnel. The letter sought authorization to contact the universities where Giannakis had studied in order to verify the legitimacy of her degrees.

As per available information, Kanari's communication additionally proposed an assessment of Giannakis' English proficiency, an aspect also questioned on social media. The suggested assessment involved an English-language meeting on Ministry-related matters, attended by government officials, to gauge Giannakis' language skills.

Giannakis, on the other hand, responded to Kanari's proposals with a rejection letter, deeming them offensive. She expressed disappointment that Kanari had not chosen to support her during this time of controversy and instead had entertained allegations from anonymous sources seeking to discredit her. Giannakis also alluded to the proceedings that had taken place at the Public Service Commission (EDY), the relevant governing body.

Worth noting is that Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides has shown support for Giannakis. In a Twitter post, he addressed those demanding a stance from the EDY on anonymous allegations. He clarified that a political party leader had previously asked the Auditor General's office to investigate Giannakis' academic credentials. The response provided on June 22, 2021, stated that after reviewing her original certificates, there were no indications of forgery. Michaelides further noted that challenges to Giannakis' promotion to Director General had been presented in court and subsequently dismissed.

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Cyprus  |  politics  |  health

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