House Passes Law On Whistleblowers

Люди, сообщившие о фактах коррупции на Кипре, теперь под защитой государства
21 January 2022 Liza Medvetskaya

On Thursday, January 20, the Cyprus Parliament approved a new bill on the "Protection of whistleblowers".

49 deputies voted for the bill, only 1 deputy, Andreas Themistocleus, was against.

The initiator of the innovations was the deputy from the AKEL party Irene Charalambidou, who put forward the bill for consideration for the first time five years ago.

Thus, now people who have information about the corrupt actions of their superiors, if they file a complaint, will be legally protected.

The Minister of Justice and Public Order Stephie Dracou, who attended a meeting of the Parliament of Cyprus yesterday, expressed satisfaction with the adoption of the bill.

She stated that the adoption of the draft law on the protection of persons reporting violations of the law and, in particular, possible corrupt practices, will create a powerful security mechanism to encourage employees to report and provide relevant information obtained in their work environment. 

From today, employees who file a complaint with the competent authority can count on protection from the government. No employee in Cyprus will be subject to retaliation in the form of dismissal, harassment or deterioration of working conditions by their superiors," Drakou stressed.
'The bill on whistleblowers is the result of the efforts of members of the House Judiciary Committee,' Drakou noted.

The Minister of Justice pointed out the importance of cooperation and the atmosphere of goodwill shown by the parliamentary parties that voted for the bill. She wished that the other two laws under consideration by Parliament would also be adopted unanimously, since together these efforts would help create a comprehensive legal framework to combat corruption in Cyprus.

As you may know, the problem of corruption has plagued Cyprus throughout the history of the independent republic.

Cyprus is among the leaders in the ranking of countries whose company executives often face cases of corruption and bribery. Thus, 82% of private business representatives surveyed in Cyprus believe that corruption is a very common phenomenon in their country. According to Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides, only those with a clear conscience and strict moral principles are not involved in corruption in Cyprus.

At the same time, the Government does not deny that it is responsible for the current situation. However, for unknown reasons, until recently, no concrete attempts were made to radically correct the situation.

The reason for the announcement by the government of all the above measures was the scandal that broke out on the island around the investigation of the Al Jazeera. This story led to the resignation of Parliament Speaker Demetris Syllouris, who expressed his willingness to help a convicted Chinese investor obtain citizenship.

Люди, сообщившие о фактах коррупции на Кипре, теперь под защитой государства

The program for obtaining citizenship by investment in Cyprus was launched in 2007.

A person who invested 2.5 million euros in the country had the right to obtain a Cypriot passport. The revival of the program began after 2013, when the financial crisis almost led Cyprus to bankruptcy. With the help of the investment program, more than 8 billion euros were attracted to the country's economy. However, in November 2020, the program was stopped under pressure from other EU countries. 

The investigation, which began after the report, pointed to corrupt schemes for obtaining Cyprus citizenship. As a result, 39 foreign citizens and 6 members of their families began the procedure of revocation of Cypriot citizenship.

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