Financial Mirror (Cyprus)
Government launches anti-corruption drive
The government has launched a campaign to eradicate corruption in public office, with Justice Minister Emily Yiolitis pledging to carry out the action plan demanded by President Nicos Anastasiades earlier this year.
The campaign includes a series of measures designed to fight corruption based on transparency and accountability to win back the public’s trust.
Yiolitis addressed an anti-corruption seminar Thursday, marking a new round of training for state officials and the wider public sector.
“Corruption is one of the biggest problems internationally, and its spread poses a threat to the foundations of any state’s economy and democracy as it diverts resources and undermines the efficiency of public spending,” said Yiolitis.
She said emphasis would be on educating people and making them active participants in the fight against corruption.
“Corruption makes states less attractive for business and, as a result, reduces private investment and competitiveness, thus undermining the growth of the economy”.
She called it a key factor in eroding citizens and society’s trust towards institutions, politics, and government institutions.
Yiolitis said the government had proved its intent to deal with the problem efficiently and holistically to rid society of this burden.
The government wants to amend the Criminal Code, increasing penalties for public officials who abuse power from 3 to 7 years in prison.
“Strong political will and cooperation on behalf of the legislature, the parties, non-government organisations, professional groups, and civil society, in general, is also necessary.
“I am sorry to note that important Bills in this package, such as the Bill regulating the establishment of an Independent Anti-Corruption Authority, have been extensively debated but have not been put to the vote in Parliament.”