NICOSIA – A report on Wednesday saying Opposition Akel and ruling Disy got up to two million euro in donations from controversial Focus Maritime company caused an uproar in debt-ridden Cyprus.
Focus Maritime belongs to a close aide of collapsed Laiki Bank’s top man Andreas Vgenopoulos – a man strongly linked with the collapse of the island’s banking sector last year.
The front-page documented report in daily Politis also prompted a harsh attack against Akel and Disy by other political parties.
But both Akel and Disy went on the defense slamming the report which is accompanied by leaked ‘party donation’ documents dated 2007-2008.
Left-wing Akel leader Andros Kyprianou said: “As Akel, we have looked into these repetitious allegations in the past and we found nothing to prove a connection between these funds and the party and those who spread these allegations have to prove them – otherwise they will be left exposed”.
Right-wing Disy’s spokesman Prodromos Prodromou did not deny that half a million euro was donated to the party just before the elections by Cyprus-affiliated shipping tycoons in the UK and Greece.
But he said the party was not aware Focus was behind the donations.
The money was needed by the part to fly over to Cyprus students who wanted to cast a vote and Disy was not aware that Focus was behind it, he said.
“ If, contrary to what we were aware, the donation came from a company that has burdened the Cyprus economy with non-performing loans then – in reality – that money belongs to Laiki Bank’s depositors and that’ where the money will be returned,” he added.