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DISY leader brands Christofias as a monomaniac
MAIN opposition leader Nicos Anastasiades yesterday described President Demetris Christofias as a monomaniac and urged him to come clean on whether he had agreed to privatising public companies if the island’s debt was deemed unsustainable.
“He ought to boldly say if he has agreed or not to negotiate the issue of privatising semi-state organisations if our debt proves to be unsustainable,” Anastasiades said. “It is in the memorandum. Consequently, to say something else before a party audience is sad and not fitting for a president.”
A preliminary agreement struck between international lenders and the government says that “if necessary to restore debt sustainability, the Cyprus authorities will consider a privatisation programme for state-owned and semi-public companies.”
On Wednesday, Christofias made it clear that he had no intention of signing a bailout agreement that included privatisations.
“I hope… they (lenders) do not ask us to also privatise semi-state organisations because if they do - I am making it clear - I am in no mood to proceed with such a step as president of the Republic,” he said.
In fact, the government repeatedly said it had averted the privatisations, which the lenders had pursued.
“Propaganda is good and fooling the people is (also) good. But the memorandum itself leaves room to revisit the issue of privatisations if the debt is not sustainable,” Anastasiades said.
The DISY leader said if the monomaniac Christofias had taken into consideration proposals submitted by other parties “we would not have the results we have today.”
Government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou yesterday said the administration negotiated hard to prevent privatisations.
“The final reference in the memorandum creates the prospect of avoiding privatisations; if however it is left to Mr. Anastasiades, this potential would be eliminated,” Stefanou said.
He accused DISY of protecting the wealthy by saddling wage earners with the burden of austerity measures, adding that Anastasiades could not hide his real self no matter how much he tried.
“Mr. Anastasiades is used to complaining about presidents abroad and hurling abuse against them,” Stefanou said. “Today he called the president a monomaniac, something which reminds what he used to say about the previous president, Tassos Papadopoulos.”
The spokesman said Anastasiades had called Papadopoulos a liar.
“This is the new ethos and tone Mr. Anastasiades is advocating and saying he will bring into politics,” Stefanou said.