By Stelios Orphanides
Former central bank governor Athanasios Orphanides accused the president’s office of “spreading lies” with reference to a report on the collapse of Cyprus Popular Bank commissioned by president Nicos Anastasiades, which leaked eight days ago to the New York Times, as the report contains “jocularities” and “false accusations” which do the Republic of Cyprus “no honour”.
According to the report labelled “secret,” Orphanides who led the Central Bank of Cyprus until early April 2012, knew that the failed lender, which was also known as Laiki, was insolvent and hence ineligible from receiving liquidity from the European Central Bank. By allowing the bank to receive emergency liquidity, Orphanides assisted then president, the communist Demetris Christofias, avoid resorting to an international bailout, in an attempt to have his term as governor renewed.
The former governor who was interviewed by state television channel CyBC yesterday asked the government to confirm whether the report is an official study adding that in that case it would equal “mudslinging”. He also said his successor Panicos Demetriades and the current government Chrystalla Georghadji have deliberately avoided investigating the reasons that led to the failure of Laiki and added that he was prepared to provide evidence for “hidden crimes” at the central bank that have come to his knowledge.
Government spokesman Nikos Christodoulides said today in response to Orphanides’s allegations that the government does not share the conclusions of the leaked report.