Greek-American lobbyist Andy Manatos of the firm Manatos & Manatos has responded to a US Justice Department act aimed at cracking down on violations of lobbying rules by registering as an agent acting on behalf of Cyprus' government, Politico has reported.
Citing a Justice Department filing, Politico said that Manatos disclosed that his firm had received from the Cypriot government more than $160,000 on September 4 and “expects a similar payment in 2019,” to subsidize the firm’s work for the National Coordinated Effort of Hellenes, an initiative bringing together leading Greek and Cypriot organizations in the US.
Manatos went on to explain that his job is to advise “Cypriot officials regarding US policy and the work he is undertaking but not [to] accept suggestions or direction from the Cypriot officials regarding the work he performs,” according to the report.
“The overwhelming majority of our work involves keeping track of matters and conducting research on matters of interest to the Greek-American community,” Manatos wrote in an email to Politico. “The Cypriots understand that we Greek-Americans do not take direction from them but from ourselves in the Greek-American community.”