Cyprus president urges probe into airline bidding

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades on Friday called for an investigation into the Cyprus Airways bidding process, saying he will resign if it is found that he influenced the process in any way.

The move comes after press allegations accused his ex-law firm of representing bidder Ryanair in the state sale of Cyprus Airways.

Leaked documents, published by the Phileleftheros daily, indicated that the government was allegedly pursuing negotiations with Ryanair despite it offering far less than rejected interested parties.

Although Anastasiades severed ties with the law firm – which bares his name – when he became president in 2013, his two daughters are employed there and hold a 50 percent stake.

Angered over reports implicating him, Anastasiades urged the attorney general and auditor general to investigate the matter.

“I want to declare if the investigations ascertain any type of intervention whatsoever, by myself or my former law office in the decisions taken, I will resign from presidential office,” Anastasiades said in a statement.

On Thursday the law firm Nicos Chr. Anastasiades & Partners said it had no connection with Ryanair but it had initially agreed to represent the low-budget carrier.

But on September 30 it withdrew its services “over concerns of conflict of interest” because of the indirect link with Anastasiades, it said.


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