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Cypriot investigator tells euronews of financial inquiry

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Cypriot investigator tells euronews of financial inquiry


Michael Sarris might have stepped down from the Cypriot finance ministry, but he has not stepped out of the spotlight.

The now-defunct Laiki Bank, which he headed last year, had become deeply involved in the now-virtually-defunct Greek economy.

euronews spoke to the Cypriot Attorney-General Petros Clerides, one of three judges appointed to investigate.

“It seems that he (Sarris) resigned because one of the issues under investigation is the Emergency Liquidity Assistance money they took via the ECB – he was head of the Laiki Bank when most of that happened.”

Relatives of the president are alleged to have transferred funds out of Cyprus before the banking freeze.

“There are political names, but that does not necessarily mean that have done anything wrong,” Clerides told us. “Of course if we start talking about large amounts of money, then things get worse. There are people close to the president, his family, and he actually asked for the investigation to start with him and his family.”

The inquiry will also look into the role Greece played. Greek branches of Laiki Bank were sold and about 500 staff there were laid off.

“It is very possible, almost certain, that there are people from Greece among those who took interest-free loans,” Clerides added.

The Laiki logo has most likely faded from the spotlight for the last time, consigned to the scrapheap.
The bank’s 8,400 workers also face an uncertain future.

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