Newsroom / CNA
The government of Cyprus is making continuous efforts to protect the country from corruption, justice minister Emily Yiolitis said Wednesday, noting that the government has undertaken a series of actions and pushed a bundle of new laws through the pipeline.
Yiolitis expressed satisfaction regarding the European Commission's Rule of Law Report on Cyprus, that outlines the reforms that have been made towards the right direction.
She also noted that the Moneyvall report already acknowledges Cyprus' compliance with all forty evaluation parameters and the progress the country has achieved with regard to money laundering.
Referring to GRECO’s second compliance report for Cyprus, published on Tuesday, Yiolitis said it is particularly positive that recommendations about the judiciaries have been fully implemented and significant progress has been recorded as regards the Attorney General's offices. Only one recommendation related to the autonomy of law officers and prosecutors remains to be implemented and this will happen very soon by way of a bill which is now being finalised, she said.
However, Yiolitis added, there are serious issues pending on the compliance of recommendations to do with members of the parliament. To this end, the justice minister said parliament needs to speed up its own processes, and called on the House of Representatives to implement the recommendations included in GRECO's report.
Referring to the government's measures against corruption, Yiolitis said that nine government bills have been approved by parliament, establishing the maximum number of terms of office for the President of the Republic, reinforcing the authorities' potential to freeze and confiscate properties acquired through illegal activities, allowing for the creation of an institutional framework for an internal audit service to combat corruption within the police form, and accelerating the administration of justice and modernising courts.
Yiolitis added that six out of the nine justice reform policies have been drafted, while the government has been promoting legislative measures to reinforce asset control of public officials.
Yiolitis furthermore said that the National Strategy Against Corruption has been approved by the Cabinet and internal audit units or directorates have been set up in all ministries.
She also noted that over the next period, the President of the Republic will announce a series of measures that will further enhance the existing framework of accountability, transparency and the fight against corruption.